When I picked up HER SECRET SPY, with its typically suspense-romance cover, I wasn't expecting to be revieReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
When I picked up HER SECRET SPY, with its typically suspense-romance cover, I wasn't expecting to be reviewing it for All Things Urban Fantasy; but it turns out that the main character, Lissa, has psychic powers and runs an occult curio shop. Suddenly, it was surprisingly up my alley! It also helps that the writing was better than the average Harlequin monthly.
I really enjoyed how her psychic gift was used throughout the book. Although it was used to advance/accelerate their plot, it was also used to realistically discredit Lissa for the first part of the story. Max believes she is a fraud, an excellent cold-reader, and then even potentially his enemy, as she reveals things she shouldn't know. Lissa has worked with the FBI before, and although she has been successful at finding bodies and killers, no one ever respected her for it. Starting over in New Orleans, after inheriting her deceased aunts curio shop seemed like a good idea at the time.
Max was another winning character for me: he was tough and mysterious, but was also an art dealer with an eye for remodeling. He wasn't the typical Alpha-hole a lot of these books tend to feature, possessive and aggressive. His reaction to Lissa's accidental probing into his secrets was also refreshing. He didn't believe her right away, but he run either.
This novel does follow the conventional suspense novel format, where as girl and a boy will meet, get in trouble and need to call local the SEAL/FBI/werewolves/whatever team (that manages to include the characters from the previous and future books in the series) in to help. Still, it was well done, with developed characters and no superfluous name-dropping.
HER SECRET SPY was a surprisingly fun, suspenseful quick read with just enough paranormal twist to spice things up. Definitely a lighter read, but still a hoot....more
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY was one of the most charming, unsettling books I have read in a long time. It's gentReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY was one of the most charming, unsettling books I have read in a long time. It's gentle and brutal at the same time and kept me off-kilter for the entire 176 pages of this novella. I loved it, and just wish it had been a bit longer.
All of the characters are fabulous. Nancy, the main character, has just come back from a trip to the Halls of the Dead, and her parents just don't get it. They don't understand why she no longer wears colours, or dyes her hair white (she doesn't) or barely eats anything anymore. So they send her to a special school where they think she'll be "fixed". Luckily for Nancy, she's not there to be fixed, she's there to be helped. They'll even remind her to eat when she forgets.
The school was enchanting, an odd mix of the amazing and mundane, with cliques of mean girls, and boys blowing bubbles into their chocolate milk. That mundane-ness made it that much more shocking when terrible things started happening. It was thrilling and terrifying.
The pace of the story is the only thing that bugged me. The violence and especially the resolution were so quick that I had to re-read a few times to make sure I had not missed anything. I understand why it had to end so abruptly, theme-wise, but it still irked me that it was over so quickly. Still, I wouldn't have done it any other way.
I think it's fabulous that Seanan McGuire is publishing shorter fiction like this. I have thoroughly enjoyed most of her series, which tend to feature extensive scientific or mythological worlds and explanations. This story is less an exploration, and more of a slap in the face; it's refreshing, abrupt, and you'll remember it for a long time....more
HIS RUTHLESS BITE is just as delicious as the previous books in the Scandals With Bite series. With romantReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
HIS RUTHLESS BITE is just as delicious as the previous books in the Scandals With Bite series. With romantic moments balanced out by suspenseful situations, HIS RUTHLESS BITE offers readers the rare combination of historical and paranormal romance, and does it very well.
One of the great things about a series of romance books is that it a reader usually does not have to have read the previous books in the series to jump in the middle. This is definitely the case with HIS RUTHLESS BITE. Though previous books' characters are mentioned, it is generally in passing, and the details of their stories are unnecessary. Instead, we get an entirely new cast of characters. The world-building is sparse, but it doesn't need to be extremely detailed, as their vampiric society isn't super complex, and the rules that govern it are easily mentioned in passing. The main focus in HIS RUTHLESS BITE is the romance between Gavin and Lenore, and that was where the story shone.
Though there were many tangential plots woven into HIS RUTHLESS BITE, and at times I felt like there was almost too much going on. Between Lenore overcoming her past, along with Gavin's supposed ruthlessness (and thus the need for demonstrations thereof), there was the mortal doctor that was a friend of Lenore's and the rogue vampires that were plaguing Gavin's lands. Add in a few deaths, a courtship, some mortal meddling mothers, and HIS RUTHLESS BITE covered all the bases of a vampiric historical romance.
In my opinion, all the other side stories seemed to melt away when Gavin and Lenore were together. Gavin's sweet and tender side was a delight to see, and the way he treated Lenore was a delightful contrast to what we knew of him from previous books. His overwhelming love for Lenore was adorable and though a bit like insta-love, as he got to know her, it got stronger and was more convincing. Lenore is spunky and brave, a true heroine who has some weaknesses to overcome, but does an admirable job of growing and evolving throughout the book. She is a perfect partner for Gavin, and I love how the two of them come together and realize that.
All in all, HIS RUTHLESS BITE is an excellent, engaging read. With a bit of suspense to keep the reader interested, and a good romantic plot line to make them swoon, it has something for everybody. Brooklyn Ann just keeps upping the bar with her Scandals With Bite series, and HIS RUTHLESS BITE is no exception!
Sexual content: Several sex scenes, references to rape ...more