Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men is the second book in Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson series. While book one was all about Jane and how she became a vampire (and all the hilarious events that follow), book two is about Jane’s falling into her new life and her relationship with her family, with her friends (old and new) and of course with Gabriel, her yummy sire.
There are really three main parts of this story. Well, three that I focus on anyway. First of all Jane is trying to handle her family and how they are mostly in denial of her new ‘condition’. They are not coping very well. Her mother is one of those over-bearing types who just wants everyone to get along and who tries to meddle (with love) in everyone else’s business. Now if that were my mother, I would have more issues than Jane. But seeing how this is not my mother, reading about her (and Jane’s Grandmother with her new beau) is quite funny.
Speaking of over-bearing types, another big part of this book is Zeb’s mother (Zeb is Jane’s best friend) and how she is trying to meddle and get Jane and Zeb together and get married. Yeah…she doesn’t know that Jane is a vampire and Zeb is engaged to another woman! In fact, the third main part of this book is Zeb and Jolene’s wedding! The things Mama Ginger would say and do in this book are just appalling – and once again really funny thanks to it not being my mother doing or saying these funny yet awful things. Her toast-ish at the engagement party is just priceless. Now the reason why Zeb’s mother is in quite a tizzy is because Zeb and Jane have been best friends since they were very young and Mama Ginger has always imagined that they would get married and have lots of little babies – yet Zeb and Jane have never thought of each other in that light. Mama just doesn’t seem to understand that Jolene is the one Zeb really loves and wants to marry. Not Jane.
Jolene is a werewolf and is part of one big monster family. Huge and in everyone’s face. The pre-wedding events, from Jane’s dress fittings to the parties to pretty much everything, were really cute and well written. You can just imagine yourself in the middle of this mess of an event, just wanting to stand back and giggle at all of it – and again thank someone high above that it isn’t you. I love Zeb as a character and Jolene is a great match for him. I really feel for what he goes through in this book and that he goes along with it all and keeps his head up high just makes you like him all the more.
Dick is a character that really comes into his own in this book. He is funny in book one but he just seems to settle better in this book. I love him. He always puts a smile on my face when he appears on the page. And Mr. Wainwright…he’s so sweet. Such a wonderful old man. He’s another one who makes me smile but in a warm-and-fuzzy sort of way. I’m glad Molly handled his situation the way that she did. That too gave me the warm-and-fuzzies.
Gabriel is still nice…very nice…but I wanted to shake him sometimes. He’s keeping something from poor Jane and we don’t know what it is! Even by the end of the book we are still scratching our heads wondering what it could be. I do remember that all is answered in the third book, and I sort of remember what it all is, but I am still looking forward to reading book three to see if I remember correctly. If I’m right, I’ll happily stop shaking Gabriel and go back to hugging him and sometimes accidentally brushing up against his…arm. I was totally thinking arm. Sure I was. *g*
All in all, I really enjoyed my second read of this book. I’d forgotten that the humor is a little toned down in this book – but that’s not saying that I didn’t giggle the whole way through. I think as Jane is getting used to herself and her new role, she is less defensively sarcastic and more her natural snippy self. It’s nice to see. I like how Jane has developed in this book and I like where she’s headed. Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men is a fabulous continuation to this series and if you like smart and fun books (that are a little bit chick-lit) then you have to give this series a try....more
Yes! I have finally done it. Actually, I have finally done two things! One, I have finally read a Rachel Vincent book. And two, I have finally read the first book in her ‘crazy popular among my friends’ Shifters series. At last I have met Faythe and company and I must say I really enjoyed them.
Faythe is currently attending school and to her, that is the most important thing in the world. She is a feline shifter and one of the last remaining females. If the females go then the race goes with them. But being surrounded by overprotective men (also cat shifters so you can imagine the testosterone overdose) on a compound all day long is not Faythe’s idea of fun. So she goes off to school…for 5 years. She plans on staying there a bit longer too until Marc shows up telling her that danger is coming and that she must return to her family’s ranch. Now. Faythe is not pleased by this development and plans on returning to school as soon as she can convince her father – the Alpha – to let her do so.
Often during the first half of this book, Faythe’s burning need for independence drove me a bit bonkers. While I understand the why behind her constant fighting of the system, I felt she was a very smart girl and didn’t think she would really fight her daddy so hard when she is in clear danger. Then again, she does flee from the compound after promising not to… Yeah let’s chat about that for a moment, shall we?
*Warning: mini spoiler ahead – this won’t take away your enjoyment of the story if you decide to read the book after reading my review*
What is it with smart and clever urban fantasy heroines going against reason and running away from a safe situation into a completely unsafe one?! Intelligent heroines fed up with being told what to do – even though they know it’s important that they listen – running off straight into the arms of the very person who wants to kidnap her/kill them?! Why in the world does this happen so often?! Faythe is a very intelligent girl and you can tell that from the moment you meet her. So why in the hell would she flee the safety of her father’s ranch only to get snatched by the men she was not only warned about but whom she has already had to fight off before going back home? She knows the threats are real – two female shifters have already gone missing after all. So why run off?! That just really frustrated me. To the point where I grunted out loud. Like this: “Grr Gah!” I understand that there wouldn’t have been much of a second half of the book if she hadn’t fallen into enemy hands but couldn’t she have been taken in a more spectacular way instead of just walking right into them because she was too stupid stubborn to listen to everyone and stay home? “Grr Gah!”
end of rant
Even with that fiasco, I still enjoyed the ride of the story. Just that bump…it was way too maddening for me.
Now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about the men in this book. Oh…the men! *pants* Marc is your über Alpha male, and thank goodness for that since he is the Alpha’s second in command. He and Faythe have some insane history and you can feel it as soon as the two of them appear on the page together. Their chemistry is amazing! Marc’s story is a sad one but he doesn’t let his past get in his way. I really liked that about him. And I actually liked how he went all ape-sh*t crazy when another man came close to Faythe. I feel really bad for Jace but the idea behind Marc’s temper was something I sort of found romantic…in a ‘shifter-appropriate but if some guy did that in real life I would smack him’ sort of way.
Jace was amazing! Sort of a background character but sweet and sexy all rolled into one. I enjoyed reading Faythe’s brothers too. Each and every one of them. Well…maybe not Ryan so much. He gets himself into a bit of a predicament and I was never completely convinced of his “forced” involvement. It felt fake, for lack of a better word, and I’m curious to see if things will feel better for me in the next books.
The villain was creepy crazy! I hated him with a passion. I would have liked a bit more explanation as to why he was so creepy crazy but…*shrugs* And a little warning: once you meet him, that’s where this book becomes a true urban fantasy with the scenes getting more graphic. There is grit and gore but not so much that it feels as though it’s only there for shock value. It’s grit and gore that makes sense. Just be warned. *grin*
Overall, even though there were a few things here and there that I didn’t adore, I was very impressed with this book. (I am assuming that the things that rubbed me the wrong way are things I assume won’t happen again in the following installments because they did feel finalized by the end of this one.) Stray’s pace was fantastic – I read it quickly even with its 600plus pages – and the writing was solid. The characters were well done and I look forward to visiting them again. And I will visit them again because I am definitely continuing with this series. I can’t wait to see where Faythe takes us next. And her men, of course. Oh…the men....more
OMG I can’t believe I did this! I was about 60% through reading this book when I found out what I did. You see, I have the books in this series stacked in order to be read in my book closet. So when I can finally get around to reading one, I just have to pick up the book on the top of my Dark-Hunter pile and read it. Well…apparently I didn’t quite stack them correctly because I was due to read book number 11 in the series, Dream Hunter. I only noticed the title of the book I was reading when I got to page 200ish when I peeked at the top of the page and saw ‘Dream Chaser’ written there. Um, what?! I checked and sure enough, I must have stacked the books wrong, only having looked at the word ‘Dream’. Well, I was that far into the book and quite enjoying it, so I just kept going. I will say that I didn’t feel lost at all…well, not really. I didn’t know Ash had Katra but *shrugs*. I just went to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website and looked her up. (LOVE Sherrilyn’s site!) And I was thinking it a bit odd that Sherrilyn wrote a whole book focusing on a hero we had yet to meet or even hear of… (Turns out we do meet him in Devil May Cry. We even find out where his ‘bargain’ comes from. So Sherrilyn did not write characters out of the blue. Of course. What was I ever thinking?.. ;) ) And that is the story of why I went from reading book 10 to book 14.
And now with that out of the way, it’s time for the actual review *grin*
Dream Chaser is the fourteenth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series.
I didn’t find there was much to this story. What I mean by that is while reading, there really wasn’t much going on. It wasn’t the sort of story where this happened then this happened only to have this happen and so on. But the pacing was great and I couldn’t wait to see how the book ended. Man…I’m not sure if that came out right. It was a very good book. Really! The story is about how Xypher is trying to get Satara in order to kill her but is ‘stuck’ with Simone for a while. That’s it but it’s enough.
Sherrilyn… Her heart must break as she writes her heroes. Boy are these guys tortured and are they ever deserving of love and affection! I wonder if she cries while she writes… Xypher was rough around the edges. He was supposed to come across as a tough heartless guy but I didn’t feel that way about him at all. As soon as you meet him, you just know that there is an ooey-gooey center in that big ol’ jerk. He’s not used to feeling emotion (that’s a Dream-Hunter thing) and all that is supposed to be on his mind is revenge. He was tricked (of sorts) by Satara. She’s the reason he is forever being tortured in Hell. And wants her dead. And when you find out what she did, you will want her to hurt too. And for a very short while that is all he thinks about. Until he meets Simone that is.
Simone was a really fun character to read. She was bubbly and funny and, of course, was able to see past Xypher and his bull-sh*t. She sees ghosts so she is well aware of the supernatural world, just not the supernatural world Xypher belongs to. She took it very well when things were coming to light. I found it was funny how some assumed she was fully aware of what was going on and spoke to her as such; only to find out she was clueless. Can you say open mouth, insert foot. *g*
Jesse is Simone’s ‘ghost’ friend and he is fantastic. He’s been around Simone since she was a teenager and now they are like brother and sister. He even has his own room in her apartment! I loved reading the two of them together. Their friendship and care for each other was really well written. You couldn’t help but smile when they were together on the page.
Of course, Acheron makes a couple of quick appearances and as usual, they are leave their mark. I will probably say this same thing when I write my review for Acheron but Sherrilyn is some kind of genius to be able to take what is pretty much a side character and make him as memorable as he is. Every time Ash appears on the page, you take extra notice. There is just something about him that is spectacular. He is so layered and complex yet down to earth and lovable. He is by far one of the best characters out there and I can’t freaking wait to read his book!
I was also happy to see Julian again. He is the hero in Fantasy Lover –one of my favorite books. In fact, that is the book I sent to Sherrilyn to have signed. He is just so fluid on the page, if that makes sense. I always love re-visiting with main characters from past book, especially when it’s a hero I really enjoyed reading.
And in this book we quickly meet Jaden. I am really looking forward to reading more about him. What an interesting character he was and you just know there is so much behind his mysterious ways…
Overall, I found Dream Chaser to be a solid read. Xypher and Simone make an excellent couple – they complement each other very well. And I love romance books where there is lots of page time spent with the hero and the heroine together and this book was full of Xypher and Simone time.
And now I go back to book twelve in the series, Devil May Cry, because I was told that it’s a pretty important installment to get in before diving into the most epic book in the series, book fifteen.
*le sigh* You know when you have been ‘following’ a character for books and books and books and finally his book comes up and you have a certain expectation of what you would like that character’s HEA to be like…then it doesn’t quite turn out the way you wanted it to? Yeah… *le sigh*
Honestly, I am going to have to do one of my ‘breakdown’ reviews for this book because I am so…*le sigh* about it I’m worried I’ll just vent. And that’s not nice and that’s not how I write my reviews. But first, I’ll give you a little back-story on the book I am going to chat about today. I apologize if this is a bit spoilery. I am going to try my best but I know it’s going to be quite tricky to write this review without seriously hinting at things. But I am not going to come out and straight up give spoilers though.
Sweet Addiction is the sixth and final book in Maya Bank’s Sweet series. Really, this book was not supposed to be but so many people asked her to write a book for Cole, a side character that appears throughout the series, that she gave in and wrote his story. To me Cole has always been a kind hearted but hurt man. You can tell in the way that he acts in the previous books that he has been hurt before but he cherishes and treasures women and he is a very loyal friend. He is damaged and, of course since we are avid readers of romance books, we know that the love of the perfect-for-him woman will heal him right up and make everything better for him.
In Sweet Addiction we find out that his ‘pain’ comes from love lost. Not recent though – it’s love he walked away from…ten years ago! Cole is a Dom. A real hardcore one. Therefore he needs and craves an absolute submissive. He found her in Ren but accidentally hurt her with a whip during one of their sessions and was unable to cope with that. So he left. Ten years ago. Now he sees her again but she is with Lucas. She collared and everything so things there are pretty serious. But when she sees him again, she starts feeling confused. So seeing how torn Ren seems to be, Lucas ‘gives’ her to Cole for two weeks thinking that once she gets him and his sudden appearance out of her system that she will be the happy super sub she always was and they can live HEA. Well, as you can imagine, things don’t quite work out as easily as that.
Okay…what I liked about this book.
This book is hot. If you are into reading pretty heavy BDSM, this book has plenty. In fact, I feel it had a bit too much but we’ll talk about that in the next portion of the review.
I liked how Ren was comfortable with herself and her wants and needs. She knows she requires a Dom to be happy and she accepts nothing less. It’s nice to read a woman who is strong enough to not doubt her sexuality.
We get to see Damon again and how he’s doing with a pregnant Serena. I love Damon. Would I ever be able to tolerate him as ‘my man’? Not even a little. But he is one of my favorite characters and I loved that I got to see him in this book. Cole never really was part of the ‘inner circle’ that the Sweet series focuses on but he did ‘play’ a lot at Damon’s club so really it makes sense that he’s in this book.
Seeing that this is the last book in the series, it was nice to have a super quick rundown of what the other characters from the previous books were all up to in the epilogue. They all mentioned there. It made me smile.
The cover is pretty. *g*
And now…what I didn’t like about this book.
Yes, I am aware that this is a piece of fiction, but it is a contemporary story so there should be some bit of realism in it to make it work well and click with readers. Unfortunately, how this whole story ended up, I didn’t feel it could work. Ever. It obviously does sometimes, somewhere in the world because why else would the author have done it, but I just can’t see the characters involved openly agreeing to the way this book went down. (*giggle* “went down”)
Often it’s mentioned in the series how Cole would like what the others have (as in a relationship) and he ends up with something so…other, it’s not even in the same ball park. He totally deserves a real HEA and I feel he totally got jipped.
I didn’t feel any real connection to Ren at all. Her character was barely developed which left it hard for me to care about her. As I mentioned above, I like how she is secure in her sexuality and knows what she wants and needs but other than that, there really isn’t much to her. I don’t see why Lucas and Cole would go so ga-ga over her.
Lucas…I didn’t mind him but I didn’t love him. I get that he is not really a focus in the book but he still plays an important enough role that a little more character development where he is concerned would have worked well. As you can see, there is a theme building here. There just wasn’t enough character development this time around. And…
I think there may have been too much sex! I feel it got in the way of us getting to know the characters other than, you know, ‘that’ way.
I don’t understand why, if Ren and Cole were so madly deeply in love with each other, that one didn’t look for the other, you know, in the ten years they were apart. Seriously, if you are that hung up on someone that you can’t get yourself to enter another relationship in ten years, go find the chick that is still in your heart. Really. I just didn’t get it.
Overall, I was disappointed in this book. I love Cole and always felt he had such a great story to tell! I would have loved to see him with a woman who worshiped the ground he walks while still fitting into his life by being what he wanted and needed as opposed to one who just sits there like a lump, confused all the time. He deserves that. But if he’s truly happy at the end of this book, I guess I didn’t know Cole as well as I thought I did. *shrugs*
p.s. After reading this book, I went back and read Sweet Persuasion (for the 6thtime). That book not only holds one of my most favorite characters (Damon) but it’s also one of my most favorite books ever. It is a flawless example of hot sex, beautiful characters and a great story. The perfect erotic romance....more
Whispers in the Dark is the fourth book in Maya Banks’ KGI series. This is a romantic suspense series but don’t worry, it’s not one of those kinds of romantic suspense books. You know the type: either there is too much romance and not really any suspense or there is too much suspense – enough that you want to throw the book across the room and curl up into a ball and rock yourself back and forth, back and forth, back and forth – and not enough romance. I find Maya has just the right blend. And not only do you get a great romantic story and an enjoyable amount of suspense, but you also get steamy bedroom scenes (that sometimes don’t take place in a bedroom at all *blush*) and outstanding characters.
My favorite character in this series is the Kelly family. Yes, I am aware that the Kelly family consists of mom, dad and 6 sons, but the unit is so solid and incredibly written that even when I didn’t love a book in this series, the family and their chemistry saved the book. The women are fine and all, but the men and their parents are just fantastic.
Whispers in the Dark is Nathan’s story. Nathan is the baby of the family along with his twin brother, Joe. You don’t see much of Nathan in the previous books so I was actually surprised that his book was next. Most of the Kelly boys are ex-military men, but Nathan and Joe are just finishing off their time in the Army. But Nathan gets captured while in Afghanistan and at the very beginning of this book, he is being tortured. Not a fun way to start a book but boy let me tell you, it grabs you right from the get go. Poor Nathan… He’s about to give up hope when suddenly he hears a woman’s voice in his head telling him not to lose hope. This voice also has a way of making the physical pain go away. Thanks to her, he doesn’t lose hope, manages to escape and return to his family.
Before talking about the woman, I want to quickly say that I enjoyed how Maya wrote Nathan after he came home. I think she captured what he would have been going through really well. He didn’t just jump back into things and he didn’t just give everyone a hug, cry big tears and all was right in the world. He struggled and suffered and took things day by day. I respected that Maya kept things real and didn’t try to fluff it just because she’s writing a romance book.
Now back to the woman. Her name is Shea and she has the power to communicate with people through thought and she can take on someone else’s pain then heal herself. Pretty nifty tricks. Who she can communicate with is completely random so it’s pure coincidence that she can ‘chat’ with Nathan. (Her sister Grace has similar talents but there Shea can take away pain, Grace can actually heal a person.) Their whole lives, they have been kept alone and told not to divulge their secret to anyone. Because of this, Shea is used to living a lonely existence. When she ‘meets’ Nathan, both are at a place in their lives where they really need someone – he’s in captivity and she’s on the run. They suit each other very well. Both are survivors of horrible ordeals and understand each other. Both know that time is needed to heal and no magic potion will make you forget everything you’ve been through. Both understand the value of not being alone.
I don’t usually like stories where the hero and heroine are total soulmates almost the moment they actually meet in person but in this case, it worked. Thinking about what Nathan and Shea have gone through together before even having met in person will bring any two people close together. And they are not done going through heavy situations together since there are some pretty awful bad guys who are after Shea and her sister and the KGI gang have to try to figure out who and why. Yes, that is the suspense part in this romantic suspense book. *g*
The whole Kelly clan is in this book and so are the KGI teams. Each and every one of those characters is awesome and they will hopefully each get a book because I am really interested in knowing more about each and every one of them. Rio is off to find Grace and they are the hero and heroine in the next book, Echoes at Dawn. It’s due out in July 2012. Rio is a bit of a mystery so it will be nice to finally know his story. Then it’s PJ and Cole’s turn! They have such an amazing rapport and I think they will make a brilliant couple. Their book, Shades of Gray, is due out January 2013.
I was torn as to what to rate this book. Not because I wondered if I enjoyed it but because I wondered if I enjoyed it as much as the first book in the series. You see, book one is my benchmark for the KGI books because it was fantastic and my favorite in the series. After finishing Whispers in the Dark, I couldn’t say if I liked it more or less than my benchmark book one! After much thought (and maybe even a couple bottles of wine – I’m telling you, I take my ratings seriously ;) ) I decided that I liked it…just exactly the same! Therefore I give this book the same rating as I gave book one – five stars! *queue fireworks*
Maya done good this time and I can’t wait for the next book....more
Before I begin this review, I have one important thing to say about this book. Darker After Midnight is the tenth installment in Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series and HOLY SH*T THIS BOOK IS…OMG JUST…WOW!
Essentially, this book is about Chase and Tavia and how they find their HEA. But really, it’s so much more. So much happens it’s insane! I have to admit that when I first met Chase in book three, I didn’t feel much for him. Yes, I felt bad for him and his situation. But as a character, he was just there. Then he joined the Order and he started getting interesting. Then he started getting on my nerves. Never to the point where I wanted to smack him around, but I may have wanted to shake him a little to see what was going on in that head of his. Then the end of book nine happened and I thought he was the bravest and stupidest vampire on the planet. I found what he did to be such an honorable thing to do. It’s too bad he was walking into certain death. But as I’m getting ready to wave goodbye to Chase forever, I remembered that book ten was to be Chase’s book and he most certainly wasn’t headed for certain death because otherwise that would make book ten the shortest book ever. So I changed it in my head: We were not witnessing Chase’s demise at the end of book nine – we were witnessing his greatness. He is still dealing with his issues in Darker After Midnight but his humanity, if you will, is a strong focus too. I liked him quite a bit in this book and had no feelings of wanting to hurt him. *g*
Tavia is a very good match for Chase. I really liked her character but what I liked most was what Lara ended up doing to/with her. Holy whoa I did not see that coming!!! I mean…yeah. I can’t wait to see what loyal readers of this series think of Tavia at the end of the book. I found it all very fitting to what has been going on in these past few books.
We see quite a bit of the other members of the Order but we mostly see Lucan and Gabrielle. I found it was great how we see the aftermath of his struggle with Bloodlust and his struggle with becoming the true leader he was always meant to me. If I weren’t sitting in the middle of my daughter’s dance school when I read the end of this book, I would have stood up and cheered for Lucan in the epilogue.
I was a little disappointed after reading the last book that Jenna and her ‘condition’ weren’t mentioned more but I did not feel that way this time around. Jenna is very much in the picture and much is explained. We also discover a theory about where Breedmates originated! Yeah…I know! Now you know what I mean when I say tons happens in this book!
I have a huge crush on Gideon. I just wanted to throw that out there.
Now let’s talk about the man we all want to punch in the face…and kick in other more painful regions… Dragos. I am about done with him. He wants vampires to take over the world and humans to be a snack. Yeah…he’s one of those guys. In each book, the Order knocks him down a little bit at a time. Starting this book, I was about ready for Dragos to be really hurt this time. I wanted his operation to be completely disbanded and he himself to die a slow and painful death. Or a fast and painful death. Or even a fast and painless death. I’m easy. I just wanted it to happen. Of course, I won’t tell you what happened with Dragos – you’ll just have to read the book to find out. But I am satisfied with where Dragos is headed at the end of this book.
One more little tidbit about Dragos in Darker After Midnight… The ‘big’ part of his plan is revealed and holy jumpin’ I was not expecting him to go there. And when he went there, it was sad and shocking and another moment in the book that had me lose all words other than ‘whoa’.
Oh, and before I forget, no this is not a stand-alone book. You would still enjoy it if you just jumped in and read this one but you wouldn’t have the same reaction as I did to the book because you would be missing the character build-up and the whole ‘Dragos is a super bastard’ aspect of the story also builds over a few books.
Lara’s Midnight Breed series is a solid series. I have never rated a book under 4 stars. The writing is good, the characters are very well developed and the premise (even though it’s vampires in hiding) is unique. I’m always impressed when I finish a Midnight Breed, but I have to say Darker After Midnight blew me away. I could not sit still during the last few chapters. I held my breath and rooted for the heroes and thought “THIS is how a long-running paranormal romance series should make you feel”. Lara got it just right with this tenth installment. I LOVE where the story ended up and I love where it seems to be headed. Fans of this series will have to agree with me that Darker After Midnight is the best book yet....more
Taking a Shot is the third book in Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series yet it’s the first one I read. Nope, I did not feel lost at all even though the characters from the previous books were all over this one. It was very easy to spot them too: they were the ones who were sickingly in love – but in a very good way. The previous books focused on the brothers in the Riley family but this time around we tag along with the lone girl in the family, Jenna.
Jenna runs the family’s sports bar but really, it’s not what she wants to do with her life. But with her father’s poor health and her brothers’ pro-sports careers, she feels she is the only one who can take care of things on the business end, so she sticks around putting her life pretty much on hold. She has an “I don’t date guys in sports” rule because she is surrounded by sporty guys all the, but she can’t deny the chemistry between her and Ty, a sexy pro-hockey player.
Jenna was a good character to read but her fear to try to follow her dream and face her family and even to start something with Ty was a bit tiring after a while. I still liked her, and she did not once play the ‘whoa is me’ card which saved her in my eyes, but really enough is enough. I was so excited when Ty finally told her what he thought of her fears. Great pom-pom worthy scene. But overall Jenna is a fun girl, very loyal and smart and I often found myself smiling over her internal dialogue.
Ty is just…yummers. He has such a big heart and even though he is attracted to Jenna and doesn’t feel like things should progress further than just in the bedroom (or rink or bar or wherever these two like – this is an erotic novel after all *g*) he never once treats Jenna like a passing fancy or just a piece of a**. I really respected that. How he interacts with Jenna’s family is wonderful and the scenes with his family are really well done. You want to smack his dad – that’s all I’m going to say about that. All in all, I really liked Ty and can’t think of much about him that I didn’t find yummy.
Yes, this is a hockey book but it’s not crazy hardcore into the sport. Yes, you do tag along with Ty as he plays a few games and there is some description of what is going on during those moments but it’s not pages and pages worth. I found Jaci created a nice balance when integrating the sport into the story and she does it without it feeling forced. And I almost fell off my chair at Ty’s thought about Toronto being a formidable opponent. Excuse me for a moment while I LOL! Toronto? A strong challenger?! LMAO I’m sorry if I offend some Leaf fans but really… *Go Sens Go*
This book was a fun, and very hot, very very hot, read. I enjoyed the pace and I did really enjoy the hockey aspect of the story. I found there was some minor repetition in the earlier parts of the book but that quickly dissipated. And even though Jenna wasn’t my most favorite person, she with Ty is wonderful. If you like books with lots of heat and a little hockey on the side, I recommend it.
(A quick note before I begin my review. I feel I should explain how I rate the books in this series. This series belongs on my keeper shelf. Even the books I didn’t quite love and give 3 stars too belong on my keeper shelf. They are guaranteed re-reads. I find it difficult to use my ‘usual’ rating scale when it comes to these books so I rate them by comparing them to one another. Meaning, I stand the installment that I am rating up against my absolute favorites in the series and go from there. If I loved it just the same or more I rate it the same way. If I liked it less, I think about how much less and go from there. Also, this review is spoiler-free but it will spoil some things for those of you who are not completely caught up on the series. Just thought I should let you know about those two things before I begin.)
It is amazing how we crack addicts fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are when it comes to new books in this series. The year long wait between books seems endless. We talk about the next book as soon as we close the current one, before it is even confirmed who will be the hero and heroine. We speculate and hypothesize all year long about what might happen in the next book. We obsess over it. Yes, I said it: we obsess over it. Any little tidbit that JR Ward shares with us, we dissect and read over and over again to see if she stuffed some hidden message or meaning into it. Yes, we are a strange brew. Then, when finally the newest book arrives in our hands, we completely lose track of reality and let the book suck us in. We go into ‘reading hibernation’. Even if we are not enjoying the book and we wonder what the f Ward was thinking when she did this and this and this, we still can’t put the book down for longer than we need to pee. We barely even eat – we just can’t be bothered. Then we reach the end, cry a bit, giggle a bit, *swoon* a bit and bitch a bit then we start the whole process over again. Yes indeed, we BDB addicts are a strange breed.
Before beginning Lover Reborn, the tenth installment in JR Ward’s insanely popular series – the one that introduced me and got me hooked on Paranormal Romance in fact – I think I harbored the same apprehensions as pretty much everybody else. This book is Tohrment’s book. Let’s remember that Tohr was happily mated in the beginning of this series and in one of the most heart and gut wrenching scenes in the entire series, lost his mate Wellsie to the enemy back in book three. He cried, John cried, I cried. Let’s also remember that these guys should only get one mate in their lifetime. So when JR announced that Tohr would not only be the hero of this latest book but that he would also find a new HEA, well holy hell on a jumpstick there is no way this could go well. Ward just can’t replace Wellsie. Ever. She was full of fire and life and it was impossible not to love her. And to think that she was going to be replaced! No way. No f*cking way. Am I close here? Is this what you are thinking too? Well, have no fear because JR Ward did an amazing job with Lover Reborn. Not once do you feel as though Wellsie is being replaced – that is not what this book is about. It is about moving on after the air has been removed from your lungs. It is a book about finding strength and courage and new balance in your life. It is a book about friendship. It is a book about hope and about living.
Tohr…man oh man. Not only was I going into this book thinking they were going to try to ‘replace’ Wellsie but I also went into this book expecting a huge pitty party from this Tohr. I kept waiting for Tohr’s “My life is so empty. Whoa is me. I miss her so much. Wha wha wha” to get on my nerves but it never did. Curious that, because there are quite a bit of scenes involving Tohr and his mourning Wellsie, but all of his ‘miserable scenes’ are done in the right context so it never felt like a pitty party for me. My heart went out to him and I really enjoyed his transformation in this book. I can’t wait to see him fully back to himself in the next book.
No’One is amazing! Going into this book (yes, as you can see, I was anticipating not enjoying this book too much lol) I was thinking “Payne was from the ‘other side’ and she was all demure and stuff and now we have No’One, another lady from the ‘other side’ and she’s going to be all ‘Verily’ and demure and stuff and poo boring.” Yeah…not. I really should have just gone into this book knowing that JR would not mess this up, because No’One is just wonderful . Not once does she try to take over Wellsie’s place. She honors her memory and completely understands that a part of Tohr’s heart will always belong with her. I especially enjoyed her scenes with her daughter, Xhex. Watching their relationship blossom put a smile on my face. And no her and Tohr’s relationship isn’t a lightning bolt ‘how did I ever not see you right in front of me’ kind of thing. Lover Reborn is divided into four parts: Spring, Summer, Autunm and Winter. It takes a full year for Tohr to be at a ‘good’ place and it takes that long for No’One to come into her own too. So no ‘wham-bam-thank you man’ for this couple. And the seasons and their cycle is very symbolic too.
Now if you are as obsessed with juicy tidbits and rumors about what will happen in next BDB books, you know that JR said that in Lover Reborn, John and Xhex would ‘not be okay’ in this book. Well, did she ever call it. I really like this little trend, if you will, of seeing how main characters from past installments are turning out. Yes, we will always hear their names and know that they are still alive, but we don’t often see them for chapters at a time. JR seems to be including a new couple in each book lately and I am happy she is. We’ve seen Wrath and Beth pop back and in the last book we saw Jane and V. This time we see quite a bit of John and Xhex and what they go through will mostly likely not surprise you and shock you all at once. I know it did me. And their scenes were where most of the ‘heat’ came from in this book.
We also see quite a bit of the other Brothers this time around. Not as much as John and Xhex, but they are all mentioned and I think all the men at least have one or two lines! I know I missed that in the last book so I was happy to see that this time around.
Assail is a new character that we meet in Lover Reborn. He is a vampire and an aristocrat. I honestly can’t say I fully understand his purpose in this world – whether he will ultimately be a good guy or a bad guy – but he’s not terrible. I just found that, as Xcor was in the last book, he was just put there and left for us to wonder what his point is. He gives off the same vibe as Rehvenge did when we first met him and I’m assuming we’ll find out more about Assail in the next book.
Speaking of Xcor, I really don’t like that guy. His character isn’t terrible as such, there is a lot to him and we’ve only just beginning to see his many layers, but I am really not liking where his character is fitting into this series. To me, it’s almost like he feels like the forced villain. Am I glad that the lesser have taken a bit of a back seat in the past couple of books? Absolutely. It was time to come up with something a little bit new on the bad-guy side of things. But Xcor and his plans…meh. They tick me off more than anything. And who is he to go in and say all those mean things about our BDB boys? No, I didn’t like where his scenes went and I’m not 100% sure I like where his ideas are headed.
Layla. Yes, I am going to give her her own little paragraph because if Lover Reborn is any indication, her book (or at least her as a main secondary plot in a book) is coming soon. She is actually part of a little cliffhanger in this one. We get a glimpse as to who her HEA may be and it surprised me, believe it or not. I thought “yes!” then I thought “no!” “boo!” then “Grrr…” too. I’m anxious to see what you guys think of who JR is setting up as her guy. I think many will agree with my “boo!” reaction.
Lassiter is in this book a lot. I am, now give me a second to hide behind my chair before continuing on, not a huge Lassiter fan. Actually, he sort of bugs me. Um, quite a bit actually. But in this book he is amazing! He’s toned down and actually seems to give a sh*t about someone other than himself. He’s warm and kind and really, he impressed me.
If you cry easily when you read then you are screwed my friend. I don’t cry easily. In fact, it takes quite a bit for me to cry. But man oh man the last 70 pages had me balling my eyes out. I’m not talking little girly tears: I’m talking big snotty unattractive, have to put the book down so I can compose myself for a minute, tears. These are just beautiful scenes and they really capture the journey that Tohr has undertaken since losing his Wellsie.
Speaking of the last bit of the book, I think this would be a good time to chat about Qhuay. Now, I’m sure you are all aware but I will spell it out anyways: Quay is Qhuinn and Blay. These are the two guys that everyone wants to see get together. JR has stated that yes, they will indeed to each other’s HEA and man has she been teasing us about it since she announced it. No, I will not tell you whether or not they have fun-naked time in this book nor will I tell you if they are even talking. But what I will tell you is that the very last scene of this book, right before the epilogue, amazing. It made me *woot* and I am not even a Qhuay fanatic like many of you are.
All in all I was very impressed with Lover Reborn. JR Ward reminds us why these books are so addictive and why we drool, anticipate, break out in sweats and stalk her site while waiting for a next installment. She handled Tohr beautifully and No’One really is a superb match for him. I know some of you will disagree (because to each their own) but I don’t think that number will be as large as we all originally feared. You can rest at ease: Tohr get’s the perfect happy ending he thoroughly deserves.
Tricked is the fourth installment in Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles series and boy does the title fit the book to a tee. We know that Coyote is a trickster and we know that Atticus needs help closing up some ‘issues’ that came up in the previous couple of books, but even knowing that didn’t prepare me for what poor Atticus has to endure in this latest installment.
Let me explain.
Atticus is all about honor. Well, his honor cost him a big Huge favor and the favor was redeemed in the third book which left Atticus with the wee bit of a predicament of being hunted down for all of eternity by big ol’ scary ‘men’ who want to see him dead. So he asks a favor from Coyote who in turns wants a favor from Atticus. This book is all about Atticus’ favor to Coyote. Confusion much? Well don’t worry; it’s not confusing at all in the book. Instead it’s “did he really just say that? did he really just ask that? what is he going to do about it? is he really going to do that? how is he going to get out of this? wow Atticus is amazing and Kevin is a genius!” The story in Tricked is filled with moments you can’t believe you just read. Some are funny, some are beautiful and many are surprising. From the time I opened the cover to the time I closed it on the last page, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Atticus is a Druid. The last one. So cool. (Not cool that he’s the last one. The part about him being a Druid. That’s cool. You know, in case there was confusion.)
Where do I start with Atticus? He is a bloody brilliant character. I think that about sums him up right there. There is a reason he is on my favorite characters list and it’s because he’s bloody brilliant. I love how, even though he’s over 2,000 years old and has Earth’s magic as his disposal, he is still just human. He doesn’t know it all and is not afraid to admit when he doesn’t. He loves his friends and is loyal to the end. He is vulnerable but not weak. He a SO smart and clever and fun-ny. He tells stories in this series, it’s how many of the situations Atticus gets himself into are explained without being boring recaps, and I swear I could listen to him talk all day. Okay, maybe not all day since I’m sure I’d have to get up to pee at some point, but you know what I mean.
I LOVE Atticus’ relationship with Granuaile. It’s strictly platonic, seeing as he is her teacher and all, but it’s so lovely to read. It’s not complicated and messed up. It’s not filled with unnecessary angst. It’s just two friends who are now teacher/student and who happen to have a bit of an attraction to one another but are fighting it for the greater good. Their relationship is written smart, as is their dialogue together. I must admit that sometimes I find myself thinking “oh for goodness’ sake, just kiss her, kiss her!” but that’s just my inner romance reader crying out. Really, even though there is no straight up romance in this book, the richness of the relationships makes it unnecessary.
Oberon has to be one of the most likeable characters ever. Yes, he is a dog. I am well aware of that. But Atticus, with all his magic mojo, has made it that he can understand Oberon’s thoughts and that in turn the dog can understand Atticus. In this series, we are privy to their ‘conversations’ and they are some of the funniest and most charming parts of the books. And I found that in this latest installment, Kevin kicks it up a notch and makes Oberon even more adorable. Almost all of my giggle-out-loud moments that occurred while I read this book – and there were many let me tell you – came from Oberon and Atticus’ talks. I LOVE how Kevin writes their relationship and I LOVE how Kevin writes that dog. Just brilliant.
You learn a lot about aboriginal mythology in this installment. Learning about the different gods and goddesses and creatures from various times and nations and histories is another one of my most favorite parts of this series. I mean it’s all so interesting! Kevin has added his own twist on it all and turned to myths into incredible realities. Amazing.
New characters are introduced in this book but I can’t say if we will see them again in future books because as much as I enjoyed them, I just can’t see them playing much of a role later one. The villains were just yuck as usual and the way Kevin describes them makes your skin crawl. (That’s good by the way.)
OMG and Leif!!! *smack with open hand* *kick in parts no man wants to be kicked in…with steel toed boots…covered in upside-down tacks* I get why he did what he did but still. *smack with closed fist* And to think I felt sorry for him. *mumble grumble*
And totally random here, the first page is awesome. Funny funny funny.
Kevin Hearne continues to astonish me with Tricked. His story telling is just amazing and his imagination is so rich, you can’t help but get sucked in. His characters are amongst the best and his world is extraordinary. If you liked the first three, you will love this one. And if you have yet to try this series, don’t let the fact that it is written by a boy and the lack of *bow chicka wow wow* scare you away. It really is a series worth trying....more
Trapped is the fifth installment in Kevin Hearne’s fantastic Iron Druid Chronicles series. Nope, this is not really a romance series. But I am sure it will appeal to those of you who are drawn to books that have a sort of ‘urban fantasy’ type of romance storyline. Meaning that you are able to sit through book after book of great chemistry and conversation before actually seeing anything develop between the main character and the one you are dying to see him with. But when they do get together, man are you happy. So if you are a romance lover and can survive a series like that, you will love this one. Also, there is great magic, rich stories and plotlines and some of the best dialogue I have read. It all makes for a very unique and entertaining series.
As you can tell, I am a huge fan of this series, and Trapped has to be one of my favorite installments to date.
The story finds us twelve years after the ending of book four. We witness something pretty awesome in this book: we see the ‘birth’ of a new Druid…in a matter of speaking. That is right everyone! Granuaile has finished her 12 year apprenticeship and we see how she gets bound to the earth in order to become a full-blown Druid. I found it very interesting to see how Kevin wrote her ‘induction’. The detail he put into his scenes were just marvellous. It’s a long process but it wasn’t dull at all. Of course, it helped that occasionally Atticus and Granuaile had to stop in order to run for their lives. Again.
I did find it a little frustrating when the story would jump from one issue that Atticus dug himself into to the next without one being solved. We do bounce back but… There are three main villains I suppose and you can’t even fully call them villains because they are only protecting their honor and trying to write a wrong that was brought on by Atticus sometimes 12 years ago and sometimes longer. I never loved what Atticus agreed to do in the third book and it’s still finding ways to bite him in the ass. I hope eventually that the scales are a bit more balance and we can see Atticus fully enjoying his life and not constantly running for it.
Atticus is the main hero of this series. The books are told from his perspective. It really didn’t take long for him to become one of my all time favorite characters to read. He really is brilliant. His humor, his wit, him loyalty and his charm are all perfect to me. Does he make mistakes? Yes, bucket loads of them. But it’s mostly in the name of loyalty and friendship. And occasionally to save his own ass. But all decisions work with his character and make for an interesting story. I do wish that sometimes he didn’t piss off so many people and have them all hunt him. Sometimes I feel it’s a bit much – but I’ll chat more about that in a bit.
Granuaile, I absolutely adore her. And she is f*cking perfect for Atticus – pardon my French. But in all honesty, there could not be a more perfect match for him. She is witty and clever (hence Oberon’s nickname for her of Clever Girl”). She’s interested in everything he is interested in. She truly loves the earth and wants to be part of it and is honestly honored by the idea of becoming a druid – earth’s protector. And her sass! She can easily keep up with Atticus and I love that too about her.
Oberon, the dog, is still freaking awesome in this book. He still provides some of the funniest lines and makes you want to hug him and squeeze him and give him pork products throughout the story. He is a gem in this series and in this book.
There was tons of action and interesting twists thrown in this book. I love how Kevin twists your ‘typical’ mythological characters and makes them fresh and new. We meet a few new ones too this time around and they were such fun! Brighid comes back as well as the Morrigan. I love the Morrigan! She is scary but in the best of ways. And her very last line in this book…can’t wait to see how that all plays out in Hunted, the next book due out June 2013. Oh and Leif makes an appearance too. Not such a fan of his, but I must say that I am intrigued by his part in the story and how it will play out in the next book. Really, there wasn’t a down moment for me while I read this book.
Overall, I loved this installment. Kevin is a fantastic writer. His imagination and his humor never ceases to amaze me. I always look forward to cracking open an Iron Druid Chronicles book. Trapped now lives on my keeper shelf as will all of the other installments, I’m sure....more
Kelly Meding is back with the fourth installment in her Dreg City series, Wrong Side of Dead. This is such a unique and interesting series. Very dark and very gritty, you can’t have a light stomach to read these books. But, as I’ve said in past reviews, you never feel like the gore is too much or that it’s just there to make you squirm – it really blends well with the story and somehow just fits. It helps remind us that this world that Kelly created is dark and it helps us truly see just how strong her characters are. For anyone to be able to survive what these people survive, you have to be resilient and ridiculously brave. These are people who have been through hell and back and who are still standing, still ready to fight and still ready to help each other out. And as much as the world impresses me in this series, the characters impress me more.
The series is told from Evy’s perspective. Her story is insane. Her story is also what makes this series so different. Ever since she was brought back from the dead (no, she’s not a zombie – she’s way cooler) in book one, Evy has struggled. She’s not sure who she is or what her purpose is. She’s dealing with feelings from ‘old’ Evy and ‘new’ Evy and isn’t sure how to mesh everything together. She’s always a strong, kick ass chick filled with heart and loyalty but her vulnerability and how she deals with what her new life throws at her is what makes her truly special. I have enjoyed her journey in these books, and I loved where her character went in Wrong Side of Dead. I feel like Evy finally has some closure and has a better understanding of who she is now. She has grown in leaps and bounds and is almost at peace with her new life. I was so happy for her because if someone deserves a happy moment or two, it’s Evy.
Speaking of happy moments or two, Wyatt really needs that. Especially after this installment. I never would have anticipated where his character has ended up. Evy is usually the one who carries the ‘vulnerability torch’ in their relationship and Wyatt is usually the stronger, more stable one, but this time around we really see deep into Wyatt and feel his fear and confusion over the journey he is about to undertake.
We even witnessed the more supporting characters change. Then again they did have to, either in this book or the last book, face some pretty important events that would force anyone to change. I mean…yeah. I even felt for the vampires!
Seriously, the character growth in this book was amazing.
Phin is another character I want to mention. In this book, he is totally bad-ass. Yet he still has that softer side – the side that makes you want to tell him anything because you know, without a doubt, that you can trust him with it. He is a little perturbed in this book and we really see how he is when someone messes with a loved one. Yes, we got a good idea in the second book, but for some reason, I feel we see it even better this time around. I love Phin’s character. I love how he is a main-ish character and is male yet is only friends with Evy – that there is no romantic anything there. I would not be disappointed at all if Phin suddenly decided to create a bit of a love triangle with Evy and Wyatt, but in the end Evy and Wyatt belong together so the love triangle would be moot. But really, I just want to see Phin kiss someone. I bet he’s a good kisser ;)
There is one more thing about this series, other than the characters and the world, that makes it unique: it’s the way it’s written. Each chapter is a different timeline. Book one counts down how much time Evy has left. In this book, you bounce from right after the events at the end of book three to present time (about a three month span). You see and sense tension between characters or events are being referred to that you are not completely sure of the details, then you are brought there and it all falls into place. It is really neat and brings a whole different dynamic to the stories.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of this series. It’s one of my absolute favorites. Everything about it, I like. Powerful characters mixed with interesting settings and a unique writing style. It’s Urban Fantasy the way it was meant to written. Wrong Side of Dead brings the series to places I wouldn’t have assumed it would go, but that work. It kept me guessing and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. ...more
The first book in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series hit stores in May of 2011 and it was Wow. Four books later, Thea proves that not only does she possess an incredible talent for writing this genre but also an imagination that will help her bring us many more fantastic tales and characters – hopefully for years to come.
Oracle’s Moon is book four in the Elder Races series. I really enjoyed how this particular installment was written. In the other books, the focus of the story is almost equal parts action-mystery and romance. In this book, the main focus is Grace and Khalil. There is a small mystery to solve but it doesn’t make itself known until we’re almost finished the book so really, the entire book is all about how Grace is coping with her new responsibilities, how Khalil is dealing with his draw to Grace and how these two characters who pretty much come from different worlds find each other and fall in love. It is a lovely book.
Grace is in her early 20’s and has recently lost her sister. Her 4 year old niece and her 9 month old nephew are now her responsibility as is the Power she has inherited from her sister. Grace is now the Oracle. Yes, THE Oracle. People come to her for guidance and to help find closure. She has an affinity with spirits which helps her in her new duties. Even though she is not fond of her new Power filled responsibility, she knows it’s part of her family’s heritage and is hoping to do her best. I loved Grace. She was in the car accident that killed her sister and her brother-in-law and is still dealing with the injuries she suffered, but she won’t let it get to her. Oh sure, she has moments where she wishes she were someplace else or someone else, and who is to blame her, but she never comes across as whiny or self-pitying. I love her wit and I loved watching her with the kids. I also loved seeing how she grew and came into her own. All in all, I loved her character. I’m assuming she’ll be in future books (if the ending is any indication) and I’m looking forward to visiting her again.
The kids…they were so frikkin’ cute! Chloe is the four year old niece and I was absolutely amazed at how Thea wrote her. Often kids in romance novels take away from the main characters and just end up being bratty or in the way, but not in this case. Chloe is charming and you won’t be able to stop yourself from loving her. She and Max really help show off Grace’s compassion and heart and they help show us a side to Khalil we may otherwise have missed.
Khalil. What to say about Khalil? When I read Dragon Bound, book one in the series, I was in awe of Dragos (the hero). It had been a while since I had read a hero that captured me so quickly and thoroughly. Well, I think Thea has done it again with Khalil because I am still giggling over some of his lines and I am still finding myself thinking about him. Khalil is a Djinn and one with the air. He has been around pretty much forever so he has a tendency of being very formal and stiff. He is aware of the advancements in the world but he isn’t really interested in humans – until he meets Grace that is. Well really, it’s meeting Chloe and Max that does him in. He feels drawn to them and wants to protect them so, even though Grace isn’t overly fond of the idea, he sticks around. Grace and Khalil rub each other the wrong way in the beginning of the book and it’s really fun to see. He is not used to being treated the way she treats him – he is a Prince after all. Watching Khalil adapt to Grace and her modern life was so SO funny. There are a few scenes and lines in this book that are unforgettable. I especially enjoyed the scene with Carling and Rune from the previous book. Hilarious!
Thea is planning on doing something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in PNR books before: the next book in the series will be about Dragos and Pia – the hero and heroine from the first book of the series. Yes, that is right, we are getting another book concerning them and I think that’s so great. I am just amazed at how Thea is managing to take the PNR genre and spin it a bit. Different sort of creatures and different directions to her books – I just love it. Lord’s Fall (dunno if I like what this title is hinting at…) will be hitting shelves November 6th 2012. Book six will feature Arya (woot!) and an as yet unknown hero. It is being kept a secret. ;)
Thea is an amazing talent with a writing style truly suited for the paranormal romance genre. Oracle’s Moon is a remarkable read filled with rich characters and a heartfelt story. You simply must check it out....more
By a Thread is the sixth book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series and it continues to demonstrate how awesome this series is.
This time around Finn suggests that it may be time for Gin to take a vacation. A weekend away with Owen, Finn and Bria. You see, since taking care of business back in book five, Gin’s alter ego as the assassin The Spider is starting to become public knowledge. Well, that’s not completely true - It’s becoming public speculation. Therefore every idiot hotshot is trying to kill Gin to prove that they are better than the ‘maybe’ Spider. So after some consideration, and being attacked one more time, Gin agrees to Finn’s suggestion.
They decide to go to Savannah, Bria’s old stomping grounds. Not only will it give Gin a chance to see where her baby sister was living the years they were apart but it will give Bria a chance to see Callie, her BFF. When they arrive, Callie introduces the sisters to her new fiancé – one Donovan Caine.
I was debating whether or not to actually talk about the bastard er…I mean Donovan. Let me explain something…I sometimes read blurbs and I sometimes don’t. I post blurbs on my blog yet I don’t always read them. The blurb for By a Thread I did not read. Why? No clue. So I went into this book pretty much clueless as to what was happening. I only knew Gin was going on vacation with Finn, Owen and Bria because Jennifer told me so a while back while we were discussing Spider’s Revenge. When Donovan appeared on the page, I was shocked. I didn’t see it coming at all. I messaged another blogger and asked if they were going to talk about Donovan because it’s a big surprise but it’s very tricky to talk about this book without talking about the bastard er…Donovan. I asked her if it would be too spoiler-ish. She’s the one who told me to read the blurb…and sure enough, it’s right there. *facepalm* So I guess it’s not a total surprise…I’m just a little slow. *g* The fact that he appears in the blurb also made my mind up for me. We are going to talk about him.
I always wondered why Gin was so hung up on Donovan. I mean, the guy has never been nice to her. Yes, he’s a cop and yes, she’s an assassin. But she’s a ‘good’ assassin and she’s lovely! How can you not love her?! When he left I was happy and I was hoping to never see him again. But Jennifer said she wanted to bring him back to bring Gin closure. Well, I didn’t think Gin needed closure. I thought burn the photos and throw a party, he’s gone. And besides, she has Owen! Yummy, amazing, yummy Owen! My initial reaction to seeing Donovan was shock. Then I was grr… And yes, grr is totally a feeling. But you know what? He worked in this book. By the end of all things, I was very happy with what Jennifer did with him and Gin and everyone. And I did feel like Gin got her closure. And I felt it made things that much stronger between Gin and Owen, yummy Owen. So all in all, I am happy he was in this book. But I am still hoping to never see him again. *g*
Not only did Gin get her closure with Donovan but she also got closure on many other things, including her relationship issues with Bria. I was really impressed with how Jennifer did all that. It’s like this book is the ‘clean slate’ book Gin deserved and needed after Mab. Everything is on the table now and everything feels right with the world. So now the rest of Gin’s life can happen.
I guess I should mention a bit about the story other than Donovan and closure and holiday. Of course, there is no such thing as a vacation for Gin and her friends. They find out upon arriving in Savannah that Callie is being threatened by the local big wig who wants to buy her restaurant for the land it’s on. Callie is not accepting his offer so he is getting more aggressive with his ways of persuading. Dekes, the bad guy, happens to be a vampire. And when vampires drink an Elemental’s blood, they temporarily acquire their power. Yes, that seems sort of random but it’s important to remember. So we have Callie being threatened by a man that almost makes Mab look like a sweet little old grandma and lots of action and plots to keep you on your toes and turning the page. By a Thread is a ride and really fun to read.
Man I love this series. Yes, the repetition is a little bothersome at times, but if you can push through that you are in for some amazing stories. And the characters…you just can’t beat characters like Gin, Owen, Finn and pretty much everyone else that you meet in this world that Jennifer created. By a Thread shows us that there are many more great adventures waiting for us from Gin – that even after taking her revenge after so many years, there are many more stories to tell.
The next book, Widow’s Web, is due out August 21st 2012. This is the book where we are to find out more about Owen, Gin’s love interest, and I can’t wait. Owen has quite the story…I don’t know what it is but I can tell it’s a good one. I have marked my calendar for Widow’s Web’s release and you will too especially after reading By a Thread.
How. On. Earth. Do. I. Figure. Out. Where. To. Begin. With. This. Review? Words like ZOMG and O-o and O-O and Ho-ly Sh*t come to mind that that hardly paints a professional picture.
Why don’t we start with the easiest part. I will tell you that Sins of the Son is the second book in Linda Poitevin’s Grigori Legacy series.
There you go. The easy part is now over. Now let me try to tell you about the story.
No, I just can’t. There is so much in this book! And if I go into something I will have to explain it and that means I will most likely go into too much detail. And if I do that, you won’t have the ‘whoa’ and the ‘really?!’ and the ‘omgomgomg’ moments I had. I really want you all to have those moments too.
The first book of the series was mostly about Alex and how she meets her soulmate Aramael, an angel Power. Basically he was responsible of hunting and ‘taking care of’ fallen angels. Well…things didn’t really go well in the first book and that’s all I’m going to say. This time around, we see a bit of the aftermath from book one but the story shifts its focus from that installment. Instead of Aramael being the main focus of the book, Seth is. There is also a lot about One (God) and Lucifer and their respective plans for humanity and war. The story is so rich and full it really is hard to wrap your mind around it all – but in the very best way.
Alex still drives me a bit batty. I just want to smack her when she bottles herself up and refuses to talk to people she trusts. Okay, yes, if you went around telling people you saw angels and that you are somehow connected to them, people might look at you a little funny, but there are a few people that Alex could confide in. She needs to get some of this out so she can focus on living a full life. I did like how she was with Seth and how she handled his situation. And she has tons of potential to grow as a character so I am very much looking forward to seeing where she goes next.
Seth…oh Seth. His role in this series is great. Such a big responsibility! He has a strong connection with Alex – we witness that in the first book – and it is the reason he is in the predicament that he finds himself in in book two. And what Linda does ‘to’ him is just…so interesting! I find ‘interesting’ and ‘fascinating’ to be two words that work really well with this series and they fit perfectly with Seth and his storyline. Oh, and just wait until you see where Seth ends up at the end of this book! *dreamy grin*
Aramael, don’t like him much. Never really did. I know it’s the nature of his character and how he’s an angel and all and how his free will and emotions were all but taken away when he was in heaven, but I still don’t love him. I never really felt his connection with Alex but I am curious to see how his character will grow, because as with Alex, something is going to happen with him, I can just feel it.
Lucifer is creepy yet not, mean yet not. He is painted as a being with many sides and I love what Linda did with him. I also love how she writes One. She gave humans free will and is trapped by her own gift to us. She feels she can’t interfere with what happens on Earth because it would be like removing our free will, even when situations are catastrophic. The angels are so powerful! I don’t necessarily mean they are powerful but they are written in such a way that you feel their strong presence on the page immediately when you meet them and every time they appear on the page afterwards.
And the Epilogue…THE EPILOGUE! ZOMG!
The setting and the world in book one awed me but in Sins of the Son it amazed me. That is the best part of this series. Linda is an expert world crafter. It’s like she’s thought of everything – every last detail is accounted for. The characters are great, the story is rich and Linda’s writing voice is lyrical. Sins of the Son grips you from the very beginning, stunning you along the way. A wonderful continuation to the series.
Biting Cold is the sixth book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series and I have not been shy about saying that this was a “last chance for this series” read for me. You see, back at the very end of book four, the author did something to a pretty important character that some called gusty and some called stupid. I was feeling some of column A and some of column B but leaning a bit more towards B. I was shocked and a little disappointed; even though I just knew that eventually all would be fixed. This turn of events that the author introduced in book four made some people stop reading the series all together – that’s how serious it was. I decided that I would give it another chance and read book five.
Well, book five did indeed fix things but it just wasn’t a strong enough book to really make me get over my discontent, but at the same time it wasn’t horrid enough that it made me think I was done with this series. So I figured I would give the series one more chance to make me fall for the series again. I mean, the first three books are on my favorite list and I adore the main heroine, Merit. I hate the idea of not reading about her ever again but I also am not a fan of constantly feeling frustrated or let down while reading a Chicagoland Vampires book. So that brings us to here and now: I have read the sixth book. Were there parts that frustrated me? Yup. But did I enjoy the book more than it pissered me off? Yes. Very much so.
I love Merit. I always have liked her character; she is impeccably written. She is strong, smart, sassy, loyal and incredibly human – even though she is a vampire. She is going through some pretty difficult stuff in this book and she handles it really well. She is the sort of character you would totally want to hang out with and she’s the sort of character you cheer on in every installment. She has grown so much in this series, going from a resentful and slightly lost girl to a strong and kick ass woman. Seriously, she is amazing.
Ethan. Ethan is also a good character…but he’s an idiot and the cause of my ‘major frustration’ moment with this book. He is strong, he is sexy, he is intelligent and the scene where he speaks to the members of his House was amazing. He is great at his job – an amazing leader. It’s just too bad he’s a boob sometimes.
In the previous book we find out that Mallory, Merit’s BFF, has been dabbling in places where she really shouldn’t have been dabbling. We know that this book will be the continuation of that story line but it wasn’t all that this book was about. I was very happy for that because I felt that if Mallory took up too much of the book then Merit might fall into ‘woe is me my BFF is a bit nuts at the moment’ territory and I just didn’t want to see her character diminished to that. Heck, she didn’t even go there in the last book and she totally could have. I think Chloe did a great job keeping that plot line under control, giving readers just enough to add drama but not enough to aggravate.
Where the story ended up going surprised me but in a good way. A character that was seen as evil in past books is finally explained and he turns out being very compelling. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again in future books.
Now let’s vent chat about the part of the story that made me question my giving this book a try. My Goodreads friends were witness to my reaction to this part of the book when I used my status update to vent a little bit. My exact quote was: “Really Ethan? AGAIN?! This is no longer fun. I am officially p*ssed off now…” The reason why this particular turn of events in this book brought out such a strong reaction is that we have seen this exact thing before in this series. Watching Ethan and Merit’s ‘not-really-on-again-not-really-off-again’ relationship was fun in the first three books then…not. By book six, you would think that these two would figure out where the hell they are going to end up. Either get together or don’t – it’s that simple. It’s not fair to your readers to string them along for books and books only to see the hero push the heroine away AGAIN, using some asinine excuse similar to one he’s used before. Suck it up dude because you are now the type of man women want to throw off a cliff. Twice. It’s not fun to read these parts of the story anymore when sh*t like that keeps happening. Yes, I understand that the six books take place over less than a year but still, think of your devoted readers. There is a difference between bringing passion out from your readers and P*ssing them off. When I wrote my status update on Goodreads, I got comments on a few pages linked to that book, tweets from frustrated readers and emails agreeing with me. Yes, (tiny spoiler but not really here) things seem to be going onto the right track by the end of the book but no one truly trusts that this is it this time because it has happened so many times before, then Ethan becomes a boob and it all goes to sh*t. I am giving the author a chance to prove to us that the Merit/Ethan ping-pong game is now over. I don’t mean make things all roses and gumdrops for them: I just mean to please let them have an adult relationship from now on because they are, you know, grownups! If we wanted to read about high school drama, we would read YA. Believe it or not though, even though this scene and the few after it did cause me to be majorly ticked off, I did find the parts around it to be very well done, drawing me into the story and making me want to know what would happen next.
So, did Biting Cold save the series for me? Mostly yes. I was leaning towards giving this book 5 stars until the ‘kerfuffle’ occurred and I will definitely be reading the next book, House Rules, releasing February 5th 2013. I would like to think that Ethan is over his head being shoved up his a** and I really do like Chloe’s writing voice and Merit. I am about 80% back to rediscovering my love for this series. Hopefully the next book will bring it back to 100%....more
Sacrificial Magic is the fourth book in Stacia Kane’s dark and gritty Downside Ghosts series. I can’t say why but it took me quite a while to really get into this book but once I did, wow!
Right from the get go you are thrown into the action. You tag along as Chess takes care of a job as a Debunker (basically she banishes crazy creepy and mostly violent ghosts) then you follow her to Church where she received a new assignment. And this new assignment is a very interesting job indeed. When she arrives at the school that is supposedly being haunted, the questions that pile up are unbelievable! There is no way of knowing where the story is headed! Then slowly things unravel and come to light and just then you think Chess has come to the end of it…you realize she hasn’t and the mystery builds and gets even more intense! Yes I realize that that is a lot of exclamation marks but trust me, each one is deserved! I found the ‘mystery-solving’ aspect of this installment to be stellar. The twists were wonderful and when you finally find out the whole truth of what is going on…wow.
Chess is great in this book. Okay, maybe not the whole book but she gets there eventually. Truth be told, I wanted to smack her for about 85% of the book. She is finally with Terrible and things are going great but she is so dead set on questioning why he’s with her and she’s continually counting down the moments until he ‘realizes he should be with someone else’ that she not only sabotages her relationship but she drives the reader freaking nuts! Yes, the drugs and her upbringing and all that plays a role in her behavior and therefore it is character appropriate, but it is also, at times, just too much for me. It goes back to one of my pet peeves where the heroine doesn’t realize that she is actually insulting the hero by thinking she’s not good enough for him. If that were true, why would he be with her? But when things get straightened out between Chess and Terrible the scene is actually really nice and finally near the end when Chess seems to get stronger and break through some sort of emotional barrier, well that scene is awesome. I really hope we continue seeing this ‘new Chess’ in the next installment because I am so proud of her and I want to see her continue to ‘grow’.
Terrible is…Terrible. He’s not changed much in this book but he really didn’t need to. He just needs to show up on the page and it’s practically impossible to focus on anything else. He is an enforcer but there is so much to him. He’s considered ugly but he is beautiful at heart. He’s just a really well written character that continues to impress.
I enjoyed reading Lex this time around and we get to meet his sister in this book and I found her to be well done. Lex really is a good friend to Chess and it was nice to be able to see him at his best. But man his role is about to change and I am super curious to see where it’s going. Lex’s sister is all over the place in this book. One second you hate her and the next you like her. I think she has the potential to also become a friend for Chess and she’s another character I am looking forward to revisiting in the next installment. I also really like Elder Griffin. He’s almost like a father figure to Chess but his role too may be changing. So many things to look forward to in book five, Chasing Magic,and thank goodness not too long to wait since it’s due to release June 26th2012.
As you can see there is a lot of interesting things that happen in this book with and to the characters. And the mystery is really gripping. So I can’t even begin to tell you why it took me about half the book to really get into it. But I can tell you that once I hit that mark where I got totally sucked in, it was hard to put this book down. Stacia did a fantastic job continuing to develop the extremely unique world that she has created and makes it that we can never be sure where she is taking us. The book is as hard and raw as the others in the series and continues to be a shining example of how dark urban fantasy should be written. Fans of the genre can’t miss this series and fans of the series will be very pleased with this book....more
This should be a pretty short review considering there isn’t a thing about About That Night that I did not enjoy. Now, let’s see if it’s even possible for me to write a ‘short-ish’ review.
About That Night is the third book in Julie James’ FBI series. Now, when it comes to these books, I would use the term ‘series’ loosely because they are not one long continuing story. They are, in fact, completely standalone books that happen to contain cameos from the characters from past books. You will not in the least feel lost or confused if you just jump right into this book. The other books are fantastic and if you are a fan of contemporary romance books you absolutely must check them out, but do that because you want to read an awesome book and not because you feel the need to play catch up for this book. Now, let’s talk about the story in About That Night.
Nine years ago, Kyle Rhodes and Rylann Pierce were in college and met in a bar. Instant connection happened, Kyle walked Rylann home, told her he would be by the next day to pick her up for a date but never showed. Don’t go thinking Kyle was a big jerk back then, he did have a very legitimate reason for standing her up.
Now nine years later, Rylann is a lawyer who recently moved to Chicago from San Francisco and Kyle is well, the Twitter Terrorist. He is a computer security brainiac and, in a fit of drunken jealousy, shut down Twitter for a couple of days. For that little incident, he got arrested and spent four months in prison. About That Night starts off shortly after he was released from prison and put on house arrest.
Kyle is Jordan’s twin sister – the heroine from the previous book. We meet him just enough in the last book to want to know more about him. He is an amazing character – my favorite of Julie’s heroes to date. Charming, witty, clever, smart, sexy, yummy…name great qualities you want to find in a man and I’ll tell you Kyle has them. But on top of all that, he doesn’t take himself too seriously AND he takes full responsibility for his actions. I love how he’s not a whiny brat even though he is the son of a billionaire and spent time in jail. He likes to have fun but knows when it’s time to be serious. And he has a huge heart to boot! I’m telling you, he’s your perfect contemporary romance hero. I absolutely loved him.
Rylann (what a beautiful name!) was great and perfect for Kyle. Kyle needs a strong woman who can see that there is more to him than meets the eye, and Ry sees that from their first meeting. Kyle is good for her too. He undoes her in the very best way. She is very smart and I loved her scenes in court. She is smart enough to keep up with Kyle and that is another way they are a very good match.
I was very pleased with how this story worked. We follow Rylann as she settles in her new life in Chicago and we follow Kyle as he sets off on the next part of his life – the ex Twitter Terrorist part. There was conflict but nothing so over the top that it made things unrealistic. That is one thing that truly bothers me in contemporary romance books, when the author just sticks a conflict in there just because she feels like there should be something standing in the couple’s way. I know that is something I will never have to worry about with Julie. Her ideas are always tight and her stories are always solid and believable. And why? Research. Julie puts quite a bit of research into each of her books. Yes, she had a background in law and can pull from that when writing her lawyers, but the prison scenes and the computer scenes (for lack of a better term) were really well done. Julie did her homework and it showed. I also enjoy how Julie adds some pop culture references in her books. It reminds you that this book is taking place now and I believe it will add a bit of nostalgia when we re-read these books ten or fifteen years down the road. Very fun.
The side characters are wonderful. I especially liked Rylann’s friend Rae. She was a spitfire without begin annoying and I hope we see her again in future books. We see Cameron and Jack and Nick and Jordon in this book too and I was pleased by their roles. Again, not just stuffed in here to say they made their appearance. Julie mentioned that the hero from the next book is in About That Night and after reading this it leaves me with two possibilities in mind – both totally acceptable. And if it’s not one next time, I hope it’s him the time after that because I do believe both of these gentlemen need their stories told.
Julie James is an auto-buy author for me. Simply put, she writes perfect contemporary romance stories filled with endearing characters that jump off the page. And even though I set out to write a short review about this book, it was simply impossible. About That Night is too gosh darn good not to go on and on about. It’s a fabulous, fresh, funny and smart book by one of contemporary romance’s stars. You will fall in love with it as I have. A must read for fans of the genre....more
Warning: This is not a book that you want to read and reach the 80% mark right about the time you are about to go camping with a group of Girl Guides. Doing so will cause you to sneak a light into your sleeping bag and have you reading until ridiculously late at night (or early in the morning, however you want to word it). It may also cause you to fake a headache just so you could go back to your cabin to read. Of course, I did none of those things. At all. Not once.
Okay, so I didn’t fake the headache but I did stay up way later than I should reading via booklight in my sleeping bag. I just wanted, no needed to know what would happen next. And let me tell you, it was awesome and it actually wasn’t what I was expecting.
Lethal Rider is the third book in Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance series and takes place about 8 months after the end of Immortal Rider. This series focuses on the four horsemen of the apocalypse – well technically three horsemen and one horsewoman – and how they not only try to stop the apocalypse from occurring but also how they meet and fall in love with their HEAs. These books are not stand-alones and must be read in order.
Lethal Rider is about the fourth horseman, Thanatos (Than). If his seal were to break, he would become Death. So you really don’t expect him to be a soft and snuggly sort of guy being Death and all. He has seen such horrors and they truly affected him. Than is afraid to be around anyone he cares about because every once in a while Death takes over and he goes a little mad, killing pretty much everything and everyone around. You know your usual Death sort of things. But in truth he’s the one with the heart in the family. He wanted a wife and children before being cursed as a Horseman. He’s also the one who wanted to save his brother who is now Pestilence instead of killing him outright.
For 8 months, Than has been kept immobilized by his siblings. After Regan forced him to have sex with her in the last book, Than went a little mad. That Death sort of mad I mentioned earlier. They could only imagine what he would be like if he found out she was pregnant with his child! So to protect Regan, the baby and pretty much the entire world, they used Hellhound poison to keep him frozen. But he manages to escape and finds Regan…and her belly. I love how he has an instant connection to the baby. I love how he is immediately paternal. Than is just an awesome hero – vulnerable, conflicted, strong, smart… And let’s not forget sexy. So far, he is my favorite sibling.
Regan is a good heroine too. I have to say that I liked her in the last book but I suppose I didn’t really get her. I was very curious to know more about her and now that I do, I like her much more. You almost feel as though you should hate her bit it’s hard to once you get to know her. She was born of a demon-possessed father making her a bit of a mutant in the Aegis’ eyes. Her whole life, she’s been looking to belong and to be accepted. That is one of the reasons she took on the responsibility of seducing Than and carrying his child. She too is full of emotion and vulnerability yet is extremely strong and brave. She ends up being a really good match for Than. Really good.
I loved how Larissa wrote their romance. It wasn’t “oh, I hate you but you’re hot so let’s get it on” with an “okie dokie” response from the other party. Thanatos was hurt, deeply, by Regan’s betrayal. He felt a real connection with her and he is extra pissered at her. Regan had convinced herself that she was doing the right thing in the last book but now that time has passed, she knows she did a terrible thing – even though it wasn’t really all her fault. She is stressed with grief and believes she deserves whatever Than will do to her. Yet she is still drawn to him too. These are two people who are torn and who take their time and communicate together to sort things out and to work things out. I was very impressed with their relationship and in the end, it made sense. I think if they were just to “forgive and forget” too easily, it would have made the whole book seem wrong. But it wasn’t so drawn out that it became annoying. It was like baby bear – it was just right.
Larissa added in a few twists that I found to be just awesome. Pestilence at the end of the book – unexpected but I like. Vampires and their origin – unexpected but I like. These two major twists turned the story and brought not only this book but also the next book to places I am extra anxious to see. And who ends up being the ‘ultimate villain’ really shocked me!
There are many side characters in this series and this book is no exception. You follow Kynan and the Aegis through a very interesting story line that will make you want to smack more than one person and you follow Reaver and the other angels in a really great story that makes me want the next book as much as the twist with Pestilence makes me want it. And you know what? Even with all of these people and all of these stories, you grow to care for each one of them. That is a sign of how talented Larissa is when she writes her characters.
This is such an awesome series. Larissa writes some of the best worlds you will ever encounter. The detail is just so rich! Throw in characters you think about well after finishing the book and compelling storylines and you have a paranormal romance series you don’t want to miss.
Lethal Rider was a perfect continuation to the series. I can’t wait to see what happens next....more
Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett was my second most favorite read of 2011. Seriously people, it is amazing. It is a debut book by a new author and it’s written so well you can’t believe you are reading a first book. (And if you haven’t read it yet, then I haven’t been loud enough about how incredible the book is!). Seeing how much I loved LOVED book one, you can only imagine how high my hopes were for book two. Remember, book one was my number two favorite read last year so ideally book two would, if not surpass it, at least meet book one’s awesomness. No pressure there. Well guys let me tell you, Summoning the Night is tremendous phenomenal fantastic! I read it in one day and followers of my blog will know that that is unheard of for me and urban fantasy books. Yes, I did basically ignore my family, my kids, my everything just to read this book. And when I finished, I was equal parts giddy and shaking. And yes, I hugged it too. It left me even more in awe of this author and I now feel as though it is my job, the reason I started book blogging, to tell everyone to read this book and to read this series.
Am I being a bit dramatic here? Oh yes, probably. But it’s only because I want you to read this book! If just taking my word for it doesn’t work, then let me tell you a bit about what to expect in this installment.
Actually, I won’t do that because the Goodreads blurb is quite thorough. So I’ll just talk about what I liked about the book.
Arcadia (Cady) is our main heroine and the story is told from her perspective. She is an incredibly well written character. Her life has been pretty crappy up until recently but you never really hear her complain. Does her past haunt her? Absolutely. But she doesn’t dwell on it and goes with the flow. She is also awfully quick and incredibly smart. She is a very compassionate and loyal character too and I find those are very important traits in an urban fantasy lead. Her snark is pretty awesome too. She is a witch and the witches in the world that Jenn has built are very different from any witches I’ve read before. I love how witchcraft is described – how visual it is. One of my favorite things about Cady in this installment is how she grows as a character. You see quite a difference from the first book to now and she grows even more in this book. She is more sure of herself and more comfortable in her skin. I wanted to make a sign that said “Go Cady, Go” and put it out on my front lawn, but the neighbors then might think I was a little odd…so I decided to silently chant that mantra over and over while reading.
Lon is part demon but just as with the witches, the demons are very different in this series. They have halos and some have knacks that are pretty cool. I’m not talking Jesus halos here so don’t go ‘huh?’ – it’s like a colored glow around their head that most can’t see. It’s neat. Lon is in his early forties, self assured and just absolutely yummy. I totally used to picture him looking like Johnny Depp but now that I’ve seen the image that Jenn painted and posted on her site, I see him as Jenn sees him. And even though the idea of Johnny Depp’s image being gone from my mind may not seem like a good thing, it really is because I think this ‘new’ Lon is even yummier. I love that he’s mature and, you know, a grown up. He is perfect with Cady. He loves her and she him and they are a perfect match and really need to live happily-ever-after *glares at Jenn*. I love how real he is too. He is a father and is not written with infinite patience like the dads in old tv sitcoms – he’s a great dad but he’s realistic. As with Cady, he’s loving and kind but not over the top. In case I’m not making myself clear here, he’s a fantastic character.
Teenagers in books can often be annoying. Yes, I said it. Cocky or full of snot, they just aren’t pleasant to read. Jupe (Lon’s son) is 13, almost 14, and yes he is cocky but he is also something many teens in literature aren’t: he is endearing. It is impossible not to love this character. Jenn writes him so well, he doesn’t take away from the story, he adds to it. In fact, in this installment, he pretty much steals the show. He is growing quite attached to Cady and I love to see this tender side to Jupe. And he makes Cady’s tender side come out too which is charming to watch. He is so innocent yet wise. I can’t wait to watch his character grow.
Hajo is an intriguing character that we meet in this book and I would not mind seeing again. Really, I wouldn’t want his ‘gift’…ever…but I can see big things in this series for him. And now that I’ve said that just watch Jenn cackle at her computer and make that this is the only time we will ever see him.
And Dare is an a** hole, pardon my French. That is all.
As with the first book, there is a bit of creepy in Summoning the Night. There is an almost film-noir feel to these books and Jenn brings that feeling into her mystery plot-lines. And since she is a very visual writer, the creepy level is cranked in this series. It fits the characters perfectly. The mystery itself this time around was great. In book one, we didn’t see the twists and turns coming. Well, Jenn does the exact same thing in this installment. The twists, the turns… And when you’re finally sure you know who is behind it all and what will happen next, you realize that you are wrong. And I mean really wrong. Basically you get a ride from beginning to end and when you reach the end you are delighted with the turn out. Creeped out by it all, but delighted.
Jenn Bennett proved that she can write with Kindling the Moon and with Summoning the Night, she proved that she has staying power. This newest installment is an Amazing follow up.
Now, even if after all that, I still haven’t convinced you to give this book and this series a try, just don’t pay any attention to what I am doing here…
*takes old pocket watch out of pocket* *starts slowly swinging it in front of your eyes* Now look at the screen. You want to read Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series. You need to read Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series…
Magic Without Mercy is the eight installment in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series. It really does a phenomenal job setting up the ninth and final book due out in November of this year. *takes a moment to try not to panic about the series coming to an end in just a few short months…deep breath…deep breath…*
This time around Allie and her loyal friends from the Authority are being hunted by…well pretty much by everyone. You see, there was a big misunderstanding in the last book *wink wink*. Okay, maybe it was more of a ‘misinformation leading to murder’. But it was a necessary murder. Really it was. But now Allie and friends are on the run while trying to find the proof they need to clear their names and accuse the right person/people. Oh, and they are also trying not to get killed by crazed ghosts who have escaped the other side and who are dead set (*giggle* “dead set” It’s funny because they are ghosts *giggle*) on taking over the world.
Phew. It sounds like it was an action-packed and busy book because it really was a busy and action-packed book.
I love how Allie is coming even more into her own in this book and has become the leader she is capable of being. She knows she is right and is willing to do whatever she needs to do to prove it in order to save lives and protect the innocent, as is their motto in the Authority. She really is a superb character and I am still enjoying her after eight books.
Zay is getting easier to read too. His faith in Allie and his love for her is shining through more and more and it’s nice to see. He’s usually so closed off! So when he says really sweet things to Allie, I melt and not surprisingly, so does she.
The villains in this series are great villains – I mean you easily hate them and want to smack them yourself – and the supporting characters are really well written. It’s hard not to like any member of the Authority. Even the few, such as Victor, who isn’t talked about to the extent of some of the other side characters, are well developed enough that you find yourself caring whether or not something bad happens to them. I think Devon wrote a wonderful group of people in this series and they shine extra bright in this book.
Since I’m on the topic of shining characters, let me say that I will be adding a new character to my favorite characters list and his name is Shame. In fact, he is mentioned in the very first line in this book.
I had a headache. That’s headache’s name was Shamus Flynn.
I Love This Character. We meet him very early on in this series and I have always loved him. He’s a brooding hero who doesn’t give a sh*t…but he does at the same time. He has such incredible heart and he is so smart. But my favorite part about him has to be his dialogue as he is incredibly funny and witty. I have not once thought of him as a romantic match for Allie but as a friend, there is no one better. Devon has mentioned that she would like to write a new spin-off series or at least something with Shame in the starring lead and to that I say “OMG Do It!” That would be an amazing book!
In this installment we see more and more of Shame’s friendship with Terric, another character I am very fond of. There is something about these two, when they are in a scene together just hanging out or when they use magic together, it’s hard not to be impressed by what you read.
There is a LOT of magic in this book. I know, this is a series that circles around magic but it’s not usually describes as much as it was in this book. I find it so insanely original how Devon uses magic in her Allie books. And when she writes it being cast, it’s so visual and stunning! You can really see what it would look like and it helps draw you even deeper into the book.
I did find some of the action a little repetitive at times, meaning the group would meet a close call, Zay would get hurt, they all escape, they get found, they have to escape, Zay would get hurt, and so on… And there is a big magic fight near the end (which is pretty much what happens near the end of every book) but the action was constant and the overall outcome was quite unexpected so it ended up being alright with me. I mean, very important characters die in this book! My jaw hit the floor when the first one went down! Like ZOMG! But it’s hard to focus on that when Jingo Jingo arrives and Paul is there and Cody and just…whoa. Magic Without Mercy was one of those books that sat with me for a bit after I closed it because I needed to process it all. And now I can’t wait for Magic for a Price to come out! Can’t. Wait.
Overall, even with that little bit of ‘been there, done that’ feeling that crept into the story every once in a while, I loved this book. As I said in the beginning of my review, it sets up the final book beautifully, shows how Allie is continuing to grow and is non-stop in its action. Devon does it once again, showing us that Allie and friends are a powerful force and that this series is truly kick ass.
A Sliver of Shadow is the second book in Allison Pang’s Abby Sinclair series and it is a very good follow up to one of my favorite books of 2011. The first book, A Brush of Darkness, easily made it to my favorites list and now the second book is sitting right alongside it.
A Sliver of Shadow is book two in an urban fantasy series. That is important to remember when going into this book. This is not a romance book or a stand-alone novel. It is a typical urban fantasy book two which means it is different from the first book and that there is a whole bunch of stuff going on. So much so, I am not going to go into details because then this review would be even longer than my usual reviews – and that’s saying something. But I will say this, once you get past the initial 60 or so pages where there is set-up and chatter and reminders of events from the first installment, the story is quick and interesting and…well, there is a cliffhanger ending but we’ll just talk about that in a sec.
Abby is the main protagonist in this series. She is human but she is special. The world you are introduced to in these books is the world of the Fae and Daemons. And there is a unicorn – but Phin is not your typical fairy tale fluffy cutesy unicorn. He is a little crass and tons of fun. He is Abby’s companion and is the source of many of the series’ humorous moments. In the first book, Abby was pretty clueless to her involvement in this world that Allison has created. Oh, she knew that the Fae existed and that she sort of worked for one, but exactly how she fit into it all was a mystery to her. In A Sliver of Shadow, she is more comfortable with her role and she is so much stronger for it. She has guts and heart and is overall very likable and a great heroine to read. I loved how she grew from the first book to this one and how she grew within this one too. She is stronger against the Fae, against her friends and even against Brystion.
Brystion is an incubus and he was Abby’s main interest in the first book – but that didn’t quite work out the way either of them had planned. I was warned by Allison, pretty much right after reading book one, that Brystion didn’t play as big of a role in the second book so I was prepared. Besides, after reading the ending to book one, it should not come to anyone’s surprise that he isn’t the main guy this time around. Don’t get me wrong, he does appear quite a bit in this second installment but it’s in a slightly different capacity. (How’s that for vague? *g*) He’s still yummy and brooding and all that good stuff…and he’s still a bit of an arse. I don’t know what it is about men with attitudes and why we think they are perfect matches for our dear heroines but we do. Or do we?…
Enter Talivar. He is the Fae Prince who was sent to guard Abby in the first book. By the time book two opens, he’s been living with Abby for 8 months or so and they have grown somewhat close and quite comfortable with each other. I really enjoyed seeing how their friendship develops – how he sees in Abby someone who is open and true. My heart went out many times to Talivar in this book, but even though his story is a sad one, it made his character stronger and more appealing. He’s not weak in the least – all the opposite. And now that Brystion is out of the way – so to speak – Abby and Talivar are growing even closer. Yes, basically, what I am saying is that a love-triangle of sorts has developed. But no need to fret, it’s not an annoying one. Each man works in a different way for Abby. Both are right and both are wrong and neither would truly work long term, but it will be very interesting to watch and see where it all goes. I am ‘used’ to Brystion with Abby but I really like her with Talivar. Decisions decisions…
Melanie is Abby’s best friend and plays a complicated role in this series and world. And by the end of book two, she is still a mystery just a little less of one. I hope we get to dive into her story a bit more in the third book because it really seems interesting. And there are a few new characters introduced in this book and each is interesting…and some have to do with Melanie’s story and some don’t. There is one nasty piece of work then there is the Queen and Jimmy…all very well done.
Now on to that cliffhanger I teased about earlier. Yeah…it’s a good one. I think it’s exactly along the lines of Carolyn Crane’s cliffhanger in Double Cross. It’s the kind that really really really makes you want the next book but not the kind that makes you want to drive to the author’s house and tickle the continuation of the story of out her or, even easier, bang your head against the wall. It was really well done and I didn’t see that ending coming at all. Allison assures me that things will be resolved in the third book, A Trace of Moonlight, coming out later this year, because the current story arc will pretty much wrap up in that one.
After reading A Brush of Darkness, I had high hopes for book two and I’m glad to say that for me, A Sliver of Shadow reached my expectations. I will be looking at this book for years to come as it sits comfortably on my keeper shelf next to Abby Sinclair, book one.
Deep Dark Secret is the third book in Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series and it continues to show how well Sierra can write and weave a story.
This is very much an urban fantasy series: you have your kick ass chick in Secret who is half werewolf, half vampire and you follow her from book to book as she hunts down rogue vampires, solves crimes, gets tangled up in situations that are way over her head all the while mingling with not one, not two but three men. Well, I suppose technically it’s two men since one is only interested in her but they are not actually doing anything about that…
Secret is an amazing heroine. In fact, I’ve added her to my favorite characters list because that is how awesome she is. Even though she isn’t human she is trying to hold on to the humanity that was instilled in her by her Grandmere, but she is beginning to feel the ‘monsters’ getting closer and closer to the surface. She is very good at her job(s) and knows it, yet she is often vulnerable and sweet…in her own way. I love how Secret is snarky and strong yet not afraid to ask for help. She is relatable and funny and just all around a great read.
One of the men in her life is Desmond. I know that many people think he is too weak to be with Secret but I am one of those who think they are awesome together. He is a werewolf and is the Alpha’s second, but even as an alpha, he is not afraid of showing Secret his softer more playful side. Secret is all over the place sometimes and she needs someone who will balance her out. That’s what Desmond does. I really like them together.
Next we have Holden. He isn’t in this installment much but when he’s on the page, you take notice. He is a vampire and used to be Secret’s handler. Now…well she is sort of his boss. Yeah…you would think that would be awkward, and sometimes it is, but neither of these characters is shallow enough to let it get to them to the point where we want to bang someone over the head. I like how Holden sees Secret for whom and what she is and still appreciates her. I like how he cares for her without expecting anything…much. He really is a good guy but before I can really say that Secret belongs with Desmond and not with Holden, I think I may need to see how Secret is with Holden in a romantic (and not forced or awkward) setting. Will we ever see that? Who the heck knows? In this series, anything is possible.
And our third and final contestant is…Lucas. Lucas is the werewolf Alpha – he is the king. I was a huge Lucas fan girl while reading book one. In fact, if you were creepy passed by my window you would have seen me with an ‘I heart Lucas’ sign in one hand and a pom pom in the other. But now…I may have spray painted my Lucas sign with a big red X and may have stomped on it a few times. I may have even let the kids play with their trucks on it. I understand his motives but his execution is terrible. There are times in previous books where I thought Secret may have been a bit too hard on him. After this book, I want to go back and cheer Secret on during those scenes. Really…gah. Yet my heart somehow still goes out to him. He is the werewolf king and he has to consider his pack first. That’s just how it is. I don’t remember disliking and liking a character equally like I do Lucas. Once again, proof that Sierra can write.
Before I continue, I can see how some of you have just read my paragraphs about Secrets three men are rolling your eyes. But do not judge and do not fret – Sierra does this love ‘square’ exceptionally well. I have mentioned this before in previous reviews and I feel it bears repeating: Secret is not laying around with her legs open for guy one then guy two a little later in the evening. She is true to her feelings and is aware of the others’ feelings. She is not hiding anyone from anyone either. She is bonded to two men and close friends with another and it is because of this that she is in the situation that she is. I am not usually a fan of love triangles – I think they can get very messy and I hate how someone always gets hurt then turns into a big fat immature jerk making me lose all respect for him. But in this case, I think everything will turn out for the best. I have faith in Sierra and in her writing. Her stories draw you in – whether it be her novellas or her full length books – and she knows how to balance love and action and mystery. One does not necessarily overpower the other. She has some serious writing chops and I trust her. (Do you hear me Sierra? I trust you! Don’t break that trust! ;) )
As usual, the story in Deep Dark Secret is…busy. People need help, people are missing, people are dying and Secret must help figure it all out. The ultimate villain is creepy as heck – in what he does and what he looks like. Sierra writes creepy yucky villains people. ‘Ew’ worthy villains. And in this book we witness Secret in her “very important vampire person” duties and also in her “very important werewolf person” duties. I wonder what will happen when the masses find out that she is a mixed-breed? Then I think I don’t want to know because how people react to that sort of news has the potential of being quite predictable. Then again, it all goes back to trusting the author and her ultimate vision for this series.
I wasn’t 100% sure how to rate this book. In the first 80 or so pages we are introduced to many many many little plot lines. As I said, this story is busy. I found myself wondering where they were all going and hoping they would start to make sense soon. They were really entertaining, don’t get me wrong. The pace of the book is fantastic as always, but I was just wondering. Suddenly bam! I stayed up late finishing this book…and at 4am when my son came into my room because he couldn’t sleep and needed help finding his doudou, I found myself falling asleep thinking about the book. I also thought about it first thing when I woke up. That is the sign of a great book in my opinion and that is why I rated it the way I did. This series is fantastic. The writing is constantly solid and tight, the stories are incredible, the characters are amazing – and create very passionate responses in readers. If you haven’t found this series yet, you must give it a try. It’s just incredible....more
A solid read. Great characters and a very interesting world. Curious to see where it goes which is always a good sign after finishing a series book. NA solid read. Great characters and a very interesting world. Curious to see where it goes which is always a good sign after finishing a series book. Near the end, I was ready for it to end. Not sure what that means lol. Good read overall. Review to follow....more
*Heads up – slight not-really-but-sort-of spoilers ahead. I’m not giving away details, just talking about bits that confused/bothered me.*
I am torn about my review for this book. On one hand, I loved it. I am giving it a high-ish rating after all. It’s engaging and makes your heart stomp thanks to its action and heart-fluttering moments. On the other hand, it didn’t seem to do much to advance the series and one of the major plot lines…well, I didn’t really see the point of it in the overall story arc.
Let me explain.
Darkness Devours is the third book in Keri Arthur’s Dark Angels series. This is an urban fantasy series that isn’t talked much about and I don’t understand why. It’s awesome! The characters are written really well and the paranormal beings unique. The main story arc is fascinating and really keeps you guessing. The first two books have focused on getting to know the beings present in this world and on how Risa, and pretty much everyone else, is looking for the keys that will ensure that the gates of hell remain closed. Some want to find it to release the demons, some want to find them to lock them permanently making that no soul can be re-born but no demon can ever escape either and others want to make sure things stay as they are. That has been the main focus of the series to date and that has been the most exciting aspect of the books, in my opinion. Now we are at book three, expecting to find out where the second key is, who may have messed with the first key at the end of book two, following Risa (and her yummy Reaper guardian Azriel) as she tries to puzzle out the next clues…but what do we get? None of that! We get nothing about the keys! We get crazy vampire lady, Hunter, and a story about how the vampire council wants Risa dead and how she has to prove her worth so they don’t kill her. We heard of the vampires wanting her dead in the second book…quite a bit. And now we hear about it…quite a bit…again. I don’t get why they want her dead so badly. I don’t understand why she should even show up on the vampire’s radar. Yes, a deal was struck blah blah blah, but still. Why Hunter? Why does the whole book have to focus on a demon who eats vampires alive and WHY does Risa have to be the one who handles the case? She’s not a Guardian, she’s not a cop, she’s not anything detective-ish at all! That really threw me off. The whole time I am waiting to hear about the keys and dad and keys and, you know, keys. But nope, I hear about gross demons and vampires wanting Risa dead.
And there’s an ex of Risa that just came out of nowhere and I still don’t understand what his point was. Things could have been done without him. Really, they could have. Why add sort-of-but-not-really feelings in the mix when Risa is already mixed up about Lucian and Azriel? *scratches head*
Oh, and let’s chat a bit about the demons who keep kidnapping Risa and bringing her underground so Azriel can’t track her. It happens in book one. It happens in book two. And yes sir, it happens twice in book three. I think it’s time to come up with a new little twist because that one is getting frustrating.
End of rant
There really was a lot of good in this book. I still love Risa. She’s strong but real. She is extremely loyal to those around her, not afraid to show her vulnerabilities and is just trying to get by however she can. I really enjoyed watching her with Azriel this time around. He’s been a presence in her life for a little while now and it’s been interesting watching their relationship change and grow.
I love Azriel. That is all you really need to know.
In book one, I really really liked Lucian. Then in the last book, my sexy-man blinders were removed and I stared seeing him as a bit of a jerk. This time around, he’s definitely a jerk. Keri is trying to hint that he is in fact the ultimate bad guy but I’m starting to wonder if she’s making it too obvious. I am looking forward to seeing whether or not he is the villain of all villains in this series or if this is Keri’s idea of trying to lead us astray. It will be entertaining to find out!
The story in this book, even though it wasn’t what I expected for the third book in this series, was very good. It really was an entertaining read. It would almost make a good stand alone – almost. But this series is definitely one you have to read in order or you will miss a lot.
I don’t want to paint a terrible picture about this book. It was a solid read, there was just a whole lot thrown in that didn’t make much sense to the whole of the main story arc. Did lots happen in this book? Absolutely. And Azriel was in most of the book and holy jumpin’ lots happens with him!
Honestly though, this series is worth checking out if you are a fan of urban fantasy books. It really is well written. Personally, I just hope that we get back to the keys and who is trying to take them, find them, steal them and so on, and if the way this book ends is any indication, we should be getting back on track in the next installment. And we don’t have too long to wait as Darkness Hunts is due to hit shelves November 6th 2012.
Those of you who follow my blog may have noticed that I read mostly Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance titles. I love love love them but after reading quite a few in a row, I sometimes start to feel a little ‘heavy’ because let’s face it, titles in these genres tend to be intense in their stories, involved in their characters and dark in their themes. That is why I sometimes look for a contemporary romance book to read. Contemporary romances tend to snap me right out of my UF/PNR gloom – as long as they have all the elements I adore in a modern romance story. For a contemporary romance to really work for me it must be fun, funny, sweet, sexy and cute.
Simply Irresistible is the first book in Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series and it is just darling and fits each one of my criteria. I won’t bother going into what the book is about since the Goodreads summary pretty much says it all so let’s just get right into the characters.
Maddie I loved. Quirky, smart, funny… there were times I saw me in her. And not in her most flattering moments. *g* I could go on and on about everything I liked about her but I think it would take up the entire review. How she meets Jax was so funny and suited her perfectly. That right there was the hint of things to come from her and from this story. Really great.
Jax I loved. (Do you see a theme building here?) Used to be a lawyer and now is the handy-man/town hunk/overall great guy. To me he was the perfect contemporary romance hero. He was sweet and smart and funny and… Apparently this is another character I could just go on and on about, so I’ll stop here. Jax and Maddie make an amazing couple though. They are both warm and giving and loving people and they really deserve each other.
Maddie’s sisters, Tara and Chloe, were in this book just enough to make me want to know more about them. I didn’t love reading their disagreements but they were all part of their characters and it made them all coming together to reach their common goal all the more sweet. Actually, thinking back, I really want to know more about them. There is one thing in particular about Tara and this guy in town and all this animosity between them and… I am pretty sure I have that all figured out but I am going to have to wait until the next book to know for sure because The Sweetest Thing is Tara’s book.
Jax’s friends, Ford and Sawyer, were fun too. You didn’t see much of Sawyer but we did see quite a bit of Ford and he was a hoot!
I loved this book. Everything about it was just charming and lovely and sweet and sexy…and yeah. It was a wonderful contemporary romance read and it absolutely helped clear my head and my heart from the guns and paranormal creatures and world-changing situations that fuddle my head sometimes and replaced it with sunshine and rainbows. The story was good and the pacing was good too. Honestly, I can’t think of anything truly horrible about this book. It made me want to keep reading, it made me smile, it made me giggle and it made me swoon. The setting was great, the story was great, Maddie was great, Jax was great, the supporting characters were great…just great great great. I will definitely be recommending this one to others with gusto and will be devouring the other books in the series as soon as I have the chance....more
Is it possible for an author who writes a stellar ‘knock them out of the ballpark’ first book to write an equally good second installment? Yes. Yes it is. Amanda Bonilla has proven this with Blood Before Sunrise, the second book in her Shaede Assassin series.
Blood Before Sunrise starts a few months after Shaedes of Gray. Everything seems to be going well for Darian until she decides she wants to help Raif, a man who has quickly become a brother figure to her, and all goes to sh*t. Actually…no pretty much, it all goes to sh*t.
Darian has been alone for the last century then suddenly she finds out she’s not. She is not the only Shaede as she first suspected and she has a wonderful circle of friends and a super yummy and amazing boyfriend. (Yes, as you can tell, I like Tyler. Very much.) She has great intentions and a big heart…but not always the best way of doing things. This time, she really wants to help Raif find his daughter Brakae, but Raif doesn’t want Darian’s help because he’s convinced his daughter is dead. In fact, he has mourned her for years and finally feels as much at peace as he could feel under the circumstances. But Darian won’t listen because she is convinced that Brakae is alive and she really wants to do this for her friend. So she does what Darian does best: she jumps in with both feet.
I love Darian. Really I do. She is a great character and is written beautifully. But in this book she often drove me nuts. She wasn’t listening to anyone’s advice and it was getting her in trouble. I know you are probably wondering why, if Darian drove me nuts off and on in this book, did I give it five stars? It’s because not once did I feel like strangling the book nor did I feel like I had to put the book down to step away from it for a bit. I did want to smack Darian but Amanda wrote this so skilfully that right when you got to that point where you wanted to yell at our dear heroine, she redeemed herself just enough. She confides in someone or she says something that lets us know that she won’t be doing anything like this ever again. And in the end, Darian knows her issues and learns from her mistakes. She grows so much in this book (her character growth is absolutely phenomenal in this installment) that it works out and makes it all okay. Darian, with the way she was raised and the way she has lived her solitary life for so long, needs to be put through hell to learn anything. It’s just a shame we need to watch her growing pains. Then again, no it’s not because it gives us one hell of a ride!
I mentioned Raif. He is just amazing. He’s not even in this book all that much and I still adore him. I don’t even mind Xander. There is just something about his arrogance that draws you in. You want to try to knock him down a bit but then you don’t because then it wouldn’t be as much fun to watch him with Darian. I am curious to see if we will one day see his ‘honestly compassionate’ side or if we’ll always think he’s a bit of a jerk. And Moira, I like her too. And Tyler… Oh my heart went out to this man more than once along the journey that is this book. I love how he ended the book. Okay, love might be the wrong word here, but I did appreciate it. It’s real and it made sense…no matter how much it sucked. It’s all part of Darian’s learning curve and seeing that he understands that makes me love him all the more and really makes me know that he is the right man for her. (Cryptic enough for you ;) – go read the book!)
Fallon, the “brooding and mysterious Fae warrior” that is mentioned in the blurb above, is one hell of a character. You know there is something not quite right about him and when you really see what is going on…holy jumpin’! He is creepy and eerie and all that is good in a villain. But is he truly a villain here or just a misunderstood character? Hmm…I guess you’ll just have to read him to see.
The story in Blood Before Sunrise is fascinating. We find out more about Darian and what exactly happens to her at the end of Shades of Gray. We discover that she is linked to the fae world and how exactly is neat. An interesting twist that I would not have seen coming in the last book and one that makes me very curious to see how it will affect everything in the next book.
This book is awesome. This series is awesome. I am already drooling over the next book and a release date hasn’t even been announced yet. This is a truly fabulous urban fantasy read and I encourage all fans of the genre to check it out....more
This right here, my review for Third Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones, is turning out to be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever had to write. Not because I was sorely disappointed in the book but because it was such a fan-freakin’-tastic read I am afraid I won’t be able to put into words how much I enjoyed it! I mean, I want to go and find the highest hill in my area, climb on top of it and shout to everyone about how fan-freakin’-tastic this book is! This entire series for that matter. It’s just brilliant. Simply brilliant.
Charley Davidson is a PI. She also happens to be the Grim Reaper. No big robes or anything, she just helps guide people to the light if they don’t find their way on their own. Because of this ‘other’ job, she can see and communicate with spirits. That is a handy dandy trick when you are a PI trying to find missing people. She is written so well, I am totally putting her on my favorite characters list when I have a chance. She is that awesome. One of the things I like so much about Charley is her humor. She is one of the funniest characters I have ever read. Yet even though she makes you laugh out loud at some of her dialogue and thoughts, she is so much more than a funny lady. She’s smart and clever and has such heart. She is a very well rounded character and if you have yet to meet her you have to have to have to.
Reyes is well, I suppose he is the main love interest but he is also the basis for the ongoing storyline that goes through each book of the series to date. This time around, he’s a bit of a jerk but I still want to lick him all over. Yes, I keep saying that. There is a reason people. Reyes is sex on a stick. Whatever that means. But he is. Y-U-M. Dark and mysterious, dangerous and sexy… And still a bit of a mystery. Even after three books, we don’t know all there is to know. But we know enough that we’re not driven crazy by what he don’t know. Does that make any sense? See, difficult review to write! Reyes ‘plays’ his role very well in this book. And his ‘role’ changes considerably by the end of this book. I am very anxious to see how his character develops over the next few books.
Quick recap of other characters worth mentioning: Cookie is always great. She is the perfect complement to Charley. Ubie is someone I want to give a big hug to. All the time. He is the rock Charley needs and he does that very well in this installment. Charley’s dad…many curse words came out of my mouth by the end of this book and they were all meant for him. I hope his actions are explained in the next book because, seriously, he’s an ass. Donovan is a new character and I really liked him. Yes, he pretty much comes out of nowhere and what he and Charley do is also pretty much out of nowhere but he works. Gemma is Charley’s sister. In book one she lived on my ‘characters I don’t like and sort of want to stab’ list. In book two, she came around as things were explained. Now I think she’s a good support for Charley. Garrett…oh Garrett. He is funny and smart and…pretty much a male version of Charley. Well, not exactly because that wouldn’t work well at all, but he is fun to read and after the whole ‘Reyes is a bit of a jerk’ feeling coursing through me after reading this book, I am inching towards Team Garrett. If there was a Team Garrett that is. Garrett was the cause of my teary eyes near the end of Third Grave. Such a touching scene and the perfect way to end this book.
On top of the incredible characters, the entertaining mysteries and the overlying storyline, I also love the details that make this series incredible. Mr. Wong, the spirit that stares into the corner of Charley’s apartment, how things are never taken too seriously so your heart won’t keel over, how each chapter starts with a quote from a t-shirt or a bumper sticker (examples of these include “I know karate, and like two other Japanese words” and “If life hands you lemons, keep them. Because, hey, free lemons” and “Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a train”)…tons of little ongoing details that not only bring this series together but that keep you smirking from book to book to book.
There is one ongoing story in this series but each book also has its own mystery. The mysteries are always very well written and interesting to read. Trying to solve them is fun. And even though we have Charley and Reyes and Garrett and mystery and Grim Reaper stuff and and and…it all works! Darynda is a mastermind in her writing and she juggles these multiple points extremely well. You never feel lost or overwhelmed. You just feel giddy because you know you are reading an exceptional book from a fantastic series.
Third Grave Dead Ahead was, for me, the perfect read. It kept me guessing, had me giggling, laughing, crying and smiling. From the opening quote “Death comes to those who wait. And to those who don’t. So either way…” to the last word “Men”, I was glued to the page. And even through my tears, I beamed. I may have even hugged the book a bit when I was finished with it. And I may have threatened (with love) my friends who were ‘going to read it next week or later’ and made them read it now or else. And now that they have read it, they are thanking me profusely. There may be a parade. They all loved it. I wasn’t surprised at all because there really isn’t anything not to love about this book.
It is definitely going to be making an appearance on my Favorite Reads of 2012 list.