Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St....moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Press Author’s Website: http://sherrilynkenyon.com My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 23, Dark-Hunter Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Torture Porn Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred
Despite my discomfort and disgust at not only the explicit details of Styxx’s ordeals but also the sheer volume of incidents (which in the end cost the book a half-star in the rating), I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this one, which I admit, surprised me. I was very hesitant to even read this, because of my experience with the author’s penchant for torture porn as well as my relative dislike of the last two novels in the Dark-Hunter series.
I always have a problem rating the newer Sherrilyn Kenyon books because to me, they very often cross the line of creating a sympathetic, tortured protagonist (usually the hero) and instead fall firmly into the realm of torture porn, which is just not my thing.
I ran into this in Born of Silence (the League Series), in Acheron, and again in this book.
While all of the Very Bad Things that happen to Styxx as a youth do indeed make him a sympathetic character, I think it also does him the disservice of making him fairly unbelievable in the idea that he could still be humble and selfless to the point that he should be nominated for Sainthood.
Though I tried to take the forward from the author to heart, where she says (I paraphrase) that sometimes horrible things happening to someone can make them a horrible person, so can it instead make their inner strength and goodness shine. To me, though, so much happened to Styxx that it simply made it very difficult for me to believe that his Inner Good Guy would have survived.
That said, I have to say that Bethany was the perfect counter-balance to all of the very explicit horrible things that Styxx was put through.
I think that (view spoiler)[having Bethany and Styxx meet and fall in love in his relative youth, rather than making having him meet her and falling in love thousands of years after the abuse that he went through (hide spoiler)] made it much more believable that he would have had the inner strength to get through everything he was subjected to.
(view spoiler)[I was, however, very thankful that Ms. Kenyon found a way around Bethany being reincarnated. (hide spoiler)] That’s a trope I struggled with in an earlier book from this series, and was thrilled that it wasn’t an issue in this one.
As a bit of a side note, I would not recommend this book to those not already familiar with the series. I think it would be okay for those who had for whatever reason skipped Acheron, but once the book reached modern times, it moves very quickly with a lot of characters and events that you really need to be familiar with beforehand, else you could easily become hopelessly lost.
That said, for any fan of the original Dark-Hunter series, and definitely for fans of Acheron, I can say with all confidence that this is a must-read.
A very solid 4/5 Stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Can I just say how happy I am to discover non-virgin heroines in some new category romances? I just read this and Michelle Celmer's Caroselli's Christ...moreCan I just say how happy I am to discover non-virgin heroines in some new category romances? I just read this and Michelle Celmer's Caroselli's Christmas Baby, and was very pleased to note that the heroines of both books, while not promiscuous in the slightest, were still somewhat experienced and confident in what they wanted.
Unfortunately, I never really felt love on Lucus' part (though lust was never a problem lol), so I wasn't really feeling his "transformation" from cold, unfeeling man who'd shut himself off from his emotions after a past tragedy into a loving partner.
**spoiler alert** Looking at all of my friends' ratings of 4- and 5-stars for this book, I have to wonder if perhaps we may be thinking of different b...more**spoiler alert** Looking at all of my friends' ratings of 4- and 5-stars for this book, I have to wonder if perhaps we may be thinking of different books.
To be perfectly fair, I have not read the first book (or any other book) in the Virgin River saga, and perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more had I done so.
I actually skimmed a large amount of this book. Much of it read as a Public Service Announcement from a Women's Health Clinic mixed with what felt like a narration of some videos from High School Health Class. There was far too much detailed gynecology and obstetrics for my taste, not to mention brutal miscarriages, graphic births of stillborn babies, preachy asides about how one should ALWAYS use condoms, entire chapters focused on people that I frankly didn't give two shakes about*, and an absolutely ridiculous final confrontation. While I get that this is an early installment of what seemed to have always been intended to be a sweeping series, there were just far too many characters distracting from the story between what I had anticipated to be the main couple.
That said, the love story between Paige and John (Preacher) was WONDERFUL, and was the entire reason I forced myself to finish this book. While I was surprised that Paige didn't show more signs of PTSD, especially with all of the emphasis on the possibility of her having the disorder, watching a big gentle giant fall for a petite battered woman and her young son was a joy.
I would recommend this one to fans of battered heroines, but I do say to understand going in that this is far more of a story about the community of Virgin River as a whole than a straight up romance between the title couple.
*Again, this probably had more to do with the fact that I'd never read the first book -- if I had, I probably wouldn't have felt the urge to skim over Jack and Mel's enormous parts in the story -- fans of the first book will likely adore their half of the book. (less)
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: Hachette Publishing Group...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: Hachette Publishing Group Imprint: Grand Central Publishing Author’s Website: http://www.elizabethhoyt.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Maiden Lane Series Series Best Read In Order: YES. Steam Level: Steamy
I’ve been a big fan of the Maiden Lane series since the first book, Wicked Intentions, was released a few years ago. With unconventional heroines, sweet, sexy romance, and a strong dash of adventure, they never fail to entertain, and this book was no exception.
Even though the mystery of the identity of the Ghost of St. Giles was solved in the end of the last book, Scandalous Desires, there was a lot of Winter’s character to uncover in this tale. I’d long suspected that Winter was the Ghost, and frankly, I was thrilled to see this seemingly staid and overly-serious man have hidden passions and depth.
While I wasn’t really certain going into this tale that I would like Isabel’s character, I have to admit that she was absolutely perfect as a foil for Winter, and the progression of their romance was delightful.
Overall, I of course loved it. A big fan of the series as well as the author in general, I had high hopes for this book and was not disappointed. Ms. Hoyt managed to glue me to the pages, eager to discover not only how the romance would unfold, but how Winter would manage with the Ghost with everything crashing down around him. In fact, I read this title in a single sitting, because I simply could not bring myself to put it down until the end.
Expected Release Date: September 14, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Sel...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 14, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.shannonmayer.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 Nevermore Zombie Apocalypse Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Steamy
Nevermore Trilogy Book II
Rumours and whispers of a cure have reached Mara’s ears and hope that has been denied for so long begins to grow once more. But, if she is to find the cure, to help Sebastian, she must face down a whole new set of dangers. A sadistic army General whose hatred knows no bounds. A brilliant scientist whose love for his lost wife drives him to madness. And a new pack of Nevermores . . .
Sensitive readers should know going in that there is a child death in this story.
While this one did end in what I would consider to be a "cliff-hanger", I do have to admit that it was a much better stopping point than that of the previous installment, Sundered.
Even having not read the final installment, Dauntless (expected release October 31, 2011), I have to say my very strong opinion thus far is that the entire series should probably be consolidated into a single, longer story and given a higher price point. While I understand that the current price of ninety-nine cents for Sundered, and right at three dollars for Bound, is a definite selling point for readers unfamiliar with the author, the fact that this book picks up literally a sentence after the last one left off makes it virtually impossible for readers unfamiliar with the series to really get the full benefit of the story. While the general gist of the history of the apocalypse is covered, as is the relationship between Mara and Sebastian, I do think that some readers who did not read Sundered will be highly disappointed with just how obvious it is that the first book is an integral part of this one.
That said, I would still recommend both Sundered and Bound to any fan of zombie apocalypse fans, especially those who prefer a strong romantic theme. Gritty, violent, tragic, and terrifying, this whole series also manages to be touching, romantic, and at times, even sexy (which let me tell you, is an achievement considering the hero is a zombie). Just make certain that you pick up the first book before attempting this one and you won't have any problems.
I am actually very excited to have found this author. Even with the slightly-campy feel to the initial premise, her skill in creating believable characters and writing both action and love scenes is truly much more than I've experienced in a self-published author in quite some time. I am very anxiously awaiting the final installment on Halloween, and can't wait to see what becomes of Mara, Sebastian, Scout, Buck, and the others.
Recommended for fans of fresh takes on the zombie apocalypse trope, of normal people surviving on their wits, and of a love that not even a zombie infection can stop.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequ...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://www.michellewillingham.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, The MacKinloch Clan Series Best Read In Order: Worked Well As A Standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Alex and Laren have never quite had the approval of their clan as a couple. Laren is the daughter of a beggar, and as such her family was barely tolerated by the clan. Alex was in line for the position of chief, and refused to enter into a political marriage and instead wed the love of his life, Laren.
Shortly after the death of their infant son, however, both retreated from the other in their grief, and somewhere along the way they’ve lost the partnership they once shared. Alex, having to maintain a strong appearance for the sake of his clan, has never grieved openly for the death of his son, and instead pours his efforts into protecting and shaping the clan. Laren, being shy and having never found true acceptance within the clan, turned to the local priest, who secretly taught her the art of glassmaking. Keeping her skills from both her husband and the rest of the clan, she has begun to perfect her art, creating gorgeous stained-glass windows in secret.
When an attack on the clan turns everyone on their head, and at the encouragement of one of the few people who know of her work, decides to sell some of her work as a commission to the Church, knowing that if she can bring money into the clan with her own skills, that she will finally have earned the respect of her clan, and hopefully, of her husband.
When Alex appears to still want Laren to change into someone she isn’t — a woman who can help him to lead the clan — she’s heartbroken. Refusing to give up her craft, she slowly begins to regain the attention and affection of her husband.
However, when their young daughter is kidnapped by their enemies, will their newly rediscovered love be enough?
Overall, I found this one a lot more enjoyable than I’d anticipated. I’m not overly fond of “estrangement” stories as a rule, but the gulf between Alex and Laren wasn’t the result of callousness or insensitivity, but rather the result of a deep grief that neither knew how to properly express. Laren’s skill with stained glass was very interesting to read about, as was her journey to both rediscover her love for her husband and to become the leader that her clan needed her to be.
While this is the second book in the series, I do feel that it worked well as a standalone, which was also a plus.
Recommended for fans of a marriage stretched to its breaking point by fear and grief, of two lovers finding each other again despite their differences, and of breathing life into glass to create something of both beauty and value, and all smothered with a healthy dose of Highland Plaid ;)
**spoiler alert** This book was so good that I'm hesitant to read the sequel because I know it can't possibly be as good as this one lol
I love the cha...more**spoiler alert** This book was so good that I'm hesitant to read the sequel because I know it can't possibly be as good as this one lol
I love the character progressions and how Ann Aguirre wasn't afraid to kill off major characters over the course of the story... That gave it a gritty realism that you have to respect, not to mention keeping you on your toes as a reader, because you never know who's gonna bite the big one next...
The first person POV helped as well I think, since I've recently discovered a strong liking for first person POV in my reading ;)
I'm a huge fan of "survival" type books, where the hero and heroine have to brave the elements and somesuch, so this book...moreLoved loved loved this book!
I'm a huge fan of "survival" type books, where the hero and heroine have to brave the elements and somesuch, so this book was right up my ally.
The romance between the two of them was believable and their chemistry was amazing.
I adored Bridget. That girl had some major spunk :D And Cole was delicious in so many ways. I admit, I didn't realize just how young he was until there was a comment about living twenty-four years without a specific experience *cough*. I kept thinking he was in his thirties, probably because he'd been through so much it just seemed to age the poor man.
This one is definitely going on my All-Time-Favorites shelf.
A must read for urban-fantasy and paranormal romance fans!
There's not much I can say that won't spoil things (outside of what's already mentioned in...moreA must read for urban-fantasy and paranormal romance fans!
There's not much I can say that won't spoil things (outside of what's already mentioned in the synopsis), but I have to say Dawn McClure is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I can honestly say that just based on her two books I've read (Azazel and Asmodeus), she's ranking right up there with J.R. Ward and Nalini Singh for me, and that's a high compliment, trust me.
A very sweet book. A free book on my Kindle, I didn't realize it was a "Christian" book until I was already snagged on the premise.. Because of that,...moreA very sweet book. A free book on my Kindle, I didn't realize it was a "Christian" book until I was already snagged on the premise.. Because of that, it seemed a bit preachy to me at times. In reality though, I think had I known ahead of time that it would involve a heavy emphasis on religion, it wouldn't have been a big deal.
It was a very sweet, romantic story, even though there was no physical romance outside of a few chaste kisses. Shockingly enough, despite my addiction to smutty novels, that didn't bother me either lol
It was a very quick and easy read as well. Real life kept intruding during this one and I had to put it down several times, but was still able to easily pick up right where I left off without having to reread, which is nice.
The original plot device was a bit dicey -- paramedic cum UPS man brings his infant daughter on a delivery during a blizzard, and drops her off with a stranger at a farm house in the middle of nowhere because he's got to deliver this cancer treatment to some dude up the mountain. Add to that the fact that this cancer treatment HAS to be delivered in the next like 4 hours or whatever or the patient (up on top of the mountain, mind you) will die, because get this -- the medicine is only viable for 8 hours once it's been manufactured. Can I just ask why, if that's the case, is the guy not in the hospital rather than living on the side of a freaking mountain?! I mean, I get that the author needed some way to A) get our hero and heroine to meet, B) force the heroine to babysit (something she'd never be willing to do normally due to past events), and C) somehow manage to get the couple snowed-in for a week or so in order to force them to get all cozy and such. However, I wasn't really impressed with what she came up with. Just a wee bit too contrived for my tastes, so it lost a star there, ending up with a solid 3.0(less)