**spoiler alert** I've only ever (attempted to) read one Evangeline Anderson book before, and I couldn't even finish that one because it couldn't hold**spoiler alert** I've only ever (attempted to) read one Evangeline Anderson book before, and I couldn't even finish that one because it couldn't hold my attention.
I should have waited for this one.
The tension and encounters between Jude and Luz were hottt *fans self vigorously* How can you not adore an alpha-vampire who loves to.. ah.. go downtown? *fans self some more*
While at times, Jude was a bit Mary Sue-ish (despite his "deep dark secret", and the fact that he was, of course, a blood-thirsty vampire), I really liked him and his devotion to Luz.
Luz, on the other hand, needed several years of therapy to get over her past traumas. I enjoyed how Jude was willing to go slowly with her (outside of their first encounter, which really did make me roll my eyes at how he managed to talk her out of her panties :P), and how he was determined to keep her safe even when she was too stubborn to talk to him and instead kept running.
I swear though, I was very annoyed with the whole "didn't you get my call?!" thing between Luz and her brother, Diego. For pity's sake folks, get texting. Or something. She kept missing these super important messages from her brother, and then she'd call him and he'd freak right out on her about how he'd called and tried to warn her and blah blah blah, which was such a cheesy tension-building device and got on my nerves something fierce.
This novel had a strong focus on child molestation and sexual abuse/rape, so sensitive readers should be aware. There is no actual rape, but holy moly is there a lot of attempting, so some readers (myself included) might get a bit squicked about it. That said, it was handled as tastefully as I think it could have been, given that it was a necessary plot device.
Overall it was a nice, (hot), easy read. Solid 3 1/2 Stars
I personally found Byron's... problem... to be obvious from pretty much the beginning, but then again I a**spoiler alert** Not bad for a debut novel.
I personally found Byron's... problem... to be obvious from pretty much the beginning, but then again I approached it from a modern reader's POV rather than as someone from that time period.
This story does have a bit of a Beauty and the Beast feel to it, but Byron's "beastliness" isn't immediately apparent, and doesn't become explicitly illustrated until late in the novel (er.. as in the author coming out and saying exactly what his problem is, not the other kind of "explicitly" lol)
Our heroine gets both the "plain heroine" and "beautiful heroine" shelves because she's really a lovely woman but hides herself behind ugly clothes and unfashionable hairstyles.
While I didn't like the heroine at first, I did start to warm up to her towards the end, and I really liked how LJ didn't go the clichéd and obvious route for the explanation of why our heroine acted the way she did. It was a perfectly reasonable reason to me, given the time period, but even the Hero thinks that it seemed rather anticlimactic. I, for one, simply enjoyed the fact that it was simple -- no evil villain hiding in the wings, no dastardly deeds were committed against her person, but rather a small series of unfortunate events coupled with a youthful indiscretion made it necessary to become a spinster.
While LJ certainly gets credit for the unusual affliction of the Hero, and the uncommon (if rather mundane) history of the heroine, the rating does slip a bit because at points the writing dragged a bit, the stubbornness of both the Hero and Heroine get annoying at times, and the ending/epilogue (while happy) weren't really to my tastes.
After a lot of hit-or-miss books lately, I decided to do a bit of re-reading, and this happened to be the first one I landed on.
I'd(Re-Read June 2010)
After a lot of hit-or-miss books lately, I decided to do a bit of re-reading, and this happened to be the first one I landed on.
I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this story :)
Stanton's "talent" for spotting liars almost borders on a paranormal aspect, though there's no hint in the book that this is the case.. I can easily sympathize though with how horrible it must've been to grow up knowing everyone was lying.
His hesitancy to enter into a relationship with a woman (he's been celibate for 10 years, the poor man!) was a bit tragic to me, especially once we learned of his reasoning.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lady Alicia's "scandalous" behaviors upon re-entry to society.. How horrible it must be to have been branded a liar because of the machinations of other unscrupulous people, but at the same time, she IS "free" because of her youthful scandal.
Prinny is hysterical as he's been throughout the entire Liar's Club/Royal Four series, and the bit about a certain young lady under the table with a lot of fruit made me smile :)
It was also nice to see all the other spouses of the Royal Four again :)
Seducing the Spy was lovely ending to a very enjoyable series, and I stand by my earlier rating of a solid 4 Stars....more
I'm always pleasantly surprised when a debut novel is good, and this book was no exception.
What worked for me: Loved loved loved the sea talking and plI'm always pleasantly surprised when a debut novel is good, and this book was no exception.
What worked for me: Loved loved loved the sea talking and playing with Blue :) That was incredibly cool
Really enjoyed the Mad Max/Thunderdome vibe of the post-apocalyptic world that existed after a series of tsunamis wiped out civilization as we know it.
Max was awesome, and I loved the card game with Aubrey :)
The tattoo? Epic Win as well.
I for one also liked the toughness of Blue resulting from her being raised by pirates and having had a really crappy childhood, at odds with her vulnerable/naive/sheltered personality from having been away from "civilization" for so long... I know some reviewers have said it put them off, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that a girl who could filet you with a bowie knife also blushed whenever faced with the slightest bit of attraction to another human being :) It was sweet.
There are more things, but honestly I don't want this review to have too many spoilers, so let's just say it was a lot of little things that kept making me smile :)
What didn't work for me: I'm not sure I ever really felt the love/attraction between Gabriel and Blue... Yes, she had a party in her pants around him because he was incredibly easy on the eyes and she was a 24 year old virgin, and it was obvious he was attracted to her, but even though the backstory as to why he was interested in her outside of her physical appearance was explained, I still didn't quite feel it as deeply as I think I was intended to.
Gabriel seeing Blue naked and/or half naked outside of sexual situations all the bloody time was annoying! Pet peeve of mine, I know, but authors, don't try to make your heroine vulnerable by having people see her naked unless it's some kind of exhibitionist fetish that you're gratifying for an erotica story. It's not sexy, it's embarrassing.
The vagueness of the ending (not the epilogue, the ending)... I think I know what the message was, but I'm a bit thick sometimes and wish it'd been spelled out a bit more
In the end, I was very happy with this story :) I'm very glad that Book 2 has been sold, even though it'll deal with different characters rather than being a continuation of Blue and Gabriel's life
**spoiler alert** First things first, can I just say how much I love the cover??
I'd actually never heard of this book until the other day when perusi**spoiler alert** First things first, can I just say how much I love the cover??
I'd actually never heard of this book until the other day when perusing the DABWAHA website and saw that it was actually the finalist against Larissa Ione's Ecstasy Unveiled (which is a fantabulous book itself btw).
Now let me go ahead and say it – I'm not usually that into same-sex romance. I've nothing against it (in fact, some of my favorite fanfiction is slash), but it's not typically something I actively seek out on my own.
That said, I LOVED THIS BOOK!
It had everything I love in a contemporary, action-filled romance: a tortured hit man with a conscience, a hot target who slowly breaks through said hitman's tough shell, and just enough action (er.. that is.. fighting) to keep things exciting.
Add on top of that the whole “ahh crap I guess I'm gay, huh?” bit (which I admit, I found more amusing than anything – does that make me mean?) and you've got tons of delicious angst.
D doesn't want to get close to Jack. In fact, he does everything he can to continously push him away, especially once he starts to develop feelings for him. But dear Jack just won't let him keep running, and very gently starts to pull him out of his shell.
And the love scenes? HOTTT *fans self* *wipes drool* *licks lips*
*clears throat* Er. Sorry. What were we talking about?
D and Jack make a wonderful couple. Jack's not all effeminite, which I think would have definitely put D off, but he's not some super badass either. He's... human. I really like that about him. Sure, he's a little braver than I would have been had I come home to find a hitman calmly sitting on my couch with a shiny gun (complete with silencer) sitting in his lap, but then again he's also used to dealing with high-pressure situations in his career as a surgeon. And his reaction to seeing D kill for the first time felt really true to how I think most “average” people would react.
I had to snicker when someone referred to him as a “twink” and he didn't get the reference ;) Sure he was a bit preppy, but I wasn't getting the twink vibe from him.
I really felt like his courage overlaying his natural vulnerability is what attracted D to him in the first place, and made it impossible for D to walk away.
Jack knew from the beginning of the novel that he was homosexual, and had had prior sexual relationships with men. D, on the other hand, was deeeeep in the closet. He knew he had these “feelings” but he denied himself for so long that it was a difficult path to get him to recognize and act on his attractions and affections for Jack.
The angst of D trying to stay away from Jack for his own good was just gut wrenching. As a reader, I agonized with him because I knew his logic was sound, but at the same time I just wanted to shake him and tell him to go to him and end both their suffering.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the book was right after D had kidnapped Jack , and Jack was thinking the whole situation was like a cheesy TNT movie... At one point he thinks to himself “Actually, if this were a movie, you’d be a beautiful woman and you’d be sleeping with HAL by the second act.” This made me snort when I read it, because obviously I knew from the description that they would be hooking up and they were both so oblivious to it at that point (side note – the “HAL” reference is because D hadn't actually introduced himself, so Jack started calling him HAL in his head due to the resemblance between his sunglasses and the HAL computer from 2001: A Space Oddessy)
Now, it's not all rainbows and sunshine here – there are several times in the book where D's internal monologue prompted a bit of eye-rolling on my part. I understand why it was there though – there were little tidbits hinting at his past, and why he felt the way he did that were very important to character development, and the internal monologue was truly the best way for JS to put that across without bogging us down with awkward and untimely conversations or true flashbacks. Knowing that didn't make it any less irritating though, which is why I mention it.
Did I mention that I like D's accent too? I'm not sure exactly what sort of accent it's supposed to be (it might have been mentioned but honestly I missed it), but for once I enjoyed phoenetic typing to emphasize accent. That sort of thing normally drives me bonkers (re: Diana Galbaldon's Outlander series. I went crosseyed from all the verra's and ya ken's in that series .lol)
The part right after they've discovered the identity of the villain (which, btw, I totally guessed beforehand) was simply heartbreaking – when they realized that their dreams of being together were practically pipe dreams, and that the reality was that one (or both) of them was going to die. Heartbreaking.
And Dear Lawd, the separation just about killed me. Christmas litrerally had me all choked up *sniffle* Gah.
Their reunion though, was worth it. It was very satisfying (er. No pun intended there) because it wasn't just a “and the lovers were reunited and lived happily ever after The End” – instead it had them work through some issues that felt real, rather than just jumping to the glossy HEA that so many other romances end up with in the final chapters.
I also like that she left it open-ended for future sequels, without giving it the whole unresolved/cliff-hanger vibe that so many debut books have these days.
Being that it's a same-sex romance, I realize that this book won't be for everyone. The sex scenes are well done, but are just as explicit as a typical heterosexual romance, and as such might put a few readers off. However if that sort of thing bothers you, I still recommend reading it and just skipping/skimming the sex scenes, because the romance and the suspense/action is so gut-wrenchingly fantastic that it's not to be missed.
Also, be sure that once you've read the book, you head on over to Jane Seville's website – she's got several outtakes and epilogue short stories posted for free (but, yeah, don't read them until you've read the book lol)
**spoiler alert** I'm reminded again why I adore Cynthia Eden.. I first discovered her as an author in the Everlasting Bad Boys anthology with her sho**spoiler alert** I'm reminded again why I adore Cynthia Eden.. I first discovered her as an author in the Everlasting Bad Boys anthology with her short story, Spellbound, and immediately fell in love with her writing style.
The Vampire's Kiss is no exception. It had the "fated mates" vibe without the absolute sense of unavoidable destiny, which was refreshing, and I loved the little twist as to why Savannah's mind was different than all the other humans that William had experience with. The romance was hot without being overwhelming to the story, and I really enjoyed the parts where William helped to teach Savannah all the new vampy things she needed to know after her transformation.
Even though I figured out the last twist in the book right when it was first presented, it was still a good one and IMHO definitely added to the HEA.
I was really hoping for a sequel for a certain character that really deserves a HEA, but from my understanding there hasn't been one nor is there one in the works. Boo hiss.
Strong characters, an action-driven plot that keeps you on your toes, and plenty of twists to keep your interest earned this one a solid 4 1/2 Stars....more
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 forVery 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.
Re-read March 19, 2012 (originally read March 24, 2010)
I love Annwyl and have from the start. With a horrendous (and frankly ridiculous) temper, she'sRe-read March 19, 2012 (originally read March 24, 2010)
I love Annwyl and have from the start. With a horrendous (and frankly ridiculous) temper, she's not only a terrifying warrior woman, but she's also got a seldom seen softer, playful side that Feargus brings out in her.
I've always been a little iffy with this series in general because I've never been able to fully wrap my brain about the human-like characteristics of the dragons (while in dragon form), nor the very casual use of extreme violence in the series.
Light and entertaining with a touch of ridiculousness, steam, and a sweet love story, this is still one of my favorite "go to" books when I need to re-read a bit of a palate cleanser when reading review copies. ...more
This is my first Monica Burns book, and whoooo mama *fans self* I wasn't expecting it to be quite so hot! There was a LOT of delicious UST (which I adThis is my first Monica Burns book, and whoooo mama *fans self* I wasn't expecting it to be quite so hot! There was a LOT of delicious UST (which I admit, is often lacking these days), and when they finally came together *cough* pun intended *cough*... Yeah, niiiiiiice :)
I need to start reading more standalone novels, or at the very least, pick books that already have a few out in the series already, because these cliff-hanger endings are killing me :P The relationship between Aries and Emma was wrapped up nicely enough, and I was glad he got back a certain item at the end.. But it was definitely open-ended which often annoys me.
I'm DYING waiting for the next book, Assassin's Heart (which for some reason the Goodreads linking thing isn't working for me at the moment or I'd link it), which stars Lysander and Phaedra *thud*
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it.. It lost half a star because the "oh but s/he doesn't love me" angst got a bit tiring after a while, along with Emma's stubbornness getting them into trouble and her constantly blaming Ares for all her woes.
**spoiler alert** Seeing as how much I adored Grimspace, it really came as no surprise that I'd be head over heels for this book as well.
It had every**spoiler alert** Seeing as how much I adored Grimspace, it really came as no surprise that I'd be head over heels for this book as well.
It had everything I desire in contemporary romantic-suspense novels:
A not so innocent heroine who is being pursued by...
An assassin (with standards) who has been hired to kill her by...
An evil (or is he really?) villain out for revenge on aforementioned not-so-innocent heroine because she publicly embarrassed him as part of her own revenge plot.
Throw in the agendas of other characters throughout the story, a pinch of hot, rough sex, and a dash of paranormal ability on the part of our heroine, and you've got the makings of a deliciously complex and compelling novel.
I was actually hesitant to mark this one as a PNR, simply because it didn't have the "whole world" of paranormality -- as far as Kyra and the reader know, she's the only one of her kind, rather than a part of an entire underground group of psychics or mages or shifters or any other group that typically goes hand in hand with the PNR genre.
While the paranormal aspects definitely added to the story and were key to moving the plot along, I think I would have enjoyed it even without them, which is saying something since I'm not typically one for straight up contemporary romances. The relationship between Reyes and Kyra was simply fantastic to follow. They were both working with trust issues (for good reason obviously!) and the pacing felt perfect for their relationship -- any faster and it wouldn't have been believable, but any slower and the readers would start getting impatient.
There were only a couple bits that kept it from getting a solid five stars, and that's due to my own hangups as a reader rather than any defect in the writing. Having Kyra actually kill people felt wrong to me. Sure, she's no angel, and that fact was established literally from page one onward... She's a con artist, and she was out for revenge, but it didn't seem to fit into her character, at least not the second time. The first time could be attributed to the "power" she'd stolen just prior, rather than an ingrained part of her personality. I suppose that the second time could just illustrate an evolution of her character, but tt just took me aback for a moment. Then again, that's part of what I like about Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray's writing -- she certainly manages to constantly keep me on my toes.
I'm really looking forward to Skin Tight, due out this summer.
**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** 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**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 ;)