Expected Release Date: October 17, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: SThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: October 17, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Author’s Website: http://mercyloomis.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Madison, WI, 1999.
College student Amanda Bairns is finally about to take control of her own life. Getting her degree and finally getting out from under her mother’s thumb should mean this is one of the happiest times in her life. But when Gabriel, a friend from school, turns out to be a psychotic vampire intent on making her his newest fledgling, her dreams of the future turn into a nightmare filled with blood, mind control, violent sex, and murder. With the transformation incomplete, Gabriel promises Amanda one month to choose between the seductive power of vampirism or the frail weakness of being human prey. Four weeks seems like a small enough time to hold onto her humanity, but with each passing day, the new seductive powers she’s discovering, the physical changes, and the blood lust thrumming in her veins all become harder to ignore.
Amanda’s transformation is not their only concern, however, when it becomes apparent that there are outside forces whose interest in Gabriel’s newest fledgling could mean a major shift in power not only in the city of Madison, but in the supernatural community as a whole.
This book was a bit of an adventure for me. You see, it’s not what I would call a “traditional” romance. Instead, it’s more of a horror novel with romantic elements, which I admit threw me off a bit. However, if you approach this story as less of a romance and more of a sexy horror story, I think that you will get the full effect of the novel.
Even though I do tend to prefer traditional romances, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Gabriel was sexy and terrifying, and Amanda was so incredibly real that I couldn’t help but love her. She, as like most people, preferred to think of herself as someone who would never even be tempted to abuse or harm another human being, but as her transformation progressed, she quickly realized the intoxicating abilities of pure, unadulterated power. This, more than the blood and gore, was probably one of the scariest things about this novel — the idea that it doesn’t require a sociopath to start thinking of other humans as beneath you once you get a taste of real power.
While there was one scene that troubled me greatly, the overall story captivated me from the very beginning and wouldn’t let me go. The ending was absolutely fantastic despite being perhaps a bit unexpected, and I would recommend it for any fan vampires who are actually scary rather than sparkly*.
A very solid 4/5 Stars
*For the record, I am a Twihard, so that was not a bashing of Twilight fans lol...more
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN AuthThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author's Website: http://lorifoster.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but works well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
I realize that this book is part of a trilogy, but the ending was set up beautifully for a novel about Spencer and Arizona, and I sincerely hope that there will be one forthcoming.
While Alani wasn't necessarily my favorite heroine of the series (that would actually probably be Natalie from Ready, Set, Jett followed closely by Molly from When You Dare), I did like how she was able to prove that she was tougher than the fragile flower of a baby sister that Trace and Dare have always treated her as. It was rather enjoyable to not only watch Alani come into her own, but to see Trace and Dare both acknowledge that she was a grown woman and not someone in need of constant coddling. Jackson was probably the perfect hero for her -- strong, capable, sexy (and besotted, whether he would admit to it or not), and once he learned to tone down the cave-man attitude, he really balanced Alani nicely.
Recommended for readers who enjoy heroines overcoming a traumatic past, of promiscuous heroes blindsided by love, and of thrilling action, danger, and mystery.
I agree with the other reviewer who said it felt more like UF than PNR, because there's no definite HEA at the end. I meaThis book was... interesting.
I agree with the other reviewer who said it felt more like UF than PNR, because there's no definite HEA at the end. I mean, yeah, there's the ILY's, but things didn't feel resolved between the H/h at the end. Which, considering there's a bunch of books in the series, really isn't that big of a problem.. Though honestly, while the UST was nice and thick between Alex and Michael, I never really felt her falling in love with him. It was kind of like "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I wanna bang you, I hate you, I hate you, ahh crap I love you"... Sure, they had the physical chemistry, but it almost felt as if the "love" between them was a pure result of the whole I'm-the-one-who-turned-you bond rather than a true building of grudging affection.
I was also surprised that nobody addressed Michael's tendency to muck with Alex's memories (I would have expected Alex to at least tell him that if he did it again, she'd cut off important parts of his anatomy...
Quite a bit of the smexin made me a bit uncomfortable as well. The thing in South America for one, the whole thing with Galina, and Michael's forced seduction of Alex (which still felt more like some sort of buried compulsion rather than surrender to hidden/suppressed desire like most forced seductions in romance are).
I'm about to start the second one, Private Demon, which I hope to enjoy because the hero was one of my favorite characters from this book.
Overall, I liked the Darkyn mythology, as well as the interesting bits of medical science that LV kept throwing in.
I keep wavering between 3 1/2 and 4 Stars. 3 1/2 because I was bothered by the relationship between the H/h, and 4 because I'm really looking forward to reading more of the Darkyn mythology, especially in regards to the virus/innoculation theory.
I really enjoyed this one. I admit, it reminded me quite a bit of Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, but that was probably just because they're both space operI really enjoyed this one. I admit, it reminded me quite a bit of Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, but that was probably just because they're both space operas with similarly angsty/tortured heroes.
I loved Gabriel! It was hard at first to get used to him talking about himself in the third person, but definitely by the end of the novel it both makes sense and becomes second nature.
**spoiler alert** *whew!* What a crazy ride this book was!!
I'm going to try hard not to spoil anything but I'm putting the warning up in case I get ca**spoiler alert** *whew!* What a crazy ride this book was!!
I'm going to try hard not to spoil anything but I'm putting the warning up in case I get carried away lol
Carrow, powerful witch mercenary slash party animal extraordinaire, gets kidnapped by a secret human group hell bent (no pun intended) on capturing, torturing, and subsequently exterminating all members of the Lore. Once there, she discovers that not only have these humans captured several of her friends, but they've also captured her young (8 year old) cousin, Ruby.. Ruby is now an orphan because her mother was murdered by this organization, and according to how things are done in the witch community, as her closest living relative, Carrow finds herself thrust into the position of adoptive parent.
Talk about a culture shock -- Carrow is a party chick, intent on living it up while she's still young, so to suddenly have the responsibility of caring for a young girl, as well as being the one who has to try to help get her free from the members of this organization is enough to make anyone's head spin.
Sooooo this evil organization bargains with Carrow to go and seduce, beguile, threaten, or otherwise fetch, this big bad mofo known as Malkom, who is, in fact, a vemon (vampire demon).
Malkom, being a vemon (which is considered to be an abomination in both the demon and vampire communities), is a complete loner, living in a cave in the realm of Oblivion (the name of which totally makes me want to pull out the XBOX, but I digress), which is a really nasty desert hell plane full of all sorts of nasty critters and other random enemies...
Carrow is sent to Oblivion and has 5 days to convince Malkom to return with her or the organization will abandon her there and, well, vivisect Ruby. Ew.
What worked for me: * Good bloody hell I adored Malkom. That poor bastard had been through so much in his life, and y'all know how much I adore a tortured hero *dreamy sigh*
* I loved that Carrow the party chick was thrown into the role of surrogate parent, and wholeheartedly embraced it. She could've gone all sulky and woe-is-me or even refused to accept her responsibility, but instead was determined not to be the neglectful C U Next TuesdayS that her own parents had been to her
* Loved loved loved loved loved the language barrier between Malkom (who hadn't spoken anything but Demonish and a wee bit of Latin for a looooong time), and Carrow, who only spoke English and a few *ahem* choice phrases of Demonish that some of her party friends had taught her. I also enjoyed the difference in social mores that resulted from two people from very different worlds trying to overcome communication issues, such as the misunderstanding about the ghoul head..
* As with the other books in the series, the humor is such a wonderful bonus. I quite literally LOL'd at several points in the novel; for instance Carrow's description of one of the nasty critters in Oblivion as "ManBearPig" :P Some readers not up on pop culture might find a few of the references a bit confusing, but I say just like with J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, you may just want to keep Urban Dictionary on hand.
* The angst! Oh the angst!!!! Arg! Bad childhoods, abuse, neglect, social disdain, physical and emotional torture, trust issues, and catch 22's abound. There were actually several points during reading that I got teary eyed, which really threw me for a loop because I associate Kresley Cole with humor, action, hot smexin, and a bit of good old fashioned angst, but never before have I ever dreaded what was coming next because I knew how heartbreaking it would be for everyone involved.
What didn't work for me: * ........... gimme a second, I'm thinking ..... Okay I got one -- new readers to the series might be completely lost on some points, such as what the deal is with La Dorada and Lothaire, and the history/relationships between some of the more minor characters who've starred in previous books... I'll be honest though -- I'm not so sure that's really too bad of an issue, because with the exception of keeping straight which Wroth brother ended up with which female, I can't say I was all that confused (though I did have to stop and remember who the eff La Dorada was even though that was from the last book -- oops!), and it's been quite a while since I've read the previous novels in the series.
* Another thing that might give some readers pause is the squick value... While most of the horror and gore is off-screen, there are multiple references to vivisection, torture, sexual abuse of a minor, and a few cases of gory retribution. And keep in mind I said "most" -- there are definitely a few scenes that involve quite a bit of gore and ick factor. Like I said, it's not like it's in the realm of Stephen King or anything, but definitely not for some of the more sensitive readers.
Yeah. That's all I got lol I think some fans of her earlier stories might think it a bit too smutty, but while it's most definitely not a YA read, it's not like it's delved into the erotica genre either.. I, for one, thought it was just the right level of hotness (and can I just say *guh* at the tattoos and body piercings? *swoons*)
**spoiler alert** Now, if you read my reviews, or take a peek at my shelves, you know that it's a rare thing indeed for me to give a one-star review,**spoiler alert** Now, if you read my reviews, or take a peek at my shelves, you know that it's a rare thing indeed for me to give a one-star review, let alone not finish a book..
But this one? I just. I couldn't finish it.
I tried. I really did. But when I find myself playing Pac-Man online instead of finishing a book, we've got ourselves a problem.
I'm a fan of Feehan's Ghostwalker series. Though even many of them are rather poorly written (and let's face it, they really are), they're typically enjoyable and were able to keep my attention despite any qualms I may have had about the writing style...
This one though? Ug. It read like very mediocre fanfiction. *wrinkles nose*. I don't know. Maybe it's her vampire/Carpathian mythology that turned me off. Or maybe it was Raven's uber wishy-washy behavior. Maybe it was Mikhail's... well... Maybe it was just Mikhail lol
I don't know... Normally I enjoy stories with alpha males. You know, those smexy yet angsty fellas who have lived life by the creed of "My Way or the Highway", and who struggle between being all melty for the heroine and beating his chest trying to maintain the authority he's become accustomed to.. But I just wasn't feeling any chemistry between these two...
The whole thing (well, the part I read anyway) was just chock full of Raven going on and on, whining about how "independent" she was, and how awful it was that Mikhail was so domineering.. And then of course, all Mikhail had to do was be all like "but I'm just forcing you to bend to my every whim for your own goooooood", and she'd pout at him all prettily and give in and do whatever it was he wanted so long as he acknowledged how independent she was *beats head against the wall*
Perhaps we just got off to a bad start. As many others have pointed out, the book starts mid-stride, with no real introduction to the characters and then BAM! Suddenly they're psychically connected lifemates who bicker about everything and have sex. A lot. So much so that it's almost like Feehan is trying to distract you from the lousy story line by throwing a lot of bare breasts and fang action your way.
And I'm sorry. WTF is up with the heroine going back to the freaking inn to spend the night while our hero is out of commission, KNOWING THAT THERE ARE FREAKING SERIAL KILLERS STAYING THERE?!?!?! *facepalm* Hellooooo.. Why the fark would anyone think that was a good idea??
And some random psychic chick coming to pay them a visit at the castle? Really? *shakes head*
IDK.. Maybe I'm spoiled from where I glommed Nalini Singh a few days ago or something, or from where the last real "vampire" series I read (outside of Singh's Angels' Blood) was the deliciously-ridiculous-yet-oh-so-addictive Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole, but this one just flat out didn't do it for me....more
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.