This book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time tThis book, nay, this entire series, has been such a roller coaster thus far, and I for one love it.
I take notes as I read so that when it comes time to write these reviews, I’ll (hopefully) be able to form somewhat coherent sentences. Yet, when I glance over my notes for this installment, I find that it’s mostly filled with expletives, excited exclamation points, quite a bit of angry underlining, and, well, even more colorful expletives. That, in turn, pretty much sums up my feelings in reading this book.
I will attempt to distill my wildly flailing emotions over this story into something readable, while still refraining from giving away too much in the way of actual storyline.
Here we go.
We open the story to find Cherry still dried out from her laudanum addiction thanks to her guardian turned tutor turned friend, Lord Ashmore. Unfortunately for her, this means she’s still not quite at her physical peak, nor does she have the opium to give her the false courage and bravado she’s relied on since she began her reckless career as a Collector.
Hawke is still help prisoner at the Menagerie, but the real question remains as always — is he a prisoner of the Veil because they truly have control over him, or because he chooses to remain under their thumb for reasons that are his own?
Cherry has a lot of amends to make — Communion, Zylphia, the younger Lord Compton, and even her old servants may have been marked by the Veil for her previous antics, and it is yet unknown as to which ones may prove to be allies and which ones may have decided that their own hides are more valuable than whatever previous loyalty they may have felt towards Cherry.
We very quickly find a familiar and terrifying face from Cherry’s past has become a major player in the Menagerie, and the Veil itself has expanded its territory with the help of the Ferrymen. Not only that, but their horrifying experiments on the people under their rule have created a new breed of fighter to do their dirty work.
With Cherry’s fall from grace both from society and from her position as Collector, she finds herself in a sort of a no man’s land, unable to move as freely as she used to, with none of the easy welcome she’s accustomed to either above or below London’s fog.
Hawke’s horrifying behavior the last time we saw him left Cherry hurt and confused, and, stubborn as ever, she’s still continuing to refuse to heed the warnings from coming from practically everyone involved with the situation, nor has she yet taken to heart Ashmore’s lessons on learning to walk before you run in regards to her newfound knowledge of alchemy.
I find that that’s all I can really say without giving away spoilers. Everything else that I had angrily underlined or followed by multiple exclamation points gave away a major plot point. I will say, however, that this was one hell of a ride, full of action, adventure, and emotional turmoil, and the very last thing in my notebook was yet another very colorful expletive, followed by several exclamation points. Infer from that what you will.
A very solid 5/5 Stars and I cannot WAIT to get my greedy little hands on the next (and I think final?) installment....more
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other peopleF*CK yes.
Now I want to go read the rest of the series.
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other people as part of their priestly duties (my own personal hangup, oh well), but that wasn't dwelled upon, and was probably explained in earlier books.
Some readers may be a bit bothered by the fact the protagonists are "underage" for most of the book, but in their world, it obviously wasn't an issue, so it wasn't an issue for me either.
First and foremost is the major factor that this this IS a fanfiction (Supernatural, in case you couldn't tell from the description), and so there areFirst and foremost is the major factor that this this IS a fanfiction (Supernatural, in case you couldn't tell from the description), and so there are little nods/references to the show that seem out of place to those who aren't fans. For those who are fans, there may be a bit of disappointment that the characters are out of character. For me, honestly, I didn't mind them being out of character, but it was jolting at times to have the show references, because despite the character names, I had honestly forgotten it was a fanfiction by the time I was about halfway through, since the story had pulled me in so much.
My own personal opinion is that this story needs to be pulled from the fanfiction world, names changed/fandom references removed, professionally edited, and published, because it's an excellent work of fiction that doesn't need to rely on the draw of the fandom in order to gain a following.
I have never, in my entire life, cried this hard over a book. Sure, I've sniffled. I've even wiped a few stray tears or gotten quite choked up at times. I've had books that have stuck with me for days, and weeks, and even months.
This story though? Had me sobbing like a baby. I'm not exaggerating when I say I haven't cried like this except over deaths in my own family.
Days later an Elvis song came on at work and I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom and compose myself before I could continue to go about my day.
Read this at your own risk. DO NOT TAKE THE WARNINGS LIGHTLY. When people say that it broke their hearts, listen to them. When they say they cried for days, listen to them. My best friend thought I was exaggerating and read it. She's coming over tomorrow and I'm baking her a casserole out of guilt because she's so broken up over it.
Though very well-written, it ripped my still-beating heart out of my chest and stomped it to bloody bits while I could do nothing but watch helplessly from the sidelines.
There's no happy ending, and those who know me know I require a HEA.
I read this a week ago and I'm still raw.
That said, it doesn't leave you quite dead in the floor. It does patch you back up a bit with a bittersweet ending, but I can honestly say this is a story that I will never forget.
And yet, even with all of the pain, I'm still glad I read it. As agonizing as it was, the love between the protagonists was eternal, even though reality got in the way of the apple-pie fairytale they had truly deserved.
And now I have to go curl up in the corner and whimper for a bit because just writing this review has reopened the wound.
I knew the moment that I finished this book that it would garner a lot of OMG-I-LOVED-IT reviews right alongside quite a few WHAT-THE-HELL-DID-I-JUST-READ ones. It definitely falls into the category of "love it or hate it", and quite honestly, when I look back objectively, I'm actually surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did.
This has been a very difficult review to write, to be honest, because when I look back over the notes I took while I was reading, and when I add up the number of "negative" points to compare to the "positives", I actually should have hated this book. Instead, I quite literally stayed up the entire night reading it because as cliched as it sounds, I simply couldn't bring myself to put it down.
I think what I liked the most about this book isn't necessarily the book itself -- it's the world that Ms. Bishop has created, and the immense potential for this series. Don't get me wrong -- I liked the characters and the storyline that made up this book, though admittedly the day to day mundane narrative grated on my nerves at times, and Meg was so sweet it made my teeth hurt while reading it at times.
But what really grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go was the fascinating mythology surrounding not only the many forms of terra indigine, but of the cassandra sangue themselves. Perhaps I've just been reading the wrong things, but I've never read anything quite like it, and I am absolutely hooked.
The biggest drawbacks of this story for me (other than the price and the fact that I have to wait so long for the sequel) are the fact that there is so much heavy detail on the day to day goings on in Meg's life, and the fact that Meg is a pretty unremarkable character that for some miraculous reason brings out the protective instincts in pretty much everyone she meets.
Meg's innocence and naivete were taken to the extreme at times, and though it was explained well by the isolation she experienced in her very unconventional upbringing, there were times where she really needed to be shaken a few times.
However, even though there were things about Meg that I didn't particularly care for, what I really loved was the idea that a single, somewhat ordinary person, would have touched so many lives in small, almost unintentional ways, that so many of these incredibly powerful creatures would be on the verge of practically ending the human race were she to come to harm. It sounds ridiculous as I write that, and yet that was one of the things that I enjoyed the most as I read.
In the end, though, my final rating doesn't depend on the number of things I liked versus the faults I was able to find when looking back on it. Instead, what it boils down to is how I felt when I finished the final page, and as such, this one gets my highest rating, despite it's many flaws, and I for one am dying to get my hands on the sequel.
Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St.This 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"]>...more
Expected Release Date: July 18, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing ImpriThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 18, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Entangled Teen Author’s Website: http://melaniecard.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: None Favorite Tropes: Betrayal
I have been a fan of Melanie Card and the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer since shortly after I started this blog. The first book, WARD AGAINST DEATH, has long been a favorite of mine even though I don’t typically find myself reading YA/NA very often, and I knew that this book was going to be amazing.
It’s so nice to be right.
What I think I loved most about this book was the character development. Ward starts off just as we left him — clumsy, insecure, and on the run for his life. As the story progresses, though, we get to watch Ward grow up quite a bit, and get exciting glimpses into just the type of man that he will someday be — strong, confident, and powerful.
Celia, too, matures from the cold-blooded assassin that we’ve come to know and love into a more toned-down version of herself, with her affection for Ward growing, and the uncertainty of her life span really starting to weigh down on her.
More than that though, we get action, intrigue, and tons of danger, along with some unexpected new allies and some thrilling twists.
I do wish that there were a little more communication between Ward and Celia, as they both kept their developing feelings for each other under tight wraps, but for once, I wasn’t actually reading for the romance. There was also a slight issue with my copy (purchased for Kindle), where some page breaks between scenes would have really come in handy, but that was a minor issue and not one that counts against the final rating.
Overall, I adored it, and I’m hoping against hope that it won’t take another two long years for me to get my greedy little hands on Book 3.
Expected Release Date: September 24, 2013 Publisher: Simon & SchusterThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 24, 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprint: Pocket Books Author’s Website: www.larissaione.com My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Moon Bound Vampires Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Major Age Difference Between Protagonists Favorite Tropes: Kidnapped, Enemies To Lovers
Any first installment into a series can tend to be a little wobbly on its feet at first, especially when the author is known for only one series (and a popular one at that), and this one was no true exception.
I admit, I had a hard time just sitting back and enjoying the book on its own without drawing quite a few comparisons between the characters and events in this book, and the popular Demonica/Lords of Deliverance books. However, I soon found that I really enjoyed her fresh take on the vampire myth, turning them into a subjugated race fighting for both freedom from and revenge against their captors. The in-fighting between clans, the evil corporations, the hunters sent in to bring down rogues and escapees -- all of these added up to a thrilling world in which to set the story.
On top of that, the animosity between Nicole and Riker, along with their growing understanding of each other, not to mention the growing attraction that they both attempted to fight, added the perfect amount of tension, and of course, the trademark heat and chemistry that we've come to expect from Ms. Ione kept things quite interesting even during the times between fighting.
While I was a little weirded out by the in-your-face age difference between Nicole and Riker, and was perhaps a bit distracted by some of the parallels that could be drawn between this story and the Demonica/LOD series, it was the world-building that really made me fall in love with this tale. I can't wait for more books to help explain the history behind the enslavement of the vampire race, as well as the stories behind the various rogue clans. The teaser for the next book in the series has me salivating to get my hands on it, and leaves me with no doubt that this series is going to be one to watch.
A very solid 4/5, and definitely a series to watch....more
Expected Release Date: April 15, 2013 Publisher: Cynthia Eden Imprint: N/This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 15, 2013 Publisher: Cynthia Eden Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.cynthiaeden.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com (Personal Purchase) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Bound In Series Series Best Read In Order: Works Well As A Standalone Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: None Favorite Tropes: Betrayal, Amnesia, Mates For Life
One minor issue where the word “vampire” was used in a place that should have very obviously been “werewolf” (and yes, I’m picky, and that drove me a bit bonkers for a minute), but other than that, a very solid read.
Full of love, lust, anger, grief, betrayal, and revenge, with Ms. Eden’s trademark delicious chemistry thrown on top, I couldn’t put it down, and there’s a beautiful potential for a follow-up book with some secondary characters who also quickly captured my heart.
Expected Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: MacMillan Imprint: St. MartThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: MacMillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Press Author’s Website: http://zoearcherbooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Nemesis Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Overly Drawn-Out Ending Favorite Tropes: Convict, Revenge Plot, Good Epilogue
Dark, gritty, and very, very sexy, this adventurous romp through the underbelly of late 1800′s London will hook you from the very first pages and not let you go until the end. The sheer brilliance behind the concept of Nemesis, combined with powerful protagonists with wonderful chemistry set the stage for plenty of action, and boy, did this book deliver.
I loved Jack’s character, rough edges and all, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed Eva’s character as well. More than just the main couple, though, was the dynamic of the entire cast of characters from Nemesis, and the potential for this series has it firmly on my watch list for the future.
Recommended for fans of dark and somewhat violent romances, unconventional heroes and heroines,and the struggle to remember that revenge is sometimes a dish best served cold.
A very solid 4.5/5, and a series to keep an eye on....more
Expected Release Date: March 12, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please read The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 12, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://eloisajames.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, With This Kiss Serial, Spinoff of The Ugly Duchess & Seduced By A Pirate Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: Love Triangle, No HEA Favorite Tropes: Unrequited Love, Love Through Letters
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a double-length novella split up into a digital serial before, so the entire concept of this story’s publication intrigued me as much as the story itself when I first heard of it.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on all three parts at once, and though I was perhaps a bit spoiled by the fact that I didn’t have to wait between finishing this installment and beginning the next, I can’t help but think that the week-long wait would be just right to temper any frustration in having to wait with a bite of sweetness from being denied something you want for just a moment.
That said, I would recommend going ahead and pre-ordering all three if you’re reading this review before they’re all out, as none of them would work very well in my opinion as a self-contained story.
As for this installment individually, I was very pleasantly surprised by what an emotional punch it packed in such a relatively low word count. The characters were all well developed, and even though the span of many years are covered in this section of the story, it never felt rushed, or as though important events had been glossed over.
Instead, the focus is exactly where it belongs — on Colin and on Grace and their development both as individuals and as possible romantic interests — and the other characters adding on when needed.
Overall, even with the cliff-hanger ending, it was fantastic.
Recommended for fans of childhood crushes that turn to unrequited love, of good men who are darkened by the realities of war, and of wanting what is best for someone you love, even when it hurts.
Expected Release Date: May 25, 2010 (March 4, 2013 Reissue?) Publisher: KThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 25, 2010 (March 4, 2013 Reissue?) Publisher: Kensington Imprint: Brava Author’s Website: http://www.shellylaurenston.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Pride Series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Casual Public Nudity, Quirky Heroine Crossing the Line Into Obnoxious Favorite Tropes: Opposites Attract, Heroine Constantly Underestimated, Bad Reputation (Hero), Sports Celebrity
If you have never read anything by Shelly Laurenston, be forewarned — there’s nothing else like her books. With a wicked sense of humor, utterly unique characters, tons of snark, more than a touch of casual violence, and just a hint of steam, this book was, in a single word, fun.
Though this is the fifth book in the series, the only real obstacle to a newcomer would be the almost overwhelming cast of characters to keep up with, but overall, I think that it worked quite well as a standalone.
I loved the dynamic between Blayne and Bo, but more than that, I loved all of the shifters and how the interacted with each other. The rivalries between species, as well as the major differences between Blayne and Bo certainly kept things interesting, as did the sub-plot with the kidnappings and pit-fighting.
Highly entertaining, the only real things that pulled my enjoyment down were the casual public nudity and the occasional departure from quirky and into annoying with Blayne’s behavior. Overall, however, I couldn’t put it down.
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing ImThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 21, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Scandalous Author’s Website: http://www.authormichellemclean.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: Too Stupid To Live Moment(s), Love Triangle Favorite Tropes: Clumsy Heroine, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Serious Illness or Injury
Though I can’t deny that the book was highly entertaining overall, my final rating would have been higher had it not been for an incredibly too stupid to live moment on the heroine’s part that resulted in a majorly tragic disaster towards the end.
That said, even with the fact that a major event in the end left a sour taste in my mouth, this book was, quite simply, fun. I think partly due to the fact that this was a “sweet” romance, with nothing more than a few kisses and a bit of wandering hands, the main focus was on the escapades of Min and Bryant as they planned and plotted both with and against each other in search for the necklace. It was quite an adventure, when all was said and done, and despite having several of my pet peeves, I still enjoyed it.
Recommended for fans of clumsy heroines whose plans often outshine their abilities, of heroes with tarnished pasts yet golden hearts, and of tons of mischievous adventure, sprinkled with a good dose of chemistry and seasoned with a dash of good old-fashioned romance.
I almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there wasI almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there was even a sequel in the works, so I knew immediately that I had to read this one.
Quite dark, with some very heavy issues at hand, it was just as good as the first, if not better. I loved Haidyn *dreamy sigh*
Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: Random House PublishiThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: Random House Publishing Imprint: Bantam Dell Author’s Website: LaraAdrian.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 11, Midnight Breeds Sereis Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy Favorite Tropes: Faithful Estrangement, Fated To Be Mated, Fighting Fate Pet Peeves: Too Many Characters To Keep Track Of
While I was a bit wary about picking this one up (I mean, c’mon, Book ELEVEN in a series I’ve never read?), I have to say it did an excellent job of standing on its own. Some online research tells me that’s because there’s actually a pretty big time-jump between this one and the last book, and so a lot of people are treating this as more of a spin-off than the original series.
Works for me, since I had no history with any of these characters and would probably have been hopelessly lost otherwise.
A fantastic intro for newcomers to the series, I have a distinct feeling that if the other books are anything like this one, old fans are going to rejoice as well. I never felt lost, even though it was quite obvious there were previous stories published before this one, and I really enjoyed Mira’s power — fighting against “fate” has long been a favorite trope of mine.
The chemistry was strong with plenty of steam to really heat things up. There’s also an awesome set up for the next book, and I for one can’t wait to read it.
Recommended for fans of estranged lovers, strong heroines, and delicious chemistry.
Having picked it up as a Kindle freebie a few weeks ago, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect going into it.
I think the biggest thing that threw meHaving picked it up as a Kindle freebie a few weeks ago, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect going into it.
I think the biggest thing that threw me off was the time period and location. It was set in 1873 San Francisco, and yet I was jolted every single time a reference was made to the location or time period, as the world-building was a bit absent for much of the story.
Still, it wasn't a bad way to pass the time, especially for those into gothic-style romance.
Expected Release Date: August 21, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/a AuthThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 21, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/a Author’s Website: http://mina-carter.com My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Project Mates Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm Favorite Tropes: Fated To Be Mated Pet Peeves: Sexual Assault, Too Much Setup for the Next Book
I’ve never before read anything by Mina Carter, but I can easily say that if this book was any indication, I will definitely be reading more in the future.
I admit, this was completely a case buying the book for the cover, and I can definitely say, the content lived up to that delicious eye candy. This was my first Mina Carter title, and I assure you, it won’t be my last. I’m dying to see where the story goes, and I’m very upset that I have to wait to get my hands on the sequel, Blood Mate (since, well, it’s not actually been written yet).
Recommended for fans of secret military operations, fated mates, and new twists on old paranormal ideas.