I nabbed this on a whim on Audible, because it was on sale and HELLO IT'S KERI ARTHUR, started listening while driving to my friend's house for our anI nabbed this on a whim on Audible, because it was on sale and HELLO IT'S KERI ARTHUR, started listening while driving to my friend's house for our annual sometime-around-Christmas gift exchange, and almost didn't get out of the car because I was already hooked. There was a mention of Riley Jensen being Risa's aunt sometime in the first chapter or so, and that would have been enough on its own had the writing not been up to par (which of course it was!). Also, I love an Aussie accent. This narrator is fabulous. But anyway . . .
Welcome (again) to Keri Arthur's Guardian-verse. Risa is the "niece" of Riley Jensen, main character of the Guardian series, and a badass in her own right. Being half-Aedh, she can walk the gray fields and see spirits. Her mother, a famous psychic, asks her to consult on a case, and Risa's discovery leads to the disturbing revelation that someone is stealing souls . . . and her unknown father may be responsible. Darkness Unbound is full of cameos from characters from the Guardian series, yet without it being overwhelming. Total fangirl moment here.
Of course, you can't talk about an Arthur book without mentioning the sex. There is your basic one-on-one, gettin' good and sweaty-type sex, and there's also a quasi-threesome at a club involving Risa, her partner, Lucian, taking her from behind, and an unnamed third party taking her mouth. I thought it was pretty hot, but if you're at all prudish then this world may not be for you. Sex in this world is fairly open, with no social constructs in place to make it - or any kinks involved - at all shameful. This was one of my favorite parts of the Guardian series, to be honest, and I am quite happy to see it continued here with the next generation.
Risa's love interest is Lucian, a disgraced Aedh. He's . . . just meh. I'm not a huge fan, and he's probably going to turn out to be a bad guy at some point. I do, however, have high hopes that Risa and her reaper stalker / protector, Azriel, will hook up. Azrial is SEXY, and I always dig a man with a sword.
The one thing that is driving me nuts is that I can't remember much of Risa's mother's backstory. I know that Dia and Riley were friends, at least eventually, in the Guardian series, and it's probably at least somewhat relevant here. But it has completely slipped out of my brain, and there's no telling where those books are packed right now! Bummer.
As I write this review, I am already listening to Darkness Rising. Hop to it, people! This series is flippin' fabulous! And if you haven't read the Riley Jensen, Guardian series, you should really read that first. Seriously. Go read it now....more
Cara is a model student, and she has big dreams. But after her mom's illness, she needs financial resources to make it happen. She may not be happy abCara is a model student, and she has big dreams. But after her mom's illness, she needs financial resources to make it happen. She may not be happy about it, but hosting exchange student / alien Aelyx might just be the springboard she needs to launch her dreams. Just imagine the blogging possibilities! Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems, though, and soon Cara realizes that her town is full of speciesist nuts who consider her a species traitor, even though the decision to play host was entirely out of her control. As Cara and Aelyx grow closer, her family is torn apart by those who don't welcome aliens in their community . . . and no one knows just how far they'll go to make that point clear.
Is there a rating above five stars aka loved it? Because I was all over this book like a fat kid on cake. I may have already re-read it once while wallowing in Star-Crossed withdrawal, and I normally have enough self-control to not re-read books within the same calendar year. P.S.: whoever was responsible for Star-Crossed's cancellation is a big fat jerk. Come to think of it, same goes for whoever was responsible for Roswell's cancellation. Somebody needs to bring science fiction romance back to the small screen!
Alienated reminds me a bit of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters, which is another book that took me completely by surprise with how much I liked it. The two books share the common theme of civil rights for those who are not-quite-human. Both books draw obvious parallels to the black civil rights movement of the 20th century and the gay/lgbt civil rights movement of today.
The historical parallels are a good reason to pick up the book, but you'll stay for the cute romance! It takes a while, but seeing Cara and Aelyx learn about each other and start making an effort to connect is simply heartwarming....more
All right, let's get the obvious out of the way: JUST BECAUSE IT'S EROTICA DOES NOT MEAN IT'S ANOTHER FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FER JEEPER'S SAKE. EroticaAll right, let's get the obvious out of the way: JUST BECAUSE IT'S EROTICA DOES NOT MEAN IT'S ANOTHER FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, FER JEEPER'S SAKE. Erotica existed before Fifty Shades, and let's be honest, most of it is better written. If I never see another Fifty Shades reference in cover copy, it'll be too soon. But I will, and I'll get all ranty again then, too.
Alas, rant over (for now).
The only other Julie Kenner title that I have read is Carpe Demon, which was okay but I never actually finished, so Wanted was a pleasant surprise. (Well, Evan is sexy and dominant, "the slow burn of sin and seduction," so duh.) The book opens on Angelina as she is attending her uncle's wake. She reconnects with a group of Uncle Jahn's former students, of course all sexy males, that he had befriended years ago. She's wanted him since she was sixteen but never thought he was interested. Alas, this is an erotica, so we all know what happens next.
The non-sexual action takes forever to get started, though, and when things finally start coming together, it feels rushed and shallow. Angie's ex, an FBI agent, keeps hinting at Evan's dark past but never really gives her the whole story. Angie is surrounded by people who withhold information from her to keep her safe - from others or herself, it's not entirely clear. I feel that the book could have benefited from fleshing out the non-sexy storyline.
Wanted may not be the best erotica ever, but it was a solid, quick, steamy read. Hopefully the rest of the series follows suit!...more
The same organizing client who gave me Let Go of Clutter also gave me this workbook. Oddly enough, she didn't have the companion book that goes with iThe same organizing client who gave me Let Go of Clutter also gave me this workbook. Oddly enough, she didn't have the companion book that goes with it, so maybe it would be more useful in a pair. On its own, though, this is one of the least useful organizing tools I have ever come across! Really, Peter Walsh? I have seen you in action on Clean Sweep. You can do better than this.
This workbook is divided into sections by room, with little-to-no variation between sections. I feel that each room, or at the very least specialized rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, should have had more thoroughly thought out plans of action for specialized equipment that would only be found in those rooms. You would go through kitchen utensils differently than you would go through Christmas ornaments, after all.
Assuming that there is different or perhaps more thorough information in the companion book, I am confused as to why that and the workbook are not combined. Let's face it: many of the people who need organizing help (aka people like my client) are likely to lose one of the books!...more
Darkness Rising opens with Risa's father forcefully ordering her to find the keys that he created to open the gates to hell. Nice guy, yeah? Then RisaDarkness Rising opens with Risa's father forcefully ordering her to find the keys that he created to open the gates to hell. Nice guy, yeah? Then Risa is essentially blackmailed by the head of the Directorate, Madeline Hunter, into doing Hunter's dirty work in exchange for help solving Dia's murder. Considering that's all crammed into the first chapter, you'd think that the action would be nonstop . . . and yet, not so much. At least it felt slow to me.
It may have been because I listened to this one in audio, but I found myself oddly unable to focus on the story and probably missed a good quarter of it from zoning out on the narration. The big things that I was worried about while reading the first book came to pass: (1) Risa continued to trust the wrong guy, Lucian. He reminds me of a certain snakelike character from the Riley Jensen, Guardian series, and I don't much like him. (2) Risa failed to see what her reaper, Azrael, was thinking. He clearly has a thing for her, but she is only seeing her own perception of his actions and beliefs and not understanding why he is perpetually frustrated with her. Come on, girl, get it together!
It's a little frustrating to see Risa repeating so many of Riley's mistakes, especially while she notes that Riley had spoken to her about these things. Risa trusts the wrong people, is ill-prepared because she lets people rush her and boss her around, and doesn't ask the right people for help because she is too worried about them getting hurt, even if their expertise means that they are more likely to not be hurt than she is. I wanted to shake her a few times.
You know what else is frustrating? The lack of sex. Heh. There are a couple of scenes, but I was really hoping that this series would be a bit hotter than it's turning out to be.
Here's what did work: Risa is clearly starting to come into her own. In Darkness Unbound, Risa is constantly turning to others for help because she doesn't have the skills or knowledge to do it on her own. That's not necessarily a bad idea, true, but it was nice to see her take a more prominent role in her investigation. The sword she acquires doesn't hurt her new badass image, either.
Given my love of the prequel series, it's fairly obvious that I'm not going to give up after one lackluster installment. Really, it's not bad, it's just not quite up to par with expectations. Here's hoping that the rest of the series takes us on a sexy, fast-paced ride!...more
SPOILER ALERT: As Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the series, there will be spoilers from the first book included in this review. If you do notSPOILER ALERT: As Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the series, there will be spoilers from the first book included in this review. If you do not want spoilers, please do not read any further.
Blurb: Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority… They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…
One year ago, Elena Deveraux nearly died in an epic battle between her lover Rafael, the Archangel of New York, and Uram, an archangel lost to the bloodlust caused by a buildup of the toxins that every archangel’s body produces (and generally gets rid of by creating vampires). Now, waking up from a year-long coma, she is an angel – the only Made angel in existence – with the wings to prove it. You’d think that transforming into an immortal being would take her out of harm’s way, but that is not the case. Turns out, immortality needs some time to kick in, and that means that Elena is very vulnerable. Meanwhile, the entire angelic world is curious about Elena, and some demonstrate this curiosity in dangerous ways. Already facing threats from some of Rafael’s Seven, who see her as a threat to their Archangel’s safety, and Michaela, who never liked her from the beginning, Elena must now deal with an invitation to a ball thrown by Zhou Lijuan, the oldest and most powerful of the archangels, as well as death threats from an as-yet anonymous source. While preparing herself for Lijuan’s ball, Elena’s memories of her sisters’ and mother’s deaths begin to return, in greater detail than ever. Will she be able to overcome the pain and guilt in order to survive as an angel?
Archangel’s Kiss was a beautiful crafted, captivating story. I loved reading about Elena discovering her new angel side and felt like I was right there with her as she took her first flight. Elena was once again thrown into a world not of her own choosing, but she did not complain. Stoic as ever, she simply accepted her lot and moved on to more important things, such as training so as not to appear weak in front of Lijuan or any of the other number of angels after her head. Rafael is just as sexy as he was in the first book, maybe even more so now because his love for Elena is so obvious through his over-protective streak and desires to care for her at every turn. The characters in the Guild Hunter world seem as though they could quite feasibly walk off the page and into the real world. Singh walks the line between providing enough information to keep the them interesting and holding enough back that the reader can’t help but beg for more. I can only hope that some these characters are featured in Singh’s upcoming novella (details unavailable as of today). However, I was disappointed that Sara and the other Guild Hunters from Angel’s Blood did not feature heavily into this story. It makes sense that Elena would recover in the angelic stronghold, but it would have been nice to at least have Sara involved. My only other problem with this book is that the “epic battle” at the end was over far too quickly. These are the only reasons that this book did not quite make it to a full five star rating. Otherwise, it was an excellent read.
Shanna Whelan is having a really bad day. Not only is she stuck in a crappy job set up by the Witness Protection Program after witnessing a murder, buShanna Whelan is having a really bad day. Not only is she stuck in a crappy job set up by the Witness Protection Program after witnessing a murder, but now the Russian mafia has found her. Roman Draganesti isn't having such a great day either. Product testing led to a broken fang, and if he doesn't get it fixed before sleeping for the day, he'll be a lopsided feeder for the rest of his immortal life. When it turns out that the mobster in charge of the hit on Shanna is a rival vampire, Roman decides to take Shanna under his protection. But protecting a human isn't as easy as it looks.
I went into this book thinking that it would be okay, but not great. However, it turned out to be a great story! How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is a light-hearted, fast-paced vampire chick lit tale. Sparks builds a unique world with her brand of vampire mythology. Although there are a lot of characters, the focus still remains on Shanna and Roman's story. This was a very quick, enjoyable read, and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
I've owned this book for ages, but somehow it got packed away in my old apartment, never saw the light of day at our old house, and was only just uneaI've owned this book for ages, but somehow it got packed away in my old apartment, never saw the light of day at our old house, and was only just unearthed a few months ago while unpacking books at the new house. This was a happy turn of events, as I have been looking for light reads to help me ease back into reading physical books. (I've been reading mostly audiobooks or e-books lately, and not nearly as many as in years past.)
Private Party is a quick, light read with some very hot sex. Nothing kinky, just straight-up vanilla hot. There was a review on Goodreads that mentions size, which cracked me up but is also definitely worth mentioning. Hey, it's erotica, right? Chris is big without being laughably big. Every time I read about a 12-incher, I roll my eyes. 9 is nothing to scoff at, to be sure, but not unrealistic either.
Unlike some of the erotica that I have read recently - I'm lookin' at you, Fifty Shades! - this one actually has a decent story. Poor Julie discovers her brand-new husband banging his secretary at their wedding reception, and she decides to throw off the shackles of her old life and go after what she truly wants for once. This lands her in the hotel room of Chris, her husband's brother and an old crush. Needless to say, this get steamy fast. Chris leaves in the morning to get back to his regularly scheduled life, but Julie hasn't quite had enough. She follows him back to his resort on St. Thomas - not as stalkerish as it sounds, I promise - in hopes of enticing him back into her bed. Sexy hijinks ensue. Chris is a little macho but not IN YOUR FACE ALPHA DOUCHEBAG so it totally works.
I know a few people will have problems with how much Julie allows her family's expectations to rule her life, but let me just say this: When you come from a family that has traditionally made these decisions for everyone, high society or not, it's tough to realize that you are actually allowed to make your own decisions. So long as you can live with the consequences, of course. I was proud of her for finally taking her own path....more