Billed as a gender-swapped retelling of Snow White, this fun historical...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Billed as a gender-swapped retelling of Snow White, this fun historical fantasy debut novel from Elizabeth Vail was entertaining and romantic. I loved the blend of historical and fantasy elements, and I've always been a sucker for characters with a secret identity. I enjoyed Frederick's belief that his magic was deadly, and that he had to keep a tight control over his emotions in order to protect everyone around him, and more than that, I loved how Charlotte continually pushed his limits without always meaning to.
Though I prefer my romances to be steamy, I did enjoy the chemistry between Charlotte and Frederick, especially the reminder that while he may be a footman, he was still a man, which is something Charlotte had a tendency to forget at times.
There were a few pacing issues that stood out to me, where the story would hit a lull that made me think that it was winding down to a conclusion before revving back up to more action, but even with these issues, I still found it a very enjoyable read, and a great deal at the current price.(less)
Only thing I wasn't keen on was the whole bit where it seems priests have sex with other people...moreF*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.
I'm very very torn about something concerning this novel, and as I write, and re-write, and re-re-write my review, I realize that I'm having trouble e...moreI'm very very torn about something concerning this novel, and as I write, and re-write, and re-re-write my review, I realize that I'm having trouble expressing my concern without wording it in a way that could be very inflammatory if taken out of context.
I enjoyed this book.
There was one particular (and somewhat major) issue that pulled my final rating down a full star, but when it is all said and done, I enjoyed this book, and that's what ratings are all about.
Therefore, 4/5 Stars, and I will revisit and amend this review as I'm better able to gather my thoughts.
I hate to be vague in a review, but unfortunately I'm not comfortable mentioning in a public review one major thing about this book that brought my final rating down a full star.
That said, however, I really enjoyed this story. I loved the fated-to-be mated vibe, as well as the push and pull between Thea and Brand, as neither of them wanted the other as a partner in the beginning.
The Crystal City was wonderful, with some truly terrifying scenes, and I especially enjoyed the maze with all of the mind tricks that were played on both Brand and Thea.
As a HUGE fan of Melanie Card's Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series, I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamics between the two protagonists, and I admit, I was happy that there was some naughty times, even though they were fade-to-black.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I ended up staying up far to late so that I could read it in one sitting, simply because I couldn't wait to see what was next.(less)
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: July 18, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Impri...moreThis 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.
I admit, I read the entire series in order, back to back, over the course of a few days, so honestly, I'll likely never write a full review for any of...moreI admit, I read the entire series in order, back to back, over the course of a few days, so honestly, I'll likely never write a full review for any of them, since they pretty much all blend together into one massive story for me.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the main thing that kept it from being a higher rating was the fact that it did take something like 500,000 pages (ie the whole 5-book series) to get to a happily ever after ;)(less)
I'm tempted to give this thing 5 stars just because the author was awesome enough to finish it and publish it for FREE for her fans after her publishe...moreI'm tempted to give this thing 5 stars just because the author was awesome enough to finish it and publish it for FREE for her fans after her publishers canceled the series before it was "over".
A great ending to what has been a wonderful series -- I'm very sad to see it end. (less)
Man this one was a WILD ride. I loved loved LOVED the world-building, and there's no denying that it was steamy, but there were a few things that made...moreMan this one was a WILD ride. I loved loved LOVED the world-building, and there's no denying that it was steamy, but there were a few things that made me want to punch the characters in the face (or at least throw the book against the wall).
Plus, the hero's name is "Heyerdar", which I kept pronouncing as "Hurrderr" in my head, which made it hard for me to take him serious as the big bad alpha that he is :P
And even with those things I HATED, it's still a solid 4/5. Very well done. Full review to follow. (less)
LOVED this one, possibly more than I did Kisri and Sabine (but truthfully I'd have to go back and re-read them to be sure). Ilora was wonderfully feis...moreLOVED this one, possibly more than I did Kisri and Sabine (but truthfully I'd have to go back and re-read them to be sure). Ilora was wonderfully feisty, and Farran was just delicious.
I'm EXTREMELY wary of retellings of classic tales, and I admit that at first, the obvious similarities to Jane Eyre had me very hesitant.
That said, t...moreI'm EXTREMELY wary of retellings of classic tales, and I admit that at first, the obvious similarities to Jane Eyre had me very hesitant.
That said, there was more than enough originality to the story to keep me on my toes, and with several unexpected plot twists as well as just enough of a cliffhanger to have me dying for the next installment (without making me want to scream in frustration), I stayed up all night reading this because I couldn't stand the thought of putting it down.
A very solid 4.5/5, with a full review to follow. (less)
Expected Release Date: May 2, 2012 Publisher: Romantic Geek Publishing Imp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 2, 2012 Publisher: Romantic Geek Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.daniellemonsch.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Exhibitionism (Minor) Favorite Tropes: Unexpected Hero, Enemies To Lovers, Classics Retold
Overall, this was a fun, flirty take on an old classic, and I really enjoyed it. There was a hot, hunky, chivalrous knight who has far more to him than meets the eye, a stubborn Fairy Godmother wary of being hurt again, and an imperative quest for the elusive Happily Ever After, not to mention some sneaky plotting on the author’s part.
The only thing that I really didn’t particularly care for was the minor bits of exhibitionism, but anyone familiar with my reviews knows that this isn’t something that I’m a fan of in general, so that should come as little surprise.
Recommended for fans of chivalrous knights, stubborn fairies, and old adversaries finally getting that elusive Happily Ever After.
Expected Release Date: April 2, 2012 Publisher: Christa McHugh Imprint: N/A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: April 2, 2012 Publisher: Christa McHugh Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.cristamchugh.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Soulbearer Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Chaste
With plenty of action, danger and interesting plot twists, I have to admit that despite the fact I don't normally care for love triangles, I read this book in a single sitting. Ms. McHugh has created a fascinating world full of magic, adventure, close calls, betrayals, and a fairly large mystery involving the heroine's own history. Throw in a sexy elf, a seductive prince, a snarky god of chaos, and even zombies, and how could I not like this?
While I'm not sure what the "technical" genre classification for this book would be, I personally would categorize it as Upper YA/New Adult Fantasy based on the low steam level and rather immature heroine. However, even as a reader of more "adult" romantic fantasy, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one, and am definitely looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
Expected Release Date: April 17, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A Author...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: April 17, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://haileyedwards.net/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the Author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Araneae Nation Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
While I admit that I probably would’ve fared better had I had a map of the clans or perhaps a glossary with my copy, I absolutely adored this story. Had it not been for the multiple instances where poor Lourdes’ bosom was exposed to all and sundry, this would have been rated higher, but even with the abundance of that major pet peeve of mine, this was a very solid read.
The originality of the universe Ms. Edwards has created along with the multi-faceted characters grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let me go. I know it sounds cliche, but I quite literally couldn’t put it down. Rhys is easily a favorite hero of mine, and the well-paced developing romance between him and Lourdes had just the right hint of steam.
Recommended for fans of dangerous (yet awesome) heroes, headstrong heroines, and fantasy adventure with just a dash of heat.
While I think the language barrier will be an issue for many readers, I have to say, I'm blown away. Very reminiscent of early Stephen King and possib...moreWhile I think the language barrier will be an issue for many readers, I have to say, I'm blown away. Very reminiscent of early Stephen King and possibly Peter Straub, this is fantasy and horror and romance and adventure, all beautifully intermingled.
Don't be put off by the cartoonish cover -- this was stunningly, beautifully executed, effed up twists and all. 5/5, full review to follow, and I pray, PRAY, that there is to be a sequel. (less)
I'm once again torn on a rating -- there was a lot wrong from a "literary" standpoint, and yet I literally couldn't put it down. Review to follow, 4/5...moreI'm once again torn on a rating -- there was a lot wrong from a "literary" standpoint, and yet I literally couldn't put it down. Review to follow, 4/5 Stars(less)