"Whisper of Sin" by Nalini Singh - 5 Stars But let's face it, I'm a huge Nalini Singh fan so she would've pretty much had to fill a hundr 2/4 ain't bad!
"Whisper of Sin" by Nalini Singh - 5 Stars But let's face it, I'm a huge Nalini Singh fan so she would've pretty much had to fill a hundred pages with the technical manual from her new DVD player for me to not like it ;)
This is a prequel of sorts to her Psy/Changeling series, starring Ria and Emmett and how they got together. I admit sometimes I kept forgetting it was a prequel and kept getting confused as to where the hell Sasha was ;) No seriously though, set around the time the DarkRiver pack was just setting up their construction company (and before DarkRiver and SnowDancer had an official treaty, though that doesn't really weigh into the action), there's an organized crime gang moving into town and terrorizing the folks in Chinatown. Ria, who is of mixed Chinese and American heritage, was attacked just prior to the beginning of the story by one of the thugs who was going to teach her family a lesson for not paying the "protection money" that was demanded of them by raping her. Said thug of course gets his arse handed to him by DarkRiver, but it sparks the interested of Emmett, one of the shifters in the DarkRiver pack. Fans of the series will appreciate the typical humor, especially with Ria's overprotective family, while those new to the series shouldn't be too confused as the Psy (being the most confusing of all the species in the series) are a minor side note in the story. One thing I did not like was the whole bit with Tom. While I understand the need for a rival, things just seemed tied up too neatly as far as that whole situation was concerned. I find it hard to believe he was such a shite all along and nobody noticed until some other guy comes sniffing around Ria and she decides not to just go along with the assumed betrothal.
Overall though, a sweet story typical of the Psy/Changeling series and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Amaris is a Blood Rose -- a mage of sorts whose blood is coveted by vampires due to all the power it contains. Unfortunately for her, she's been badly hurt by vampires in the past (both a previous lover and her abusive, estranged father), and so of course doesn't trust them any further than she can throw them. Raniero is a vampire (the King's lead investigator) who doesn't trust Blood Roses any further than he can throw them, because of his experiences with both his traitorous step-mother (a Blood Rose) and some of the others that he's come across over the years.
Sounds great, right?
Well, maybe not so much. Amaris' sister is being held hostage by the big baddie (who is also working with her jerkwad daddy), and she's forced to help them capture Raniero. If that's not enough, they then decide she needs to seduce him, and so she does -- all in the first few pages of the story.
Now don't get me wrong, some of my favorite stories involve vampires chained to a bed while someone else has their way with them lol However, I am a big fan of Unresolved Sexual Tension (UST) -- it's like a roller coaster in that the buildup is just as much if not more of a thrill than the ride itself.
This story has zero UST. It's like "oh hai I'm gonna jump on your junk now kthxbai" *shakes head* Add to that how their trust issues are rather glossed over, and I'm going to have to say this was my least favorite story in the book. Perhaps I would've enjoyed it more as a novel rather than a short story/novella, where there would've been a chance to watch the characters grow past their prejudices and maybe even ease into the sexual relationship a little more slowly.
“Shifting Sea” by Virginia Kantra - 4 Stars Set in the 1800's in Scotland, Major Jack Harris recently inherited some land he had no idea he was in line for, and has just arrived to set the estate to rights. He's badly scarred on his body from the war, and has a lot of trouble with his leg.
He comes across Morwenna walking along the beach, and within a few minutes has secured an invitation back to her cottage (and her bed), which of course lends itself to the idea that she's the local whore (though unlike one might expect, he doesn't treat her badly because of this assumption)..
Again, not a big fan of just jumping directly into a sexual relationship within a few minutes of laying eyes on each other.. Other than that, I did enjoy this story. Morwenna is a child of the sea, which is an immortal (and very old lol) creature that.. well honestly it's never really explained -- she insists she's not a mermaid but that seems to be the closest explanation. She comes to the land on occasion to experience a different life, and is unprepared for Jack's affection -- the children of the sea don't "love" like humans do, so it's a big adjustment for her, and there are a lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings between Jack and Morwenna before everything is said and done. Angst fans will definitely enjoy this story, and though I didn't really care for the sudden onset of their sexual relationship, I have to admit it was pretty hot ;)
They definitely saved the best for last! This was my favorite story out of the whole anthology, and since that includes a Nalini Singh story, that's really saying something.
This is apparently the beginning of a new steampunk series for Meljean Brook and it had pretty much everything I love -- a scarred, scary-ass pirate (whose reputation of course covers up a big softie, but ARRRRR! Nobody knows that!), a tough (yet virginal) heroine who is smart and uses her talents and cunning to get out of all sorts of tight scrapes, a creeptastic enemy (who actually has the powers of mind control o.O), and gobs of UST. GOBS. *fans self*
UST aside, the worldbuilding in this novella is simply amazing. It's a Steampunk Romance, set in England seven years after the defeat of the Horde (which as best as I could determine is the Big Baddie which originated somewhere in Asia, and enslaved Europe by infecting people with Nanites called "bugs", which allowed them to control the people using a radio tower for lack of a better term). Ivy, our heroine, is a member of the blacksmith guild which today would make her a computer nerd meets engineer -- she is brilliant at creating automata and pretty much anything having to do with prosthetic limbs (which are greatly needed in this world) and other machinery. She herself has prosthetic arms (as she lost her arms to the Horde), which are covered with mechanical flesh and skin which allows her greater precision and sensitivity in her arms.
In desperation to leave London, she approaches Mad Marchen (the big baddie pirate with a soft spot for our Ivy) because she'd witnessed him showing compassion to his friend as his friend endured the extremely painful procedure of being fitted with his own prosthetic.. Well, he scares the ever-luvin crap out of her, and yet in a fit of stupidity and desperation, she offers up her virginity to pay for passage out of London. Unbeknownst to her, Eben (Mad Marchen) would actually never hurt her, and had actually planned to return to London soon to attempt to court her... One of Eben's frenemies offers Ivy a chance to escape London without sacrificing herself in Eben's bed, and she takes the offer and goes into hiding for two years. .... and then he finds her lol and she's absolutely terrified of him, because of his ferocious reputation.. She of course doesn't realize he has no intention of raping her and instead really respects her and wants to be with her.
Everything in this story just sucks you in -- the tales of slavery under the Horde, the technology exhibited everywhere you turn, the relationship between Ivy and Eben, everything. I SO cannot wait for the first full-length novel in this series, The Iron Duke, due out in October....more
I have two main things to say about this book. First, this book was awesome and has landed Gail Dayton a solid spot on my AutoBuy list from now on. SeI have two main things to say about this book. First, this book was awesome and has landed Gail Dayton a solid spot on my AutoBuy list from now on. Second, it's not steampunk. Or, at least, it's not steampunk as in what I envision when I think of steampunk. To me, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Iron Duke are steampunk, with things like airships and nanites and whatnot. The only thing that this book (and its sequel) had that, to me, screamed "steampunk" were the critters (which were metal, and that's all I'm going to say so's not to ruin anything).
If I had to classify this book, I'd say it's an Historical Fantasy (I'd say Victorian Fantasy, but I'm not 100% sure of the timeframe lol)
So, even though I first picked up this book because it was labeled as "steampunk", and even though in reading it I kept waiting for something that was more... well.. steampunkish, I still loved it.
What worked for me:
*Tortured hero just coming out of many many years of servitude to a cruel sorceress, and convinced that his ownership has been transferred to our heroine, who most decidedly doesn't want it. Freaking Awesome :D
*Average looking woman who only dabbles in magic (since the big stuff is illegal for womenfolk to use), who finds out Holy Crap -- She's a Blood Sorceress who will be totally badass once she figures out what the hell she's doing ;)
*The worldbuilding and the descriptions of how the magic worked, as it worked. Made you feel as though you were the one weaving the spell :)
What didn't work for me: *The cover. It's ugly. lol Okay that's mean -- I like the idea behind it (with the old font and such), but just really, REALLY not my thing. Thank goodness for Kindle, amirite? lol
*The beginning bits in the camp were boring. I realize they were giving a lot of background information not just on Amanusa but on Jax and the magic as well, but still, it got tedious there for a hot minute.
*The critters (which do have a better name, but I can't say since it's a spoilerrrrrr) -- at this point (having read both this book and the sequel, Heart's Blood), I still feel as though they're a bit pointless. I'm HOPING that book three will flesh out that bit of the plot a bit, completely making me eat my words :D
*Crenshaw annoys the pie out of me. I want to smack him. With something heavy. Repeatedly.
*Guild Secrets were annoying as well, even though I understand and agree with the reasoning behind keeping them. It's just frustrating when keeping those secrets only makes the prejudices and misogyny in the populace worse, but hey, that's part of the story development, right?
What was kinda iffy for me:
*the sex scenes. I don't want to say why as it is a possible spoiler, but even though they were beautifully done I didn't care for them. lol I may have to come back and check the spoiler box and just flat out say what I mean, but we'll see.
*Not really a "cliff-hanger" ending, but definitely left open-ended. I have mixed feelings about these types of endings. While I definitely like to keep stories open for sequels, I don't like going to turn the page and saying "wait, what? that's it?? what about ____??".. It's not so bad in this one because, hey, I had Heart's Blood already on my Kindle waiting to be read. But still.
Overall, I really loved it :) Solid 5 Stars...more
Ahhh I'd forgotten just how much I love Lisa Kleypas :)
I was so happy to see Leo find his match, and even more, I was thrilled when I found out he'd fAhhh I'd forgotten just how much I love Lisa Kleypas :)
I was so happy to see Leo find his match, and even more, I was thrilled when I found out he'd find it in Marks.
I admit, as an extremely nearsighted gal myself, I have to say I have a soft spot for the spectacle-wearing governess ;)
Leo was simply dreamy -- there's not much I like more than a truly reformed rake who's completely arse-over-teakettle for a woman like that.
Of course, I've read the entire Hathaway series, but I do think it would stand well on its own. I do recommend reading the whole series, and although Mine Till Midnight is my favorite, I do think this one is a very very close second. I despised Leo in the first book, and he barely redeemed himself by the last one. His transformation in this book is truly something to behold, however, because to paraphrase Leo himself, when he loves, he loves fiercely and completely.
5 Solid Stars (and now I have to wait for Beatrix's story! Dangit!)...more
(Kindle Edition) My first book of 2010, and I couldn't have chosen a better one :)
A huge fan of the entire Ghostwalker Series, I was glad to see Christ(Kindle Edition) My first book of 2010, and I couldn't have chosen a better one :)
A huge fan of the entire Ghostwalker Series, I was glad to see Christine Feehan pull away from the we-just-met-but-OMG-I-just-have-to-have-you motif that's present in so many of her other books.
In Street Game, our hero and heroine have known each other their whole lives, and were even involved romantically before any of the pheremonal whatnot occurred.
Never fear, the conspiracy is still alive and kicking, with several old players making an appearance, as well as a few newbies. There was also quite a bit of hat-tipping towards characters from previous novels, and I have to say that I sincerely hope that Kane is going to be one of the heroes in an upcoming novel, because his story is one I'm dying to hear.
I adored the underdog Paul, really hope that Javier gets his own novel one day, and was quite enamored with our hero in all his chest thumping glory (especially that he was so bewildered by his feelings for wee Jaimie)
I definitely think this was one of her stronger novels, with much the action finally not taking place in a swamp or jungle scenario ;)
Overall a very solid read. 4 1/2 stars (only losing 1/2 a star because I feel it can't stand on its own without reading at least a few of the previous novels)...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**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.
What can I say? It's classic Krentz :) As a fan of the Arcane Society novels, I pretty much knew what to expect, and was not disappointed(Kindle Book)
What can I say? It's classic Krentz :) As a fan of the Arcane Society novels, I pretty much knew what to expect, and was not disappointed.
I really liked the direction the Dreamlight concept appears to be taking the series -- previous novels in the series (such as The Third Circle I believe) eluded to unlocking dream energy, and this book takes that and runs with it.
One thing that saddened me was that Fallon Jones didn't get a romance.. If you've followed the micro-novel on Twitter, JAK set him up perfectly for a spot o' romance, but that just didn't pan out (at least not completely). And now, we have a minimum of two more novels (one each by Krentz's alter egos Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle) before anything can come of it.
Even so, I enjoyed this story. It's been a while since I've read the Arcane Society novels, so there were a few character references that I didn't immediately "get".. Because of this I would suggest at a bare minimum reading her modern stories in the series (White Lies, Sizzle and Burn, and Running Hot), though your greatest benefit will come from reading the series in its entirety.
In the end, I couldn't quite settle on five stars. It would have been five, were it not for the fact that I must admit that the most interesting part of the novel was actually the snippet from the next book in the series (Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick) lol I must admit I'm a bigger fan of the Amanda Quick novels than I am of Jayne Ann Krentz, but that's only because I adore regency romances.
Ahh I do adore Nalini Singh :) I swear she could write a biography of Abraham Lincoln or something and I'd happily read it.
ArchangeRe-read April 2010
Ahh I do adore Nalini Singh :) I swear she could write a biography of Abraham Lincoln or something and I'd happily read it.
Archangel's Kiss is the second novel in her new Guild Hunters series (which began with Angels' Blood, and includes both Angel's Judgement from the Must Love Hellhounds anthology, and the e-release novella Angels' Pawn) and is the continuation of Elena and Raphael's story.
One notable difference between the two novels is the romance aspect. In Angels' Blood, there was much more of an Urban Fantasy vibe with a bit of romance and heat thrown in. Archangel's Kiss, on the other hand, is much much steamier.
However, UF fans should note that there's still plenty of fighting -- everyone it seems is out to kill Elena. The entire Cadre sees her as Raphael's weakness, and attempts to use her against him. Additionally, she has to watch her back from members of Raphael's Seven, since old rivalries continue and new ones are formed as the Seven struggle to balance their loyalty to Raphael and their desire to protect him -- even from himself.
I would suggest reading Angels' Blood first. Even though NS did a great job of seamlessly integrating the necessary history from the first novel, you miss the nuances of Elena and Raphael's burgeoning relationship and the transformation and adaptations that they both are forced to undergo in order to truly make their relationship work.
I LOVE that Elena and Raphael both struggle to find a balance in their relationship. Elena doesn't suddenly become a docile little doormat who allows Raphael to walk all over her, but neither does Raphael suddenly give in to her every whim or automatically relinquish the total control over someone he rightfully feels is less than his equal. Instead, they both begin to make small concessions to the other; both give up some of their own power and vulnerabilities to the other in order to build trust and to begin to rely on the other's strengths.
Fans of the first novel will be happy to note that we're given much more information a certain childhood incident that played a such a big part in shaping who Elena is, although there are still several unanswered questions in regards to her relationship to her father.
In addition, there are quite a few new characters who are introduced in Archangel's Kiss that will hopefully play large parts in future novels in the series -- I'm incredibly interested in both Jason and Aoden and hope that they will play a large part in future novels.
One confrontation at the end did feel a wee bit anticlimactic upon first reading it, but I went back and re-read the chapter and realized that really it couldn't have been done any differently. The speed and severity at which it was dealt with was an important step in character development, and in the end, a later confrontation definitely erased any feelings of anti-climax.
I greatly look forward to reading any new novels in the series (with the next one due out in 2011 I believe), and enjoyed the snippet from her newest Psy/Changeling Novel, Bonds of Justice, due out in July of this year.
It's entirely possible that I simply need to re-read Covet, because I see everyone else saying that Crave didn't quite live up to the standard set byIt's entirely possible that I simply need to re-read Covet, because I see everyone else saying that Crave didn't quite live up to the standard set by that book. I disagree wholeheartedly. There was definite chemistry between Isaac and Grier, and the whole bit with Jim and Devina -- well, that was skeevy beyond words. Even though Jim isn't technically the hero of these books, y'all know how much I love a tortured male, and Jim's got it in spades in this one.
I did figure out the twisty twist way before the aha moment the characters experienced, and without giving ANYTHING away, I will say that things panned out satisfactorily.
I also died from a joygasm in reading the nice little tidbit from Lover Unleashed at the very end ;)
Ahhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don'tAhhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don't want to spoil it just yet for those who can't resist reading reviews), I must say that overall this was one of the best stories in the series.
There was a nice little surprise at the end that had my jaw on the floor, and let me tell you, that doesn't happen often.
I'm very very anxiously awaiting Payne's story, though I know it'll be a long time coming (boo).
A word of warning though, do yourself a favor and read the series in order. While the earlier books (books 1-4 perhaps) are easy enough to read as standalones if you must, Lover Mine is definitely not for the uninitiated.
I will definitely be re-reading this one in the future.