A little while back, after finishing the first book in this 8th Wing series, I asked Zoe Archer about the nexPosted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
A little while back, after finishing the first book in this 8th Wing series, I asked Zoe Archer about the next book in the series. She told me that it was going to be called Chain Reaction and that the hero was going to be a sexy geek. Oh my word…I like those. I love my heroes to be clever and smart good with their hands as well as ‘good with their hands’. *wiggles eyebrows* Add that to the fact that I really enjoyed the first book, Collision Course, and for sure I was going to be reading book two.
I liked Chain Reaction exactly the same amount as I liked book one. (That would explain why I rated it exactly the same). We meet Captain Celene Jur in the first book. The mission that the two main characters were assigned was to save Jur. This time around, Celene wants revenge on the person who is ultimately responsible for her capture, but she can’t go alone. Because of the complexity of the weapon and what she needs to do while on this mission, she is teamed up with a member of NerdWorks. No, that is not what that division is actually called, but that is what they are called behind their backs. Needless to say, Celene is not impressed with this decision. She feels she needs someone who can kick ass like her. But really she has little choice. So Nils Calder it is.
Once again, Zoe has written a great lead heroine. Strong and independent, Celene is a superstar with 8 th Wing, but she holds a sadness she won’t let anyone else see. It’s a weakness after all and fighter pilots can’t show weakness. I really liked seeing how her walls slowly come down for Nils.
Nils was awesome! If I were Celene, I may have been a little intimidated (or freaked out) by his ‘confessions’ but coming from Nils, they didn’t go into creepy territory. I actually swooned a little. And he’s brilliant yet can still kick butt. And yummy. And thoughtful. And just… swell. *dreamy sigh*
I really liked Nils and I found he was a great match for Celene. I didn’t find the heat to be a strong in this instalment, but it was still there. Celene and Nils are different from the H/h from book one and it shows in their physical interactions. That’s not saying the chemistry wasn’t there – it was. There is one steamy scene where ‘boots’ were discussed and I found that to be one my favorite scenes in the book. Not only did it make you smile, but it also reminded you of the truth of the situation this couple is in. It was very well done.
Zoe’s voice lends itself very well to the sci-fi genre. She writes in such vivid detail, her scenes just jump off the page. She makes this crazy ‘other planet’ stuff seem real.
If you are into UF and PNR and contemporary romance and are looking for something a little different but not too daunting, I would give this series a try. I don’t usually pick up sci-fi books but I really enjoyed the time I spent with Collision Course and Chain Reaction. They are quick reads yet have wonderful characters and interesting imagery. You don’t feel like you are missing out on any details even with the lower word count.
Chain Reaction just reminded me why I enjoyed the first book so much. I will definitely be picking it up again someday when I need a rocket-ship fix.
Supernaturally Kissed is the first book in Stacey Kennedy’s Frostbite series. This is a re-vamped version of a book she wrote earlier this year but since this is the version you can get now, I am only going to talk about this one. In fact, I am going to review this book as though I never read the ‘other’ version. “What other version?” Yes, that’s right…
Quick set-up: Tess has been seeing spirits since she was in a near fatal car accident when she was seventeen years old. She usually likes to ignore them because they only ask for help and she can’t be bothered. Besides, they usually don’t have much memory so trying to get any information out of them is just annoying. Then one day Kipp the ghost shows up and turns her life upside-down. Not only does he remember everything about his life but he is sexy as hell and he makes it impossible for Tess to ignore him. (THAT is a very *blush* and *giggle* worthy scene by the way)
Tess and Kipp are awesome characters. Their chemistry is amazing and their interactions on the page are lovely. Even though some may say that Tess is a little cold for ignoring the deceased who need her help, you can’t really blame her. She just wants to live a ‘normal’ life. But Kipp helps her realize that maybe there is more to her life and to her ability than what she thought.
Kipp is just…*swoon*. He is such a sweetheart and sexy and smart and just all the good things you want in a hero. And I love him with Tess. She needs someone like him, but they can’t be together…and that is just so sad!
Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself that this is an Elora’s Cave title and that usually means smokin’ sexy scenes. But then you’re thinking about how Kipp is a ghost and how Tess well, isn’t….and how I keep saying that they can’t be together… How can this book be hot? Well let me tell you that Stacy finds a way. There is one scene that was SO scorching; the shock of it left me speechless. And there is another scene that practically melts off the page. And it all works. Ghost and woman coming together yet not in a creepy skeezy way…really well done. And HOT! <— you know, in case I didn’t get that across before…
This book has some really fun moments but much of the book takes on a serious tone. We are, after all, dealing with two unsolved murders and an attraction that could never go anywhere. But it’s not a heavy book at all. Tess is just quirky enough to keep things a little on the light side. She helps balance the story well, preventing it from being too dire of a read.
The odd time something was said that made me scratch my head in a ‘but didn’t they already say or do that?” sort of way but not to any great extent. And I feel like we need a little more polishing on Tess’ BFF Caley. She’s just a whirlwind in this book – she comes out of nowhere and breezes through here and there. Polish her up and she’d be an even more fun character. The other supporting characters in this book are wonderful and each adds quite a bit to the story. If not in their actions or interactions with the main characters, then with the tone they seem to add to a scene.
There are plenty of questions in this story that help add slight butterflies to your stomach. Why does Kipp act unlike any ghost ever? Is Tess the only one who has the ability to see and speak with spirits? Who killed Kipp? There is also another mystery that they are trying to solve in this book so there are the questions pertaining to that. The questions never feel too much though. They are just enough to keep you on your toes.
Overall, I was very happy with this book. Tess and Kipp are memorable and lovable characters and the plot is just neat. It’s urban fantasy romance but not exactly like anything of the genre you’ve read before. I am very much looking forward to the second book, tentatively titled Demonically Challenged. As for Supernaturally Kissed, even though it’s a short book, there is nothing lacking in it. The main characters are fully-formed and the story is complete. It’s a really fun read that I recommend.
Exclusively Yours in the first book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series. A series about the kind of family yoPosted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
Exclusively Yours in the first book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series. A series about the kind of family you would totally want to hang out with. They are kind and loving but also don’t mind having fun at each other’s expense. In this book, they all go camping together for two weeks. All together. At the same camp ground. Mom, dad, sister, sister-in-law, three brothers and four kids. For two weeks. Wow.
One of the brothers is Joe. He’s a famous writer of horror novels and leads somewhat of a secluded life. You see, there was a very public ‘incident’ and now he just doesn’t feel like going out and being scrutinized by the public. So he stays in his little town and writes his awesome books.
Keri is Joe’s high school girlfriend. They were pretty hot and heavy back then and Joe always assumed they would end up together in a HEA sort of way. But Keri left him after high school to pursue the career she really wanted. She now works for a People sort of magazine as a reporter. Joe is on the magazine’s ‘most want an interview with’ list so when Keri’s crazy b*tch of a boss discovers that Keri and Joe used to date, she tells Keri to either get an interview or get lost. So Keri, who is totally in love with her job, goes back to her hometown to search out Joe.
There are so many ways that this plot could have gone. The most likely one would have been Keri hiding the true reason for her wanting to meet up with Joe and it all blowing up in her face but it didn’t go like that at all. I loved that Shannon made Keri up front and honest with Joe. It made their relationship able to bloom without secrets and sneakiness. In order to get her interview with him, Joe ‘convinces’ Keri to go on the two week camping trip with his family. Great idea Joe! Alone in the evenings, interaction with family and old friends…just a great set-up for a romance story.
I enjoyed Keri and Joe immensely. They had incredible chemistry! Their moments together as well as their moments with the others were really well written. In fact, this whole book is really well written. I also liked how, even though the book is about Keri and Joe and their newly-budding romance, you see what is going on with the rest of the family. No, none of it is especially good, but it’s interesting to see how these issues were resolved – to see how important communication is in any relationship.
The only character I didn’t like much is Terry, Joe’s twin sister. I liked her storyline, but she bugged me. She’s the type of person that has to make everyone around her miserable when she is unhappy. And she’s a snot. I just don’t like characters like her, in books or in real life. I found what she was going through was well written and quite relatable (as in I think it’s a situation many married couples find themselves in) but I just didn’t like her. Or how she treated Keri. Did she ruin the book for me? Not even close. But I could have done without her scenes.
I loved Loved LOVED the last scene in this book. Just darling. The cabin and the confusion and the confessions and of course Joe and Keri…all of it perfect.
Overall, I really liked Exclusively Yours. I love Shannon’s writing voice. Her lead characters are always wonderful and her books full of heart. They make you *sigh* and the make you smile. And, as I’ve said before, isn’t that what we all want from a contemporary romance read?...more
This was a very cute premise. I loved how the author made Santa and his family. The world is really neat. But I just couldn't get past the over-sweetThis was a very cute premise. I loved how the author made Santa and his family. The world is really neat. But I just couldn't get past the over-sweet dialogue and feeling. A little too much for me. But I WILL read the next book because I liked the brothers and I am very curious to see what happens to them. 2.5 stars. Review to follow....more
Devil’s Kiss is the first book in Zoe Archer’s newest series, The Hellraisers. I read the blurb for this book and assumed the series would be about five gentlemen friends in the late 1700’s who happen to enjoy life a little too much. I figured that each book would focus on how one friend finds love and happiness yet would still include the other friends. I love books like that. But once I started reading Devil’s Kiss, I realised that there is so much more to this series than I had assumed! I mean, a lot more to it.
Seeing that this is the first book, it sets up the whole main story arc. Basically, the five friends end up at a Gypsy camp to enjoy themselves for a while when they learn of some Ruins nearby. Of course, seeing that these men are always up for an adventure, they decide to check them out. Well, while they are there, they open a door and a box and those happen to contain the devil. Yup, THE devil. I liked how the devil was portrayed in this book. He’s looks like he’s in his late twenties but has pure white hair and is dressed in a dapper black suit. He speaks like a smooth gentleman too, as he should since his purpose is to trick you into giving him your soul. And that is what he does with these men.
First of all, I have to say that I was amazed that these five men didn’t even blink when the DEVIL offered them gifts that would answer their heart’s desires. Yes, the big evil dude is selling it as a thank you for setting him free, but come on. It’s The Devil! But they don’t question as the man gives the guys gifts like their one true love or the power of persuasion or even control over the odds. That last one is for the gambler in the group, Whit.
I have to say that I didn’t much care for Whit in the beginning. I didn’t really dislike him; I just didn’t care for him. He gambles for fun all the time – that’s his vice. He meets a Gypsy girl and plays cards with her. He is really drawn to her – partly because she’s beautiful and partly because she is winning and he wants to know her secret with the cards. He sort of but not really kidnaps the girl without really seeing the fault in it. Yes, he is under the devil’s influence seeing that it happens after receiving the ‘gift’ from the dark-one, but still. Taking someone against their will, even if it’s not your idea to begin with, not cool. And you would think that it would be enough to douse any romantic feelings the woman would have had towards the man. But apparently not. Not for Zora anyway.
I liked Zora – even though she’s in lust with a man who is holding her captive. She does not like how women are treated in her time. She is an independent spirit and doesn’t like feeling trapped or tied down. The freedom that a gypsy life suits her fine, yet she still have to deal with the men and what is expected of her in that respect. She likes that Whit treats her as an equal. That is until he sort of takes her away and traps her. She is a little pissered (understatement) but still wants Whit. Um…okay… She sees the ‘old’ Whit trapped in the ‘new’ Whit and wants to help him get free from the devil’s hold. But Whit doesn’t see the problem. He loves how his life is now and thinks Zora is crazy for thinking there is fault with what he was given. Eventually, Whit sees the truth behind his ‘gift’ and thinks that maybe he and his friends have made a terrible mistake.
Really?! You think?! *heads desk*
From the beginning until that part of the book, I was scratching my head a lot and even smacking my forehead off and on. I didn’t understand why Zora would want Whit or how Whit and the other Hellraisers could not see that maybe what they did was wrong and maybe even a little bit stupid. But from the moment where Whit notices that he’s a bit of an idiot, the story got more interesting.
I didn’t feel a crazy amount of chemistry between Whit and Zora, but their scenes together were good. And the smokin’ scenes were…smokin’. And I am curious to see how they truly end up seeing that he’s a gentleman and she’s a gypsy. I’m assuming we’ll find out all about that in the next books. I found the other Hellraisers were fine. I didn’t feel much for them. Well, that’s not entirely true. There was one who intrigued me enough for me to go and see when his book was coming out.
Livia is introduced a little bit into the book and she adds a new dimension to the story. And let’s not forget the geminus. Creepy! He also added to the story and really he becomes the main villain in this book. The devil is still there, but Whit and Zora mostly deal with the geminus. I enjoyed how he was thrown in and I really liked the final showdown at the end. Those were some exciting scenes!
As with her Blades of the Rose books, Zoe managed to write an incredibly detailed world. I believe she is the research queen! She writes in a way that you swear she either experienced firsthand what she is writing about or that she lived in that time. Impossible for the most part, so it’s all research for her. The gypsy life, gambling in those times, the customs and the clubs…all of it believable and really well written.
Overall, while I didn’t feel the immediate pull into this series as I did the Blades books, it has intrigued me enough to want to check out the next book, Demon’s Bride, due out in May of 2012.
Devil’s Kiss is a solid book and a good introduction to this new series. It sets it up very well and I am curious to see how everything will play out. I may not have connected with the characters as much as I would have liked, but that is something I am sure will be rectified in the second book seeing that the Hellraiser that I was most curious about, Leo, happens to be the main hero in the next book. Yippee. ...more
I finally finished Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione, the second book in her Lords of Deliverance series, and I am still reeling over all that I read. Limos and her lies (that I don’t really like to call lies because I don’t think she’s a big fat liar but she is a sneak and she was very self-serving when she was ‘younger’ ), Arik, his torture and his ‘turn of events’, the Aegis and their ‘plans’ to avert the apocalypse, Reaver (yay) and Harvester (boo)… And let’s not forget Pestilence. No, we can’t forget him. *shudder* So much going on in this book! It’s never too much, but yes it is a lot. Therefore, I am not going to tell you more about the course of this book than I already have. I will, of course, tell you what I thought overall of the main characters and of the story.
I’ll start with Limos. I can’t put my finger as to why, but I didn’t fall in love with her. She’s not a bad character and it’s not like I wanted to skim any of her pages or anything like that, I just felt ‘fine’ about her. Maybe it’s because how she is described and how she talks about herself and what I saw about her didn’t exactly match up. Maybe things got lost in translation for me. But I did like where her character went in this book and I like where her character is headed. And I Love how she can kick ass right alongside her brothers. That is really cool. Oh, and I love how she and Arik find a way around her pesky little engagement to Satan. Very clever.
As for Arik, I liked him a lot. I felt for him like I feel for Limos when he appeared in Larissa’s Demonica books. He was ‘fine’. But in this book, he really shines. Even through his torture, he was great. His passion, his snark, his abs…all good. I can’t say I felt crazy chemistry between him and Limos, but I think they make a great match and I am very much looking forward to seeing them again in the next couple of books.
Pestilence/Reseph is still wreaking havoc everywhere. He’s the guy you want to hate…but can’t because of what his siblings say about how he was before his seal broke. I CAN NOT WAIT until his book comes out. I want to see how he will be ‘fixed’ (because really, what else can happen to him?) and I can’t wait to see who will ‘tame’ him. That is going to be a great read.
Speaking of great upcoming reads, the next book in the series, Lethal Rider, is Thanatos’ book and it’s only due out in June 2012, but so much is set up in Immortal Rider that it feels as though you’ve already read part of that book. Thanatos is one interesting and complex character. We meet his mate-to-be in this book, Regan. Right now, I’m not her biggest fan, but after reading Immortal Rider you will completely understand. But Than’s storyline in this book and Regan’s and their storyline together has just opened up a whole bunch of “Wha??” and “O-o” so June can’t come soon enough. My heart ached and smiled then ached again, and I’m sure while you read this yours will too.
Reaver I loved. I have always been intrigued by him but now I want to see him get everything he should ever want. My heart went out to him and I wanted to hurt Harvester a lot for what she did to him.
Let’s talk about Harvester a little bit more, shall we? Now here is a character who is either going to die a horrible and extra painful death, or she is going to go through the most amazing change. If she is going to ‘change’, then Larissa is the best person to write that because it is going to have to be written by an author with strong writing chops to have us end up liking this woman. But if she is going to die, Larissa is good for that too because her action and fight scenes are outstanding – especially in this world that she has created.
I have said this before and I will say it again: Larissa Ione writes some of the best paranormal worlds out there. The detail, the imagery, the feel…all of it amazing. Unique and ‘out there’ yet somehow totally believable too. She is just amazing when it comes to her world building. Her creations are always wonderful and easy to envision in your head while you read.
Now usually, when talking about smooching scenes, I’ll say things like “the smexin’” or “the lovin’” or “the smokin’ scenes”, but for this author I’m just going to come out and say it: Larissa Ione writes great sex. Her sex scenes are fun, emotional, exciting and just downright hot! Even in this installment, where Limos wears the nastiest chastity belt I have ever seen, Larissa’s imagination manages to burn the pages. Yes, I am aware that I said I didn’t feel the chemistry between Limos and Arik as strongly as I would have liked, but that don’t mean they didn’t smoke up the pages. There is one scene in particular…I won’t say much but I will say there is a number involved…that I just found myself looking for a glass of ice water to dump over myself. Yes, Jason would have wondered what the hell I was doing, but that is not the point of this little story. What I am saying is that I found the ‘number’ scene to be even hotter than the ‘upside down hanging in a tree’ scene from the first book in the series. And that scene was hot!
As you can tell, overall I enjoyed this book immensely. I love the world, the characters (for the most part) and the story itself is just amazing. I love how unique it all is. I found Immortal Rider to be a great addition to the series. It didn’t feel like a ‘book 2’ nor did it feel like a filler book. It was exciting and fun and emotional and solid. A great book in what is turning out to be a great paranormal romance series.
I was really happy with how this wrapped up the series. You will be happy to know that Gumby's role is significant and that the story isn't predictablI was really happy with how this wrapped up the series. You will be happy to know that Gumby's role is significant and that the story isn't predictable. I had a big smile on my face when I read 'the end' Review to follow....more
Ilona Andrews writes great characters. That is a fact. So I knew when I started reading Fate’s Edge that I would at least enjoy that aspect of the book. What I didn’t know was how much I was going to love it. There is something really special about the couple in this book. Kaldar and Audrey really are an ideal pair. Their intelligence and their snark are perfectly matched and their dialogue is fantastic. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start by telling you what I thought of the story in Fate’s Edge.
The book takes place in a place called the Edge. Well, that’s not exactly true. The story actually takes place in all of the three ‘realms’ that you find in this series: the Broken, the Edge and the Weird. The Broken is where we are – where there is no magic. The Weird is a magical place and the Edge is a little from column A and a little from column B. It is not as sophisticated or magical as the Weird but it’s very different from the Broken. Let’s just say that Edgers are interesting folk. These books are centered on Edgers and in each installment you meet a different breed of Edger. Edgers are outcasts in the other two realms so they tend to doubt everything that is an outsider and they tend shoot first and ask questions later. Overall, I love Edgers. They are really fun to read as they are a really odd and eclectic bunch.
Even though books one and two both took place in the Edge, they happened in slightly different part of it so there was quite a bit or world building at the beginning of each book. After reading those books, we are pretty familiar with the world that Ilona has created and I found that the story in Fate’s Edge was able to just start bang from the beginning. There were no slow-ish parts in the opening chapters. I was really happy to see that.
Most Edgers have magic. Audrey’s magic involves locks. Basically, she can unlock anything. Her family is a merry group of con artists and thieves. She is tired of being associated with them and escapes. Her father finds her and asks her to help him with “just one more job”. Because she has daddy issues (as she puts it) she accepts. But this job isn’t one she should have taken because what they stole is something the über bad guys want. Her father is an idiot and sells the item to someone other than the guys who hired him and all goes to hell. Enter Kaldar.
Kaldar works for the other guys. The “not bad but not really the best” guys. He is commissioned to find the item and bring it to his employers. He follows clues and he is lead to Audrey. Long story short, they team up to find the item because she feels responsible for being a part of why it’s free. From their first meeting, you can tell that these two will be magic on the on the page together.
I giggled so much in this book. Yes, the story is dire and the situations are awful and the villains are vile and guts and gore are nasty spread throughout, but with Audrey and Kaldar together it’s hard to keep a straight face. And even though Kaldar is in the second book and I found he was a strong character and had great presence on the page, he is so much more in this book that I imagined he would be. He is all fun and silly on the surface but family and loyalty are very important to him. And his draw to Audrey is ridiculous in a very good way!
Audrey is a strong character even though she has moments of weakness when it comes to her family. I want to hurt her family because they are all idiots, but (as she explains) she could have had worst. She knows what kind of guy Kaldar is and initially, she plays him. It’s fun to see her stump him. Again, so much fun to read!
We got to see Declan and Rose as well as Cerise and Will, the mains from the first two installments. I loved how Ilona showed Cerise and Will in Fate’s Edge. It reminded me how well matched they were too. And Jack and George play a huge role in this book! I loved how Ilona wrote them. Mature yet still children, facing their fate the way their characters truly would. Their involvement in Fate’s Edge was great and it was a nice surprise. I wasn’t expecting them to be in so much of the book.
Overall, I loved this trip to the Edge. Fate’s Edge was my favorite installment to date. Thanks partly to the world being well developed by now and to the intricacy of the story. But mostly it’s thanks to Kaldar and Audrey and how they played together. They were brilliant....more
Chasing Her Tail is the sixth and final book in Keri Ford’s Uninhibited in Apple Trail, Arkansas series. I read the first book and really liked it and now I’ve read the last book. Someday, I’ll get to the others – because I really want to. I like how Keri writes and I smile while I’m reading her books.
I really enjoyed the first book, Through the Wall. It was cute and spunky and made me giggle often. While I did like this latest installment, I didn’t feel as strongly for it as I did the first. The reason: I didn’t quite click with the two main characters. Jessie lost her parents and raised her young cousin who also lost her parents. She has always been in charge: In charge of her life, of her surroundings, of her decisions. But a traumatizing event left her emotionally damaged and completely dependent on someone else for a while. Once she got past that event, she decided that she was never going to rely on anyone else ever again. She convinced herself that she didn’t need help because she was strong enough to take care of everything.
Henry is the opposite. He’s been taken care of so well by his grand-father during pretty much his whole life that he just wants to take care of someone else that way. When he meets Jessie and starts ‘taking care’ of her the way he feels he should, it goes against her plans of not accepting help from anyone. There are many arguments and many make-up sessions in this book, let me tell you.
I didn’t click with Jessie as much as I wished I had because I never really understood why she was so reluctant to accept help. Yes, she went through a terrible ordeal, but I didn’t see how it would make her so fanatical about accepting help. She sleeps in a house that is literally falling apart, with no heat. Her roof is patched with pieces of an old above-ground swimming pool and glue! Unfortunately, I wanted to smack her a little. I also wanted to smack Henry a little. I understand what he was trying to do with Jessie but I didn’t agree with how he was going about it. He just came in and started ordering her around. Yes, he was telling her things she should have known and things she should have been doing, but you don’t go in and talk to any woman like that. Ever. She is going to kick you in the goods. Guaranteed. Of course they eventually learn to listen and compromise and all that jazz, but it’s such a hard road getting there.
I did really like Henry’s grandpa. He’s really only in one scene but I found him to be just adorable. I can see how Jessie eventually fell for Henry – there’s just something about a man who loves his grandpa. I also liked the little glimpses of the characters from the other books. It made me excited to read their stories. And fans of this series will appreciate the epilogue. It puts a nice pretty bow on this series. I believe if you’ve read all six books, you’ll love it.
Overall, I found Chasing Her Tail to be an entertaining read. I may not have fallen for the main characters but they did have their good moments. I did enjoy this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series....more
What. A. Ride. Before I get going, let me tell you about Maria V. Snyder’s adult books. They are not paranormal romance. Nor are they urban fantasy. They are straight up fantasy…with a bit of romance thrown in. Subtle romance. PG-13 romance if you will. The worlds are exquisite and the characters are outstanding. At least for me. I look forward to each book she comes out with because they are so different than what I usually read and because I know I will be meeting characters that will stay with me for a while after I’m done with the book.
Touch of Power is the first book in Maria’s newest series. It’s essentially the story of Avry, a Healer. There are eleven types of magic that can be gifted to the people in this world and Healing magic is one of them. But right now, there is only one Healer left – and that’s Avry. You see, there was a plague that hit a couple years past and it killed many people. Ugly painful deaths too. Healers were eventually blamed for the plague, even though Avry knows this isn’t true. Because of their supposed part in the plague, all healers have been executed. Avry has been in hiding…until now.
Since the mass disease hit, the Fifteen Realms have been a bit of a mess. Many of the leaders died leaving power hungry people who want to rule over all the realms. Ryne is one of the leaders who is believed to hold enough influence to stop these crazy people from taking over. Unfortunately Ryne has the plague but has been sort of magically frozen so that the disease doesn’t kill him before someone who can heal him is found. Kerrick has taken on the task of finding a Healer. He has been feverishly seeking for two years and finally finds Avry but only one little hurdle stands in his way: By the time he finds Avry, she’s in a dungeon awaiting execution. See? Just a little problem.
Avry is a fantastic heroine. She is strong and is a survivor. She does what she needs to do to survive without being heartless. In fact, her caring character was one of the things that really drew me to her. That and her little snarky mouth! She is a very clever girl with a wit to match.
Kerrick. What to say about Kerrick? Maria’s heroes tend to be mysterious, intelligent, powerful and sexy. But not in your face sexy. I mean they don’t tend to be described as having bulging muscles or bulging other parts. You are drawn to her heroes because they are a whole package and Kerrick definitely fits in this category. He was wonderful. How he fought his attraction to Avry, how he leads his men, his loyalty to his friends and to his cause…all of it. He was a great read.
Tohon was one creepy dude. He’s the kind of villain who is that special kind of crazy. You know the type – he thinks he’s doing what is best for the world and he honestly thinks this because he has rationalized it in his head. His twisted-up little head. I am very curious to see where his character goes and where his actions and decisions will take the story since he is one of the characters that seems to be driving this series.
The sidekicks were amazing in this series, just as they are in Maria’s other Fantasy books. They are as memorable as the main characters. And yes, there is a sad scene that involves one of them and I may have cried a little. And to make a reader tear up over a supporting character you’ve only just begun to get to know…that takes writing chops.
The action in this book is almost subtle in its nature. It’s not in your face run run run – it’s almost psychological. But don’t think that means you are not in for a ride. After all, I started this review with “What. A. Ride.” The whole time you are wondering what will happen? Will they get caught? Will the flowers eat them? Oh damn, the flowers did eat them… There was one point where I found myself thinking “okay, if she gets captured one more time it’s going to bother me…” but she didn’t so I didn’t get bothered. Once the characters path became clear to them, especially Avry, the story became even more of a ride and it stayed that way until the very end.
The world is just plain neat in Touch of Power. The magic and how it’s used yet not in your face, the plants, the wildlife…all of it really clever. After reading so many stories set in dirty and almost futuristic cities, it’s nice to just escape into a place where it’s all about what your imagination can conjure up with the words the authors feeds me. A fantastical journey that is as plain or as complicated as your mind lets it be. In my case, I saw lush forests with beautiful yet deadly vegetation. I loved the use of magic. Again, like the action, almost subtle in its uses.
If you are a fan of Maria’s works, you have to read this book. Heck, if you are a fan of pure fantasy tales, even though I have not read any other fantasy books by another author, I feel confident to say that you will enjoy this book. The world is marvelous and the main characters are so charming. You can’t help but cross your fingers and wish them well. Well, except for Tohon. Him, he’s just creepy....more
This is such a good series! Sierra writes novellas really well too. They are full stories in mini packages. You don't feel like you are missing any deThis is such a good series! Sierra writes novellas really well too. They are full stories in mini packages. You don't feel like you are missing any details. But I don't recommend you reading this novella if you have not read at least the first two full-sized books in the series. You'd be missing tons of details and getting a bunch of spoilers. Review to follow....more
I was reading a different Historical Romance book and found it to be a little too heavy for what I was in the mood for. After putting it aside, I was talking to many people on twitter about my HR experience to date and I got lots of advice (seriously, for recommendations, twitter people are great!). I was told about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean. I had actually heard of that book and of that series, and seeing that it was also on the Goodreads list I was using as a reference, I was sold.
It turned out to be just my cup of tea. (See what I did there? It’s a Regency romance and I used to word ‘tea’ in my review. I am so clever sometimes. *pats self on back*) This is the book that helped me realize that I prefer light and fluffy HR books over deeper darker ones. Do not mistake me here. I am not saying that this book has shallow characters with no depth and that the story is petty. It is not like that at all. What I am saying is that this book made me giggle over and over and over. And the plot wasn’t a ‘life or death’ tale. It was a sweet romantic book with witty characters and an interesting story.
Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake starts off with a seventeen year old Calpurina Hartwell (Callie) running away from a ball where she is coming out to the ton. Her mother has dressed her in a hideous dress and Callie does not feel beautiful. Plus she has not danced and feels humiliated. She runs to the gardens and meets the Marquess of Ralston (Gabriel). He is a little older and a known womanizer, I mean rake. Same diff. He manages to make Callie feel like a goddess. The opening scene in the garden was very sweet and even though you know that the Marquess is a little full of it, he still pretty much won me right from then.
The book continues over ten years later. Callie is ‘on the shelf’ as they say – meaning she is unwed and is not expected to change her circumstances anytime soon. And she still remembers the Marquess of Ralston that evening and how he made her feel. After Callie’s younger sister gets engaged, she starts to think about what is missing in her life and what adventures she would like to live – thanks to her brother’s suggestions. While not his intention, Benedict has planted a seed in Callie’s mind – and once Callie is determined to do something, she does it. She compiles a list of things she would like to experience. This list happens to be filled with things only men are allowed to do. But the first thing on this list is not something only men do but it is something you need a man to do with. Callie wants to be kissed. And so enters, once again, the Marquess of Ralston.
Callie is such a spit-fire! You would assume that with her reputation of being a goodie goodie that she was just a plain society lady content with her place in the mess of things. And she sort of was in the very beginning. But soon that Callie disappears and is replaced with a really spunky character. She is so smart and inadvertently funny. And fun. Let’s not forget fun.
Gabriel is great. He isn’t actually a cheating scum bag who does anything with breasts. He has mistresses and treats them very well. He just doesn’t believe in love (because of what it did to his father) nor does he want to get married ever (because of what it did to his mother). There was quite a depth to his character without making him come across as pretentious or closed off. Even with his mess of a past, he’s still full of humor and warmth. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he knows his duties. He really takes good care of Callie. I liked how Sarah made it that he just happened to be there when Callie was trying to cross things off her list. Sometimes how things happened was a little predictable, but they were still so much fun to read.
Callie and Gabriel together…wonderful. They are on the page together quite a bit but not in every scene and I found myself missing them together when they were apart. I think Sarah really got it right with these two.
I loved Gabriel’s family. Nicolas is great (he’s the hero for book #2) and his sister Juliana (the heroine for book #3) is a total firecracker! Callie’s sister and brother were fun to read too.
Callie’s mother was annoying – but that was the point of her. She is written as your typical mother who has a younger daughter marrying well and two older siblings who aren’t married yet…and who may never marry. That’s a big deal to a mother in the early 1800’s because, of course, the children are a reflection of the family. But I could have done with a slightly toned down version of her. Another little point that I didn’t find necessary was the bet. I won’t go into detail but I just found it was one thing too many in this story and I didn’t think it was essential to advance the plot. Also, the odd time I wondered why Callie wasn’t just saying “hey, back off bub!” Yes, it was Gabriel and he is a yummy man, but again, just the odd time here and there, I wondered why Callie didn’t smack him away. Other than that, the book was great.
There were two scenes in particular that really brought a smile to my face – and a giggle or five. The gambling scene in the men’s club was just super cute…and really hot. And the scene where Gabriel visits Benedict – just classic. How casual the two men are in that scene…funny.
Overall, I found this book to be a nice blend of cute and sweet and sexy and fun. I was told by an anonymous source (*cough* Marcela *cough*) that the third book is even better than this one. I will definitely be checking that one out sooner rather than later.
My many thanks to all who suggested I try this book. Great choice....more
A little while back, I decided to do a Historical Romance Week here on the blog. Of course, that would mean that I had to read a couple of Historical Romance books to review during my event. So began my search. Goodness I love Goodreads. I just thought I would say that. Not only does it let you stalk check out what your friends read and like, it had great lists too! I came across many lists that were “Historical Romance” based. There were tons! There were lists about best heroes, most loved couples and of course best overall historical romance book. This first book that I chose not only had good ratings from friends I trust but also appeared on each and every historical romance list I checked out. Often, it was at number 2 after Pride & Prejudice! And that is how I came to choose Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas as one of my reads for this week – and I think it was an excellent choice!
Devil in Winter is about Evangeline Jenner. She needs to escape her family. Her father, who runs a gentlemen’s club, is wealthy and is on his death bed. When she was young her father sent her to live with her deceased mother’s family because a gentlemen’s club wasn’t the best place to raise a child. Well, her mother’s family members are greedy buggars and want her money. They arranged for her to marry her cousin and beat her repeatedly if she doesn’t do what is expected of her. The only plan she can think of that would guarantee her family leave her alone is if she were to marry. Like yesterday.
Enter Viscount St. Vincent (Sebastian), the notorious rake (that word makes me giggle *g*). In the previous book of the series, Sebastian actually kidnapped one of Evangeline’s best friends because she is wealthy and he needs to marry into money. His father is terrible with money and it’s causing Sebastian to not be able to live as well as he is used to. Since that plan didn’t work out because the best friend had a fiancé who came and not only saved her but also beat Sebastian senseless, Sebastian is back to square one.
Enter Evangeline. She visits Sebastian and suggests they get married NOW. The perfect solution since it would settle both of their issues. And he agrees. So they rush off to Scotland where you can get married on the spot.
This book was so much fun! I absolutely loved Sebastian. He’s a playboy and he’s used to getting what he wants from women. But Evie is only planning on sleeping with him once to make the marriage official and that’s it. He figures no big deal because who wants to bed their wife anyways? His dialogue was great. And pretty much from the beginning, you can tell that there is more to this man. He has a wonderfully sweet side that not many see. And watching him fall for Evie is just lovely. I smiled almost every time he appeared on the page. And the only time I wasn’t smiling was when I was holding my breath.
Evie was also great. She is usually shy, she even stutters, but for some reason she is not so shy with Sebastian. She is very sensible and has a great head on her shoulders. She is not kidding herself about her new husband – she knows what kind of man he is. It’s not a big deal to her though. After all, who wants to bed their husband anyways? She grows quite a bit as a character in this book. She never changes to the point where she is unrecognizable, but it’s just enough to make you root for her, want the best for her and really really like her.
And Cam. Cam is a gypsy boy who works in her father’s club. Him, I liked. Quite a lot. In fact, he is the hero in the first book in Lisa’s The Hathaways series. I may just have to read that one so I can read more about Cam.
I was expecting Evie’s annoying and money grubbing family to be the main villain in this book. I assumed that they would be there, in every chapter, trying to get her to get her money. But that wasn’t the case. I was happy I was wrong because that would have been a little predictable for me. The main villain is a man who works in her father’s club. He’s just a nasty piece of work who speaks with a ‘commoners’ accent. (crap) I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of his being the bad guy because it seemed to come out of nowhere and get worst pretty fast. At the end, it ends up making sense. But the ride there is a little “what is this guy’s deal?” and not necessarily in a good way. That really is my only beef with this book.
There are quite a few giggle-out-loud scenes in this book. The wedding scene for example is so funny! When the couple hear about the tradition behind the bride carrying flowers…I’m telling you laugh out loud funny. Unfortunately, that scene took place in Scotland and therefore the character had accents. And we know how I do with Scottish accents. *sigh* But I managed okay. Enough to find that scene one of the cutest in the book.
Overall, I was really happy with this book. Even if it’s book three in the series, it can absolutely be read as a standalone title. In fact, after meeting the heroine of the second book, I’m not sure I would enjoy reading en entire book about her. Her man I liked though, but not as much as Evie and Sebastian. They were a wonderful couple. And this book is now what I will compare all my Historical Romance reads to. A really cute read.
All romance books tell the story of how a couple meet and fall in love. Some couples are odd. Some couple are good. Some couples are creepy. And some couples are so perfectly matched they make you swoon each and every time they appear on the page together. Yasmeen and Archimedes are one such couple.
We meet both Yasmeen and Archimedes in The Iron Duke, the first book in Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series. I liked them both immediately. Yasmeen is the Captain of the Lady Corsair airship and a no-nonsense woman. Yet she is fair in her dealings and with her crew. But don’t cross her as she is not afraid to gut you and hang you from the side of her ship *gulp* For some reason, Archimedes finds this to be very attractive. He loves how snarky Yasmeen is and wants her to be his. He is a charmer with a slight addiction to waistcoats, is very smooth and very cunning. He is also a bit of a celebrity thanks to his sister’s writing of his adventures as a treasure hunter. Both Yasmeen and Archimedes are likable, endearing characters and I was very excited to find out that book two, Heart of Steel, was to be their story.
This is a Steampunk book but it is Steampunk done exceptionally well. I’ll say it: I have trouble reading some Steampunk titles. When the gadgets and doohickies take over the story, I’m gone. But in Meljean’s world, even though there are a lot of steampunk-ish details, they don’t overpower the story. The characters are the focus.
I mentioned world. Anyone who writes Steampunk needs to have an incredible imagination – especially if the author wants her world to be different from the many other steampunk worlds out there right now. Meljean’s is amazing. The background stories for Archimedes and Yasmeen are incredible. You have no question when you are finished reading this book what events and people were responsible for making them who they are as adults. And the airships and the Horde machines and the towers and the mechanical limbs and, heck, even the zombies are described in a way that you can see them clearly. They simply provide the perfect backdrop for this series and for this book.
Meljean writes wonderful supporting characters in this book. Characters from the previous book are mentioned but you don’t see any. Instead you are introduced to some new supporting characters that play very well with Yasmeen and Archimedes. And the story flowed very well in Heart of Steel. Funny moments followed by heart thumping action moments followed by tender moment and over again. A great read from beginning to end.
Heart of Steel’s story is great. Full of action, adventure and charming humor. I am not even going to try to explain the story to you – there is just too much that goes on. Besides, I want you all to be surprised by the many turns of events like I was. But I will tell you that the ‘prologue’ done in letters between Archimedes and his sister Zenobia was so much fun to read. I found it was a really great way to start the book.
I feel as though you could read Heart of Steel on its own, but you receive a much more detailed look at the world and learn why the characters are in the situation that they are in in first book. I believe your reading experience would be more fulfilling if you read the series in order. Besides, The Iron Duke is a very good book so you wouldn’t be wasting your time if you read it first.
Overall, I was extremely happy with this book. For me it’s all about the characters. I just loved Yasmeen and I loved Archimedes and I adored them together. Book three, Riveted, will be released sometime in 2012. That one should prove interesting since it’s the story of how David and Annika meet and fall in love – two characters we have yet to meet. Maybe they’ll be passengers on Yasmeen’s Airship or maybe they will be running to the Iron Duke for assistance. Until we have a blurb, we don’t know and we can only guess. And it’s fun to guess – even though the possibilities we come up with are probably ridiculous. *g*
Heart of Steel is going on my keeper shelf. If you are a fan of Steampunk books, you must give this series a try. Even if it’s not your favorite genre but you like paranormal romance books, you should try it. The characters will draw you in and make you fall in love with them as you watch them fall in love with each other....more
Magic on the Line by Devon Monk is the seventh installment in her Allie Beckstrom series and it’s just…wow. Devon said that things really ramp up in this one and boy was she not kidding!
In the last book, there were a couple cases of ‘oopsies’ and ‘who me?’ and maybe some ‘oh crap, did that just happen?’. Magic on the Line is the story of what happened within the Authority after these events took place. And let me tell you, it’s not good.
The book starts off with Allie meeting the new Head of the Authority – the magic governing body of sorts – and he is a bastard. Yes, I said it. I don’t trust him. He’s creepy and slimy and just an overall bad bad man. Bartholomew. Yuk. After her meeting with Bartholomew, Allie starts feeling sick every time she pulls on magic. That is one plot line in this story. There are also crazed Veiled that are maybe or maybe not possessing and infecting people, tainted magic sources, more stupid Authority bullshit, people being chased and running for their lives, a creepy but interesting new doctor character, important characters becoming fugitives AND important characters being Closed! *takes a deep breath* Seriously, this book is a ride.
Allie’s dad was ‘taken care of’ in the last book and I actually enjoyed reading him in this one. His aggressive nature was sort of starting to get on my nerves. But what Terric and Shame did really made daddy Beckstrom more tolerable. He actually surprised me in this book too. He was very helpful to Allie and didn’t push too much. I liked the direction Devon took with him.
Another character that surprised me was Zayvion. I always liked him but he’s so “this is just how it is” when it came to his job with the Authority. I would never want his job. It must…well, it must suck to be him sometimes. But when he said (blank) and did (blank) I just lost it…in a very good way. I hooted and hollered and popped open the champagne. Okay, I didn’t do that last one because I didn’t have any champagne on hand, but if I did I totally would have popped it open. And of course, you’ll have to read the book to fill in the blanks because I want you all to be as shocked as I was. So so good!
Terric and Shame I can’t get enough of. Shame is always so funny and he has the kind of humor I love. Witty and super sarcastic. If I knew him in real life, I would always be laughing at what he says but I would also want to smack him for it. Terric is someone I love knowing a little more about with each book. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out for him. I want him to have a happy ending. And I want Shame to have one too.
I love Allie. Like, a lot. In each book she’s better and stronger. This book was no exception. She’s really coming into her own and is getting a good grasp at who and what she is. Devon does a great job with making Allie grow as a character without losing what made her so likable in the beginning.
In case I didn’t make it clear in the beginning of my review, I really REALLY enjoyed this installment. Fans of the series will NOT be disappointed. I was bouncing in my seat from the very beginning of this book and at about the 40% mark my jaw hit the floor and pretty much stayed there. Fans of Urban Fantasy books, if you have yet to try this series give it a go. Its unique premise and captivating characters make it a must try. And after reading this latest installment, you will be running to your calendars to circle April 3rd 2012 in big red pen because that’s when book eight, Magic Without Mercy, is due to hit shelves.
As for Magic on the Line, Devon does it again…and then some. This one will blow you away. It had everything I look for in an UF read. It will have everything you look for too....more
The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams is another example of how I let book pimpers (a.k.a. book bloggers) and pre-release buzz suck me in. I had seen this book listed on quite a few “books to look out for” lists so of course, that got my curiosity going. I read the blurb and that also got my curiosity going. So I requested it and crossed my fingers. By the time I received it, I had forgotten what is was about but I was still excited to read it. I may not have remembered the blurb but I remembered the book pimpage. So I cracked it open and I must say…wow.
The Shadow Reader is set in the Fae world. Fae are invisible to most humans except for those who possess the Sight. Then there are Shadow Readers. These are humans who possess the Sight and who can read the shadows left behind when a fae fissures away. They can basically track fae. And depending on how good they are, they can be somewhat accurate or extremely accurate. The better you are, the more in demand you are. Well, Mackenzie is exceptional.
She ‘works’ for the Court. They are the good guys. She lives in the human realm, but is compensated by the fae for her services. The first chapter of the book immediately sucks you in as you follow Makenzie running for her life from the Rebel fae – the bad guys. They catch her, kidnap her and want to keep her for their own use.
The story is told from Mackenzie’s point-of-view. She has been working for the fae for the past 10 years and she has gone through some pretty difficult events because of it.
Mackenzie has been in love with Kyol from the moment she met him. So…about 10 years now. But the king forbids human/fae relationships so he is torn. She knows he at least cares for her, but he’s fighting it. Then she gets kidnapped by Aren. Aren ladies…yum. Kyol is not too shabby, but there is just something about Aren. But Kyol has some really nice moments near the end of the book. But Aren is just…rawr. As you may have figured out, there is a bit of a love triangle thing going on in the book but not really at the same time. It’s not an annoying one that makes you want to shake the girl and tell her to make up her damn mind before you smack her silly. I like how Sandy handled the whole thing. And while there is a ‘decision’ in the end, you wonder if it is the final one. The chemistry is wonderful all around.
As for Mackenzie, I really liked her. Even though she sees the fae and knows she is good at what she does, she is just a normal human girl at heart. She dreams of being able to just live a normal fae-free life. She wants to get her University degree, get a (normal) job, meet a man, get married… All the things most regular gals hope to achieve in life. Yet she is in the middle of such extraordinary circumstances. I love how she handles each situation she’s thrown into. She’s not some superhero or mega-woman. She’s Mackenzie. I really liked how Sandy wrote her.
The story itself was quite the ride. You are always thinking while reading this book. As Mackenzie learns about the Rebels, you find yourself wondering if they are telling the truth or if the Court is. And there are some pretty spectacular fight scenes, most without guns since fae can’t use modern technology. Also let’s not forget the escape attempts. And there are heart-breaking moments too. Sad moments and surprising moments. As I said, this book is a ride. But it’s not written in a way where you feel like you need to stop to catch your breath. The pacing is good – not too much, not too slow.
You really get involved in fae politics while reading this book (since that is pretty much the base of this story) and the ending of the book really leaves you curious as to what will happen next. I liked how everything turned out. I am also glad that there is another book in the works because I want to see if Mackenzie sticks with her ‘choice’ and how the fae Realm ultimately copes with the outcome of the Rebels vs. the Court. Book two is still untitled and not yet finished. But at least it’s in the works. Thank goodness for that.
It’s amazing how some debut authors just seem to know what they are doing right out of the gate – and Sandy Williams is definitely one of those authors. Sandy explained the world without making it too daunting. She introduced a huge cast of characters without making them feel forced on us and she packed the book with action and an interesting ‘not really’ love triangle that keeps you on your toes and sometimes at the edge of your seat. I was really impressed with the way this book was written. The writer has a beautiful voice and I am anxious to see where she takes us next....more
I liked this one but not as much as the first. I'm not sure how I feel about Bastien. I liked him then I didn't, then I liked him again then I didn't.I liked this one but not as much as the first. I'm not sure how I feel about Bastien. I liked him then I didn't, then I liked him again then I didn't. lol I'm wondering how much Seth will be able to take before he breaks. He's got a strong personality that one. I really like him. And I am liking Georgina more and more...even if I questions some of what she does. At least her intentions are good. I will read the rest of the series but I think I'll wait until I can read the last 4 books back to back. Hopefully that will help me avoid massive heart break. lol...more
I went into this book with a preconceived idea of what a succubus was like. From other books I've read, I knew a succubus tended to be confident and aI went into this book with a preconceived idea of what a succubus was like. From other books I've read, I knew a succubus tended to be confident and a little cocky, sassy and snarky. Of course the succubi that I've read before also used men as tools and didn't give a damn. I was pleasantly surprised by Georgina. She was so...human! A succubus who is tired of the game and who prefers living a more human existence. I loved her. Vulnerable but still confident. She longs for love but she can't have it. I just loved all her layers. She was really fun to read and I loved her as a character. I really like Seth. Roman was awesome too - really fun - but I must admit that I liked Seth more. His and Georgina's first meeting made me giggle. It was priceless. I was very surprised by who was the villain in the end. Didn't see that coming at all. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I flew threw it and immediately got online to buy Succubus on Top. I still haven't yet decided how long I'll go with this series though. I feel confident I'll read it all then I change my mind. I read the blurbs of the books ahead and even though I know that what is going to happen with Georgina and Seth has to happen, I don't know if I want to read about it. Maybe if I feel like having a good cry, I'll pick up books 3 and beyond. Or maybe I'll read them as soon as I have a break in my reading schedule. I don't know. lol...more
“Is Trance anything like her Dreg books?” That is the question I seem to be getting asked the most once people find out that I have read both works from both of Kelly Meding’s series. I thought I would start my review off with a little clarification.
If you have read Kelly’s Dreg City books you are probably going to go into reading this book with a certain level of expectation. I totally understand if you do since her Dreg books are made of awesome. But let me tell you this: In Trance, you witness Kelly’s extraordinary imagination, you catch a glimpse at her skills at developing characters that draw you in, you recognize her world building skills, you get sucked in by the story…but that’s pretty much where the similarities between her two series end. Do not expect this to be a Dreg-like world or a Dreg-like book. It’s not. Not even close. But honestly, you won’t miss it. Trance will take you on a brand new journey and you will not once think Dreg once you start. You will simply focus on the fact that Trance is a well written book by a talented author. It has super-heroes in it after all. How can you go wrong with that?
Okay, yes, you could go very wrong with that. But Kelly does it beautifully. While reading, I knew I was reading characters and events that were even more unlikely than vampire and wizards but I didn’t feel like I was taken to a place that was so out there, it was un-relatable.
You see, fifteen years ago, super heroes were the norm. People didn’t love it, but it was what it was. There were two distinct types of heroes. You had the Bains – those who would use their powers for naughty things, and you had the Ranger Corps – those who would use their powers to stop the Bains. Eventually, a massive and deadly war broke out between the two groups and the Rangers were on the verge of becoming extinct. Then suddenly, out of the blue, the world went black for all super heroes and their powers simply disappeared. Trance was only 10 when all of this happened. Now, fifteen years later, the heroes’ powers have unexpectedly returned. But Trance didn’t get her original powers like everyone else did. No, she got some messed up version of her grand-mothers powers. And the biggest baddest Bain is out to see all the Rangers killed. *da da duuuummmm*
I can’t say there is a character I didn’t enjoy. Truly. Teresa “Trance” West is fabulous. Thrust into the leader’s role, I found she handled herself wonderfully. She’s not used to being in charge. She has many doubts and second-guesses, but that just makes her a stronger character. She handles herself and the others very well. Overall I found her to be a well-written and well-rounded character. Then there’s Gage (yum) and Renee (she’s a hoot) and Ethan (cute) and William (your strong and silent one). I even enjoyed reading Seward, the medical guy at the Ranger’s facility. And the villain was just crazy! I loved how the villain was written in this book. How you think one thing then another and another until finally, you don’t know what to think. Then the truth comes out and you are left thinking ZOMG! Kelly always writes creepy and thorough villains. I never saw it coming but boy oh boy the suspense made me hate him/her more in the end.
Another thing I found to be well done was the world’s description. Thanks to the Meta war fifteen years prior, most of the American metropolises have been abandoned and destroyed. In the first chapter (and whoa…what a way to suck you into the book!) the war is at its peak and the final face-off is taking place in New York City. Trance is describing her surroundings and says that Gage once told her that the Empire State Building used to stand twice its current size. That is what I enjoy about Kelly’s descriptive process. Very visual and easy to understand and ‘see’. The pace was very good except I found the odd scene here and there near the beginning of the book felt a little long, but not enough to get in the way of my enjoying this read. Once you get past those scenes, it’s pretty much non-stop.
This book is so…cool. I can’t think of a better word to describe it. The world, even though you’ve seen similar in movies and comics, is riveting in print. Trance reads like a stand-alone book – you feel satisfied when you reach the end – but you want to read more because you want to stay with the characters a little longer. Trance is truly endearing and I can’t wait to read more about where her adventures take her.
If I write a review for this book, it would have to be filled with spoilers. There is no other way to explain why I rated this book the way I did. ItIf I write a review for this book, it would have to be filled with spoilers. There is no other way to explain why I rated this book the way I did. It was my first experience with a Harlequin Presents book. My husband picked it out after I asked him to look at the display and choose. There was no 'dance' and things just came out of nowhere. Too much of it just didn't mesh well with me. 2.5 stars...more
Slow Ride is the fifth book in Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series. A series I fell in love with after reading the very first book. A series that captured the same magic found in book one in the second installment. A series that has still been making me happy but not quite like the first books since the third book. And even though Slow Ride still eludes the deep emotional connection that the first books delivered, it still managed to capture the fun and sexy style that this series is known for.
Slow Ride is the story of sports journalist Tuesday Jones. In the prologue, we find out that Tuesday’s father has passed away from cancer and that she is not taking it very well. Who’s to blame her after all? I found Tuesday to be a fun and spunky character in the last book, The Chase and this book has made me like her even more. She has sass and is not afraid to say what is on her mind, but she is somewhat mindful of it so she’s not a total b*tch. She’s funny and smart too. Overall a good character to read.
Also in the prologue, we meet Daniel ‘Diesel’ Lange. I liked him immediately. How he treated Tuesday right off the bat was just so… *sigh*. You can’t not like his character. Does he have flaws? Of course. But they were character flaws and not writing flaws. He wasn’t made out to be anything that didn’t fit his personality. He was in a really bad car crash and has had to retire from racing – even though he’s only 30. The accident still haunts him and he really doesn’t want to talk about what happened. He tends to hold things in because that’s how he copes. Basically, he is a man. It is very frustrating to someone who is trying to get to know him and someone who loves him though.
Tuesday and Diesel had almost instant chemistry. (I say almost because their first meeting was in a cemetery and for me to say that their red hot chemistry started at that meeting may be a tad inappropriate ;) ) Tuesday needs to be in charge of everything around her, but in the bedroom she tends to prefer the man take over – and Diesel is more than happy to take charge. I suppose he is a Dom, but not in the hardcore BDSM way. He’s gentle yet firm. He knows what he likes and he’s not afraid to tell ask for it. I found Tuesday and Diesel to be compatible in every way. They were a well written couple.
What I found odd is how Tuesday turns to liquor when she is feeling stressed or down about her dad. I think what miffs me the most about this is that I don’t understand how Diesel stays with her while she’s dealing with that. He’s concerned and worried and thinks things are not quite right, yet he stays. Yes, I understand, true love and all that stuff. But it all started before he fell in love with her. I know that some people do tackle their grief with alcohol, and I understand that these people shouldn’t be left alone just because they may drink a little too much, but it all just felt off to me. I think the reason I found it so strange in this book is because it felt as though the author was just trying to give Tuesday a fault (other than her ‘regular ones’) that would add tension to the couple. It all just felt forced to me.
To be honest with you all, I was worried going into this book. You see, I really enjoyed the last book…right up until the end. I was so upset at what the author decided to throw at the finally happy couple, it ruined the book for me. I was concerned that this incident would play a large part in Slow Ride seeing that Tuesday and the heroine from the last book are best friends. Well, the incident was mentioned…and actually sort of dealt with. There is sadness involved with how it all turned out in the book but I was actually happy with how it all went. I know many readers felt the same way after reading the last book as I did and how it all ends up in this book leaves me to wonder if the author always planned this to be how it would be or did she change the story a bit because of how readers felt. Not something I’m going to ask her, but I am curious…
Overall, I enjoyed Slow Ride. It’s a sweet and sexy contemporary read. We do get news and visits from the characters from the past installments which is always nice. And really there was only one issue that rubbed me a little oddly. Tuesday was great. Diesel was great. Together they were great. Just why the drinking?…
I have had Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine in my book closet for about two years now. The reason I purchased it is I was looking for a little break in reading series and looked online for a suggestion for a standalone Paranormal Romance book. Let me tell ya, there aren’t many. But I did find this one. I bought it, then apparently got distracted by something else and let it fall deeper and deeper into my closet. Well, I finally pulled it out and I’m actually glad I did.
Salt & Silver is the story of Allie and Ryan. Okay, so there are Doors to Hell, demons escaping and Hunters tracking them down to kill them, but primarily it’s the story of Allie and Ryan. Allie and her friends actually are responsible for opening one of the doors in the basement of the diner Allie now runs. They were drunk. And stupid. Oh yeah, and there may be too many Doors popping up and some going missing and all this leading to the possible end of the world. Come to think of it, maybe this book isn’t only about Allie and Ryan. Their chemistry is strong though and it is definitely something I focused on, but there may have been a few other things going on too. Maybe.
Even with all that dire stuff going on, this book reads a little on the light side. Allie has a great sense of humor. It’s very snarky and sarcastic – and I love humor like that. I think the reason why I found this to read a little lighter is because no matter how bad the situation got, none of the characters took it too seriously. They all knew they had a job to do, and even though they didn’t always know how to go about it, they understood that things needed doing and that was that. Even Allie, who is not a Hunter like Ryan, understood this. She feels responsible for opening a door (as she should) and is taking it upon herself to help as much as she can.
Allie used to be one of those spoiled rich girls who didn’t care for anyone but herself and spent whatever she wanted on whatever she wanted whenever she wanted until her mother ran off with the help and her money. Now Allie works in a diner. When she and her two friends opened the Door in said diner, Ryan appeared to guard it. I have to say that I liked Ryan and his mysteriousness but I wish there was more page time with just Allie and Ryan. There are memories and descriptions of times when they were mostly alone, but not a whole lot of actual time during the story. I understand that there was a lot going on and that there wasn’t much time for that, but still. And Allie’s friends really got on my nerves. I kinda understand why they were in this story, but I almost wish there was another way of bringing everything together without including them. They were annoying and I didn’t enjoy them at all.
One thing I did really enjoy in this book the author’s imagination. Anna must enter Hell and of course she takes the reader with her. Hell is not a simple place: it is made up of many dimensions, each one more different from the last. These dimensions and the avatars that look out for the team members…just wow. Every time Allie and crew entered a new Door, something completely new jumped out at them. Hell was also where some of the more tender and emotional moments of the book took place. As I said they weren’t too many, but the ones that occurred took place in Hell.
Did reading this book change my life? No. Did it entertain me while I was reading it? Absolutely. Even though I found the writing could have been a little smoother at times, I found this book to be an enjoyable read. I did like Allie, I did like Ryan and I liked them together. Part of me wishes the author continued their story in another installment. But alas, she did not. So I guess I’ll just have to be happy with this one tale. After all, that is why I chose it to begin with.
Good writing, good story idea. Nash got on my nerves. So did Maya. Wished Mick was 'more'. Hard to put into words. Hopefully will be able to by the tiGood writing, good story idea. Nash got on my nerves. So did Maya. Wished Mick was 'more'. Hard to put into words. Hopefully will be able to by the time I post my review LOL. ...more
Darkness Unbound is the first book in Keri Arthur’s newest series, Dark Angels. I have not read this author before but I am aware that her Riley Jensen series appears on many favorite lists. Therefore, when I found out that Keri was writing a new series that takes place in the same world as her Riley books, I jumped on the chance to give it a try. And after reading this book and finally experiencing this author’s writing, I can see why she has such a loyal following.
Darkness Unbound is an angel book…but not. It’s a ghost book…but not. It’s got shifters and mages and vampires and reapers…yet it’s not like any paranormal book I’ve ever read. The mix of all of these beings in one book, while you think it would be daunting, really wasn’t. It reads like you’ve been in this world many times before and like you know what is going on, but you don’t feel lost. I did not feel as though I was missing out on some vital information not having read the previous series. Was I curious about how some couples and situations came to be? Of course. But did it hinder my reading experience of this book? Not at all.
The main heroine in this new series is Risa Jones, a half werewolf and half Aedh. An Aedh is…well, it’s tricky to explain, but I’ll give it my best shot. An Aedh is a being that can take human form while on earth or can turn into a sort of mist. When in mist form, no one can see or hear them and they can travel to the gray planes, the place between light and dark. There is more to it that that, and it is way cool, but that would be the best I can do. Risa can call on her Aedh side but not on her wolf side, so she can’t shift into a wolf, but she does have some other wolf-ish traits. And since she is a Halfling, she stays in her human form but can call on her Aedh side and transform to mist. Yeah….cool.
I really liked Risa. She is strong and self-assured (I loved her confidence when she went into any situation) but she knows how important a strong support system and is not afraid to admit when something is way over her head. She is very close to her mother, to her ‘aunt’ Riley and to Riley’s family. She has two best friends/roommates, Tao and Ilianna, whom I also loved. I was glad to see that the author didn’t kill any of them off in this first installment and therefore allowing them to appear in future installments of this series. *g*
Lucian is another character I can’t wait to learn more about. He is an Aedh but has a story to tell about it. And boy oh boy is he yum-my! He and Risa together are electrifying! I hope hope hope he is a constant in this series because they are great together. A heads up though, you’ll need a fan handy for after you read some of their scenes. Wowza.
The world Keri created here is very intricate and the details of it are amazing. Reapers follow people around for a little while before they are due to die. (Risa can see them and it kind of bums her out.) A reaper’s job is to help the newly departed’s soul navigate through the gray space. Souls can be redeemed and almost all are one day reborn. Ghosts are the result of a person not dying when they were supposed to or when the person’s soul refuses the reaper’s help. And as I said, all the different beings and characters mixed into all this makes this a really cool world. But I never felt overwhelmed by information. The first few chapters bring you up to speed and that’s that. The story happens while you learn and then takes off from there. I can’t say that I felt as though one part of this book was slow or sluggish. I enjoyed the pace and found it read really well.
The story itself consists of one big constant story that looks like it will be the focus for this series’ story arc, and a smaller story line that wraps up at the end of this book, but still goes along with the main story. I like when a UF series is written that way. Then you get some closure at the end of each book but there is still so much going on that you can’t wait to get your hands on the next book to see where it will all ultimately lead you. (In this series’ case, the next book is Darkness Rising and it’s due out October 25th 2011. I already have it written in my planner.) I won’t go into what the stories are because I really think any fan of Urban Fantasy books should give this one a try. But I will say that there are gates opening that shouldn’t be opening and many people who may or may not resort easily to violence looking for answers. And keys. There are keys involved. And a creepy dark mist thing who is stealing souls *shudder*. And there is a very emotional scene that you know is coming but you still can’t prepare yourself fully for and it will make you cry. It still breaks my heart just thinking about it. *sigh*
This is a series I am excited to get addicted to. With amazing characters, riveting storylines that weave together beautifully and action mixed with emotion that grips you from page one, Urban Fantasy fans will find it practically impossible not to dive in and not look back....more
Silver Shark is a short story by Ilona Andrews and is the second story in their Kinsmen series. Now, I am about to tell you guys something that may shock and surprise you. I really like Ilona Andrews’ writing voice and style. This writing couple is responsible for one of my two mostest favorite book series in the whole world. Okay, okay. I know this isn’t really a crazy revelation to those of you who visit here often, but I just thought it was due repeating. And because I love these two writers’ style so much, I am open to reading everything they write (even though I have yet to read everything they have written so far *hides*). They could write a story about a merman who wields guns to save the world and I would read it. They could write a YA story about a lost moose who is secretly a handsome lumberjack, looking for love in the middle of the forests of the Canadian North when he stumbles upon a gentle rabbit/cyborg who is being chased by evil maggots before he realizes that he too is a cyborg living in an alternate reality where he is actually a prince who has been sold into the sex trade, um…okay, maybe I wouldn’t read that. But you get my drift.
“Get to the point Julie.” Okay.
I don’t list sci-fi books on my list of favorite genres. But I have read some and am usually in awe of the author’s imagination. To create such worlds in one’s mind and to translate that onto paper for all to enjoy, it just blows me away. And seeing how I am already in awe of Ilona’s imagination, I figured that a sci-fi story written by them would be great…and I was not wrong.
Because I am familiar with these authors, I went into this book not having read anything about it. And that is the reason I was caught off guard (in a good way) in the very first chapter and also what lead me to not wanting to put the book down! Let me try to explain this without massacring it… Claire is a Captain on her planet and she is at war. She is a lethal soldier, only she won’t attack you with weapons – she’ll kill you using her mind. She is what is referred to as a Psycher. She, and others like her, plug into a biological computer network and do what they must do while plugged in. Suddenly, the war ends and she is on the losing team. Because Psychers are so powerful, they are all ordered to be killed. Claire manages so mask her true identity and gets deported to a planet that is essentially the opposite of the one she grew up on. Where her birth place was gray and sterile, her new home is bright and colorful. There, she meets Venturo and fun ensues. He is yummy. The end.
Based on the beginning of the story and the fact that Claire is hiding her identity and her ability, I assumed that the end of this story would be very predictable. You know, it would entail Claire being ‘found out’ and that resulting in the mandatory begging for her life and that is when the hot man would spare her because he loves her so darned much because he is a lost soul and all that jazz. (Do I read too many romance books? Maybe.) That is not what happens and I was very happy with the way the story flows and the way it ends.
I loved Claire and I loved Venturo. Even though this was quite a short story, they are fully developed characters. You don’t feel like you are missing any info about them. You just want them to be happy and to succeed. The world was nicely complex too. Details galore so it was easy to envision it in your head. Really though, do we expect anything less from Ilona Andrews?
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was quick and interesting. But most importantly, it held characters that were wonderful to read and a story that gripped me from the beginning....more
I am torn about how I feel about this book. The story was okay. The narration was AMAZING! The main character drove me bonkers! Drama drama drama... II am torn about how I feel about this book. The story was okay. The narration was AMAZING! The main character drove me bonkers! Drama drama drama... I did enjoy the back and forth from present and past. That was cool. Nate - I'm not sure if I want to hug him or smack him. And even though she had a pretty small role, I quite liked the daughter. Yeah... It's gonna take me a few days to write up this review I think. LOL Review to follow....more
Finally. Finally, we get Adrian’s book! Adrian Brown is one of the hottest sweetest rock stars you can read and he finally gets his own book with his own HEA. *sigh* Adrian…
Adrian’s book, also known as Never Enough, is the fourth and final book in Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings series. First we had Erin’s book, then we had Brody’s (which is still my favorite), then Cope’s book (a close family friend) and finally we have Adrian’s book. *sigh* Adiran…
As you can tell, I have been looking forward to this book for what feels like ages. Adrian is in each and every book in this steamy and emotional series. He is such a sweetheart in the other books! The one you want to run to and hug every chance you get. But he’s becoming a little more cautious and jaded. He is a superstar rock star and therefore has to deal with fans and paparazzi and all the craziness that comes with being a celebrity. He understands that that is the price to pay for making his music, but he’s finding it very hard to trust anyone. It’s getting worst and worst and now it’s to a point where he only wants to be around 10 or so people and only go to the same places over and over. So you can well imagine that when a lovely British lady approaches him with news that he has a 13 year old son, he sort of loses it.
Gillian adopted Miles pretty much as soon as he popped out of her sister belly. Her sister never told her who Miles’ father was until she lay dying in the hospital. Never Enough is about how Gillian approaches Adrian and how they eventually learn to be a family, even though Adrian has major trust issues and has a huge stick up his a**.
Yes. There. I said it. Shocking I know seeing how big of a crush I have on that man. Now, I totally understand why Adrian would freak out upon hearing Gillian’s news, it isn’t the first time someone has alleged that he was their baby’s daddy, but seriously?! I was very proud of Gillian and how she reacted to Adrian’s being a jerk. I think I may have actually shouted ‘woo hoo, you go girl’ the first time he appears at her door. As loving and sweet as Adrian is in the previous books, he really wasn’t all that in this one. In the beginning anyways. I didn’t understand why he was so anxious for Miles and Gillian to fit in with his friends and family! How could he not understand that maybe it takes someone more than 2 minutes to warm up to a group of people as close knit as the Browns? I wanted to smack him. Then smack him again. Then lick his tattoos. Then smack him once more.
Other than that, Adrian was all I was hoping…and then some. Listen here ladies – Adrian is a dirty dirty talker in the bedroom! Who would have thunk it? I most certainly didn’t expect that but you know what? Julie like. And Gillian is right there with him! Holy smokin’ this book was quite steamy. Of course it is, it’s a Brown Siblings book, but really…*fans herself* I also think it’s cute, funny and great that Adrian gets all turned on when Gillian is just being her prim and proper British self. That was amusing.
I really liked Gillian. I found her to be a very likable character and I liked her back story. I loved her interaction with Miles too. She has a sh*t past and she wants to keep it quiet, but she knows that all will eventually be revealed. And even though I seriously didn’t agree with how Adrian, and even Erin for that matter, reacted to the news, I found Gillian reacted how she should have. Her character was realistic and I found myself feeling very attached to her. Do I think she should have sucked it up and said something sooner? Maybe. But if she did, it would have been out of character.
I loved Miles and I loved Rennie. She is just the cutest thing ever! And I love how the adults treat the kids in this series. They are firm but still let them have fun. And they treat them with respect and like people – not babies. I’m always struck by that. I loved how Adrian was with Miles and I love how Brody is with everyone. Brody is so amazing I want hug him big time, then I want to lick his tattoos then throw him on a desk. )Okay, yeah, I know. My dad is most likely reading this review. I must stop talking about licking boys’ tattoos… *sigh* It’s just so hard when talking about these Brown men!)
Overall, I was pleased with this installment even though I wasn’t all together impressed with Adrian. In the end, he comes around though. There are a few little unanswered questions that are left hanging at the end of the book and they will apparently be dealt with in Lauren’s new Delicious series that will make its debut in August 2012. They will feature Gillian’s friends so of course Adrian and crew will make an appearance. Yay!
Never Enough is a nice ending to a solid series. The Brown Siblings books are filled with strong emotion, great characters and heart wrenching stories. These are people I would totally want to hang out with…as long as they don’t mind if I lick their tattoos a bit. Because I may want to do that. Maybe....more
Bad Boys Do is the second book in Victoria Dahl’s Donovan Brother’s Brewery and this one I really enjoyed! I didn’t hate the first book or anything, but I found this one to be just delightful.
This time around we follow Jamie on his journey to finding true love and a well deserved HEA. Jamie is considered the screw up of the family. Basically, after his parents’ death, he just acted up. Mind you he was a teenager so he was entitled, but that is not how his older brother saw it. Also, when he and his sister were old enough to take over in the running of the family brewery, Jamie decided that he didn’t really want a big part in it. Well, that’s changed. He’s older now (late 20s) and he wants to grow up and take on more responsibility. But Eric, the eldest Donovan sibling, just can’t take Jamie seriously and dismisses almost every idea he suggests.
Poor Jamie. Come on over here so Julie can give you a big long hug and a little inappropriate squeeze.
Then we have Olivia. I loved her! She reminded me so much of me, it was almost creepy. Okay, I’m not a university teacher and I’m not recently divorced from a d*ckwad ex-husband. But what we do have in common is our ability to get so stuck in a routine that becomes so comfortable that we just don’t want to do anything new. And things that she and I may find fun aren’t your typical ‘fun’ things. Jamie meets her in the Donovan Brewery bar and is instantly drawn to her. After a few meetings (and one awkward dinner party that Jamie really handles like a pro) Jamie and Olivia strike a deal: he is to help her be more fun and she is to help him present his plans for the Brewery to Eric and their sister Tessa.
On the surface, it looks like Jamie and Olivia are opposites, but I didn’t think so. They have their basic values in common and that is enough to give them a good start. Plus, they complement each other perfectly! I love how Jamie took Olivia a little bit out of her comfort zone but never forcing her to do anything that would make her scream and run. I love how Olivia let Jamie do the work for the Brewery and she only polished off his plans. They made a great team, knowing what each other needed. Can you tell that I really really liked them together!
I liked that there was no mystery sub-plot this time around. There were a few bumps in the road, but overall this story was about Jamie and Olivia, how they dealt with their personal issues and how they meet and fall in love. Sometimes that’s all you need in a contemporary romance to make it good. Great characters and a solid boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-for-girl story. *sigh*
Even though I didn’t love Tessa in Good Girls Don’t, I didn’t mind her in this book because she’s not the focus. She seems to have mellowed out a bit…except for in one scene. But that was just one scene and I was too busy focusing on Jamie and what he was feeling and too busy not really liking Eric that I didn’t let Tessa overly bug me. Now Eric still rubs me the wrong way and because of that, I don’t see myself picking up his book – even though I’ve heard his is the hottest book. But after reading Tessa’s book, I had a strong feeling that I would enjoy Jamie’s book and I was right. I’m glad I read it. It left me smiling and all giddy inside. Jamie and Olivia make a wonderful match and their story bends really well to Victoria’s voice. Overall a great contemporary romance read.