**spoiler alert** I admit, I was actually a little disappointed in this book, which is rare with a JAK/AQ/JC book.
It was hard for me to put my finger...more**spoiler alert** I admit, I was actually a little disappointed in this book, which is rare with a JAK/AQ/JC book.
It was hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it was that didn't appeal to me.
Perhaps it was the fact that our heroine was a "woman of the world" and had a few previous lovers before the start of this novel. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with non-virginal heroines, but for some reason I was blindsided by that fact even though she was a "widow". Perhaps it's because JAK does the "virgin widow" thing so often and maybe that's what I've come to expect? I'm not sure, but I do know that
Or, perhaps it's the whole Dreamlight/Burning Lamp thing in general. I remember I wasn't all that impressed with Fired Up either, even though I'm a fan of the Arcane Society novels up to that point..
I liked the role that Caleb and Lucinda Jones (from Quick's The Perfect Poison) played, as that was one of my favorite books in the series and it was nice to see them again.
I also liked our hero, Griffin Winters. The whole "crime lord" persona suited him well, even though at his core, he was a decent guy. I liked that he didn't own brothels, and while he certainly didn't hesitate to maintain his vicious reputation when needed, he wasn't cruel.
Adelaide, on the other hand, didn't really appeal to me. I didn't dislike her or anything; she simply couldn't keep my attention. I'm used to more engaging and memorable JAK heroines, I suppose.
Overall it wasn't a bad story. It simply wasn't quite up to par with what I'm used to from JAK.
Very typical of Michele Hauf's novels, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
Personally, it just didn't do it for...moreVery typical of Michele Hauf's novels, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
Personally, it just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, the love story was great, and the us vs. them mentality that they ended up with was just delicious.
I just had a lot of trouble identifying with our heroine. A supah hottie werewolf princess with an attitude problem, a psycho ex-boyfriend, and a penchant for colorful wigs -- not really my thing.
Had everything that all the Hauf novels I've read have had -- starcrossed lovers, tons of (annoying) grudges being held by pretty much everyone, wild sex with shape shifters and/or magick all over the place, a good chunk (no pun intended) of violence, and at least one TSTL moment.
Overall not a bad way to pass an afternoon, but I'll likely pass it on rather than keep it.
This was my first Kristen Painter novel, and let me tell you, it won't be my last :)
The premise caught my eye immediately -- who hasn't wished for a g...moreThis was my first Kristen Painter novel, and let me tell you, it won't be my last :)
The premise caught my eye immediately -- who hasn't wished for a genie of sorts to grant three magical changes in our lives? Add to that the fact that the "genie" isn't a genie at all, but is, in fact, a hunka hunka burning Viking and well, I'm fangirling all over that!
One thing that stood out to me the most with this book was the humor. There were definitely serious themes, and possibly even a hint of a parable underneath everything. From Arlik's obsession with Cinnabons and bagels to Calleigh's tendency to oggle his behind, this book had me grinning the whole time, even through the angst.
I'm not sure if this is marketed as a YA or Adult novel, but it definitely had a YA feel to it. For once though, that's not a bad thing :) I was in the mood for an easy, lighthearted read after some of the heavier stories I've picked up lately, and this novel fit the bill perfectly.
Even better? At less than $4 for the Kindle edition, you really can't beat the price :)
4 1/2 (minus the 1/2 because dangit I wanted Calleigh to get some lol)(less)
I'm so annoyed -- I wrote a long (and brilliant, of course!) review and Goodreads apparently ate it *scowls*
So let's try this again!
So I saw this new...more I'm so annoyed -- I wrote a long (and brilliant, of course!) review and Goodreads apparently ate it *scowls*
So let's try this again!
So I saw this new release on Amazon yesterday and snagged it for my Kindle based on the synopsis. It wasn't until I was a couple chapters into it that I realized that it was the newest novel in a series that I started but never finished! Doh!
However, it turned out fine, because while there wasn't a big info dump at the beginning like some authors *cough*Jayne Castle*cough* tend throw into the newest editions to a long-running series. Most of the characters from previous novels were only mentioned in passing (if at all) and really only Edward and the Jäger-Sucher's were mentioned with any regularity.
What worked for me:
*I loved that they didn't villainize Alana. Too many authors take the easy way out and turn a deceased spouse (especially one who started off in the story as a complete paragon of goodness and virtue) into a vile biznich or jackhole whom the reader should be thankful that our hero doesn't have to put up with any more. Kudos to LH for keeping her inherently "good" even as she made her more "real".
*While not as humorous as, say, a Kresley Cole novel, there was definitely a lot of snark and humor in the story which certainly helped to keep things from becoming too maudlin and heavy.
*The magic factor -- an alternate explanation for werewolves outside of the previous.. er.. science explanation from the previous novels. While it did leave a wide open blank as far as explanations go, it was helpful to have another factor that could've been the cause of the differences between Julian's werewolves and the werewolves Alex traditionally hunted.
*I really enjoyed the chemistry between Alex and Julian. The whole enemies-to-lovers thing is a favorite ploy of mine to begin with, and so yeah, while they did seem to fall into bed at a moment's notice (c'mon folks, ever heard of foreplay?!), the fact that they were disgusted and angry with themselves afterwards added delicious tension.
What didn't work for me:
*Julian's viking past. Yeah yeah, I know, he was a bloody VIKING, but still, I didn't like some of the things he'd admitted to doing. It's unfair to judge him with contemporary ethics when his bad deeds were done in a time where they were not only encouraged but were expected and dangerous not to participate in, but nobody likes to hear that their hero used to be a rapist. Blarg.
*The whole nudity thing -- sure they were werewolves and therefore pack and nobody cared and blah blah blah but I still have a hard time identifying with a heroine who cheerfully runs around in her birthday suit amongst strangers, especially of both sexes, unless of course it's that sort of story *wink wink nudge nudge* lol
*The whole issue that came to conclusion during the epilogue. It felt predictable and too... neatly wrapped up for my tastes. Also would've preferred that some other loose ends be tied up (but I won't mention which ones since it'd be a spoiler) ;)
Overall, a very enjoyable story. While I think there was enough information to eek by without being terribly lost, I would still suggest that readers new to the series pick up at least one or two previous novels first, so that they will better understand the basic motivations and personalities of the Jäger-Sucher's and Edward especially. Solid 4 Stars(less)
You know that a book is going to be good when only a few chapters in, you...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review please visit The Romanceaholic.
You know that a book is going to be good when only a few chapters in, you think to yourself that it sure would be nice if your Kindle were waterproof so that you wouldn't have to put the book down long enough to take a shower. True story.
Now, I should probably start this review with a very important disclaimer: this is Book 17 in a series, and I haven't read a single installment previously. I decided to read this one for two main reasons. First, the blurb sounded interesting enough that I felt it would be an entertaining read, and second, because I think other readers who are also new to the series deserve to know whether or not they'd be completely confuzzled if they jumped in so late into the series.
Surprisingly enough, I have to say that I feel that this story worked quite well as a standalone. As with any late-edition to a series, there are of course references to events and relationships that were obviously detailed in previous novels, but while my curiosity was piqued in regards to a few of the existing couples, I never felt as though I was missing any key information.
I really enjoyed the ending. While it didn't wrap everything up into a neat package by any means, leaving the storyline wide open for the next installment of the series, I didn't feel as though it were a true cliff-hanger which was a relief. While there was more focus on the relationship between James and Lucy than I think is normally the case in an Urban Fantasy, the low steam level did leave me feeling that it was more UF than Paranormal Romance, and that actually appealed to me.
Overall, a very solid read that won't leave newcomers scratching their heads, and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment to the series. 4/5 Stars. (less)
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://www.danamariebell.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Scorching
This is my first experience with Dana Marie Bell, but I have to say that I’m in love with her quirky characters and loose writing style.
Parker is not your average vampire. He made the mistake of shagging the wrong witch during the hippie era, despite his best friend’s advice to “stay away from the crazy”, and ended up with her ultimately cursing him to live off of the blood of plants (so that he could never “cheat” on her again by drinking from another woman). His best friend Greg, a big gay black man who also happens to be a powerful witch in his own right, helps him through the learning curve of becoming a “vegetarian”, and eventually staying on as a ghost after he passes away.
We first meet Amara right after she was “born”. The kind witch who’d planted Amara’s tree takes her under her wing and raises her as she would her own daughter. Even though they live in Maggie’s Grove, an exclusive community of supernatural beings, Amara never finds acceptance amongst her neighbors, and her “freak” status has caused her many a heartache over the years.
Shortly following Greg’s death, Parker moves to Maggie’s Grove where he meets Amara. From the first time he lays eyes on her, he knows that there’s something about her, and is delighted to discover that she is a dryad, and therefore someone he can drink from.
Unfortunately, Parker’s past indiscretion catches up with him in the form of the psycho witch who originally cursed him, as she attempts not only to separate Parker and Amara, but also to destroy the town that dares to keep them apart.
In the end, I have to say that despite some confusion with extra characters, and the over-the-top villain, I still absolutely loved it. Yes, this book was sexy, and yes there was some intense action and wonderful angst, but in the end, I think what influenced my rating the most is that it was fun. A dryad heroine, a vegetarian vampire hero, a sexy (and vaguely perverted) ghost sidekick, mixed with witches, elementals, and shape shifters, makes for a heck of a ride.
Expected Release Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Three Graces Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
This is my first "Tudor" historical that I've ever read, and I have to say, it was a nice change of pace.
Lady Isabel Milton has lived a life of relative security in a time where women are treated as both pawns and possessions. Following a series of coincidences, she and her friends have bandied about a tale of a curse supposedly afflicting her and her two sisters -- that any man married to them without love was destined to die.
Forced into an arranged marriage with a man who is far beneath her socially, Isabel is incredibly resentful of her new husband, but unfortunately, the alternative could be even worse.
Rand is baseborn, and befriended the king during the king's exile. In reward for his service to the crown, he's been awarded not only his biological father's land, but also the delectable Lady Isabel, whom he simply cannot wait to bed.
When their wedding is interrupted by charges of child murder, Isabel and Rand are taken before the king, where their marriage vows are completed and they await investigation into the charges. Reluctantly, Isabel gives into Rand's incredible sensuality, and finds not only great pleasure but true affection for her unwanted husband, and is stunned when a shocking turn of events causes Rand to be imprisoned in the Tower, leaving her impotent to avoid a fate that would not only cost Rand his life, but would also in turn ruin hers.
Overall, it was enjoyable. While I was a bit put off by how quickly Isabel's lust for her handsome husband overcame her qualms and reservations about the marriage, the storyline itself was absolutely captivating. The court intrigues, politics, and dangers, especially as concerns a woman in those times, were completely fascinating and kept me glued to the pages. Despite my dismay at Isabel's easy capitulation, I must be fair and say that the chemistry between Rand and Isabel was delicious, as were their various trysts. Ms. Blake managed to weave an incredible tale that beautifully balanced romance, lust, intrigue, mystery, and danger, and blended in some very interesting secondary characters as well.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Samhain Publishing Imprin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Samhain Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: moirarogers.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, And The Beast Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Three long years ago, Ciar, the High Lord of the Forest, left his lands for battle. He left behind the Sabine, the woman he loved but had refused to mate for fear that he would die in battle and leave her alone for the rest of her days. However, his mother never approved of Sabine as her son’s lover and potential mate, thinking the lowborn wolf was no match for her royal son. His mother’s witch cursed Sabine, with the intent that Ciar would forget about her and mate with someone more “worthy” of the match. The curse backfired, however, and instead of merely causing Ciar to forget her, now everyone who has contact with her is destined to forget her.
When Ciar returns from war, he’s furious to discover that not only is Sabine not waiting for him, but that his mother and all those around her claim to have no idea who he is talking about when he asks after her. Seeking her out, he comes across Sabine in a broken-down shack where she has been living since she was cast out of the castle after Ciar’s departure.
Refusing to touch him, for touch merely speeds along the curse, Sabine reluctantly agrees to travel with Ciar to the palace to attempt to convince the witch to break the curse, but even refusing touch is not enough to prevent Ciar from falling victim to the heartbreaking curse.. Overall, I of course adored it. I love the world in which there are different kinds of shifters who warred amongst themselves but have now gained a measure of peace, and where different species have different “mating magic”. I also loved the premise with the curse, and how incredibly horrific it would have to be to live with it, never having a single friend, or really being able to interact with other people.
On thing I do question, is will there be a sequel involving Farran and Iloria?? The next book up in the series according to the authors’ website is Kisri (which I already have pre-ordered, and so should you) and centers around the lion shifters mentioned in this book. I’m desperate to find out what will happen with Farran and Iloria in the future, and really hope that they have a sequel planned for them. So Moira Rogers, if you’re reading this, HINT HINT ;)
Expected Release Date: January 10, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Simo...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 10, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprint: Gallery Books Author’s Website: kresleycole.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 11, Immortals After Dark series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
See, I have so much to say about this novel, but almost everything I want to talk about is a spoiler in some way, which is killing me. However, in short, I will say that this was definitely worth the wait.
I’m not blind to the detracting points, however. The overall story arc involving Saroya was taken care of far sooner than I’d expected, and as such, felt a bit anticlimactic. That said, the longer word-count of this book is what made it feel as though it was taking place fairly early in the story, when in reality, by the time the resolution was occurring, most books would have been pretty much over.
I definitely would not suggest this book as a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the series. Lothaire has been a major player from the very beginning, as has Nix, and I truly think new readers would be doing themselves a disservice by not, at the very least, going back a few books before trying to tackle this one.
However, I do think that fans of the series will definitely enjoy Lothaire. Ms. Cole’s trademark humor, action, steam, and seemingly impossible-to-overcome obstacles are all present in great abundance, and both Lothaire and Ellie themselves are absolutely wonderful. I, of course, cannot wait for the next book.
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Hachet...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Hachette Book Group Imprint: Orbit Author’s Website:http://kristenpainter.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, House of Comarré series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Chrysabelle is a Comarré — a person born to be a pampered blood-slave to a high-ranking member of the vampire race. Extensively tattooed with pure gold, her appearance ensures that all those around her give her the respect due to the high nobility of the vampires. When her patron is murdered, leaving her the prime suspect, she flees, attempting to blend in with the world of the kine — humans who have no idea of the othernatural world lurking just within the shadows of their reality.
Unfortunately, her flight leads her straight into the arms of Malkolm – an anathema (outcast) who himself has been erased from the history of the nobility for the unforgivable crime of killing his vampire sire. Doomed to never drink from another being without killing them, Mal is also cursed with the voices and names of all of those he’s killed since his birth. Having been an executioner during his human life, the names cover almost every inch of his skin, and the voices are enough to drive anyone mad.
An ambitious vampire seeks to break the Covenant – the powerful agreement forged between angels and the devil to keep the existence of the othernaturals a secret from the human world, and one which protects both human and othernatural alike — and only Chrysabelle and Mal can stop it.
One thing that should be pointed out ahead of time is that this is an Urban Fantasy novel (actually, I believe the author and publisher classify it as a Gothic Urban Fantasy novel), and as such, the story of Chrysabelle and Malkolm will be continued over the course of quite a few books (the next one due out late October/early November of this year). While I personally had no problem with this, I know most of the vampire books that I review fall more firmly into the Paranormal Romance genre, and I don’t want anyone going into this one thinking there will be a lot of sexytime.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. While I will easily admit that the first half of the novel got off to a slow start, I highly recommend any new reader give the book a full chance rather than giving up early on. There are many unfamiliar terms and customs needed to familiarize yourself with, but once everything starts to come together in the middle, it’s an incredibly pulse-pounding, thrilling ride to the end.
Recommended for fans of intricate urban fantasy worlds, of heroines willingly sacrificing their coveted positions in society to pursue both happiness and what is right, and of incredibly tortured heroes finally finding something worth fighting for.
A delightfully solid 4/5 Stars, and I greatly look forward to the rest of the series.(less)
Expected Release Date: August 1, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: Sourcebo...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 1, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: Sourcebooks Imprint: Casablanca Author’s Website: http://shonahusk.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com (Chrismtas Present) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1 Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Okay so I have a teensy admission to make — I love the movie Labyrinth. Love it. The whole idea of wishing for help from a mythical Goblin King only to find yourself his prisoner? Oh yeahhhhhh. So, while this book has nothing whatsoever to do with that movie, I admit that I was at first intrigued by the possibility of any parallels. Once I started reading, however, I quickly forgot about David Bowie’s hair and instead found myself falling in love with not only the world that Ms. Husk has created, but with all of her goblins as well. The struggle of the men to go against their “goblin” natures, the heartbreak of watching one of their own succumb and fully transform, and the hopelessness they faced as the clock quickly ticked down to the point where breaking the curse truly seemed to be an impossibility was a joy to read.
While I admit that it was a little frustrating to see the same issues rehashed several times over the story, and my desire to smack some decisiveness into Eliza only grew over the course of the novel, overall, I absolutely adored it.
Expected Release Date: November 14, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: www.shonahusk.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Believe it or not, I think the main thing that kept this story from getting a 4.5 or 5-star rating from me was the romance. I never thought I’d say that, but in this case, it’s kind of true.
Well, okay, that isn’t completely fair. I loved both Obsidian and Jaines, and I think they were absolutely perfect for each other. However, the distinct lack of sensuality combined with the whirlwind nature of their romance made it hard for me to really feel connected to the budding relationship between them. With her so recently widowed and mired in guilt, it was understandable that she might be looking for a distraction, and of course Obsidian’s obvious interest in her as a woman would flatter someone who’d long believed they were rather undesirable, but in the end, while I could certainly believe that there was affection growing between the two of them, I wasn’t quite buying the ILY’s so quickly.
Regardless of how I felt about the speed of the relationship between Obsidian and Jaines, I absolutely adored the world that Ms. Husk has created, and if and when there is a sequel available, you can be absolutely certain that I will snap it up with a quickness. According to the author, this is currently labeled as a standalone title, but she has plans to write more books set in this world, which has me incredibly excited.
In the end, despite my discomfort with the whirlwind romance, this book is easily going on my keeper’s shelf, and I sincerely hope that Ms. Husk continues to explore this fascinating world with future novels (and that she doesn’t keep us waiting too terribly long).
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://kristencallihan.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Darkest London Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
This one was actually a bit tough for me to rate. While there were so many things that I loved about it, from the characters to the incredible paranormal historical plotline to the delicious romance between Archer and Miranda, there was one major point that took away a lot of enjoyment for me — the scorned ex-lover. For some reason I just don’t care for previous lovers causing trouble in new relationships, no matter how much delicious angst and strife it causes. Perhaps it’s my tendency to put myself into the role of heroine in these sorts of stories, but reminders that the hero was in a sexual relationship with another woman just isn’t romantic to me.
However, the originality of the plotline, the multiple twists and turns, and the reluctant yet obsessive romance between Archer and Miranda definitely helped to make up for it. The mystery of what was really behind Archer’s mask, Miranda’s ability and how she chose to use it, as well as the fantastic ending definitely placed this book firmly on my keeper shelf, and I’m simply dying to read the sequel as well.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harl...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: November 1, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Nocturne Author’s Website: http://stephaniedraven.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Mythica Series Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
I admit, the appearance of forced nudity in one of the ending chapters pulled the final rating down for me. It just came out of left field in a way and occurring so close to the end of the novel, really threw me off. Since this pet peeve of mine was so close to the end, and not something I’d been expecting, I did end the book with a vague sense of dissatisfaction that had nothing to do with the book as a whole.
Mainly because of that, I had a hard time settling between a 3.5 Star and 4 Star final rating when I first sat down to write this review.
In the end though, after carefully weighing all of the things I adored about this story against what was really only one major thing that really took away my enjoyment, I realized that even with the forced nudity, this was truly a satisfying read.
LOVED this one, possibly more than I did Kisri and Sabine (but truthfully I'd have to go back and re-read them to be sure). Ilora was wonderfully feis...moreLOVED this one, possibly more than I did Kisri and Sabine (but truthfully I'd have to go back and re-read them to be sure). Ilora was wonderfully feisty, and Farran was just delicious.