Wow, this book... I just don't really know what to say. This is by far my favorite book from...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Wow, this book... I just don't really know what to say. This is by far my favorite book from Hollis Shiloh so far!
A Wizard's Shelter tells the tale of Elliot who is a disgraced magician sent home to his sister because he recklessly collapsed a building using his magic. Depressed and miserable, he just wants some familial comfort from his twin sister but when he arrives at her lighthouse, he meets Rue, his sister's assistant. What starts as a friendly relationship blossoms into something completely foreign to Elliot that he's not all too comfortable with. On top of that, Elliot's magic has turned wild and uncontrollable and the only thing that saves him from total destruction is Rue's selkie power that grounds him. But selkie's mate for life and Elliot doesn't know if he can be with a man but he can't seem to live without Rue. When a magic judge comes calling, will any of it really matter in the end?
I really enjoyed this book to the point that I got so sucked into it that I didn't realize how much time had passed until I finished. While the story is an average novella size, it neither feels too long nor too short. It was the perfect length to get the point across. I especially loved the characters and how they balanced each other out. Rue is calm, collected and grounded while Elliot is lost, confused and out of control. They complement and understand each other and ultimately they are very sweet. They start out as friends and become very comfortable quickly and it isn't until Elliot's sister brings it to Elliot's attention that he realizes there's possibly more to what they have than strictly platonic feelings. It's sweet how oblivious he was but even sweeter because of how Rue handles it.
I think my only issue with this story is that it was a bit repetitive. The writing at times was a little stunted but mostly there were a lot of repetitive words, repetitive phrases and even observations that kept being mentioned. It wasn't horrible but it stuck out enough for me to notice and, especially in the beginning, made me stumble over the sentences.
Besides that, this was a great book. I loved that it dealt with a different kind of shifter and even more so that the author used selkies. There are so many mythical and unique shifters out there that it's always a delight to read one that isn't written about often. The characters were cute and I adored their connection and I really liked the conflict of wild magic. Overall, a delightful read that I definitely recommend for anyone looking for something short, sweet and interesting.(less)
I’m going to be completely honest here. Last year, I tried to read this one and just couldn’...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I’m going to be completely honest here. Last year, I tried to read this one and just couldn’t get into it so I set it aside for when I was in the right mood. Then a few days ago, I found it on my kindle and thought, “Oh, a Derr book? Perfect!” and dived right into the story, so engrossed in it that I barely stopped to sleep.
Ms. Derr tells a tale where there are many types of creatures that inhabit the world: Paladins, Necromancers, Demons, Priests, Warlocks and Alchemists. In this world, paladins and priests fight often against demons and necromancers and a different part of the country enslaves alchemists because they’re so ‘dangerous’ they can’t be trusted without a master. The story is complicated and, honestly, goes into several different directions, with twists and turns, harsh moments and sweet moments, and even has a few anxious and funny parts. I don’t want to go into detail because it’s hard to cover everything. What I will say is that this world starts off with every creature being divided and hated or feared. As the story progresses, lies are uncovered, feelings are developed and by the end, powerful forces bond together to make something that revitalized not only the people but the world. This probably sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo but it was an AMAZING book and had so much depth and uniqueness that I couldn’t help but love it!
The novel really features only one main couple – Sorin and Koray – and how the two are opposites but have a connection they can’t break. As Sorin is the High Paladin, he’s been engrained to hate and kill necromancers, which is what Koray is. Where Sorin is light and warmth with a sunny smile, Koray is dark and cold, quick to give a sneer. Between them, there’s something deeper than just attraction but there are misunderstandings they can’t seem to work past and confusion that causes them some strain.
There are other characters that make a big impact on the story, though, such as Cerant & Neikirk and Brekk & Emel. While their stories aren’t as deep as Sorin and Koray, readers should be aware that there are multiple couples and POV switches throughout the book to accommodate their parts in the story. The novel takes the reader on a journey where the Goddess is guiding all these characters into saving her people. It was interesting to see how old history was uncovered and how it ended up linking all these people together.
I absolutely loved this story. It was fascinating, captivating and I honestly did not want it to end. Megan Derr has been a favorite author of mine for years now and that hasn’t changed at all. This story was just as great as her other stories I’ve read. If you’re a fantasy lover who likes some action and suspense with a dash of romance, give this one a try because I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed.(less)
I really, really liked this one. It’s almost like a fairy tale where the ugly duckling turns...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I really, really liked this one. It’s almost like a fairy tale where the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan and two men – Ling and Prince Damarion – are so lonely their lives have been completely miserable. Now, they are both in positions that make their lives even more hellacious causing Ling to runaway and find employment in Prince Rion’s castle. From there they meet when no other servant wants to take Rion his meal and what eventually blossoms is not only a friendship but a love as well.
There’s something about this short little story that really gets to me. I just adored it and I loved both Ling and Rion. Where Ling has been hated for simply being the son of the Oracle, Rion has been hated for being the son of the False King. They are like two peas in a pod and completely understand each other because of what they’ve had to endure simply for being born they way they were. It’s sad but it’s also sweet the way they connect so easily. The story is about that connection but also about them finding out the truth and really understanding who they are inside. And let’s just say, they are both surprised in what they end up finding out by the end.
My only issues with this one is that, again, it is too short. I would have loved to see Ling and Rion while they got to know each other. So many conversations and pranks they played that was just told instead of shown. I missed out on that. Another thing is that six years have passed since events in The Oracle's Flame end and A LOT has happened such as how Prince Edan got the throne back. I was a little confused because we didn’t get to see that taking place in The Oracle's Flame nor in this book so I was a little disappointed we didn’t experience something that seemed so crucial.
All in all, this was still a good story. It’s sweet and a little sad but short enough that you could read it in under an hour. I really enjoyed it and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment, The Oracle’s Golem!(less)
This was a cute little story about two friends reuniting after seven long years fil...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
This was a cute little story about two friends reuniting after seven long years filled with hurt, betrayal, guilt and longing. Trey has made a life as a famous rock star but still yearns for the one person he can never have – his old best friend, Liam, who he spent years with at boarding school. After Trey hurt Liam beyond repair, Liam went on to make a successful life as a violinist and teacher. They’re both living half lives, miserable in their yearnings for each other. But what will happen when a chance meeting pushes them together? Will they be able to work through the myriad of feelings that have been building over the years?
The story tells the tale of Liam and Trey finally reuniting. I’m just as much a lover of second chances as the next person so when I picked this story up, I was excited to have it based around ex-best friends. I loved that the characters were so different but yet they bonded over their love of music. Where Liam is sensible and classical, Trey is out of control and really, doesn’t give a fuck. Even with their differences though, they balance each other out. While Trey gives Liam life, Liam grounds Trey. It’s very sweet and simplistic and I loved that the authors’ writing styles went so well together to the point that I didn’t even notice there were two authors writing.
While I liked that the authors we able to successfully merge their styles, I had a few issues with the story. Mainly, I felt like with how much emphasis was put on Trey hurting Liam, Liam shouldn’t have taken Trey back so quickly. I wanted a little more grovelling, more talking and more firm decisions instead of more sex. Aside from that, readers should note that there are three flashbacks in this story and that aside from one of them, they didn’t progress the story in anyway. To me, they felt like they were put in to show the depth of Trey and Liam’s feelings as kids but I don’t think it managed to accomplish that and I can’t help but feel that could have been done with them in the present.
All in all, this was a good story. I liked that the writing styles were so cohesive and I ultimately did like the characters. I wished we had gotten more of them working out their problems instead of it being resolved so quickly but as it were, I enjoyed the story. Those who like plots centered around second chances and friends who long for each other will enjoy this as well.(less)
When a few of my friends learned that I was reading this story, they asked me “What does it...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When a few of my friends learned that I was reading this story, they asked me “What does it mean that they’re a fox/wolf (or fox/squirrel) shifter?” Well, for anyone else wondering, it means that each shifter has two forms they can shift into. George, as a wolf and fox shifter, can turn into a wolf or he can turn into a fox whenever he likes. Same for Billy except his two forms are a fox and a squirrel (an adorable squirrel, too!).
Now, this story is about George and Billy who have been mates for about a year or so. While George was brought up as a shifter and destined to take over his pack, Billy is new to the whole shifter world and has only known for about a year that he can shift into a fox and only a week since he learned he can shift into a squirrel. With their lives content, George is constantly arguing with his father to take over as pack leader… but George doesn’t want to. It isn’t until certain events happen that finally push George to make a decision, once and for all.
As a paranormal and fluff lover, I have no shame in admitting that I adored this story. It’s cute, it’s funny and it’s definitely entertaining! If you haven’t figured out by now, this book features a very feisty diva named Billy. He’s charming and adorable and really, he only plays at being a diva but he’s vocal when it comes to being one. Usually, I don’t like exaggerated divas but honestly, I just loved Billy. At times, he is a little too much but it was hard not to like him when he’s so compassionate and very much in love with George. Not to mention, George loves him and they constantly make a joke out of Billy ‘having a diva moment’. I was very amused by their bantering and their bickering especially when they mixed the abilities of their bond with it. George is just perfect for Billy because he understands him and accepts the fact that he’s different from the pack. They are just so CUTE. I loved the moments they ran together and I especially loved how Billy, in squirrel form, would sit between George’s wolf ears and hold on for dear life.
The story revolves around George and Billy and their relationship and coping with the intense bond that they have together. It is so deep that it sometimes leaves them crippled from the intensity. On the other hand, it also deals with George being pushed into making a decision he doesn’t want to make – becoming pack leader. He’s scared, though, that he could never live up to his father’s role. Thus leaves him constantly denying the position. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple when there’s George’s father, his beta and the pack witch doing everything they can to force George into taking the position. Not to mention rival packs wanting to take over the pack. I feel I should warn some readers (that abhor children in M/M) that one of the ‘events’ that happen to George and Billy includes adopting a new-born baby.
My only big issue with the story was that there was too much sex for my tastes. Of course, that is just a personal preference. However, I did feel like I was missing a little something between Billy and George in the beginning. Granted, that is me just really wanting to read the story of how they got together and how Billy initially handled being a shifter. One last thing, I was confused at times like when Billy withheld his feelings from George. I couldn’t really follow why Billy was so determined to do that, especially with the lengths he went to make it happen and the side effects of doing that.
In the end, this was exactly the story I needed for a good night of reading. It’s ADORABLE and sweet but most of all, I loved the characters and found the situations they were forced to endure intriguing.
As a warning, there is a brief mention of the possibility of mpreg but rest assure that it does NOT happen and actually is met with disgust. So, don’t be put off by that if you see the word (if you don’t like mpreg, that is).(less)
I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I w...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I was browsing Less Than Three Press’ Coming Soon page, I came across The Oracle’s Hatchling and wanted to read it ASAP. Unfortunately, it was book two in The Oracle series and when I saw that book one, The Oracle’s Flame, was ménage I almost, almost said forget it… but the second book was just so tempting so I took the plunge and I read this one.
It’s based around how the Oracle saw the world consumed with greed that turns into disease. The world was sick and it was all caused by a corrupt false king. That’s where Dragon comes in. A newly made Dragon of Fire, he has one of the highest positions in the Monastery and the Oracle sends him on a mission to protect the prince before the false king kills him. Just days into his mission, however, he’s brought onto a pirate ship where he meets the twins Shev & Shov, where more than just attraction develops between them. What’s Dragon supposed to do when he finds himself falling for both twins especially since neither of them know why he’s really on the ship?
Now, I’ll freely admit that I actually enjoyed this one. I absolutely adored the world and loved the idea around the Oracle and her efforts to not only save the world but to make her people happy. It’s a sweet tale about finding that missing part of yourself. We see that in the way Shev and Shov take to Dragon so quickly and their desire to make him part of their little love nest.
I really liked that this story revolved around finding the missing Prince. It’s obvious who the prince is but it’s still fun to see Dragon war with himself over his wish to have Shev and Shov but to also do his duty and protect a prince he still hasn’t officially met. Where Shev is the mischievous and adventurous twin, Shov is more for comfortable in the kitchen. Dragon is like that connection between the two twins because he’s able to be adventurous with Shev but also laid-back with Shov.
As I said, it’s a sweet tale about finding that person that completes you and taking that final step to embrace it. While I enjoyed it, I did have some issues. Mainly, I felt like the story was too short. I didn’t really feel a connection between the three characters and I didn’t feel like I understood the world that Dragon came from. Also, I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see the missing prince take back the throne from the false king. However, even with that, there’s something about this author’s writing I really enjoyed that made me want to keep reading.
In the end, I still liked the story. It was a short, sweet read that passed the time for a little bit. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing where she goes with this series. A word of caution, though, this story contains some incest (although briefly) but readers should be aware that Shev and Shov are twins and they’re also lovers who want to make Dragon their third.(less)
Let me first say that I decided to read Infinity because the sequel, Infinity Unleas...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site... soon.
Let me first say that I decided to read Infinity because the sequel, Infinity Unleashed, looked interesting and I really had no idea that it was the second book in the series. So, I requested the book but when I started it, I realized I was missing a LOT of information. I ended up buying this one so that I could get up to speed on everything that happened. I had high hopes for it even though I really had no idea what it would be about considering all the blurbs I found were just a snippet from the story. With that said, I was extremely unprepared for what I was getting into and honestly, pretty upset that the publisher and/or author did not do the book justice by providing an actual blurb to explain the story or at least provide a warning that there was a ménage in the making.
For example, the 'blurb' led me to believe that Boulder and Infinity would be the main couple in this romance story. Nowhere does it mention a third love interest in this. As one that doesn't enjoy being blindsided by ménages (I avoid them, in all honesty), I was more than a little upset that around 80% into the book I find out that Infinity will not only have ONE mate but TWO mates. Not only that but neither of these guys make a LIVE appearance in the book until 59% for one and 80% for the other. I'm a lover of romance and what that means is I want to experience the courtship, I want a developing love ESPECIALLY when the book is labeled as 'Paranormal Romance'. Instead, with this book, I'm pretty much getting straight up lust with Infinity going into something akin to heat for both Boulder and Torch in the last 25% of the book. To say I'm disappointed in not only realizing this series features a ménage but that it took literally more than half the book for either of the heroes to come into play, is a VERY BIG understatement.
Let's talk about the characters, though. As a popular singer, Infinity has a lot going for her. She's rich, she's famous and she's gorgeous. Unfortunately, she has the classic spoiled brat attitude where she doesn't really care about anyone else but herself, she has no respect for others or their time or the fact that people are trying to help her. Instead, she acts like she's the only person that matters and throws tantrums when she doesn't get her way. Screaming at people and making their lives hell, not to mention making them wait on her, NONE OF THESE are attractive qualities. I had a very hard time liking her, to be honest. She's hypocritical, self-absorbed and very, very selfish not to mention a drug addict. I found her constant answer of "I'm sober and not even taking any Rejuvenators" very annoying because she literally just popped two or three of them not hours before and was just thinking of popping another two after she was finished doing whatever she was doing. She's heavily in denial. Then again, you can't really expect anything different when the very people who 'love' her and want to 'protect' her constantly lie to her.
This leaves me to my next issue. Kara, Infinity's adopted mother, is a Valkyrie that is the Immortals' puppet. What this means is that she knows what will happen next and instead of informing others about this, she never tells anyone anything. Including Infinity. Apparently, Infinity is half-Valkyrie and half-wolf and instead of letting Infinity know this while growing up (honestly, I'm not quite sure why she never developed any powers or shifted considering she's in her twenties now), Kara decides to hide the truth from Infinity. Actually, everyone in this story seemed to be some type of paranormal - vampire, Valkyrie, shifter, witch, etc. - that hid the truth from Infinity and this BAFFLED me. I didn't and COULD NOT understand why it was so important to leave Infinity in the dark about who she was. Yet, they all kept telling her that it was important she didn't act this way or that way, don't draw attention to yourself, don't let someone hurt you, learn to fight so that you can stick up for yourself and when she asked WHY any of that mattered, she was roadblocked by "You don't need to know" or ignored. Honestly, I could not comprehend what the point of keeping Infinity in the dark was. If she had KNOWN what she was, maybe she wouldn't have acted so stupidly so often in the book. Maybe she would have realized that she was important and that so many people wanted to use her and maybe she would have acted like a sane, responsible adult instead of a spoiled brat that threw tantrum after tantrum and unwittingly stepped into bad situation after bad situation while being able to understand that she's really NOT crazy, just a supernatural being.
Now, with all that said, I found Kara and Infinity acted the exact same way. It was hard to differentiate between the two to the point that I even thought I was reading about Infinity when it was Kara's POV! They had the same mannerisms, they had the same speech, etc. Since Kara is centuries old and considering how she acted in the beginning, I would have expected her to act her age, more or less, or at least more mature and not a teenaged girl like Infinity acted. It was very annoying how immature they both were and how secretive they were. IT JUST DIDN'T MAKE SENSE! This leads me to the fact that the book is written in both first person (from Infinity's POV) and third person (from multiple different POVs). Honestly, it was confusing and really awkward when the third person POVs didn't show up until half-way into the book, almost like the book was either written by two different people or that the author wrote the first half then put it aside to write the second half at a later date. It was not a smooth transition.
The plot of the story actually had a lot of potential and I DID find some of it intriguing. Unfortunately, the story is clogged with unnecessary purple prose, ridiculous descriptions of things that do not matter (such as a long thorough scene about Infinity, Zoe and Diego in a car talking about inane, unimportant things or the constant need to describe everyone's clothing) and a lack of progression. The first half of the book could have been cut because all it showed was that Infinity is stereotypical and conceited. Not to mention the fact that she's a virgin, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, etc. is mentioned more times than most likely Boulder OR Torch's name. The story stalled because the author focused too much on WHO Infinity is as a human and not who she is as a PARANORMAL. Besides that, the whole world was confusing. ARE vampires and shifters widely known? If not, then why doesn't everyone know about them? WHAT was the Fire and Ash War? Exactly WHEN does this story take place? WHY is Infinity so important? While I understand that she could save the Others, nothing related to HOW or WHY they need to be saved is mentioned (besides a brief mention of their lack of reproduction). One last thing, this story ends on a major cliffhanger, to the point that not only was nothing resolved but now there is a new threat that takes of Infinity and leaves the story completely opened with absolutely nothing resolved... not even Infinity understand what she is.
With that said, I can't recommend this book. The descriptions and tags associated with it are inaccurate and misleading. The blurb speaks nothing of the story, the plot, the characters, the direction the story is going in. NOTHING. All the females are immature and probably should realize that saying things like "Hell to the no!" makes them seem childish. It lacks depth in the world AND the characters that are important but yet focuses on characters and descriptions that bring nothing to the story but instead act as a filler. I was filled with so much frustration and annoyance reading this book that I'm sorry but I just did not like this one.(less)
For five years, Ryker has been experimented on to look like a Caeorleian, not to mention tor...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
For five years, Ryker has been experimented on to look like a Caeorleian, not to mention tortured and abused. When his transformation is complete, he's unwillingly sent onto the planet Caeorleia with the captured alien, Seral. Unfortunately, whatever the scientists did to him forced a bond between Ryker and Seral. He doesn't expect to live for long but Seral surprises him and before he knows it, he's created a life he never thought he'd have again. But someone isn't happy about Seral and Ryker surviving, forcing them to fight off many attempts on their lives. Can they figure out who the traitor is before one of them is seriously hurt or will the war between the Caeorleians and humans only escalate?
A word of caution: The blurb is a little misleading, IMO. Specifically, "and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he's on." Ryker never questions which side he's on. Even in the beginning when he was scared of all Caeorleians, he knew, no matter what, he wasn't going to do anything to aid the very humans that tortured him.
Regardless of that, I really enjoyed this sci-fi story. The world Ms. Nordwell created is very intriguing and I loved how different but similar the Caeorleians were compared to regular humans. The fact that they speak differently and communicate by humming and vibrations was fascinating not to mention the fact they're alien vampires. I also loved experiencing the bond developing between Ryker and Seral. I found the idea behind the isitziu (the markings on their body) interesting and how in the bond, one person is the isit and the other the tzui. Honestly, I just loved the planet and the new customs surrounding the Caeorleians.
Ryker and Seral together are both hot and sweet. Ryker, while terrified and weak in the beginning, grows stronger and has no problems being stubborn to his mate, which I found very amusing. Seral is the classic alpha male. Very possessive, protective and 'hear me roar!' but I did love his gentleness when handling Ryker. Even though he had a tendency to coddle Ryker more than necessary, I loved their interactions together. By the end, Ryker grew comfortable enough to not only stick up to Seral when he did something brainless but they also developed an easy banter.
While I really enjoyed the book, I had a few issues. For one, I feel like Seral's race and the planet are still one big mystery. By the end of the story, I had so many questions about everything. Why was Seral in on the strategy meetings but the heir to the throne wasn't? Why did Dade have fangs and claws but Ryker didn't? Those are only two of the dozens more questions I have. On top of that, there was a little too much sex for my liking and mixed with them doing it when one or both of them were hurt, it grew a tad excessive.
Overall, this was a great book. It captured my attention from the start when everything seemed so bleak and held it until the end when things worked out. I loved getting to see Ryker adjust to a new and strange world and seeing Seral do everything he could to make Ryker at home. I hope there's more to come of this world because I'd love to see Fieo and Nicklaus find their happy ending.
Just a note, this story is told in both first-person and third-person narrative. Ryker's point of view is told in first-person and Seral's is told via third-person. It's disorienting at first to adjust to the switches but once I got into the groove of things, I barely noticed it, even though this style is not one of my favorites.(less)
Nikki’s attempts at avoiding Anderson finally end when Anderson not-so-subtly lets her know...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Nikki’s attempts at avoiding Anderson finally end when Anderson not-so-subtly lets her know he’s done waiting. Now she’s forced to find Konstantin, the leader of the Olympians who’s gone into hiding, because Anderson wants retribution. But Nikki has her doubts and unwilling to lead a man to his death. That is, until a series of events happen to Nikki that make her suddenly doubt Konstantin is her biggest threat. With Emma boldly threatening her and Anderson acting funny, can she really trust her own instincts?
With each book in this series, I can’t help but love Nikki Glass more and more. Some of the things she does, I don’t agree with but overall I love her indecision when it comes to everything, the way she tries to master her Huntress abilities and her conflicting feelings towards everything. At the same time, she always manages to get into situations that are very action-packed and keep me on the edge of my seat. I also like that she’s becoming more and more adjusted to her life as a Liberi and how she can stick up to Anderson when it’s necessary.
Her relationship with Anderson is definitely turning into something that makes me think that this series might turn into a love triangle or at least the love interest will no longer be noticeably Jamaal. Her feelings towards Jamaal are still strong and we learn that Jamaal has feelings just as intense. However, Jamaal is just now starting to get his death magic under control in the form of Sita, his shadow animal. Unfortunately, Sita is one fiercely possessive and jealous tiger and causes tension between Jamaal and Nikki.
While I loved the fact that there was an added conflict of Sita and the fact that Nikki and Jamaal finally make headway in their relationship, I didn’t really like the push and pull that Jamaal was doing. He desires Nikki and he obviously wants her but he’s unwilling to make any point of compromise to attempt anything with her. I love their connection but I don’t like that Nikki is the one constantly trying to take things further. Even with Sita, I can’t help but think Jamaal could find a way to have the two girls in his life get along.
As it is, I still really enjoyed this story. While it doesn’t have as much suspense and action as the previous stories, it is still fast-paced and has enough action to keep me intrigued. But, wow, can I just say the way this one ended?! HOLY SHIT! I can’t wait to read the next one in this series because there’s bound to be some serious repercussions, if the way it ended is anything to go by! Eagerly awaiting the next installment and seriously hope I won’t have to wait that long!(less)
Pros and Cons takes place after Deadly Descendant, which is book 2 in the Nikki Glass series, and shows Nikki taking a case in the hopes that keeping busy will allow her to avoid Anderson just a little bit longer. When she thought she was taking a simple case of finding a man about to be a daddy, she soon learns that the woman who hired her has done nothing but lied about the nature of the case. As her investigation takes her deeper into the lives of a scam artist, she starts to uncover things far more dangerous than she may be able to handle.
I loved that we got to see Nikki actually doing her job as a PI for a ‘normal’ case instead of one for the Liberi, but I felt that I missed the paranormal aspect of the story. Granted, we do get to see more of Jack, the descendant of Loki (love Loki!), who’s a trickster at heart and I feel like Nikki has become closer to her Liberi family now since Jack and Leo were so willing to help her. The only drawback I had was that I had already anticipated the way Nikki’s case would turn out; how her client lied to her and all the shady busy the lady was involved with, etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed this short read. It doesn’t progress the series but I liked getting a snapshot of what Nikki would be like when it doesn’t involve immortal danger. As a side note, readers should be aware that this story is solely about the case Nikki has taken so there is no Jamaal, Anderson or really anything to do with the Liberi except those that help her solve her case.(less)
You know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly ho...moreYou know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly how I felt once I finished Throne of Glass.
To say I adored the story would be a gross understatement. I devoured this book within hours (as a slow reader that’s an amazing thing) and even bought the print editions of not just the first but the second book, Crown of Midnight, and the collection of short stories, The Assassin's Blade, right after I finished it.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena Sardothien, who earned the title of Adarlan’s Assassin, before she was caught and sentenced to slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier. Now a year after her sentencing, an unexpected offer comes her way in the form of Adarlan’s Crown Prince, who gives her the option of her freedom… for a price. All she has to do is defeat twenty-three other candidates for the role of King’s Champion. If she wins, three years of service is all that separates her from complete freedom.
The story is centered around Celaena’s fight for that freedom, the numerous tests she has to compete in to advance to the next round but most of all, Celaena’s just been thrust into a new and unfamiliar world where evil magic is being used to kill off her competitors. On top of that, she has the Captain of the Guard who hates her and doesn’t trust her and the Crown Prince who’s getting a little too close for everybody’s comfort. Will she claim the title of King’s Champion or will all her efforts be for nothing?
Honestly, there’s so much that happens I don’t want to spoiler any of it. Some people won’t like this book because of the simple fact it’s not strictly a romance. While I’m also hesitant to call it Young Adult (things get very gruesome at times), I will admit that there’s ‘hints’ of a romance brewing. Actually, there’s hints that a love triangle is already starting and while I normally don’t like love triangles, it worked very well in this story because the possible love interests are so different. One of them I believe suits Celaena better than the other but that’s just my opinion (and I’m also biased because I just adored Chaol ^_^). Also, readers should be aware that these characters are very young; Celaena is only eighteen, Dorian is nineteen and Chaol is twenty-two.
One thing I loved about this book, though, was the characters. While Celaena is the main voice, POV shifts to multiple people that are significant to the story. Some of them I liked more than others (a personal preference because I hated Kaltain) but all were what made the story the way it is. As characters, Celaena, Chaol and Dorian are all very well in-depth. Celaena, while an assassin, is a little rusty in her skills but she’s also emotionally damaged in more ways than one. She’s surly and flippant but makes it her goal to get a rise out of Chaol or Dorian if she can. She has a lot of layers that still haven’t been uncovered but I loved being able to see some of them being peeled back by Chaol and Dorian. Most of all, Celaena is a fragile, vulnerable young woman who needs protecting in some ways and Chaol and Dorian unintentionally give her that. Dorian is the classic charming prince although he’s one that is disgusted with his father, the King. He’s not quite a man but Celaena makes him want to become one. Chaol is an intriguing mix between a sad, lost man and a severe, all business captain. All three characters are very young and, honestly, still have a lot of maturing to do even though they’ve been forced to live through some harsh realities.
As a huge fan of fantasy, one of the things I look forward to the most is the new world I get to discover. With Throne of Glass, while we don’t get a full detailed description of this new place as a whole, I have no doubt we’ll get more of it as the series progresses and Celaena journeys to different countries. What there is of the world, is phenomenal. I loved that it was a mix of a historical setting and a fantasy one with a flair of magic but the brutality that has consumed the world since the King has been decimating countries was interesting to read about and also quite sad.
In the end, this was an amazing story. I loved experiencing the growth in all the characters, as well as, seeing the tests that Celaena has to go through, not to mention the secondary characters made things more interesting. The mystery surrounding the evil inside the castle was a blast to uncover and while I have questions about some of the things that happened during the book, I think I’ll get my answers as we learn more about Celaena and why she’s so important to everything.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fantasy lover, who doesn’t mind the romance developing over several books because while there’s only a hint of it in Throne of Glass, I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic one by the time the series finishes!
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marr...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marry Prince Perdith of Tallideth in an attempt to end the war between the two countries. With peace in sight and the wedding only months away, things take a decidedly bad turn when more than one attempt on Vellem’s life is made, pushing the marriage to happen sooner than desired. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop tragedy from striking again in a way that changes both Vellam and Perdith’s lives. Now with more responsibilities then they ever thought they’d have, they both have to get accustomed to not only ruling a kingdom but having a stranger as a husband.
Well, this was not the story I was expecting! To be honest, I was thinking this would be closer to steampunk themed than fantasy but how wrong I was! This book had so much happening and so much loss that it was very tragic and heart-wrenching at times. It’s filled with betrayal and suspicion and just when things start looking up, something happens that brings everyones’ hostilities back up and makes things way more tense then they were to begin with. Yes, I am purposely being vague! LOL. But this is the type of book that is enjoyed much more when you experience the revealing at the same time as the characters. It’s a great book and an even better journey especially if you love fantasies.
Speaking of the characters, there will be readers that don’t like Perdith for the way he acts but it was easy for me to understand him and what he’s been through. Originally low-key and wrapped up in numbers, he’s forced to bring out the King in himself and change in a way that others will respect. Underneath it all, he’s still shy and nervous but lets Vellem see his wild and care-free side in bed. At the same time, Vellem is this lowly soldier that doesn’t understand politics even though he knows his war strategies. He’s been through a lot and while he might be clueless in being Regent, he knows how to demolish and rebuild structures. The two together are a force to be reckoned with and brings truth to the saying, “Two heads are better than one”.
My only issues with this story was that it needed more editing. There were a lot of typos and punctuation errors not to mention Vellem’s dragon, Krisanta, (who is just so lovable and amazing!) tended to be forgotten a lot then would show up out of the blue. Also, some chapters picked up weeks/months after certain events were trying to be decided. It was a tad confusing because I couldn’t figure out exactly how much time had passed and I really would have liked to see some of these scenes played out so that we could see when/how plans were formed. I am left with one question that was never answered, though. How in the world are Vellem and Perdith supposed to produce an heir that’s of BOTH their bloods?! Am I sensing a sequel?? With hopefully mpreg?! Oh, yeah, I went there, people!
Beside that, this was an amazing book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ms. Derr writes fantastic fantasies that I can’t get enough of. It still amazes me with how much she’s written that she can come up with unique worlds and this one is no different. If you enjoy a good fantasy with some mystery, deception, a little angst, great characters and an amazing world, give this one a try. It’s definitely not worth missing!(less)
Now that Nikki's firmly claimed Anderson's ragtag group of Liberi as her home and i...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Now that Nikki's firmly claimed Anderson's ragtag group of Liberi as her home and immortal family, she's still trying to get used to life working for Anderson. When the Oracle from the Olympians comes to Anderson for help in catching a descendant who's going on a killing spree, she's forced into hunting him down. The only problem is this descendant is not only wielding shadow jackals as his weapon but he's also insane who has no issues killing his own kind... but one Liberi can't kill another, right?
Ahhhh, Nikki *sigh* This was such a fun, fast-paced novel I literally devoured it. Nikki is still her slightly snarky self that is determined to keep her old life or at least a part of it. With this one, we see a little more of how her powers work. We also see her relationship (if you can even call it that) with Jamaal grow deeper even if it is on rocky ground. On top of that, things get very deadly for Nikki when she not only has to worry about an enemy from the outside but from the inside as well.
I think my only issue is how Nikki treated Blake. I understood why she didn't like Blake and Steph starting a relationship but at the same time, considering everything Blake has done to keep Steph safe, I expected Nikki to cut him a little slack. Not to mention, Steph knew exactly what she was getting into and told Nikki over and over that she would take her chances. Live and let live is what Nikki should have done especially since Steph has the same feelings towards Jamaal as Nikki has towards Blake.
There were other things that I feel I should mention only because I know readers will take some issue with them. Such as Emma's misplaced jealousy towards Nikki that turned her into a huge bitch, Nikki's back and forth on what to do with Anubis's descendant and even the special attention Anderson is giving Nikki. All of these things, I didn't have a problem with because all them will no doubt lead to what happens in the next book, which I think might be epic. On top of that, Nikki's constant questioning on what to do with the deadly descendant separates her from the other Liberi and shows to me that she's still human even if she is immortal now.
In the end, this was a gripping tale I was sucked into right from the start. I couldn't put it down once I started it and while I'm a little nervous where the story is heading (love triangle? Please no!) I can't wait to read more of it.(less)
With every new year that rolls around, I like to read a whole series to start it off right. This year was hard to decide because I wanted one that didn’t have half a dozen books or more but also one that didn’t only have one or two stories. I came across the cover of Dark Descendant and knew right then, this would be that series. Yes, I am a cover whore :P
Nikki Glass is a PI who literally has a gift from the gods. As a descendant of Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt and a Moon Goddess, she can find anything. When Nikki’s latest client ends his life, his power of immortality transfers to her. Unfortunately for Nikki, that means she just became a Liberi and forced into a new reality where she’s no longer a mortal or understands any of what a descendant of the gods mean. Add to that, she now has half a dozen people thinking she’s a spy and the Olympians, another group of descendants, thinking she’ll be a useful weapon. What’s a girl to do when she’s being pulled in every direction but just wants everything to go back to normal?
Aww, man! How I loved this book! I will freely admit that I’m slightly biased because I absolutely loved the potential love interest (who I shall not name). Readers should know that this isn’t a romance, it’s a mystery with some suspense and action. While there are romantic-ish feelings on Nikki’s part, her love life is still in the baby stage so, I’m assuming, over the next few books it’ll develop into something. Hopefully.
Now, let’s talk about Nikki. She’s stubborn, to say the least, but I found her pretty badass. Okay, yes, sometimes she acted a little naive or stupid in a situation (she could have easily called in for backup instead of doing things alone) but I still loved her. She has a tendency to get in sticky, dangerous and deadly situations that caused a lot of conflict. I also loved the other characters like Jamaal, Anderson and Blake. Each of them are mysterious in their own way and I couldn’t get enough of seeing them.
The story is about Nikki trying to get comfortable with what she’s now become. On top of that, she aligns with Anderson and his gang of Liberi in an attempt to save her family from being hurt by the Olympians. The only thing Anderson asks is to find his wife, Emma. So, almost the whole story is about Nikki learning to use her abilities to find Emma. During all that, she’s slowly learning the rules about being a Liberi and what she can and cannot do. I loved that there was some intense moments like Jamaal’s punishment.
My only issues with the story is that some of Nikki’s monologue is very repetitive (family issues, etc.). Also, there were some discoveries from Nikki that seemed pointless to the plot (Nikki finding Emma’s ring) because it made me wonder how Emma’s ring got where it was, which was never answered.
In the end, I devoured this novel within a few hours. It was such a good story, easy to read with likeable characters and an intriguing plot. I loved the refreshing aspect of dealing with descendants of gods and goddesses. I immediately went on to read the next in the series and I can’t wait to see where the series leads me. Definitely recommended if you’re a fan of M/F urban fantasy.(less)
Since Quinn’s partner died, he’s been living a lonely, sad life. He hasn’t been abl...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Since Quinn’s partner died, he’s been living a lonely, sad life. He hasn’t been able to get over George’s death in the five years he’s been grieving but when Quinn’s brother, Michael, comes back into his life with his future wife, they inadvertently give Quinn a reason to move on with his life. That reason? Arrow, the man who’s been chasing Michael and Jade. Quinn thought he finally found another person to spend his life with but what will happen once he figures out the real reason Arrow has shown interest in him?
There were a lot of things I liked about this story. I loved how Quinn’s letter was able to make Arrow feel so much towards a complete stranger and I especially loved that it slowly worked its way under Arrow’s skin. More than that, I liked how sweet Quinn and Arrow were together. Instead of jumping into bed right away or being in love at first sight, they take things slow and actually date. It was refreshing in a way and made the conflict and feelings they had in the end all that much more real.
Unfortunately, one of my issues with this story was how one-dimensional the characters felt to me. I tried to connect with them but it was hard because I didn’t feel like I really knew them. By the end, I felt like there were too many questions left unanswered such as what Arrow will be doing now that he’s not in the business of finding people.
All in all, this was a light, sweet read. If I had to describe it further, I’d even call it ‘quiet’ because while there is a little suspense, it’s more of a slow discovery of romance. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by this author.(less)
When a creature starts mutilating dogs in Dina’s neighborhood, she’s forced to take...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When a creature starts mutilating dogs in Dina’s neighborhood, she’s forced to take actions into her own hands when the local werewolf refuses to do anything. Unfortunately for her, that same werewolf refuses to let her handle things herself and pretty soon she’s forced to team up with him to find the creatures before they escalate into killing humans. Things only get worse when powerful vampires show up to warn them off. But what happens when these vampires can’t get the job done? In Dina’s attempt to save her neighborhood will she end up losing everything instead?
Oh, I loved this one! I couldn’t help but fall into this world like I fall so easily into the Kate Daniels series. I loved the uniqueness of the idea behind the Inn, which is an entity of its own. The fact that Dina is the Inn Keeper and holds a great amount of power was right up my alley. Mixed with her using her powers on not only Sean, the alpha-strain werewolf, but Arland, the vampire soldier, and anyone else that decided to cause problems on her land made the story that much more appealing. Not to mention, the authors included graphics of each major character within the novel and even though I wished there were more graphics to show some of the scenes, I absolutely loved the pics!
I loved that Dina had no issues with getting her hands dirty and even loved that Sean and Dina started off so badly on the wrong foot. Dina at first, seems very bland but as the story progresses, you see that she has a lot of layers to her and tries to hide her emotions. Sean is very aggressive, powerful and just won’t give up while Arland is forceful and thinks his way is the only way.
The three working together are make a great team and I loved experiencing their planning to eliminate the enemy. Readers should be aware this is a classic first story in a UF series. That means there is only a sliver of romance. The love interest is possibly Sean or it’s possibly Arland but besides one brief kiss, we don’t know which yet. Dina’s love life is still developing and I imagine it’ll be an epic one!
I think my only niggle with this story is the explanation concerning other alien planets and wars around them. While I liked that this world expanded to include an almost sci-fi element, the way it was all described felt clinical and out of place. It seemed odd to me the way it was just dumped into the story.
Overall, I absolutely loved this story. The idea centered around an Inn Keeper and all the power they hold was fascinating to read about. I loved the situations Dina was forced into because of her desire to help. It was a refreshing story and different from the other novels I’ve read by Ilona Andrews. I can’t wait to see where they go with this series and especially can’t wait to see if more graphics will be included in the next stories!(less)
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immedi...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immediately want to read the sequel AND purchase the print books of both stories. In Liam's Wake (see my review here) was a ball of craziness I could not let go. I was nervous the sequel wouldn't live up to it but, to my pleasure, it was so much better...
This is the journey that Johann Andreas IV takes from being a self-conscious, overweight nobody to a person who finds his place in the world and a person to love him. I'm not going to go into details about what happens because, honestly, I wouldn't be able to explain everything that Johann goes through or the shear craziness that is this story (in a good way!). What I will say is that Tanner and Johann go through many things together and apart. They live separate lives but yearn for the same thing. It's about self-discovery and acceptance, love and friendship, right and wrong and how you have to lose things before you realize the importance of what you lost. It's a gripping tale that kept me captivated from beginning to end.
I loved the characters. Johann has so much depth to him that I wanted to save him from himself. He's not a perfect character. He's overweight, selfish, somewhat conceited but all he craves is someone who wants him for him. Tanner is that someone. Where Johann takes, Tanner gives everything he has just to make Johann happy, even at the cost of his own happiness. It's heart-breaking, to be honest, because these two have more of a history than anyone could ever know and no matter what they do, everything seems to conspire against them being together... even the 'needs' they think they each want. When all is said and done, the influence they have on one another not only grows them as people but matures them and cements them into the lives they were meant to live.
My only niggle with this story was that I felt like Johann was very self-centered, to the point it was frustrating to read. Considering how he grew up, I could kind of understand it but I just wish he would have taken into consideration how Tanner was feeling or how hard Tanner was trying to make Johann comfortable. I felt so bad with how Johann treated him at times that I wanted to yell at Johann :(
In the end, I absolutely adored the story even if there were some moments I wanted to smack Johann. The simple fact that Johann grew so much throughout the story, though, leveled out my dislike of his selfish moments. Tanner captured my heart and didn't want to let go, and the numerous twists and turns throughout the book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The world Ms. Forge has managed to create is awe-inspiring and I can't wait to read more about the characters within it!
If you're a science fiction lover like me and enjoy stories that have multiple conflicts, an intricate world and heart-wrenching characters, then you'll enjoy this one as well, so give it a try!(less)
Stratford Dale is not very happy. He’s working his butt off ewriting popular children’s books under the pen name Doctor Chicken but he’s getting paid...moreStratford Dale is not very happy. He’s working his butt off ewriting popular children’s books under the pen name Doctor Chicken but he’s getting paid barely anything for it. On top of that, he has the worst luck in finding a guy to call his own especially when all the guys who are interested only want him for sex. Vinnie Giani changes all that when they meet at a cooking class and Vinnie pulls out his rusty romantic charms and tries to woe Stratford into something of a relationship. Both men are clueless on just what that means but one thing has been made clear… keeping secrets is never good. Will their omissions cause their fledgling relationship to fall apart before it ever actually starts?
Stratford is that cute mix of awkward and geeky. He loves to wear bow ties and has the tendency to be very clumsy at the worst possible moments. He’s straight up adorable and I loved every minute of his awkwardness. Vinnie is the exact opposite in that he’s charming and sexy. I loved that Vinnie loved all of who Stratford is and even goes to great lengths to explore his likes, such as starting to watch Stratford’s favorite show, Doctor Who, just because he knew Stratford loves it.
Seriously, the two together are just all kinds of sweetness. They balance each other out but also have a lot of issues they have to work through. At times, Vinnie seems lost and Stratford is there to guide him through things. At other times, Stratford needs the guidance. The whole story is about them working through their problems and trying at something new. Stratford is insecure, afraid of rejection and hates confrontation but Vinnie does what he can to help Stratford through that. Vinnie has a tendency to try and fix things, which causes them both some problems. The story is a nice mix of exploring their feelings, wants and dreams and trying to walk on eggshells around those issues.
While this was a fun and easy story, I admit one of my biggest problems was the way Stratford could never just say enough is enough. He has major rejection issues not to mention he doesn’t like confrontation so that means he will do anything to avoid anything negative… this means he lets things play out well past when they should, which equates to him getting walked all over. I loved that he was so damaged in this way but it also got on my nerves that he couldn’t stand up for himself. There were also a few scenes where it seemed that Stratford and Vinnie did a character role reversal (Vinnie started acting like Stratford, Stratford started acting like Vinnie, etc.). They weren’t that big a deal for me but the transition into that wasn’t very smooth.
In the end, I really did enjoy it. It’s a pleasant read and while Stratford was frustrating a time or two, I did love Stratford and Vinnie and the tentative way they go about their relationship. The ending was a little abrupt but I still liked where they ended up. If you’ve liked KC Burn’s other books, you’ll no doubt like this one as well :)
Having just finished this, I'm not really sure what to say. I loved the story. Axton is so melancholy and grumpy. He's not exactly the friendliest per...moreHaving just finished this, I'm not really sure what to say. I loved the story. Axton is so melancholy and grumpy. He's not exactly the friendliest person but he's so... real that I just wanted to squeeze him and never let go. Throughout the story, you see what Axton goes through. His repetitive life and how Leander disrupts that, how Axton is trying to cope with Leander always around and the feelings Axton can't seem to get rid of for his gorgeous neighbor.
Leander is, quite honestly, an asshole. He's nice and charming but can be manipulative and mean if he finds amusement in it. He grew on me, even though there were times I didn't like him, and he brought out something in Axton that made Axton want to show his belly. It's cute and sweet and... well, I'm not sure what else to say.
I adored the two together. I just cannot express how much I loved experiencing the two form a friendship. It's a slow-burn type of book but it's only one sided. They flirt occasionally and they banter a lot but their time together is precious and their time apart is heartbreaking. There are funny moments and sad moments, happy moments and heart-stopping moments. It's an adventure if you really let yourself sink into the story and ignore its flaws.
I adored this book, especially Axton, but it still has it's problems. It could have used a lot more editing. There were typos and mistakes throughout the book but mainly there were brief paragraphs interspersed through the book from Leander's POV even though the rest is from Axton's POV. The head hopping is disorienting at first but I got used to it eventually. Beyond that, I'm left with a lot of questions by the end of the book. Where will Axton and Leander go now? Are they in a relationship? Is it a long-distance relationship? Are they monogamous? Most of all, I want to know if Leander is still going to be acquiring girlfriends left and right like he was and how will Axton react to that?
In the end, this was a phenomenal story. It's slow and really gets into Axton's head, his paranoia, his panic and his misery but then you see how Leander makes Axton happy, even though he's angsting over Leander as straight. It's intense at times but I really loved how they built a solid relationship before they got into anything intimate. It gave credence to Leander being gay for Axton. A lovely story and nothing like a normal shifter story. Definitely recommended for those looking for something with character depth and a change from the usual cliched shifter story.
Having said all that, I really hope there's more to come of Axton and Leander. It would be great to get a story from Leander's point of view and to see them in a different setting than the cabins and mountains. I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by Ms. Wayne in hopes my wishes come true!(less)
Danny and Malachi have been best friends ever since they can remember. From growing up to coming out,...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Danny and Malachi have been best friends ever since they can remember. From growing up to coming out, they’ve always been each other’s rock. But best friends is all they’ve ever been even though their feelings have gotten more intense, they’re afraid to lose one another if they confess their true desires. When Danny starts to spiral out of control with booze and twinks, Malachi’s had enough. He might not want to lose Danny over confessing his love but he won’t lose Danny to alcohol either. So when Malachi pushes Danny too hard will he be able to embrace what Danny has to tell him or will he screw everything up before he even has a chance to fully love Danny?
This story kind of made me sad. Danny is trying to cope with his growing feelings for Malachi through mistakes while Malachi is standing on the sidelines watching it all happen. I found Malachi to be a quiet presence. He didn’t really have much to say but he’s supportive of Danny and takes care of him. He’s also very stubborn and he doesn’t have issues stating his opinions. His love for Danny is very obvious even if Danny can’t see it himself. Danny is kind of pitiful. He doesn’t want Malachi to know his feelings so he drinks himself drunk every night and takes men home even when they aren’t satisfying. I found both men needed a good smacking and I’m glad that Eli, Malachi’s best friend, finally did it (more or less) but I won’t deny that I still enjoyed their struggles to confessing their feelings.
I actually really liked this book but because of its length, there’s not a lot of depth to the story. You briefly get background on both Malachi and Danny but by the end, I still felt like I didn’t know either character. Their love is more told than shown so I didn’t feel this connection they had. One of my biggest problems, though, was that I wanted to smack Malachi upside the head. He pushed and pushed and pushed Danny to pull his head out of his ass and tell Malachi why he was so depressed but when Danny finally does, Malachi’s actions made it seem like what Danny tells him almost disgusts him, which I found really sad because poor Danny thought he was losing his best friend! I just found Malachi’s actions contradictory to how Malachi acts in the rest of the book.
In the end, I liked the story because it is a quick, cute read and I have a weakness for best friends yearning for each other. I would have really liked to have this expanded and fleshed out more because I think with a little more meat and character depth, it could be a really good story.(less)
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bishop and I came across Written in Red when I was looking at the nominees in the Goodreads Choice A...more4.5 stars
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bishop and I came across Written in Red when I was looking at the nominees in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013, I saw the cover and I thought “Hmmmm, that seems interesting” (yes, I’m a cover whore). So I bought the book, expecting to read a typical paranormal story. What I found instead was something amazingly fascinating and wholly unique.
If I had to classify this story, I’d say it’s urban fantasy but even that doesn’t exactly explain it. Nevertheless, this novel took me on a wild ride set in a gruesome, cruel world where the terra indigene, the Earth Natives, rule the world. These Others only tolerate humans for the technology they’ve managed to create but even then, the relationship between humans and Others is uneasy, filled with fear and sometimes hatred.
The story follows Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, as she seeks refuge with the Others at Lakeside. Taking a position as a Human Liaison for them, she’s safe from the Controller who is looking for her as long as she stays on the Others land. Unfortunately, Meg has secrets and Simon Wolfgard, the leader of Lakeside Courtyard, knows she’s hiding something and determined to figure out just what that is and why a human such as Meg doesn’t smell like all other humans, like prey.
Beyond the amazing world that was created, the author managed to bring life to just about everything within the story, including the characters. The descriptions surrounding Meg and her role as a blood prophet made me fall in love with who Meg was and broke my heart over what kind of life she’s been forced to endure. I adored the savagery around Simon and his fight to stay in his human skin but mostly I loved how much Meg unintentionally changed Simon and his way of thinking of humans. The chemistry between Simon and Meg is a slow but intense burn. Meg is so innocent that she doesn’t quite understand what is happening between the two while Simon is unwilling to think, and ultimately accept, just what Meg is starting to mean to him and Sam, Simon’s nephew. It’s hard to adequately express just how much I loved this story, ALL the characters and what they end up going through.
The only issue I had with this novel is mostly with a certain character’s POV. Asia Crane is a human looking to find out information about the Others in Lakeside Courtyard. At first, I found her interesting but as the story progressed, her inner monologue grew tiresome and annoying. She fancied herself an actress and a special investigator but her constant mention of a TV show that wasn’t going to happen and her abilities as a SI (special investigator) for that show were very repetitive. I dreaded it when the POV shifted to her because I felt like a good majority of her thoughts were monotonous.
Regardless of that, I found this to be an intriguing and captivating story. The world Ms. Bishop created was just phenomenal where the Others are frightening and deadly creatures who only barely hold onto their humanity and only barely tolerate humans. Meg and Simon were interesting characters and the conflicts Meg inadvertently drags to Lakeside Courtyard were very well done in both conclusion and description. Not to mention the writing pulled me into the story so quickly I stayed up multiple nights until early morning to keep reading. It’s suspenseful at times and gruesome at others. It’s the type of story that touched my heart and even made me tear up a few times and I cannot wait to read the sequel!
In the end, I’m so glad I picked up this book. It’s one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and paranormal but also who can appreciate the uniqueness around this world and the viciousness that inhabits it.
Angelo is soul bound to his Broodmaster Ardoin Baptiste, which means that whatever Ardoin wants Angel...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Angelo is soul bound to his Broodmaster Ardoin Baptiste, which means that whatever Ardoin wants Angelo to do, Angelo must do it whether he wants to or not. Now Ardoin wants Angelo to take out Tallen, someone who’s poaching from Ardoin’s territory. What Angelo thought would be a simple job turns into much more when he learns about Dulce, Tallen’s pet, who’s much more than he seems to be. As the night unravels, Angelo learns the truth of why Ardoin sent Angelo on that mission.
When I read the blurb for this story, I was intrigued. I thought it would be something suspenseful, maybe with a little violence, but ultimately with a romantic subplot. Unfortunately, this was the kind of story that was nothing like that. I’m not going to lie, this was a struggle for me to get through. It had a lot of factors that I don’t generally read because I don’t like them and had I known even some of these from the blurb, I probably wouldn’t have picked this story. Also, I find it semi ironic that the title of the LT3 collection is “Proud to be a Vampire” since Angelo didn’t seem like he was proud of being a half-breed at all.
I won’t go into a lot of details about it because I think one’s feelings towards this story will be based on their owns tastes. I will say that this book doesn’t have any romance, not even as a subplot (although some might disagree with my opinion of that). To make it worse, I didn’t quite understand the book at all. I couldn’t get a read on Angelo, who he was, his true feelings, what he is because he would say one thing and then his actions would totally contradict what he’d say, such as his ‘hatred’ for Ardoin and his claims that Ardoin ‘rapes’ him yet when he was with Ardoin, he was like a cat in heat. Actually, when Angelo was with anyone he was like a cat in heat, which I think that makes him half incubus? I’m not quite sure, to be honest. There was no one around off limits to Angelo sexually and I think that was one of the reasons I couldn’t connect with him because he was such a slut and because there was just too much sex for me.
This one had a lot of potential. The world was intriguing but I think there was too much time spent on who Angelo was fucking and not enough time spent on developing the characters and the world. There’s also the fact that this story doesn’t really go anywhere. I had at least expected something to change by the end but where Angelo and Ardoin are in the beginning (with Angelo hating Ardoin with a passion) is exactly where they are in the end. So, Angelo goes through all these situations, having to hunt, kill and fuck people but yet, by the end, nothing changes. This just wasn’t my type of story. I wanted to enjoy it but it had too many elements that I don’t like reading about and a world that wasn’t explained enough to hold my attention. With that said, I think readers should consider reading it anyway. My tastes may be different from others and I don’t want a reader to miss out on a book that they could potentially love even if I did not like it.(less)
This was a short, intense story about Rupert, who’s thrown out of his home for kissing anoth...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
This was a short, intense story about Rupert, who’s thrown out of his home for kissing another man. On his journey out of town, he thinks the man he kissed, Devereaux, is up at Castle Blutstark and seeks shelter and work from Count Kaspar, the master of the house. Unknown to Rupert, Castle Blutstark holds much more sinister things than he originally thought. Before he knows it, Rupert is swept up in the spell of Kaspar’s seduction, pleasure and the fact Kaspar is a vampire. Rupert’s feelings towards Kaspar are a mess but will he succumb to Kaspar and all that he offers or will the lies someone is telling him about Kaspar cause Rupert to do something drastic and wrong?
When I started reading this, I thought Rupert was very naive and innocent. That opinion didn’t change by the end of the book BUT he shows that he’s at least brave and will stand up for himself and those he loves, which I really liked. Since this story is told solely from Rupert’s POV, we only get snippets of Kaspar. He’s very mysterious and holds a lot of authority over his community but he’s still very puzzling by the end. I will say that when I finished reading, I had a smile on my face because I just found it so cute. There’s not much to the story besides briefly exploring how Rupert struggles with his new found life. What there is, however, is simplistic and easy to read, which was exactly what I needed.
The plot for this book is actually quite good. It had a lot of potential and could have been something great but it’s biggest fault is the length. The story is very shallow and doesn’t have a lot of depth to it. It needed to be fleshed out and expanded because, as it is, it feels more like a rough draft. You get a taste of Rupert, Kaspar and all the world holds but you don’t actually go deep enough to connect with it. The conflict and resolution is very quick and while there was a little suspense, it was very brief and went by too fast. The connection between Kaspar and Rupert is more told than shown so that we don’t actually experience any of the developing feelings between the two to justify the reasoning behind Kaspar’s offers.
All in all, this was a cute, short story with a lot of potential but the length of the book really hindered the story. I would have loved to explore not just the world and the characters but the developing relationship between Kaspar and Rupert. I will say that I do enjoy this author’s ‘voice’ and I did like the book but it needed way more fleshing out to be a really good read.(less)
Shadow is the elusive man that saved Ben’s life twice in Alrik and Seger is one of the C-7 shifters t...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Shadow is the elusive man that saved Ben’s life twice in Alrik and Seger is one of the C-7 shifters that are trying to find him again. They think Shadow might be another C-7 but they aren’t sure. When Shadow shows up unannounced and sick at Ben’s work, he causes quite a stir. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with him but they know one thing, he’s definitely not a C-7. Nero, Seger’s boss and the leader of the C-7 shifters, is instantly suspicious of Shadow because of his immense power and the questions he can’t seem to answer. Shadow is there to help but he doesn’t know exactly who he’s supposed to help, why he’s supposed to help or even for what he’s helping against. All he knows is that he’s pulled to Ben and the rest of the C-7. When Shadow shows up, Seger is beyond relieved since he’s been searching for him for a while. The two have quite a connection but Shadow refuses to open his heart to Seger. He’s lived a much longer life than Seger and has too many broken hearts to count but Seger won’t give up. Will they be able to figure out just who and what Shadow is? And will Shadow’s efforts to keep his heart from Seger actually work?
I enjoyed this story better than the first one. For one, there is much less smut than in Alrik but also because I think Seger and Shadow had more of an emotional connection than Alrik and Ben were able to develop. For Seger and Shadow, their story revolved more around trying to figure out why Shadow is there. He doesn’t know what he is but knows that something has driven him to seek out Ben again and to ultimately help the C-7 shifters in anyway he can. While there’s general distrust from Seger’s boss towards Shadow, it’s clear that Shadow is a kind hearted man that is just trying to do what he was put on Earth to do…. whatever that may be. I loved Shadow and how mysterious he was. I liked that he had effects of amnesia without actually having it. It made for an interesting read. Seger was probably my favorite, though. I didn’t much like him in the previous story but in this one he’s a sweet, caring and gentle guy. It made me smile whenever he stuck up for Shadow but more than that, I liked that he wasn’t consumed with lust like Alrik was. Granted, he still lusted after Shadow but it wasn’t all-consuming. It was subtle but intense and the emotional relationship they built out-shined that, in my eyes.
As I said, the story revolves around finding out who and what Shadow is, why he’s there and also on how that affects the C-7 shifters. You get deeper into the world that Ms. Lynne has created and you slowly start to see what direction she’s going in and what’s in store for all shifters. I like the slow unravel of answers that you experience throughout both books. This is the type of series that you would have to read in order just so you aren’t confused. More than that, though, I liked how it seems to be broadening into the general public and all shifters. It’s becoming more and more interesting with each book and I can’t wait to experience the rest of it.
As with Alrik, this is a short story. Possibly too short, in my opinion, for the conflicts that are starting to develop, but I like it all the same. The length is definitely an issue because it hinders the characters and the plot from getting too deep, which was one of my problems. Unfortunately, another one was the cliff-hanger. Not so much the fact that I have to wait to continue reading the series but the fact that it ends in the middle of a conversation. It felt too abrupt and awkward compared to the rest of the book.
Overall, the series is getting better. As it progresses, the characters get more likeable and the plot thickens as you learn more and more about the world and what is happening. I found it an enjoyable read and I loved the characters, as well as, the journey that Seger and Shadow go on to get where they are. I desperately wished it had been longer because I would have liked to read more about them but, as it is, it was a good read. For those looking for something slightly sweet, quick and easy, this is the series for you… especially if you like unique shifters ;) (less)
This is the story of Max, who’s built a content life for himself as a good police officer. When he re...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
This is the story of Max, who’s built a content life for himself as a good police officer. When he realizes that Jamie, his high school best friend’s brother, has been arrested for possible prostitution, he simple can’t believe it. With permission from his captain, Jamie is released into Max’s custody for the night. One night is all it takes for Max’s old feelings about Jamie to come to the surface. But Jamie is no longer the sweet, innocent kid he used to be. Now, he’s jaded, vulnerable and needs Max more than ever. When Max finally puts aside his guilt and takes what Jamie is offering, will their relationship last through all the troubles that seem to keep finding them?
This was a very sweet story. One of my favorite themes is brother’s best friend or best friend’s brother. I can’t help but love the fact that the best friend always seems to feel guilty for desiring the brother. This is no different in that Max has a bunch of guilt, thinking that his desires for Jamie when they were kids was wrong. While he’s not in denial about his sexuality, he still thinks wanting Jamie isn’t right. Regardless, I liked both characters. Max is a sweetheart and he just wants to take care of Jamie. Jamie is a spitfire but so vulnerable I just wanted to hug him tight. They’re both emotional and yearn for each other. They’re perfect together but they have a lot of things they need to overcome before they can have a good relationship.
That’s essentially what this story is about. Max gets reacquainted with Jamie and while they don’t jump into a relationship because of Max’s misguided opinion that Jamie deserves better, they do form a friendship that becomes more. When things start to get intimate between them, it’s one problem after another such as Jamie’s hot headed brother, Mason, Jamie’s past, and something unexpected that’s really heartbreaking.
They’re good conflicts but I think the biggest problem with this book is the length and the fact that there really isn’t any depth to the story. We get multiple issues but they don’t delve below the surface so nothing is explored too deeply. They’re not elaborated on at all so that Max will narrate them but then the resolution to them is either glossed over or ignored to the point that I didn’t actually feel the connection between Jamie and Max, in any way. I had a few other issues, though, such as the fact that Jamie felt more like a ‘buddy’ to Max (his words) than someone he wanted to be intimate with and the fact that a lot of this story is told instead of shown.
All in all, this was a cute, very easy story to read. I enjoyed it because it did make me smile and I did like where the characters ended up overall. With a little more description and meat to the book, this one could have been very good. As it was, I’d recommend it to those looking for something quick, easy and cute that doesn’t require much concentration.(less)
Niall Ahern is just existing. After the death of his partner, he moved his life to an island...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Niall Ahern is just existing. After the death of his partner, he moved his life to an island they were supposed to eventually move to. Since then, he’s been trying to fulfill the dreams he had with his once partner, Nolan. It’s been four years and he still hasn’t been able to move on… until Ethan Bettencourt arrives. Ethan’s looking to buy a house on Tortola and hired Niall to show him homes. The attraction is instant but not only is Niall unwilling to sleep with a client but Ethan is giving off mixed signals. When a hurricane blows through the Caribbean, it brings the two closer together but when it’s over Ethan leaves without a goodbye. Hurt and depressed, Niall goes on with his life but he can’t seem to let Ethan go. When Niall goes to the States to see his sister-in-law, that gives him the perfect opportunity to find out why Ethan left in the first place. Was there something real between them or did Niall imagine the feelings he thought Ethan had for him?
Bru Baker is quickly turning into a favorite author of mine. There’s just something about her writing that draws me in with each story I read by her. I loved the flow of this story. There’s a few hiccups and readers might get annoyed with “the big misunderstanding” (although it wasn’t huge, IMO) but it worked for these two because of the past they unknowingly share. It explores the connection Niall and Ethan develop and the feelings they can’t get rid of but also shows them after they work things out from “The Big M”… at least with a little help from two great female secondary characters, Stephanie and Clare.
This story is solely from Niall’s POV so you get to know Niall pretty well. My heart ached for him. He’s still grieving for Nolan but he has an underlining of guilt he can’t seem to get rid of (and not for why you’re thinking either!). I just wanted to hug him and keep him safe. He’s sweet and kind but emotionally, he’s bruised. Ethan is different in that he loves his life. He’s confident, blunt, and a thrill seeker. The two have more in common then they originally think and I absolutely adored the connection they create. It’s seems a little fast at times but it’s sort of sweet and intense. I couldn’t help but love it and THEM!
I think my only issue was that the ending left me with a lot of questions. The boys deserve their happiness but now I’m left wondering where they go from here. Will Niall leave Tortola for Seattle? What about his business? His job? What will he do now? Will they have a long-distance relationship? Or will they move to Tortola? There are just so many questions I have that I really wish it had been longer so they could be answered!
In the end, I adored this story. Niall has a lot of depth to him as does Ethan, although Ethan is still somewhat mysterious. I liked the conflicts they go through and how they were handled but I found the writing amazing. Ms. Baker knows how to spin a tale that I’ll enjoy and I can’t wait to read more from her.(less)
Trip Spector is a talented comic book artist who hates the comics he draws but can’t seem to change h...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Trip Spector is a talented comic book artist who hates the comics he draws but can’t seem to change his life because of his sexy and sleazy (but straight) boss. When he meets Silas everything changes and his world turns upside down. Now, it’s full of possibilities and new inspiration. When the two get together, it’s more than just a one time thing, it’s the start of something real, intense, and beautiful but with every good thing, there’s always that fear and, more than anything, Trip is scared his new-found happiness will crumble. The chemistry between Silas and Trip is fierce but will Trip let his fear ruin that?
When we first meet Trip, he’s this big ball of allergies, dreading having to participate in a Zombie Run (where he ends up meeting the super hot Silas). He’s cute and slightly nerdy and I really liked him because of that. He’s confused and mislead by his Unboyfriend (i.e. his cock-tease of a boss). I loved him but I also wanted to shake some sense into him! He’s sooo stubborn! But, at the same time, he’s insecure and wonders how someone like Silas could like him. I felt bad for him because he’s so wound up and doesn’t know how to handle things. Silas, on the other hand, was my favorite character. He’s out and proud, charming, sweet but a closeted geek. He grew up chubby so he always feels like he’s unattractive even though he’s doesn’t have any issues getting a guy. It’s heartbreaking the low self-esteem he has but I found myself smiling ridiculously whenever he’d do something ‘gentlemanly’ that Trip always ended up ruining somehow. It was funny but also kinda cute. Silas was sexy as hell but the two of them together?! Jesus, I don’t like reading much sex but even *I* found these two smoking hot! The two have a great connection and fit each other perfectly, IMO, and I couldn’t get enough of them.
The story revolves around Trip and Silas chartering new waters. Neither of them have much experience in relationships. Silas has a ton of exes while Trip has just been pining after his ‘straight’ boss for the last four years. They start off pretty intense because of the chemistry between them is intense BUT that isn’t the only thing. The story tells how Scratch, an erotic graphic novel that Trip creates based off Silas, comes to be, how much pleasure Trip gets from creating something that’s HIS but also the trouble it causes him to do that. Silas, through everything, is his rock and I really, really loved seeing the conflict Trip always had and how Silas could calm him down. When things start to get rocky, my heart almost broke for these guys.
While I loved this story, there was one big issue I had with it. Mainly, I felt like the writing was choppy and confusing sometimes to the point where I had to go back and reread certain passages to clarify how or why the characters got on different subjects. Mostly, this happened between the shift into the philosophical discussions (that I actually quite enjoyed) but I can’t deny the transition between what was originally talked about and that pulled me out of the story multiple times.
One of the many great things about this book, though, were the secondary characters, specifically, Max, Jillian, Kurt and Ziggy. Jillian and her son, Max, were just great additions to the story. Always filled with something funny or smart to say, I loved Trip’s interactions with them. More than anything, though, I found Ziggy to be a fascinating character and how Kurt is drawn to him was even better. I really hope that we’ll be able to see Ziggy and Kurt get their own story one day because it really would be something amazing to see.
In the end, I adored this story. I found the telling of how Scratch was created fascinating and really cool to experience but I also loved the characters. The journey Silas and Trip go down while they figure out how to have a relationship was sweet, hot and put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to read more in this series and since I haven’t read Horn Gate yet, it makes me want to start it ASAP.(less)