“Slave to Sensation” is the first book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Psy-Changeling’ series. I was very much looking forward to starting this series, although I“Slave to Sensation” is the first book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Psy-Changeling’ series. I was very much looking forward to starting this series, although I will admit I was a little cautious, worrying if it would meet my expectations having read and absolutely loved her ‘Guild Hunter’ series.
Of course there was really no need for any apprehension. I was hooked from the first page. Singh’s vibrant writing shines and I was so happy to be off to a fantastic start.
And to be honest, “Slave to Sensation” just didn’t let up, from the scorching scenes between Sascha and Lucus, to the thrilling underlying story of the psy-changeling world. There’s also a little mystery thrown in for good measure, with the murders of several Changeling women, which just adds to the excitement and intricacy of these two races.
Sascha Duncan is a cardinal Psy, living in a society that doesn’t feel any emotions and are plugged into a central Internet system. Since she was a child she has felt very different from the other Psy as she can feel emotions that should have been removed by conditioning when she was young. She thinks she is broken and has to put in place many psychic shields to prevent any other Psy from finding out her secret. It doesn’t help that one of the most powerful Psy is her mother.
I liked Sascha. I enjoyed seeing her open up like a butterfly to different sensations and stimuli after hiding behind her shields for so long, to act like the unemotional Psy around her. But when she meets Lucus Hunter, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her emotions in check.
Lucus is a Changeling and Alpha of one of the most powerful Leopard packs. However, he is a panther, strong and powerful. Lucus is just gorgeous. Typically an Alpha and wanting to take control, but it was lovely to see Sascha fighting back and Lucus liking his feisty mate, enjoying when Sascha took control and challenged him.
The supporting cast of characters are just as vividly drawn, each with a history that gives them depth and makes them interesting to read. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the characters again in their own book further along in the series.
The emotions that emulate between Sascha and Lucas is just magical. I loved it when these to joined together as mates. It was a very happy and satisfying ending and I just wished I could continue reading and living in their world. I wasn’t ready for it to end.
Another fantastic read from Singh. I loved the characters, the complex world building and the tender but steamy romance. It’s obvious I just can’t go wrong with reading Nalini Singh – she’s without doubt my favourite author of paranormal romance....more
This is the fourth installment in the Noughts & Crosses series which focuses mainly on Tobey and his relationship with Callie and how he gets mixeThis is the fourth installment in the Noughts & Crosses series which focuses mainly on Tobey and his relationship with Callie and how he gets mixed up with the wrong people without really wanting to. There is no Liberation Militia in this book, only two rival gangs with Tobey in the middle. It shows how money, or the lack of it, can be the motivation for good kids to do bad things.
Most of it is written through the eyes of Tobey and although we do get to hear Callie Rose at the very beginning and then at the end, it is brief. Sadly, we never hear from Sephy, which was a great disappointment. She was the original character and it would have been nice to find out how her life was turning out and if she was happy. I liked Tobey's character, but I didn't care about him as much as I had Sephy and Callum. There is also no alternating voices with each chapter, which I thought was a shame as the format had worked so well in the previous books.
The story, however, is still good and I really enjoyed reading it. I didn't get bored and the momentum was steady, but it didn't have any kind of impact on me either. To me there were no powerful scenes that touched me or shocked me, and as the other three books contained these points I suppose I was expecting it.
I think this book would have been better as a stand alone with fresh new voices. I didn't like that I never heard from Sephy again and Callie Rose was only voiced at the beginning and end. I didn't really feel as though this story was connected with the three books before it and I felt some what disconnected. I was sad that the trilogy didn't end with Checkmate.
This is still a very well written story and after reading all the Noughts & Crosses books, Malorie Blackman is a writer I will remember and would have no hesitation recommending to young adults and adults alike.
Well, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's BellesWell, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's Belles being the fourth book in the series I thought that it would loose some of the story's zest as so many sequels in series do, but this is better than the last. I just loved it!
Margs has such an amazing talent. His writing is so clever as although there are many plot twists and turns they all read smoothly and easily, there is no confusion as to what's going on. We are introduced to many characters throughout the book but each character has a unique voice and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all. Two of the main characters, Brenda and Effie, are retired old ladies!
I honestly didn't think that reading about two old ladies would be my thing. I have to connect and be able to relate to the characters in some way to really enjoy a book and reading about two retired old ladies did initially make me a little apprehensive. But after reading Conjugal Rites, I absolutely fell in love with Brenda and Effie, and I had no problem connecting with them. It was the same with Hell's Belles. They are just so funny, quirky and warm. And don't think for a minute because they are old they can't fight their own battles - Brenda and Effie can kick-arse with the best of them - well, they have to, being the guardians of the hell mouth!
I also love Robert, Brenda's other best friend, who finds love in Hell's Belles with a guy called Michael. They meet each night to have moonlit rides on an enchanted settee, but as expected, nothing is as it first seems. Penny, a new resident of Whitby, is also falling for a guy called Michael, but he's seeing the evil Mrs Claus, who is thoroughly enjoying his attention. As always there a funny goings on in all the lives of the Whitby characters, which makes each one so interesting and intriguing.
A secret, that was alluded to in Conjugal Rites, is revealed in Hell's Belles and I'm excited to see where Magrs takes this part of the story. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the character of Penny will be back with her own revelations in book five!
This is a totally unique story with original characters. Deliciously written with enough action to keep you turning the pages. Magrs has you jumping back and forth between characters but instead of it being annoying and confusing it made it exciting and I was totally absorbed. This is a comedy too but with a dark edge. With vampires, monsters, zombies and demons. Wonderful story. Superbly executed.
I actually gave this 9/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't allow half stars!
Burned is the seventh installment to the House of Night series and the last one in the series for a while. It is in the same format as Tempted in thatBurned is the seventh installment to the House of Night series and the last one in the series for a while. It is in the same format as Tempted in that the point of view changes with each chapter, which I really like. This time we hear mostly from Stevie Rae and Stark, but Aphrodite, Rephaim and even Kalona are present too, as well as Zoey, but she doesn't play as much of a role as in the previous books, although she is still the main focus.
After the sad events that happened at the end of Tempted, which I won't go into as it will be a big spoiler to those of you who haven't read this series yet, Zoey is in the Otherworld, and Stark, as well as all her friends, are trying to find a way to reach her and bring her home.
The most interesting, and my most favourite aspect of Burned, is Stevie Rae and her connection with Rephaim, the bird-man, son of Kalona. This connection intensifies through out the book and both are confused by it and what it means. I really enjoyed this relationship and every time the story moved away from Stevie Rae, I found that I missed it and couldn't wait to get back to it. Stevie Rae also has to deal with the Red Fledglings who haven't decided between good or bad and also comes face to face with Darkness itself, with unforeseen consequences.
Aphrodite is still having her visions and although we only get to see the world from her point of view in three chapters, we do see the Aphrodite we know and love, but who is now fully integrated into Zoey's circle, and she's liking it too. Burned is also much more about the boys and we get to learn more about Stark and Rephaim. There are quite a few passages about warriors and guardians, which seemed to go on a touch too long for me, but it was nice to get the view from a guys perspective.
Burned feels more mature than the other books - each character has grown quite a lot, especially Stark and Stevie Rae. The story is exciting and continues to be completely addictive but Burned definitely has a different feel to it than the previous books in the series. Another really good edition to the House of Night series and I am SO looking forward to Awakened... I just wish I didn't have so long to wait!
I gave this book 7/10 on my Blog but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars....more
This is going to be a pretty short and sweet review. I read this month's ago and at the time I was dealing with a family bereavement and didn't writeThis is going to be a pretty short and sweet review. I read this month's ago and at the time I was dealing with a family bereavement and didn't write up any notes. I just really needed to escape reality for a while and DARKFEVER definitely allowed me to do that.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to start this series. Maybe it's because I don't usually read fae novels. I'm not sure why but they don't capture my imagination or interest. But Laura loves this series and has continued to recommend it. But after delving into the world of Mac and Barrons, I'm very glad I did. There's great atmosphere and superb world building. I loved the idea that a part of Dublin is unknown, that people don't know it exists.
MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons are great characters and I loved their banter. Barrons is mysterious and sexy and I just can't wait to read more about him and how their relationship develops. I enjoyed Mac's realisation of the Other World. From a normal American girl interested in fashion and lipgloss to somebody who is being chased by shadows and demons and surrounded by strangeness.
The plot is great and sucked me in. I loved the fight scenes and Barrons coming to Mac's rescue, even though she was actually doing ok! I think Mac is going to be one serious kickass chick and I can't wait to see her develop and come into her own.
The only aspect I didn't like was that the book was being narrated by Mac in the present tense but it's all written in the past tense if that makes sense. So it's not as if we are living it with her it's actually her account of what has already happened. I hope that time catches up and the next book she's either in the present tense or at least in the past tense but with us right alongside her.
A really great start to the series and I'm looking forward to getting to know Mac and Barrons better....more
Just for Now is my second foray into the new "New Adult" category and I must say it was completely different from my first with Losing It by Cora CarmJust for Now is my second foray into the new "New Adult" category and I must say it was completely different from my first with Losing It by Cora Carmack. Different in tone, use of language and sexual imagery. This is definitely not for young readers. But was it good, and did I enjoy it? The simple answer is yes, but there were a few issues...
One of my biggest gripes is the language used by the main guy, Preston. Although we do get an insight into his thoughts of the outside world, (POV's are from both hero/heroine), and more importantly, his thoughts about Amanda (also nicknamed Manda), for the most part he is a complete asshole.
While at a party, Amanda seeks him out with one goal in mind. To have sex with Preston. Once outside, Preston, being the older and more experienced of the two, takes the lead.
"I'm getting your sexy ass back here so I can strip off your clothes and bury my dick into that tight little pussy. You can't go do shit like that, Manda, and expect a guy to control himself. It don't fucking work that way, baby girl."
Unfortunately, the way Preston speaks to her doesn't seem to stop Amanda from lusting after him, happy to give him her virginity while he's in a drunken stupor, as well as having unprotected sex. I completely understand passion of the moment, but this was almost premeditated by Amanda, pushing them both into a situation where sex was inevitable, therefore she really should have been prepared or should have known better.
Reading the quote above out of context you could interpret that he was just about to force himself on Amanda. Thankfully this isn't the case. But he spoke to her like this A LOT and I can't say I particularly liked it. Is this the way young guys speak to girls these days??
When Preston wakes up the next morning he thinks what happened was a dream so he doesn't think too much of it. But when he eventually finds out it happened for real he's dumbstruck. Although for the most part Preston is a complete jerk, the way he feels about taking her virginity gave him a huge amount of brownie points.
"I'm never drinking again. That's it. I swear. I'm done." He put both hands on the hood of my car and hung his head. "I can never tell you how sorry I am. You should hate me for the rest of your life. That is no way for you to have lost your virginity. Damn, Manda. Someone needs to shoot me."
There are a few moments where Amanda enters the "To Stupid To Live" arena as Preston isn't nice to her at all, even he understands that as he paces up and down, realising what he's done. It's a shame Amanda doesn't see this too. I must say that didn't totally get on board with Preston's "too drunk to remember" excuse. He didn't act drunk enough to not remember what he did, especially as he uses her name the entire time, and then after apologises for just having sex and then leaving. It took the edge off the believability a bit in all honesty.
Anyway, for the most part this concludes my main gripes about this book, and most of them happen within the first few of chapters. But once we start to get into the mind of Preston and hear what he's thinking and how he's feeling, my initial thoughts about him begin to change. However, Amanda doesn't get to hear how much of a jerk he thinks of himself, how much he really likes her, why he acts the way he does. So in actual fact, to her he should just have been a total douche-bag. But she keeps hanging onto his every word, pining over him, trying to engage with him. She does learn eventually but it takes her a while.
At first this annoyed me, I wanted her to wake up and stop being so blind. But then I put on my eighteen year old hat and time travelled back to when I was the same age. This was the time when I started to have serious relationships and there was one boy that was a complete shit-bag. But I was in love, naive, young, passionate, lustful, everything that with experience you can properly rationalise. But at eighteen everything is magnified, everything is so angsty that I just lost myself in him. It also took me a while to see what kind of man he was, but eventually I told him to sling his hook.
This is what Amanda eventually does too and I admire her for that. There are lots of ups and downs, misunderstandings, lust, sex and love, and although this story is a mixed bag with regards to what I liked and what I didn't like, I can't take away from the fact that the writing is completely addictive. I couldn't put the book down even while I was rolling my eyes at some of the situations, and Amanda's reactions to them. This is the main reason for my rating. Pure, unadulterated entertainment.
Just for Now is actually book four in the Sea Breezes series. I don't usually read books out of order but for some reason I thought it was book one. Once I'd grabbed it and started reading, I was too hooked to put it down when I realised it was in fact book four. However, I read it and still enjoyed it, and don't feel you have to read the preceding books in the series to enjoy this one.
I have been dilly-dallying, unable to settle on a rating to give this book. On the one hand I had a few issues with it, but on the other it is a hell of an entertaining read. This time the entertainment factor won out and I have settled on 4 stars. Just for Now is a fun book. It was so addictive I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. Although there are a few eye-rolling moments, for the most part I really enjoyed it. If you love angsty, lustful NA romantic contemporaries, then this is a must read. I will no doubt pick up the rest of books in the series....more
"Nylon Angel" is the first book in the 'Parrish Plessis' sci-fi series by Marianne de Pierres. I don't read an awful l7/10 on my blog: Book Chick City
"Nylon Angel" is the first book in the 'Parrish Plessis' sci-fi series by Marianne de Pierres. I don't read an awful lot of sci-fi but when I do it's usually been a male author, with male characters and rather hard core sci-fi at it's root. Because of this, although I enjoy it, I have to be in the mood for it and the mood doesn't come along that frequently.
When deciding which book to read for my "women of science fiction" event, I decided on "Nylon Angel" and it was this quote that clinched the deal: 'A kick-ass girl surviving in an ultra-violent world run by the media... This is a character driven series that should gather a strong following in much the same way as Anita Blake' THE BOOKSELLER - this book was exactly what I was looking for for my event...and it didn't disappoint.
It had everything I love about urban fantasy but in a sci-fi setting: character driven story, check - kick-arse girlie, check - similar to Anita Blake, double check. The quote is totally on the money. Parrish is real, strong, independent and kick-arse, and has some seriously cool moves, but she's also flawed and vulnerable and has an interesting background which gives her the depth of character I love in my urban fantasy heroines, and now I have it in sci-fi! I honestly didn't know it existed!
There are two cities the story revolves around: Vacinity and Tert. The former is for the rich and the latter for everyone else, where gangs dominate and food is hard to come by. It begins with Parrish trying to escape the clutches of Jamon Hondo, a horrid character that rapes and abuses her. She's given a way out by stealing something from Vacinity only to become a scapegoat and accused of murder.
I loved Parrish from the first page - this is a girl after my heart. She's a determined soul and doesn't stop until she finds out the truth. She has a seriously troubled past which keeps her guarded towards others and makes her the independent woman she is. I loved her feisty, fighting nature.
There is a lot of action in "Nylon Angel", a bit of mystery and a smidgen of romance. All these threads kept me turning the pages; each story is exciting and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.
The romantic aspect is very secondary to Parrish and her plight, but it's still good. Parrish meets a mysterious guy called Dark (but eventually finds out his real name is Daac). The chemistry is instant for me, although it wasn't to them. This is a romance that I feel will be a slow burner. I'm also very interested in how the relationship evolves as things don't end well between them and the ending is certainly intriguing.
The supporting cast of characters are also well written and each one has their own story. But I never knew who to trust - they all have their own game plan.
This is a very good start to a series and sets the scene nicely for further books. The characters are brilliantly written and I just can't wait to read how Parrish evolves. I really enjoyed this book and if you love character driven stories that are gritty, dark and exciting, then look no further. I've already bought book two - 'Code Noir' :)...more
The Turning' is the first book in the 'Blood Ties' series by Jennifer Armintrout. It's a solid start to a series if a little uneven. It also doesn't rThe Turning' is the first book in the 'Blood Ties' series by Jennifer Armintrout. It's a solid start to a series if a little uneven. It also doesn't really sit within the urban fantasy genre or the paranormal romance genre but somewhere in between in my opinion. Although there are a few gruesome scenes that may be too explicit for PNR fans, especially if they are just after a romance and nothing else.
Carrie Ames is a doctor working in a hospital when a John Doe is pushed through the hospital doors brutally beaten, body mangled and at the point of death. Carrie finds it a difficult case to work on and discovers, to her embarrassment that she just can't deal with it and runs from the ER. Unfortunately, the guy dies and so later in her shift Carrie decides to confront her fears and view the body. Unfortunately, she meets something far worse than a dead body down in the morgue and her life is changed forever.
The hero of the story is a vampire called Nathan who is a very likeable character. He's the 'good' guy and helps Carrie come to terms with her new life. There's also the vampire, Cyrus, the anti-hero who is quite a disturbing character. He's the vampire who 'changed' Carrie and who enjoys killing, torturing and raping fifteen year old girls. It's Carrie's interactions with this particular character which prevented me from connecting with her, as I really didn't understand her attraction towards such a despicable man/vampire.
Because of the 'blood tie', Carrie finds herself drawn to Cyrus physically and if it was just the 'blood tie' I could have let it slide. But unfortunately it wasn't. Carrie was attracted to him even without the blood tie and when seeing visions of him raping a young girl it was hard for me to understand her attraction. Cyrus was just downright disgusting.
Nathan on the other hand is a true hero. Someone who sticks to the rules, who cares and wants to help, but who is also strong, handsome with a hot body to boot. Of course Carrie is attracted to Nathan as well as Cyrus, but I could understand why. The sex scenes are fairly explicit but not overly so, unfortunately there was no love involved with either Nathan or Cyrus.
I found 'The Turning' to be a very easy book to get into and the pace steady, which kept me turning the pages with ease. It has a fairly exciting plot with characters that are vivid and interesting. I did find Carrie to be a little irritating at times as her thoughts chopped and changed constantly, which made it difficult to connect with her. However, I enjoyed it enough that I will definitely continue the series and fortunately have book two already at hand....more
"They Call Me Death" is a very strong title, which means this book had a lot to live up to. It started ouOriginally posted on my blog: Book Chick City
"They Call Me Death" is a very strong title, which means this book had a lot to live up to. It started out well, with a prologue that was pretty intriguing, but unfortunately it fell at the first chapter due to poorly thought-out world-building and unimaginative characters.
In the prologue we are told how the world became what it is; an America divided into North and South between shifters and humans. Alexia is at home with her husband and child and watches a news anchor-man kill everyone in the studio live on TV, after shifting into a cougar.
This suggests that shifters had been living alongside humans for years, taking on human jobs, living human lives. However, further along in the next few chapters the main character, Alexia, tells us how she is able to differentiate between species even in human form due to "canines having overbites" (let me point out here that in another paragraph a few pages on it states 'underbite'), "felines can't hide their teeth when they talk" and "reptilians can be spotted by their skin" - wouldn't this have been noticeable before the shifters declared war and ate their work colleagues?
There is also mention that shifters had families - human families. How is this possible? What about children? Were they born shifters and if so wouldn't the parent have noticed reptilian skin or feline teeth?
The plot is also rather thin. In a nut shell there's a laboratory where shifters are presumably being held for some kind of experimentation. Andor, a Golden Eagle shifter, thinks his daughter is being held there and needs Alexia's help. There are a few twists along the way but that's pretty much it. We are given no explanation as to why the shifters turned on humans so violently and so suddenly.
Most of the story is 'told' rather than 'shown' which makes for tiresome reading, and the author had a habit of skipping chunks of the story by adding "10 days passed", "after two weeks" or jumping to the next day. Wouldn’t it have been better to show us what happened rather than tell us in retrospect in the next chapter?
Being called "Death" by the enemy is a pretty big statement and Alexia had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately she didn't manage it and did absolutely nothing to back it up, as we never get to see her in action. We do see her, however, throwing her weight around with the guys at work. This was a little unrealistic to be honest, especially when she's only five foot eight and the guys she works with are well built and six feet tall. There needed to be more evidence as to why these guys would be scared of her and why shifters nicknamed her "Death".
Alexia and Andor's relationship happens too fast and isn't particularly explosive or toe curling. It took them only a couple of weeks to fall in love and shorter still for Alexia to trust him, even though she has a self-proclaimed loathing of shifters due to them killing her husband and child. The sex scenes were awkward and clumsy and didn't get me hot and bothered at all.
Andor's most appealing aspect is that he shifts into a Golden Eagle, which I think are magnificent birds. The author did try and express how beautiful and powerful Andor is in bird form but didn't quite manage it and therefore I didn't get a sense of how amazing he is.
Also, with just a little bit of research you can learn that Golden Eagles have a flight speed of approximately 30 miles per hour; their wing span can be up to 7 feet and they can carry prey three times their own body weight. Andor in shifter form is 6 feet tall with a wing span on 15 feet - therefore, taking all this into consideration, why oh why were Andor and Alexia running for their lives from the Alpha of the shifter divide when all he had to do was carry her and fly?
Although Alexia didn't get the opportunity to show us why shifters called her 'Death', she did have a tough-guy attitude, but her demeanour changed almost immediately when she met Andor. He kept telling her to keep behind him or wait in the other room. She even leaned into him at times like a simpering wimp! This isn't evidence of a woman called "Death"!
Another aspect I found rather strange was all the shifters seemed to speak in formal English, and yet have mixed with human society for years, blending in, pretending to be human, surely modern day speech would have rubbed off, if not then the human's around them would have found them all rather odd. Alexia starts out sounding like a modern day woman, but for some reason even she begins to speak formally:
I'm not his to command, but I may be death for you unless you explain why you're here unbidden," I replied.
I really wanted to like "They Call Me Death" as I am a huge urban fantasy fan, but it had a lot to live up to with such a statement for a title – unfortunately the heroine, Alexia didn't pull it off. The world building and plot needed a lot more thought and better execution. It could have done with being longer with more 'show' than 'tell'. There were too many unanswered questions and hugely noticeable inconsistencies. I was constantly niggled, frowning in displeasure and sighing with annoyance. I may be reading about supernatural beings but it still has to be believable.
However, it wasn't the most awful book I’ve ever read, but would I recommend it? No...there are far too many fantastic urban fantasy novels to be read, so I wouldn’t waste your time with this one....more
Flesh is an erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. Ali is a woman in her 30s who has been hiding in an attic since the zombies started walkFlesh is an erotic romance set in a zombie-apocalyptic world. Ali is a woman in her 30s who has been hiding in an attic since the zombies started walking the Earth. After two months she decides to head out only to come face to face with Dan. Frightened senseless Ali reacts and holds a shot gun to his face. She's scared, thinking that he wants nothing from her but to rape her.
Dan on the other hand is having a whale of a time. Dan has hated being alone and to find Ali is like a dream come true. He smiles at her (which she thinks is Dan leering) and tries to calm her down. A struggle ensues when Dan snatches the gun. Ali fights hard, snapping and kicking but Dan's a big man and his hold is too strong. Eventually she calms down and after a lot of talking Ali ends up with Dan in her house where they stay together.
At first I didn't really get Dan. His motives seemed off, and he called Ali "his girl" as soon as he clapped eyes on her. His dialogue is slightly stilted and I thought this was down to the author's writing, but after a while it became evident it was just Dan's way. His elation at finding someone, a woman, is what drives him at first. He's thinking of settling down, maybe having kids, all the while Ali is thinking how to get rid of him.
After a while though, Dan works his way under Ali's skin (and mine) and they end up sharing a bed together, among other things *ahem* sex between these two is hot with a capital T. At first it's all about being close to someone, but as time goes by it turns into something more.
From Ali's POV:
"I'm sick of being afraid. Daniel..." All of a sudden the world tumbled. It happened so fast her head went woozy. Her back was against the mattress and Daniel loomed over her, his big body shaking with tension. Those blue eyes of his blazed with some internal fire. Her heart stuttered in her chest.
Maybe, just maybe, she had well and truly bitten off more than she could chew.
From Dan's POV:
A smile curved her perfect mouth. He saw stars, dots dancing through his field of vision. This woman made his knees weak. Thank God he was standing.
"Kiss me," she said.
"Whatever you want."
Dan persuades Ali to move on with him and head for greener pastures, to maybe build a house in the country, but as with many post-apocalyptic novels, with hardship comes anger, zombies aren't the only monsters to be wary of. Along the way they come across a large gang of hostile, nasty men who want nothing more than to take Ali for themselves. This led to some great tension and riveting action scenes. Ali and Dan fight as best they can but things don't go too well. This is where they meet Finn.
In his life before zombies, Finn was a policeman, so he knows his way around guns and how to take care of difficult situations. The three of them band together to try and move on away from the gang, but unfortunately find themselves being herded into a dead end...
I didn't particularly like Finn to begin with, he was almost petulant when it came to Ali, but he eventually grew on me. I was surprised at how quickly Ali took to him. After the hell she had given Daniel when they first met, she's very accommodating with Finn, which I felt was a little out of character. I understand why she's become more comfortable with Daniel, but Finn is an unknown entity. I felt her mistrust of people would still have been strong towards others but it's not evident with Finn. She accepted him pretty quickly, too quickly in my opinion.
Scott is very good at describing the world and her characters. The action scenes are terrific and there is one scene near the end of the book that had my heart racing, the tension was racked up so high. As the three of them navigate the zombie infested world, there are more harships, more surprises and a lot more action - in and out of the bedroom. There's also quite a bit of humour thrown in too. Especially from Dan.
She hustled up his white t-shirt, revealing a spectacular black bruise the size of her hand. Her throat shut tight. The mark covered the entire right side of his ribcage.
"You said you were fine. Holy shit, Daniel. This is not fine. This is a really long way from fine."
And whoa, there went her voice. She screeched at him by the end of it.
"Shh. Don't go ballistic. I can explain..." He lifted up, flinching all the while. Hands gripped her hips and rearranged her till she sat atop him, aligned with his groin. She stared down at him, careful to keep her knees back from the damage. Where was it even safe to touch him?
Daniel sighed. "Actually, you know, it's not worth explaining. But, okay, don't get mad. There were all sorts of crap in the water. I hit something when I went in. I lived to tell the tale. End of Explaining. Feel free to rub yourself against me in a show of sympathy..."
The other aspect that I enjoyed was how Scott wrote her sex scenes. Yes they are very explicit (this is an erotic romance after all) but they are written well and fit into the world that these characters now find themselves. Although in the beginning I felt that the sex was something the characters craved just to feel close to someone - anyone, by the middle of the story things begin to change, emotions are setting in and the sex becomes something more.
With the introduction of Finn I did wonder how the dynamics would work between the three of them and there are a couple of occasions when I felt uncomfortable and sorry for Dan as he watches Ali and Finn get close, even seeing them getting hot and heavy and move into another room to have sex. Some of the things he says and the looks he gives indicate at how much it pains him. And this, to be honest, is the reason I usually avoid menage stories. However, Dan is the one who encourages it. Yes, you read that right. Although Dan is a big man, he realises Finn has the skills to really protect Ali. So if sharing her is the answer to keeping her safe then he's going to take it. Ali is shocked at Dan's suggestion first, but then after a few internal struggles she accepts the idea. Likes the idea even, as her attraction to Finn grows.
From Dan's POV:
His girl rose to her feet, radiating fury. Dan was singed just being in the same room. "Not good enough. I won't be wrapped in cotton wool while you two take all the risks. Do you really believe they'll let us stay in your precious town if we're not seen to be contributing? Seriously?"
Finn's nostrils flared. "I'm trained to handle dangerous situations. You are not."
I don't care."
"No, Finn. I love you, but no."
The kid gave a good impression of a man who'd had the fight sucker punched right out of him. He stopped and stared. "You love me?"
"Yes. I love you," she said.
Finn stared at her, face rigid and hands balled tight.
"Is that really so bad?" she asked.
The kid grabbed her and held on tight. And his girl fitted herself against Finn, her face in his neck, arms wrapped around him like she couldn't let go.
Inside Dan's ribcage something hurt, just like it had earlier today when he thought he'd lost her. No amount of rubbing the heel of his hand at it helped.
My discomfort for Dan's situation diminished as Dan's pain declined. When the three of them became more than just three people but three friends, everything changed for me and I couldn't wait for them all to get together. By the time the sex arrives between Dan, Finn and Ali, it's over. The book ends. I wanted so much more. I'd come to care about these characters, understand their quirks, and although I'd been worried I wouldn't be able to handle the threesome, I realised I wanted to have more time with them all together. This isn't to say the book ends badly or abruptly as it doesn't, it's a very fitting end, it's just that personally I would have liked more time with these characters, especially as their story doesn't continue in book two, Skin.
Flesh is a really great start to a new series. I love how the author combines erotic romance and zombie killing action. It makes for a very exciting read full of tension. If you enjoy erotic romance but are put off by the fact it's set in a zombie-apocalyptic world, don't be. Flesh is a really fun read, I'm sure you won't be disappointed....more
"Blood Bound" is a fun, action-packed read with a great story line. I really enjoyed this instalment. Mercy is cOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
"Blood Bound" is a fun, action-packed read with a great story line. I really enjoyed this instalment. Mercy is creeping up my list of best urban fantasy heroines – she’s feisty but not cocky, she’s sassy but not annoying. I love the fact she’s a coyote and not the typical werewolf or vampire too.
There’s lots of twists and turns and lots of different plot lines that really kept me engaged. Mercy's vampire friend, Stefan, requires her help and draws her into a complex situation.
Stefan has gone missing along with Adam and Sam and Warren has been violently beaten and is in a really bad way. As usual Mercy finds herself in the thick of it and sets out to find them, along with vampire Andre, while others take care of Warren.
There’s also a newly-made vampire containing a demon on the lose and it’s causing deathly havoc. It murders several people and nobody can kill it. It’s having a negative effect on the werewolves, who are all becoming a bit more growly with it in their town.
I really feel as though I'm following Mercy through her life. We get to be with her when she’s eating breakfast, what she’s going to wear and while she's working on a car in her garage, as well as all the supernatural shenanigans she has to put up with. I thought this would become increasingly annoying, but in fact it’s becoming one of the aspects I love about this series. I really get a feel for who Mercy is and I’m feeling more connected with her with each book I read. I hope it continues.
The only aspect I would say that the author hasn’t got quite right yet is the romance. There are a few more Mercy thoughts in this instalment than there were in the first book and so I know a bit more how Mercy is feeling about Adam, but Sam is still a bit fuzzy. In fact in this book she’s kissed by three men! She’s a popular girl!
Of course it is always great to have scenes with Adam and Sam and I like them both a lot. I do feel as though I’m leaning towards Adam with respects to Mercy’s love interest as I know his liking her comes from his heart and not from the fact that Mercy can possibly produce live young, which is how Sam sees her. Although, things are clarified a little with regards to Sam and his feelings towards Mercy at the end of this book, which leaves me guessing.
"Blood Bound" is a fabulous second instalment in this series, which is fast becoming a favourite. Mercy is coming into her own and I'm loving her character more and more. I would definitely recommend starting this series if you haven't already! ...more
One night when Ashley Parker and her boyfriend, Matt, are having a late night picnic and are busy makingOriginally published on www.BookChickCity.com
One night when Ashley Parker and her boyfriend, Matt, are having a late night picnic and are busy making out, Ashley feels something’s on her, and at first she’s angry as she thinks it’s Matt getting a bit carried away, but when she shoves Matt off her and he shines a light to see what the problem is, they find a half eaten woman rolling around on the ground, wanting to chomp down on Ashley. They make a run for it but the last thing Ashley remembers are Matt’s screams.
When she wakes up she finds herself in a makeshift med ward, and soon learns that a virus is causing the dead to walk. She also finds that one of her lecturers from university and her assistant Gabriel, have not only survived but are actually part of the team helping to contain the disease.
After Ashley has healed sufficiently she learns that she’s actually a ‘wild card’, which means she’s immune to the virus. Because of this they ask her to join their team, along with a few other ‘wild card’s’ they’ve come across, to help clear the area and rescue any survivors. Thus ensues lots of action, zombie brain splattering, suspense and fab character interaction with a dash of sexual tension.
PLAGUE TOWN is such a fun read. Full of zombie munching, gory entrails, sassy heroine and a hero you ‘love to hate’, but soon end up just loving. The descriptions of the zombies are great, and worthy of any horror novel. They are gory and detailed, just the way I like ‘em.
The world Fredsti has created is fantastic, very visual and realistic. The dialogue is very smooth and I was completely immersed in the characters and their lives. There were a few scenes that made my hairs stand on end, which is great, exactly what I want when reading a book such as this.
“In here!” Lil joined me and banged on the front door. We watched as zombies peeled off from the steady stream wandering past and staggered to join the ever-increasing crown in front of the store. I glanced at Lil, and could tell from her set expression that she was scanning the crowd for a familiar face.
One I hoped she didn’t see.
“Maybe we should–” I stopped short as the zombie that used to be Annie suddenly let go of the gate and veered off to its left, pushing through the crowd with what almost seemed like a sense of purpose.
“Okay, now that’s just weird.”
“Do you think she remembers the back door?”
A chill ran up my spine.
Ashley, the main character, is a firecracker; feisty, sassy and not afraid to get into the thick of it. She deals with what life throws at her with ease, sometimes a bit too easily, but I did like her for it. Ashley’s love interest and mentor, is Gabriel. When we first meet him, before the virus and zombie outbreak, he was an absolute pig. He acted superior and talked down to Ashley and tried to embarrass her whenever possible, but as the story moves along, he thaws out and becomes a sweet guy, but also doesn’t lose that hard edge. There’s also a twist to his character I saw a mile off, but it is a good one.
I loved the first sexy scene between Ashley and Gabriel. There had been a bit of sexual tension between them but the intensity of Gabriel’s feelings which showed in this scene shocked me as much as it did Ashley. Did he let the side down by acting like a jerk a little later, yep, but the lead up was sexy and hot.
I gasped in shock. Without warning, his hands tightened painfully on my upper arms and he pushed me up against the wall, his body pressed against mine. His eyes darkened so much I thought I must be imagining it.
My breathing quickened as his hand shifted from my arms up to my face, fingers twining though my hair. Anger and desire warred in his gaze. Heat coiled in my stomach even as fear shuddered up my spine. I tried to shake my head, but his fingers held it in place as he muffled any protests by covering my mouth with his.
Fingers massaging my scalp, he slowly increased the intensity of the kiss, his tongue entering into play as he tilled my head back and slip it in.
I felt like I was following along in a dance, being led by someone who knew the steps much better than I did. I discovered that I was content to follow, matching the pressure of his lips with mine, letting my tongue play with his as he pressed his body into me, emphasising the move with a low, throaty sound.
He was definitely packing heat, and it wasn’t his sidearm.
Ashley and Gabriel do have one other hot scene, unfortunately this isn’t handled as well as the one above, in my opinion, which is a shame as they totally get it on and it’s what I’d been waiting for since their first connection. The reason is, I have a thing. It may just be me but I can’t stand it when people snog first thing in the morning without cleaning their teeth, or, as in this instance, kiss after throwing up. It’s just icky. And it’s all I think about while the scene is unfolding, and I’m unable to enjoy it.After finding out Gabriel’s secret, Ashley is so disgusted she rushes to the bathroom and throws up. She rinses her mouth out but that’s it. In bursts Gabriel and one thing leads to another. The first thing I didn’t like is the above mentioned sicky mouth, but also the fact that it was all too rushed. Why did Ashley and Gabriel have to get it on then and there. With the enormous revelation I would have thought Ashley would have been a little bit more miffed and needed some time to mull everything over.
There’s an AMAZING action scene near the end of the book and I would have much prefered Ashley and Gabriel to have waited until after this scene. I think it would have been much better, but then… I’m not the author.
One of the other ‘wild cards’ I loved is Lily. She’s a really sweet character. At first she seems a bit naive and shy, but put a pickaxe in her hand and she turns into a zombie killing machine. She reminded me a little bit of Jenni from Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy in that she becomes a little nuts with everything that is going on, and to cope she goes out with guns blazing pulverising zombies whenever she can.
One of my favourite scenes was when Ashley and Lil head out on their own to go back into the zombie infested town to rescue Lil’s two cats Doodle and Blinkey. I love animals and I know that I would have to do everything in my power to save them and I loved that this is what the characters in this book decided to do too. It was heart-warming and sweet. The love Lil had for her pet’s was really sweet. She couldn’t concentrate on what she was doing without knowing they were ok. Once they were safely with her and Lil and Ashley were safely back at the UNIT she slept.
I opened the door.
“Lil?” No answer. She wouldn’t have bolted, would she?
Gabriel came in behind me.
“What is it?” he asked. “Is she okay?”
I pointed to the bed where Lily had collapsed, giving in to exhaustion. Blinkey was draped around the top of her head like a furry halo, Doodle curled in the crook of her arm…both cats purred loudly and the contented smile on Lil’s face – even in her sleep – brought tears to my eyes.
“Yeah,” I said quietly. “She’s okay.”
There are lots of secondary characters and they all had distinctive personalities. I didn’t become lost in the sea of names as I have done with other novels. They all added their bit to the story and I ended up liking them all, hoping they would all survive.
Other than one or two aspects, I think PLAGUE TOWN is a great zombie book. I really enjoyed it and Ashley is a fantastic heroine. I can’t wait to see how she grows in subsequent books. Fredsti is now on my auto-buy list and I can’t wait for the next book in the series, Zombie Nation....more
The third and final book in this trilogy, Run from Fear, jumps a couple of years on from Hide form Evil. This time we catch up with Talia and her sistThe third and final book in this trilogy, Run from Fear, jumps a couple of years on from Hide form Evil. This time we catch up with Talia and her sister Rosario, and of course sexy Jack. Since the take down of David Maxwell’s empire, Talia has been able to live out in the open, although she doesn’t broadcast who she is. She now works as a bar manager and her sister is at Stanford. Things are pretty good.
Unfortunately it all change for the worst as Talia stars to receive gifts from her past that bring a cold chill to her bones. It’s a past she’s tried hard to forget, but someone out there doesn’t want her to. Although there are two threads to the suspense plot, as we find out their are two unconnected baddies, for one of them we really don’t find out why they did the things they did, but we do get to know who both baddies are.
I can’t say I loved this book as much as I did the previous two, it was addictive reading as always, but I thought it was the weakest instalment plot wise, and there were a couple of irritating characters, namely Rosario, who just acted too dumb for an 18 year old, and Talia’s friend, Susie, who was too selfish for words. I did like both Talia and Jack as our hero and heroine though, and I believed in their relationship and budding romance. It did take a while for the romance aspect to get going, but I understand it had to be handled lightly due to Talia’s past and what happened to her.
I enjoyed how protective Jack was of Talia and her sister and how much he wanted to keep them safe. I also liked how he kept his feelings for Talia in check because of her history. He is thoughtful, caring and just an all round nice guy. But he also has a quick temper, and although it’s never aimed at the women in his life and never would be, any threat to them would be dealt with his fists and without remorse. Jack is a bad boy but with a soft center.
I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of the characters from the previous books as it would have been nice to see how they were doing. The conclusion to this instalment was a little rushed with respect to the suspenseful plot and the romance. I would have liked it to be drawn out for a few more chapters at the end but there was a definitive conclusion, and it was pretty cute....more
After her mother dies, Maddie Moore returns to the small coastal town of Lucky Harbor, having inherited an inn from her free-spirited mother. The innAfter her mother dies, Maddie Moore returns to the small coastal town of Lucky Harbor, having inherited an inn from her free-spirited mother. The inn was left to Maddie and her two half-sisters, Tara and Chloe. Having only met her sister's a few times, Maddie feels a little overwhelmed and awkward around them, but after a while the sisters begin to relax and get to know each other.
What a great start to a series. I really enjoyed Simply Irresistible, and sorry for the pun, but it was exactly that, irresistible - I couldn't put this book down. There are some really great characters, fun banter between siblings and a very sexy hero.
Although the inn is in bad repair, Maddie really wants to give it a go, but her sister's don't want any part of it, and just want to get back to their lives. Maddie's vulnerability is very endearing and due to her sad past she's more reserved than she would like to be. She knows people called her "the mouse" but deep down there's a strong gritty determination. Shalvis does a really good job at showing this side to Maddie without it being unbelievable, which made Maddie a plausible heroine. It was lovely to see her blossom, take control and work her sisters around to her way of thinking. What I liked about the three sisters was that they all had a distinct voice and personality. I enjoyed their sibling banter and I am really looking forward to reading the other books in the series to find out Tara and Chloe's story.
The path is never easy though but Maddie does well overcoming her issues. Her past is mentioned but it didn't go on and on about her abusive relationship with her ex, it is just touched upon to give us an idea of what she went through and the reason why she is so meek. I liked that there were only snippets of Maddie's past as it kept the story light and romantic rather than dark and intense.
As well as getting to know her sisters, deciding what to do with the Inn, Maddie also has to resist the advances of Jax Cullen, which is easier said than done. Jax is gorgeous. There's lots of perfect dialogue from Jax that just made me swoon. It was beautiful, heart warming and romantic - and when needed, HOT.
Jax understands what Maddie has been through, and although he is persistent he is also gentle and playful, and of course Maddie can't resist for long. That's not to say this relationship happens easily, it doesn't, and Jax had to work for it ;) Maddie is shy, but cute, and their interactions had me giggling.
I also loved the small coastal town of Lucky Harbor with its two thousand residents, everyone knows everything about everyone else, which led to some quite funny situations.
Although Simply Irresistible is set around Christmas, I wouldn't say it was particularly Christmassy. I don't really like to read Christmas books out of season, but I think this can be read anytime of the year.
A wonderful feel-good story with great characters and a heart-warming, sexy romance. I'm really looking forward to reading Tara's story next in The Sweetest Thing....more
"Iron Crowned" is the third instalment in the 'Dark Swan' series featuring Eugenie Markham by Richelle Mead, and after reading and thoroughly enjoying"Iron Crowned" is the third instalment in the 'Dark Swan' series featuring Eugenie Markham by Richelle Mead, and after reading and thoroughly enjoying the first two novels (Storm Born and Thorn Queen respectively) I was hoping for more of the same. Unfortunately this wasn't the case.
I will admit I really like Ms Mead as an author, and after reading the entire 'Vampire Academy' series back to back in the span of a week I became a total fan - the VA series cemented Ms Mead as one of my favourite authors.
However, I just couldn't get on with "Iron Crowned". The characters are just ok, the story is just ok and the world-building is just...ok. Nothing jumps off the page, it's not particularly exciting although the second half of the book was a lot more interesting than the first.
One of the aspects I like most about this series is the main character, Eugenie. She has everything that a great kick-arse heroine should have. However, in this instalment Eugenie makes some seriously bad decisions in my opinion, and it made it very difficult to be sympathetic towards her, especially with regards to her relationships with Dorian and Kiyo. Her immaturity and badly judged choices regarding her love life were bad enough, but she acted like a petulant child and ignored her duties as the Queen of Thorn Land, which then led to the kidnapping of her sister, Jasmine.
Eugenie's reasonings for her decisions just didn't make any sense and at one point I really wanted to throw the book across the room. Her sense of betrayal and anger she feels by Dorian's actions is warranted but getting back at him the way she did didn't make her a sympathetic character, I would have preferred it if she had taken the high road.
War is looming and there's unease among the different lands. Eugenie hears of the Iron Crown and is told that it could help prevent the war. The crown is said to be too difficult to find and the road traveled during the search is hard and long. It has only been achieved by one other - her father, everyone else has ended up dead. Eugenie is told that the trials and tribulations she will have to endure to get to the Iron Crown are brutal - it's a suicide mission. Yeah baby! This is what I'm talking about; Trials! Tribulations! Fighting! And kick-arse action...
So, we follow Eugenie's guest to find the Iron Crown, sadly it didn't last long. In fact it was just breezy; a couple of large snake thingy's - kapow! The need to jump through fire - easy peasy! I thought this was meant to be hard?! Of course we all know that Eugenies the chosen one, but come on, it could still have been a few chapters of sweat and grit. Most of the time the journey was just about Eugenie and Kiyo getting it on.
The tooing and froing between Kiyo and Dorian was also too much to bare. There is a passage where Dorian quips to Kiyo and it made me laugh and summed the situation up completely...
'Oh,' he said to Kiyo, voice completely devoid of emotion. 'I see. It's your turn again.'
Yes it was... and then it wasn't...and then it was - make up your mind Eugenie!
As always Ms Mead keeps up with the action and the second half of the book is much more entertaining than the first, but there's so much about the characters I didn't like this time around. There's of course a big climactic end that although wasn't a surprise is certainly intriging. I'm very interested in how the story will pan out from here.
There are also far too many sex scenes in this urban fantasy than I would have liked and they are fairly explicit sex scenes too, some are overly descriptive - especially when it is Eugenie doing the pleasuring - way too much information!
Overall, "Iron Crowned" is an ok read, but it is disappointing. It felt as though Ms Mead was concentrating on her other series and just didn't give this book the attention it needed. Although I don't like the way the story is going, it won't stop me reading the next book!
Also, a note about the covers: US edition - just yuck! UK edition - pretty, but this isn't YA!...more
Helen and Peter Radley have a huge secret they really don't want to tell their children, as they want them to live a normal life as possible - but thiHelen and Peter Radley have a huge secret they really don't want to tell their children, as they want them to live a normal life as possible - but things aren't gong to plan.
Rowan can't sleep at night and thinks it's a bad case of insomnia, he then wants to sleep all day. He's also allergic to the sun and has to apply factor 60 otherwise his skin gets covered in a sore itchy rash. He constantly gets bullied at school and is totally in love with a girl at school who's friends with his sister and is totally out of his league. Basically, Rowan hates his life.
Clara doesn't have the same problems as her brother, but she does have her own. Clara is sick all the time, literally, and her parents keep telling her that she really should eat meat and stop this nonsense of becoming a vegan, but they just don't understand, although she doesn't get why she's so nauseous all the time, but her father, who's a doctor, keeps telling her it's probably just a virus. Animals also hate her, even though she's really nice to them, so she's become an advocate of several 'against animal cruelty' societies and covers her bedroom walls with their posters.
But one fateful night, Clara is feeling worse and worse and then does something that changes her life and those of her family forever. Because of this, Helen and Peter are pressured into telling Clara and Rowan their secret; they are abstaining vampires and haven't tasted blood for seventeen years. In a fit of panic, Peter calls his brother for help, but for some reason calling Will fills Helen with dread, as she has even more secrets of her own, which she doesn't want even Peter to know about.
Helen and Peter's relationship is full of tension and the strain of trying to be normal all the time is taking it's toll. Individually they reminisce about the days they drank human blood and how much they miss it. And when Will flies in to help, things just go from bad to worse.
Over the course of the book, secrets are revealed, lives are turned upside down and The Radleys has an ending that had me completely enthralled.
After reading the first few pages, I was expecting a more humorous story about a family of vampires but instead it's quite a dark tale. There is a slight tongue-in-cheek humour but it's not enough to lighten the book into a comedy. I suppose I assumed it would be something more a long the lines of The Adams Family. I wasn't disappointed, it just wasn't what I expected.
The point of view changes throughout the book to all the different characters, which worked really well. It was great to hear what they were all thinking and feeling, it gave the book depth. All the characters were three-dimentional and I loved them all and had sympathy for them and their predicaments, even Will's (which I won't go into as it's Helen's secret to tell!).
On a bit of a side note: The Radleys is being repackaged by Canongate Walker and is marketed as a young adult novel. However, I feel that this is definitely a YA/Adult crossover, with the emphasis on 'Adult'. This book has a very mature tone, more so than other young adult books I've read and although the press release states it's a "story about growing up, first and foremost", I believe that this is a bit misleading.
The book does tell the story of Clara and Rowan, but it also tells the story of the adult characters, Helen, Peter and Will in equal measure. To me it is about the family as a whole and deals with the fallout of secrets revealed. There's also a significant amount of high-end swearing as well as scenes of a sexual nature that are written, in my opinion, with adults in mind, rather than children, and therefore I would only recommend this book 16+.
The Radleys is a wonderfully written book. It's a fun, original concept I haven't seen anywhere else. The ending wraps things up nicely, but for me I would love a sequel - now the secret is out and all the family is "in-the-know", I can just see the Radleys getting into all sorts of trouble! I really enjoyed this book and I loved the authors writing style, I will definitely be checking out Haig's backlist. ...more
Bliss Edwards is twenty two and in the last year of her degree at university. Her life is pretty good other than one thing which hovers over3.5 Stars
Bliss Edwards is twenty two and in the last year of her degree at university. Her life is pretty good other than one thing which hovers over her head like a dark cloud – her virginity. It’s not that she’s held onto it for any reason other than she’s not found anyone she particularly likes enough to lose it to. So her friend, Kelsey, decides she needs to go out, find a guy and just get the deed done with a one night stand.
During the evening at the night club, Bliss meets Garrick Taylor. Sexy, British, Garrick, and decides he’s the one. But what follows is not the simple one night stand she was hoping for, instead everything leads to a bit of a complicated situation when she bumps into Garrick the next day in class. But he’s at the front, and is in fact her lecturer.
I loved the premise for Losing It, I thought it sounded like a really fun read. Unfortunately, it didn’t go in the direction I was hoping but I still enjoyed it. Losing It is a quick read too, which I think was partly due to the smooth and easy writing style and the story’s simplicity. There isn’t that much going on outside of college life, other than drinking and being with friends, which made the story a little thin.
There were some very funny scenarios as well as a few that were quite touching, but there was the occasional bit of immature behaviour, and what I call “YA Angst”, (even though this is a New Adult novel with a twenty-two year old protagonist) with too much inner monologue about how her knees were turning to jelly just by hearing his voice or how her head might explode with all the arousal. Such as this:
An accent. He has a British accent. Dear God. I’m dying.
Breathe. I needed to breathe.
Don’t lose it, Bliss.
…I took another look at him. He was grinning now – white teeth, jaw stubble that made him look downright delectable. Yep, I was definitely seducible. And that thought alone was enough to send me into shock.
“What’s you name, beautiful?”
Beautiful? Beautiful? Still dying here.
“Is that a line?”
I blushed crimson. “No, it’s my name.”
“Lovely name for a lovely girl.” The timbre of his voice went into that low register that made my insides curl in on themselves – it was like my uterus was tapping out a happy dance on the rest of my organs. God, I was dying the longest, most torturous, most arousing death in the history of the world…
Having said that, these scenes were, for the most part, quite funny. Garrick is very sexy and being a lecturer at university makes him even more so for me (I love the geeky, intelligent types). Bliss is a fun heroine and I did like her most of the time, apart from when she went into silly girl mode (like getting a cat from the sanctuary rather than telling him she was a virgin). As their relationship moved forward I liked Bliss more and more though. The scenes such as the one above calmed down and a more mature tone seeped into Bliss’s thoughts and dialogue. Overall I really enjoyed these two characters and their blossoming romance. But love definitely doesn’t run smoothly and there were quite a few obstacles in the way, mainly that Garrick was her teacher, even though they wee only a few years apart.
The other obstacle, and I’m sad to say, was the predictable love triangle. I really didn’t think the story needed the added complication of Bliss’s best friend, Cade, as the relationship between Bliss and Garrick could have easily stood up on its own.
Losing It is a fun read. The plot is a little on the thin side and did delve into the predictable love triangle, which in my opinion wasn’t needed, but for a debut novel, Losing It is a really good book and I enjoyed reading it. I will definitely be picking up Faking It, the next book in the series, and Cade’s story. ...more
SADIE WALKER IS STRANDED is the second book in Madeleine Roux’s Zombie series, and as with Allison Hewitt is Trapped I was drawn into the sto3.5 Stars
SADIE WALKER IS STRANDED is the second book in Madeleine Roux’s Zombie series, and as with Allison Hewitt is Trapped I was drawn into the story from pretty much the first chapter. There’s a fair amount of action, emotional and romantic elements, and of course zombies.
However, it did take a while for it to feel like a zombie book. There isn’t much zombie action until at least 100 pages in and even then it is only small pockets of zombie action. I wish there was more. Allison Hewitt is Trapped is full to the brim with zombieness, and combined with the human aspect, was perfectly balanced. Unfortunately SADIE WALKER IS STRANDED isn’t quite so balanced, and therefore didn’t rock my socks off. However, it was still a really good read.
Sadie is looking after her nephew, Shane, since her sister, Kat and her husband were killed. He’s everything she’s got and she feels the weight of this on her shoulders and takes bringing him up seriously. In a world full of zombies, you’d think that the united fear and loathing of these creatures would pull everyone together, but you’d be wrong. There are still evil people doing evil things and unfortunately she finds out she’s dating one of them. He kidnaps her nephew for cash and tries to sell him to another couple while their town’s borders are breached with thousands of zombies. Luckily Sadie and her friend manage to find her nephew, where upon they all board a small boat to escape the ever growing zombie horde and head out to sea.
Sadie’s worry at being a good ‘parent’ plays on her mind a lot, which I found endearing at first. But she constantly proclaims how bad she is at it and keeps apologising to her nephew for being such a failure. This got irritating after a while. As well as not being good for her nephew to hear, she doesn’t do anything particularly wrong and so I couldn’t really understand where she was coming from, and I found myself just getting annoyed at all her self declarations of bad parenting.
Shane is very quiet and hardly speaks. I thought it was down to losing his parents, the zombies etc and that we would see his character grow as the story moved along, but it didn’t. He doesn’t engage in much conversation, with Sadie or the others in the group, although he does enjoy looking at the drawings Sadie’s does for him. However, he doesn’t really act like a young boy and most of the time sits about staring. The descriptions of his actions, facial expressions and mannerisms made me feel that maybe he is slightly autistic.
Sadie wasn’t as strong a character as Allison Hewitt. She isn’t very consistent and is all over the place. One minute a frightened women who relies on others to protect her and her nephew, and the next minute acting like Lara Croft, brandishing a bow and arrow and heading off into unknown forests to look for food only to, predictably, come upon a few zombies.
There is also a bit too much repetition too. There was a lot of Sadie goes to sleep only to be woken by something bad. I think I counted four times this technique was used and for me this is too much.
There is a lot right with this book too. There are a few really good stand out characters, and the romantic element, although not as moving and poignant as Allison Hewitt, is nice. The action scenes that are present are fast-paced and exciting.
There is one particular scene that is really chilling. Sadie is taking a much needed bath in the Sea, she is enjoying it until the inevitable happens:
“Okay,” I said after less than a minute of splashing around, “I need to get out…. preferably now, before the blood freezes in my veins.”
The railing above me was awfully quiet. I glanced up. Andrea was gone, nowhere to be found. She had taken Shane with her. “Son of a bitch,” I shouted. “This isn’t funny! Andrea! Andrea? Shane?”
There was a commotion on the other side of the boat, shrieking and screaming and the sound of arms beating the water. My heart sank like a lead ball to my numb little toes.
Something was in the water.
Here’s one thing I’m now damn certain of: being chased by water zombies around a boat can turn a landlubber like me into Michael fucking Phelps on steroids. I didn’t look back, knowing I might catch a glimpse of one of the undead coming for me…
Each of my clumsy strokes was punctuated with a girlish squeak of hysteria. A thin rope ladder swung back and forth, just a few yards ahead. Moritz, bless his heart, was already over the edge of the ladder, waiting for me to get close. He was just in time. Something unnaturally strong tugged on my ankle, hard, nearly pulling me under.
After a while at sea, and a few scary moments, the survivors find themselves an island. They are not alone… Things move along at a much better pace from this moment and there is even an interesting mystery element that I actually couldn’t work out, which was refreshing. New characters are introduced, and so is Sadie’s love interest. There’s a couple of predictable, stereotypical characters too, including the bitch from hell, a glamour puss, and the weak one. But there are also rivalries and jealousies, as well as tender moments, so all in all an interesting bunch.
Although I had a few issues with SADIE WALKER IS STRANDED and didn’t find it as compelling and emotional as Allison Hewitt is Trapped, overall I really enjoyed it. I hope there will be more to come from Madeleine Roux and her Zombie series....more
This is the first book in the Megan Chase series by Stacia Kane. I read it last year but as I received Demon Inside to review I thought I would refresThis is the first book in the Megan Chase series by Stacia Kane. I read it last year but as I received Demon Inside to review I thought I would refresh my memory and re-read Personal Demons.
Megan is a psychological counsellor who hosts her own radio show. Her slogan is "how can I slay your personal demons?". Megan also happens to be slightly psychic and uses her ability to see into people's minds so she can help them with their problems, whether they are listeners who phone her radio show or clients who see her in person at her practice.
One night, coming home from work, she meets a guy called Greyson, who's waiting on her doorstep. He changes her life forever. She's not really sure if she can trust him and after so many revelations (the existence of demon's, witches and zombies), she wishes she could go back to her normal life. The main concern though are the Personal Demons, that sit on the shoulders of humans making them do bad things. They have taken her radio show slogan personally and are out to get her. These small green demons remind me of the naughty Gremlins in the Gremlin movies. There are other demons that Megan has to face throughout the book, which she does with growing confidence.
The relationships between Megan and some of the other characters do happen a bit too quickly. The sexual banter between Megan and Greyson begins just after their first meeting and feels a bit rushed. But after a few chapters it becomes more natural and I end up really enjoying it. I really like Greyson Dante's character. He is a seriously sexy demon and one with a soft center, but who doesn't really like showing it, which makes him even more delicious. The intimate scenes are well written and I really appreciated the restraint in explicit language, which, while I'm not a prude, is not really my thing.
I also had difficulty with the three guardian demons Greyson sends to protect Megan - they all have a strong cockney accent. Now, I think accents are one of the most difficult skills to pull off in writing and I'm not sure it really works here. But although it was quite irritating to begin with, especially as I'm from the UK, the demons did eventually win me over, they are quite endearing.
Megan, as an urban fantasy protagonist, doesn't start out all guns blazing. She really does need as much protection as she can get as she doesn't have a clue how to protect herself against all the demons and zombies that are thrown at her. And she screams - a lot. But by the end of the book she has learnt a thing or two and can stand up for herself and for others.
This is an easy book to get into and the story flows very well. There is always something going on that keeps you turning the pages. I think it is a really good start to a new series and I am interested in finding out more about Megan, and of course Greyson, so I look forward to reading book two!
I actually gave this book 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't have half stars.
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I’d heard so many people praising the author’s Riley Jensen series that I was positive thi2.5 Stars
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I’d heard so many people praising the author’s Riley Jensen series that I was positive this would be an amazing urban fantasy.
Unfortunately, Darkness Unbound reads life a debut novel with all the trappings of a new writer than one so seasoned. There’s awkward dialogue, info dumping, a heroine who doesn’t know who she is, acting like a child one minute then trying to kick butt in the next, all wrapped up in choppy writing.
For the first hundred pages or so, I thought I was reading a young adult novel with regards to the way Risa Jones acts. Stomping around after being told what to do by her uncle and then pouting. From her actions I thought she was a teenager rather than twenty eight years old.
There is a lot of unnecessary descriptions added at very odd moments. For instance, after being kidnapped and abused, Riley returns home to be told that they must leave as soon as possible due to the baddies heading their way.
“Please, we must be going. We have delayed here too long.” Again his words held an edge that motivated. I grabbed my Coke and gulped it down so quickly the gas rose back up my throat. I smothered the burp, then stood…”
This is meant to be a really tense and highly charged moment, did I really need to know she stifled a burp?
Also dialogue like this:
I half smiled. “Because I am sometimes my mother’s daughter, and I can sense the avoidance in your words.”
You can’t be your mother’s daughter ‘sometimes‘ (even if you may want to).
These type of instances were dotted throughout the book and slowly wound me down. Darkness Unbound was a bitter disappointment, even to the point that I’m not sure I want to continue with the series, or begin her others.
Much of the dialogue was just information, someone (mainly Risa) asking the question and another answering it. This is just info dumping disguised as dialogue in my opinion and soon became very tedious. Also the fact that Risa is the daughter of a very powerful psychic and werewolf, an Aedh father and an aunt who to all accounts is a serious kick-arse, it is slightly unbelievable that she didn’t know the answers to the questions she was asking, which made the whole situation unrealistic.
Because Risa didn’t act like a 28 year old, some of the sex scenes seemed to come from know where. These I must admit were written and flowed well but were pretty explicit, which is fine if it fit with the heroine’s personality but it didn’t. There was also an orgy scene that felt so out of place, it was distasteful and crude rather than erotic.
Darkness Unbound was a disappointing read, with characters that didn’t ring true, far too much info dumping in disguise as dialogue, and a heroine that didn’t really inspire....more
“Fated” is a very clever and imaginative story. It’s quite different from what I usually read, and although I enjoyed this authors previous book, ‘Bre“Fated” is a very clever and imaginative story. It’s quite different from what I usually read, and although I enjoyed this authors previous book, ‘Breathers’, I thought “Fated” was much better in every respect.
Fate is disillusioned with his five and a half billion humans. He’s fed up with watching them make mistake after mistake and waste their lives, diverting from the path he has set out for each of them.
However, one day he meets Sara, a human and falls in love. Which means his broken rule #1 – never get involved with humans.
The story takes us through his relationship with Sara, which is touching and funny. I really liked Fate, also known as Fabio when on Earth. He’s endearing even when he scorns his human herd.
I thought the way the author integrated Destiny, Death, Gluttony, Sloth among others, and even God, (known as Jerry), into the story was brilliantly done. They all had personalities which went along with their name.
I loved the whole idea of how Jerry made the universe and how all the planets including Earth came to be, although it isn’t an original idea, it was skilfully composed which had me smiling.
“Fated” is a satirical novel, which did occasionally turn a bit preachy. Some passages where Fate was venting his anger about the stupidity of his billions of humans went on a bit too long. I was also saddened to see that all the humans were portrayed as pretty awful.
There was one particular passage where Fate was in a church and he could see the futures of all the people that were there – he listed them: adulterers, pedophiles, school drop-outs, unhappy housewives. Not one was happy or good or kind. Humanity is bad but surely not that bad!
However, because of what happens to him, which I won't go into as I don't want to give any spoilers, Fate does eventually realise that humans aren’t as bad as he first thought. He begins to understand what it is like to be human, he realises that by being immortal and able to transport at the speed of light didn’t really give him the empathy he needed to understand them. It was touching to see him grow and learn and ultimately see hope.
The ending I didn’t see coming for a long time, but I did eventually begin to have my suspicions. I was really hoping to be wrong, but I wasn’t, the ending is slightly disconcerting and I can’t say I liked it. But as I found with ‘Breathers’, Browne doesn’t write nicely wrapped up happy endings, which actually makes his novels deliciously unpredictable.
“Fated” is a unique and well written novel. It's also funny, quirky, warm-hearted and hugely entertaining, which made this book hard to put down. I would definitely recommend it! ...more
Lick is my first New Adult book. I had been kind of avoiding the genre a bit because I have completely fallen out of love with YA booJoint Review
Lick is my first New Adult book. I had been kind of avoiding the genre a bit because I have completely fallen out of love with YA books. I think it's safe to say I'm a convert! Let me start this review by saying I thought Lick was awesome. From the opening scene where we see Evelyn (Ev) wake up with the worst hangover ever, to discover she's married to rock superstar David Ferris and with absolutely no memory of the night before and how it happened, I couldn't put the book down.
This is a seriously heady, love at first sight, intense relationship with as many ups and downs as a bungee jump. But I completely loved the fact that everyday, straight talking, barista Ev captured the heart of a man who could have had anyone, and was surrounded by the groupies prove it. It had such a fairytale element to the story, that I was totally whisked away. This is my first book by Scott and she's got a brilliant writing style, I felt the emotions and heartache of each of the characters clearly.
Lick is Kylie Scott's first foray into the New Adult genre, and having read her adult erotic romance series set in a zombie infested world, I did wonder how she would make the move to new adult contemporary romance. I needn't have worried. Scott makes the transition with ease. I thoroughly enjoyed Lick. The heroine and hero are both loveable characters. The opening scene of Ev waking up with a wedding ring on her finger (and what a wedding ring it is - wowza), and not remembering anything of how it got there or of the night before, is just genius. I was giggling to myself all over the place.
But as the story moves forward, you realise that although Ev can't remember anything, Dave remembers everything. This was a great twist, and an interesting start to the story, that begged me to read on to find out how it all worked out. I found that it went from a light, fairly humourous read to something with a lot more depth and meaning. It was different to what I expected after reading the opening scene, but in a good way.
I agree with Carolyn, the mystery of what happened that night was really intriguing. But as you realise that David not only remembers everything, but that night also had quite a deep meaning to him it opens the story up, and gives it much deeper significance.
The plot focuses on the love story between David and Ev. They fall fast and quick, but the wider issue is with their lives so vastly different can they ever make it work? David's life is so alien to Ev, a world of empty parties, drinks, drugs, vast wealth and paparazzi. I enjoyed that Ev made David question this life and give him an escape from the emptiness of it. But it wasn't one sided, David also makes Ev question what she wants from her own. They both gave to the relationship. But it also made it tumultuous, the emotions they felt for one another were so intense, that it made for extreme highs and lows as they overcame their differences.
I agree with Laura that the plot lends itself to show how different their lives were. The rich opulence of Dave's compared to the normality of Ev's did make you think how on earth they were going to make their relationship work. But it did. In fact, as Laura has already touched upon, they complimented each other so well. Whatever the other was missing, they other was able to fill. With Dave it was substance and meaning to his life and with Ev it was confidence to walk her own path. They helped each other, which in my eyes is a great foundation to a wonderful, long lasting relationship.
When I finished, Lick, I really felt as those these two were going to be ok. They had their heads screwed on straight, their priorities in order, and enough sexual chemistry to get them through the rough times.
What I didn't quite expect for a New Adult book, not that I have read any before but still, was for Lick to be sexy as hell. The scenes between Ev and David were sexy, but also romantic too. The fact that as a rock star David was inevitably rather experienced, which contrasted to Ev's relative experience, but not in a cheesy innocent virgin way. Although his whole propensity for topless cuddles was slightly strange.
Aside from Ev and David there are some interesting characters in the story. Ev's best friend the Stage Dive mega fan who gets a surprising romance story of her own, I was worried for a while that she wasn't going to turn out to be such a good friend. I was had my suspicions, but I much preferred the different twist that Scott took with the story. We also have the different band members we only really got to learn a bit more about David's brother and the other side character that raised more than a couple of chuckles from me was David's best friend Mal. I've seen on Scott's website that Mal is getting the next book in the series and I eagerly anticipate it!
Having read a few new adult romances, I expected some sexy-times, but this was written in a way that wasn't over the top. It was a small part of the overall story, although the actual romance between Ev and Dave is very romantic. I though Dave's passion for topless cuddles endearing and sweet. It showed a side to him that said he loved skin to skin contact and was a little bit soppy. Don't we all love that in a guy? Not too much, but just enough to have us swoon?
Ev is not as experienced as Dave in the bedroom department but then that's what you would expect from a girl who's sole focus is architecture school, and Dave being a rock star stud. Scott manages to bring these two together in a fun but realistic way, and I loved their banter, their fears, their lust. It all culminated into a sexy romance that tugged at my heart.
There are a few other characters that capture my interest. As Laura mentions, Mal is going to be the focus of the next novel in the series. Mal is Dave's best friend and a cheeky chappy, so I have no doubt that his book is going to be mighty fun to read. I'm also intrigued by Dave's brother who has all sorts of issues. He has more of a darkness about him and his relationship with Dave is fractured, but I'm hoping his story will be told as I would love to meet the girl who manages to break that hard shell.
I think Lick may very well find its way onto the my favourite books of 2013 list. If the next book had been already out, I would have bought it immediately. I loved it, I loved Ev and David and I loved Scott's writing style. The story was sweet, romantic, endearing and sexy. Who wouldn't want to fall in love with a rock star? I would highly recommend it.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Lick is a combination of fun and angstiness (is that even a word?), and as with all Scott's books, she manages to combine these aspects so well without the reader feeling it's all a bit over the top. This is one of the best NA romance books I've read and I would definitely recommend you pick it up as soon as possible.
'Frostbite' is the second book in Richelle Meads' Vampire Academy series and it is just as good as the first. Things**warning - may contain spoilers**
'Frostbite' is the second book in Richelle Meads' Vampire Academy series and it is just as good as the first. Things begin roughly where the first book finishes.
I did find Rose a little bit whiney in this book, but she redeems herself at the end by discovering a few things about herself and those around her. She matures. She also loses a very close friend to the Strigio that affects her deeply and makes her grow up quicker than maybe she would have. Her relationship with Dimitri is still simmering and it's still fun to read. Dimitri brings a mature edge to the book which I love and breaks up the bouts of teenage angst, which is a little more evident in this book.
However, Rose is still full of independence and determination and I love this about her. She also has to deal with her best friend Lissa dividing her attention and giving her boyfriend Christian half of it, which makes Rose jealous and the realisation she may not ever be able to have the same with Dimitri upsets her.
Rose also has to contend with the return of her mother. I understand Rose's anger and resentment towards her mother. She hasn't seen or heard from her in five years and Rose is mad, seething in fact, and I don't blame her.
Dhampfir women either stay at home and raise their children (and sometimes succumb to becoming a 'blood whore') or become Guardians. In the case of Janine Hathaway, she became a world-renowned Guardian and one of the best. Because of this Janine had her own Moroi to protect and therefore couldn't bring up her child.
Although, I understood Janine's motives, I felt as though Rose's feelings were pushed aside and even her friends couldn't see it from her point of view. There was really no reason why contact had to end completely for so many years. There is email and mobile phones!
Rose finds it hard to articulate her feelings towards her mother and so becomes hostile and says things in a childish way. However, by the end of the book Rose has learnt a lot and she begins to see things from her mother's point of view as well as her own.
The tension is high and the pace fast in 'Frostbite'. There's quite a bit of action too which I really enjoyed. Lissa and her relationship with Christian is also heating up, much to Rose's discomfort having found that she can dip in and out of Lissa's mind without much control as to when and finds herself in a compromising position on occasion....The relationship between Rose and Dimitri is also deepening even though they still believe they can't be together *sigh*
'Frostbite' is a great second instalment and I can't wait to continue the series. I'm also falling for Dimitri big time......more
"Dead Until Dark" is the story of waitress Sookie who has what she refers to as a 'disabJOINT REVIEW - Originally posted on www.BookChickCity.com
"Dead Until Dark" is the story of waitress Sookie who has what she refers to as a 'disability', she can read people's minds. Because of this disability, she struggles with personal friendships & relationships and rarely dates. Nothing worse than knowing what your date is thinking of you!
Living in a small Southern town, Sookie is a mix of endearing naïveté, strong morals and a good share of guts and determination. Working at Sam's bar, she is waitress, and takes pride in her work. Her relationship with her grandmother, whom she lives with is lovely and written with real, believable warmth. And her promiscuous and selfish brother, while infuriating at times is still engaging.
I agree, all the characters are interesting and quirky. I especially love Sookie - she's a warm, down-to-earth kind of gal and not the type of urban fantasy heroine I'm used to reading. I really like the TV show, but I must say I like the books more.
If you watch the TV series, you will notice the distinct absence of best friend Tara in the book, in fact she's not even mentioned. While Sam and fellow waitress Arlene are important friends, Sookie does not have a best friend in the book. This adds to her overall isolation and loneliness, brought about by her telepathic ability.
Then enter vampire Bill. Bill's mind is delightfully and blissfully blank and Sookie is immediately fascinated. But with the arrival of Bill, the town suddenly becomes the victim of a serial killer and young women keep turning up dead. Before she knows it, Sookie ends up caught in the middle of the deadly game.
I must admit I was put off reading this series basically because of the TV show. I do enjoy 'True Blood' but I've never really got on board with Anna Paquin and I was worried that this would rub off on the books. When I started "Dead Until Dark" I did unfortunately see Paquin as Sookie, but after about fifty or so pages, the Sookie of my own imagination started to push through and I began to enjoy the book a lot more. In fact I had difficulty putting it down.
I read the first three books in this series years ago and for some reason didn't get around to reading the subsequent books. Unlike Carolyn, I read them before 'True Blood' hit our TV screens, so I wasn't put off by the TV show. But as I started re-reading them I couldn't help make a few comparisons as I wrote my review.
I really enjoyed the southern setting and the way that everyone spoke - I'm a big fan of the southern drawl anyway, so it just made this book even more enjoyable for me. The fact that Sookie is just an ordinary girl (apart from her supernatural abilities), working in a bar as a waitress, making an honest living rather than a gun-wielding, martial arts expert, gave this urban fantasy a fresh twist.
"Dead Until Dark" is an easy read. Charlaine Harris has a unique writing style, which I really enjoy. She often focuses on the detail, but in a way that adds richness to her story rather than coming across as tedious.
There isn't much to fault with this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I had just have one tiny complaint, I did feel that Sookie and Bill fell in love just a little bit too quickly. I could understand it from Sookie, but maybe not from a several hundred year old vampire.
CAROLYN: "Dead Until Dark" is a fun and entertaining urban fantasy. It's pretty light compared to some of the other UF series out there, but it's still definitely worth a read. Harris has a great relaxed writing style that made this book a quick and easy read, as well as hard to put down. The characters are great and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
LAURA: A fun and even delightful supernatural mystery set in a small town in the deep South. Sookie is a refreshing and charming lead character. She's not your normal tough, ass-kicking urban fantasy heroine, but I actually loved her even more because of it. As for the TV show... I much prefer the book! :-) ...more
The opening of Autmun: The City brings us back to the city where the story started in book one, hence the title. We meet new characters and see how chThe opening of Autmun: The City brings us back to the city where the story started in book one, hence the title. We meet new characters and see how characters from the previous book are doing, as well as the introduction of the army who have been held up in a bunker just outside the city.
New characters Jack, Donna and Cooper are all great, but it was also really good to get back to Emma and Michael who were my favourite characters in the first book, Autumn.
What I’ve found even more evident in this instalment is Moody’s very cinematic writing style – it’s as though each book could be an episode in a TV series and each book just gives you that little bit more of the storyline, but each having a self contained story within.
There’s much better characterisation in this instalment, with a lot more depth of emotion. I’m not sure if it’s because I began reading this straight after reading Autumn but I really started to get to know and care for the characters. The few niggles I had with Autumn weren’t a factor here, and I enjoyed Autumn: The City from beginning to end.
The zombies are still as creepy and now they’re decomposing and getting more violent. Although these zombies are the traditional slow, shuffling kind, they are different in that they rip apart there own kind as well as humans, but don’t eat flesh (well in this instalment anyway). However, this could all change as the zombies evolve further.
There’s fantastic tension and the suspense just builds and builds and doesn’t let up. I couldn’t put this book down and as soon as I’d finished I grabbed for the next book in the series, Autumn: Purification.
Autumn: The City is a great second instalment, much better than the first in my opinion with better characterisation and more depth. I can only see this series getting better with each book, as I follow the characters and get to know them better, as well as seeing how the zombies evolve. If you haven’t started this series yet, then I would urge that you do. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed – a great zombie read....more
Hard to Handle is the second book in the Love in the Balance series, I hadn't read book one before picking this up, but I honestly didn't notice. TheHard to Handle is the second book in the Love in the Balance series, I hadn't read book one before picking this up, but I honestly didn't notice. The author did a great job keeping this a self-contained romance.
The story is about Aidan and Sadie, their struggle to let go of the past, to move on in the present towards their future. It is a sweet romance, with some really lovely moments, but there are also sections that were slightly jarring, knocking me out of the scene.
Sadie and Aidan have a past. A year previously they met, talked all night, got hot and steamy, but before things could go further, and as Aidan's mum was dying of cancer, his ex-wife comes back into his life, not because he still has feelings for her, but to save his mother the anguish and worry of finding out they are actually separated and going through a divorce. He also ups and moves to help his mother try and live out her remaining days as she wishes, which has him at odds with his siblings as it's more along the lines of alternative medicine.
Sadie was devastated when Aidan dumped her over the phone. She thought they had connected on a deep level, and was hurt more than she thought possible when he left. A year later, the present day, Sadie sees Aidan again at her friend's wedding, and all those feelings come rushing back.
They dance around each other for a while, but of course they eventually give in, but not before a few truths are aired, secrets are revealed, and lots of feelings are thrown about the place. Fear plays a huge role in Sadie's life, and although her exterior is professional, and hard at times, deep down she finds many things difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to Aidan.
I found their relationship an odd one. On the one hand I could understand their fears, but on the other I just wished they'd get it on already. It was only in the last quarter of the book they actually got down and dirty, after at least three or four false starts throughout the first three quarters of the book.
I was also surprised at some of the decisions from both Aidan and Sadie, and especially the trope of not having sex before marriage, personally it's not a trope I particularly care for, and to be honest was a little disappointed to find it here. But as the plot moved forward, Aidan suddenly goes off the idea just so he can seduce Sadie and orgasm her to death... well, at least into saying yes to marriage. There is quite a bit of starting and stopping when it came to their relationship. When one was ready the other wasn't, then when they caught up the other got cold feet. It was a touch silly and a lot frustrating.
There were also a few places where I cringed, and the repetitive terms "raking" and "rasping" when it came to the romantic scenes just threw me completely out of the moment:
"He rasped her cheek with the back of his knuckles because he couldn't stand being this close and not touching her."
- touching yes, but this sounds painful to me rather than hot and sexy.
"...his teeth raking over her lips as a low, guttural grown emitted from his throat."
- how about brushed over her lips or nibbled her lips, "raking" just doesn't work for me.
There were some sentences that were a little cliché too, and could have done without as they really didn't add anything to the over story or romance:
"Damn, she looked good in pink - like a cupcake with too much frosting. Guaranteed to make his teeth ache."
However, some of the scenes were really hot and steamy, and there were moments when the author's writing really shined. The humour was nice too:
"He worked the corkscrew into the bottle and refilled her glass, sending her a wink that had her sagging against the counter behind her. Then he took both their glasses and swaggered his sweet ass into her living room. Sadie knew because she kept her eyes on it the entire time."
Sadie and Aidan as characters are sweet though. They are warm and I did care about them and their outcome. I had become invested in them which is so important to me when reading any book, but especially when reading a romance, as it's the connection between the two lovers that is basically the entire story and so they need to be captivating and likeable.
There were also a few secondary characters that I really liked. Two of them are the couple from book one, and I assume the series will continue with a few of the others. I liked Aidan's brother Evan, as he seems rather aloof and I think he would be an interesting character.
Hard to Handle has its flaws, with repetitive terms throughout and slightly clumsy prose. However, the characters are extremely likeable, and although their romance is a little too bumpy, which became frustrating, it's a sweet and sexy story with a happy ever after. I would definitely try more from this author. ...more
This is the first book in a new series by the author of the adult series featuring Dante Valentine. The story started of a bit slow for me and it tookThis is the first book in a new series by the author of the adult series featuring Dante Valentine. The story started of a bit slow for me and it took quite a lot of patience to keep reading and get to the good stuff, but it did come, eventually. A few chapters in and the story opened up. The scene with the Zombie bursting through the door had me gripped.
Initially I felt there were too many internal thoughts from Dru and not enough dialogue, which was the main reason I found this book difficult to get into. Unfortunately, I also found Dru to be rather annoying with her belching and sulkiness. It was hard to like her character, but as she begins to grow as a person through each of the chapters I did slowly warm to her. I enjoy a well rounded character with depth, but without much dialogue it became a bit too much 'telling' without a lot of 'showing' and did get a little dull in parts. However, her personality grew on me and once she met Graves the dialogue increased making it a much more enjoyable read. Graves is a great character and I really enjoyed reading about him and look forward to reading more about how he deals with his new *predicament*.
I also didn't think there was enough action, but when there was it was fast-paced and engaging. The second male character, Christophe, was also interesting but didn't really get to know him, so not sure if he is friend or foe. I'm sure we will find out in the upcoming book.
This is a good read, but be patient, it takes a while to get going. It's also the start of a new series, which in my eyes is always a good thing. I will be interested to see how the characters develop and how the story unfolds in the next book in the series, Betrayals, which is set to be released in November this year.
I actually give this 7/10 but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars.
The Professional started out as a serial of three e-novella's, but now it has been combined into one paperback. I've not read anything by Cole before, but I do know of her and her paranormal romance series. As I am going through a contemporary, erotic romance binge right now, I decided to start with The Professional. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it that much.
Natalie is a PhD student, living with her friend. Her life is pretty good. The only thing she has niggling at the back of her mind is how long it's taking to find her biological parents. She has hired a private investigator, but she has to work numerous jobs just to afford him. It's been six long years, with no luck.
Out at a club with her girlfriends, Natalie notices a guy at the bar and decides to introduce herself. The guy is Sevastyan, who shoots her down and leaves. A bit embarrassed by her failed seduction, Natalie decides to head home. While she's in the bath, in the middle of fantasising about Sevastyan while self-pleasuring, she sees him outside her bathroom door staring at her. Instead of screaming the place down, or trying to call the police, or, you know, something that a normal person would do, she can't get over how sexy he is. After just a few questions, she learns that he's there because of her biological father.
Sevastyan tells her he's taking her back to Russia to meet her father, who is the head of the Russian Mafia, and gives her five minutes to get ready. When she hesitates, as you would do, he hauls her arse over his shoulder and carries her to the car, taking her to a secret airport where a private jet is waiting. When she decides to make a run for it through a corn field, Sevastyan catches her and instead of fighting for her life, she's turned on and ready to give up her virginity right there and then.
After getting on the plane with Sevastyan, despite knowing that he's a dangerous killer, part of the Russian Mafia and her father's enforcer/assassin, she of course gets into bed with him and does some seriously naughty things. When they arrive in Russia and Natalie meets her father, they talk about his job as the mafia boss, and clocks. There's a couple of gun fights, but that's about as far as it goes with regards to any intrigue. The back story is weak to say the least. In fact, there barely is one.
Let's be clear. For me, this book is just about the sex. We are subjected to page after page after page of sex. No romance, no loving, no depth, just raw lust, sex and kink; with lots of coming, and screaming, and mons...
Mons? I hear you say. I had to look it up. It's the pubic bone. Natalie likes it slapped apparently. And whipped. This is not a sexy word. By the end of the book I didn't really care if Natalie and Sevastyan would make it, as I felt no connection with them at all. There was maybe one chapter near the end that showed some vulnerability and caring from the hero, but other than that it ended as it started. With sex. More specifically, anal. Well, they'd done everything else. Why not end on a high note.
As with all my romances that contain sex, I want more than just that. I want more build up. More romance. More angst. More love. More tenderness. More mutual attraction. Not one half of the couple acting so cold and distant that the sex falls flat, and just becomes a porn scene. I love watching a couple's building attraction as it combusts, placing me right there with them in that moment having all the feels. But, with Natalie and Sevastyan it all happens way too fast, and with two characters that are pretty one-dimensional and rather wooden. I didn't feel as though it was believable to me as I read it. I just kept thinking, would you really do that after just one meeting, in that situation?
I know this is fiction, but I do have to feel that what is happening is believable, otherwise what's the point? The writing has to be good to make me feel totally absorbed in the story, the characters and their relationship. Sadly, in this case, it wasn't.
Rating: 2 Stars
The Professional by Kresley Cole (Game Maker #1) Contemporary Erotic Romance Simon & Schuster (20 May 2014) Paperback: 390 pages
I have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as II have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as I have a huge thing for angels right now, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Luckily I received an early review copy, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!
The writing is fabulous and there are three plots that weave together to create a thrilling action-packed story as well as a beautiful romance, and there are moments that are just gorgeous and made my heart melt.
The characterisation is great too. The protagonists in this book (there will be four books in the series altogether) are Ellie and Uriel. They are such great personalities and I love that their relationship wasn't insta-love, although it was definitely insta-lust. There’s lots of sexual tension between them, but it took Ellie quite a while to begin to trust and love Uriel and it was nice to see their relationship grow at a realistic pace.
I also fell in love with Uriel’s brothers: Gabriel, Michael and Azreal, especially Azreal, who’s an Archangel with a difference - he's also a vampire. He lives mostly in the basement on his own. I find him sad and can't wait until he finds his own Archess who will love him.
Also, unsurprisingly *I always seem to go for the bad boys* my favourite character was, Samael. He wants the archess for himself and pretends to be someone he’s not too gain her trust. Although he’s the villain, there's something about him that makes me believe there is so much more that meets the eye and I hope soooo much he gets his own book. I would love to meet the woman who's able to thaw his icy, black heart.
I really like the fact that Ellie is a strong character and can stand up for herself, but she's soft and vulnerable too, a great combination. Her realisation that these four brothers are Archangels and that she is an Archess is very well done. She doesn’t instantly believe, but the situation is helped by the fact that she’s had a niggling feeling for most of her life that something wasn't quite right, especially as she has abilities other humans don’t such as the ability to heal and the ability to control the weather.
The only real negative point I have with this novel was the sex scene between Uriel and Eleanore. As Uriel was a vampire at the time (due to an unknown spell cast by the naughty Samael to prevent Uriel from revealing Samael’s true identity to Ellie) it seemed as though he used his hypnotic abilities to keep her subdued and then had his wicked way with her. He even put his hand over her mouth as he took her virginity violently to keep her from crying out from the pain. This took the edge off from what should have been a satisfying union. It's what I had wanted since they first laid eyes on each other as the sexual chemistry between them is just so toe-curlingly good. But the tender hotness of this scene was diluted by not knowing if Ellie was willing or if she was under a vampires influence.
However, a few pages after the scene, Ellie did state that she liked being the submissive party and that she had thoroughly enjoyed what Uriel had done to her. I wish this was shared before the sex scene as I would have felt more comfortable reading it, although, I’m not a big fan of the submissive female as it goes against my nature.
I also wish there was a little bit more ‘wing’ action too. The cover is absolutely stunning and I love angels with wings, but most of the novel the archangels are just like humans but with supernatural powers. However, I do get my wish at the end of the novel, but not as much as I would have liked and there wasn’t enough emphasis on the beauty of the wings. However, the ending is great and leaves me very impatient for the next book in the series.
"Avenger's Angel" is a fantastic addition to the paranormal romance genre, with sexy Archangels and a strong, beautiful heroine. The world is intriguing and the action is fast-paced. I for one can't wait to read future instalments. Fans of paranormal romance will lap this up - a great start to a new paranormal series....more
The Harrowing is marketed as 'Scream meets The Exorcist' and I'd say that is a fair description. This is the debut novel of an author who's also a scrThe Harrowing is marketed as 'Scream meets The Exorcist' and I'd say that is a fair description. This is the debut novel of an author who's also a screenwriter, and it shows. This book reads like a movie; it's scary, jumpy, spine-chilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's well written and yet has a nice easy flow to the prose without being too simplistic. The imagery is vivid and the atmosphere is tense.
Robin, the main character, starts out as a very paranoid, self-pitying young woman who is being crushed by the knowledge that her father didn't want her and her mother's a drunk. Life is difficult and she feels unloved, invisible and totally alone. She's mistrustful of everyone, until she meets four other students who also didn't go home for Thanksgiving, and comes to realise that she isn't the only one who feels lonely, and there are people who are just as unhappy as she is.
The other four characters also play a major role in this movie book and they are somewhat predictable but great reading all the same. Patrick: the jock, who's big and tough, but is really just a puppy dog inside and shows what a true hero he is by the end of the book. Cain: the brooding, cynical, good looking musician who comes to believe and helps Robin in her quest to find out the truth. Lisa: the sexy, bitchy bimbo who really has more substance than people realise, honest. And Martin: the quiet, scholarly geek who suddenly becomes the center of attention.
After a night playing on the Ouija board and witnessing fairly spooky goings on, this unlikely five form a bond that changes their lives forever. At first they think what is happening is a joke, a prank set up by one of them. But soon they realise it isn't a joke at all; it is all too real and they have to fight to stay alive.
"Violent longing stabbed through her - a wish that something would happen, that someone would hear, move, respond, that a door would open and everything, everything would change. There was a sort of electric tingling under her fingers... The planchette suddenly moved..."
"The whole energy of the attic room had changed. Robin could feel it - the intense, curious focus of the five of them, and a sense of almost conspiratorial intimacy from the board. She felt vaguely that they were being lulled, that whatever they were talking to was working toward something. The thought made her cold with fear."
This is a really great read, especially if you like horror and even more so if you like scary teenage horror movies!
I actually give the 7/10 by Goodreads doesn't do half starts, grrr.