Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Har...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 18, Wing in the Night series Series Best Read In Order: Yes and No (explained in review) Steam Level: Steamy
Official Blurb: Utanapishtim has paid dearly for the sin of creating the vampire race—imprisoned in a living death for centuries, driven to near madness. With a single white-hot glance, he immolates his descendants…and the vampire Armageddon begins.
Beautiful and deadly Brigit Poe, not wholly vampire but fiercely loyal to that shared bloodline, is called into action. She abhors yet cannot deny her destiny: to vanquish the once-great king of the immortals and save the vampire race.
Two warriors, equally matched in power and determination, are soon locked in an unwinnable battle, only to discover a passion so shocking it threatens every truth they've ever known—even as they must face one final battle that seems fated to end in death and heartbreak for them both.
Yes, yes, YES! I was so happy to get my greedy little hands on this book, because I've been excited about it ever since I heard that Utanapishtim (the Big Bad from Twilight Prophecy, and pronounced "ooo-tah-nah-pish-tim" for those like me whose brains melted the first time they read it) was going to be the hero paired with the "evil twin", Brigit.
After all that had gone down in Twilight Prophecy, I couldn't fathom how Ms. Shayne could possibly redeem Utana, but she did a fantastic job of making him a sympathetic character without castrating the great Warrior King. He's still insufferably pompous and arrogant, old fashioned and misogynistic (because, really, he's freaking Noah from the Great Flood for cryin' out loud -- a metrosexual this guy is not), and yet he also grieves deeply for the deaths of his vampire "children" and the fact that he must kill them all to appease his gods.
Now, earlier I said that this series both works well as a standalone and is better read in order. Let me clarify -- I think that as far as the entire Wings in the Night series goes, it stands perfectly well on its own. I actually came to the series quite late myself (book 17) and didn't feel as though I'd missed the information necessary for me to keep up. However, I do suggest reading Twilight Prophecy first for two main reasons. First, it's important to see the dynamic between the Mongrel Twins (James and Brigit), and second, it's the first half of Utana's story. Granted, Ms. Shayne does a very good job of explaining the vital portions missed if you don't want to go back and read the other one first, but even so, I personally would suggest reading these last two in order.
In short, I loved it. While the ending was still open enough to leave the option of future installments of the series, nothing was left feeling "unfinished", and I believed in the HEA, which is very important to me in any romance novel.
In the end, I really enjoyed this one. Utana is sexy and powerful and delicious and yet is still deeply flawed, and is able to eventually own up to his mistakes. Brigit finally breaks free of her Evil Twin designation, and weathers such betrayal and heartbreak over the course of the novel, but still remains true to herself. The sensuality was exactly what it needed to be, and the actual romance itself, although fast, was actually quite believable.
Recommended for fans of old-fashioned alphas finally finding their equal, of heroines convinced of their unworthiness finally realizing their true powers, and of a romance that overcomes even the largest of obstacles.
Expected Release Date: August 12, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Spellb...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 12, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Spellbinder Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://ljsellers.com/ My Source for This Book: Won on LibraryThing Part of a Series: Spinoff of Detective Jackson series Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Warm
In the not-so-distant future, budget cuts have caused massive lay-offs around the country, sky-high inflation, and made medical insurance almost impossible to get. Ex-detective Lara Evans is a freelance paramedic, trying to scrape by a living after a takedown-gone-wrong cost the life of a fellow officer, and training for her participation in the upcoming Gauntlet.
Part blood sport, part test of wit, the Gauntlet is a nation competition sponsored partly by the failing government and by a private corporation that grants the winner not only a substantial award, but also gives their home state much-needed grant money and job opportunities. Simply making it to the actual competition is an honor, and Lara is scheduled to participate the very next day when she responds to a shooting only to discover that the victim is a high-profile Employment Commissioner in the Gauntlet. Knowing that reporting the incident as law requires could make a very powerful enemy out of the Employment Commissioner -- one who could cost her her position in the Gauntlet -- she decides that the people of her state receiving that grant money is more important than her own individual morals. And besides, having a powerful friend could come in handy.
Soon Lara may regret that decision, as she's not only pursued by the man who shot the Commissioner, but framed for murder, as she battles to not only stay ahead in the Gauntlet competition, but to fight lazy and corrupt police as well as avoid a psychotic killer.
This one was definitely interesting. While the idea of a national competition requiring both brawn and brains is certainly not new, this is the first one I've read where the main character is a traumatized ex-cop. I liked Lara's vulnerabilities stemming from the incident at the end of her career, and the twist on her eating habits really kept my attention, mainly because I wanted to see how on earth she could compete at the Gauntlet level while still maintaining her very specific diet.
When the flashbacks first started, they were very disorienting, and I admit, I was tempted to skim through them on occasion. As the the story progressed and it became more apparent how the flashbacks fit in with the rest of the story, however, they did become much more interesting, as you watched the downward spiral of what was probably one of the most sympathetic villains I've read in a long time.
I loved the Gauntlet challenges, but especially enjoyed the shoddy police work that was more than possible in an under-funded department. To me, the idea of police who truly don't care about the truth and were more than willing to let an innocent person take the fall for a murder they didn't commit simply because they had neither the time, money, or inclination to search for the real killer.
Overall, while I loved many things about this novel, the flashbacks did pull down my final rating. While I'm fairly certain there was really no other way to have written the story without them, I still found them distracting and, in the beginning, rather boring.
The overall mystery, however, as well as the complicated societal issues and Lara's own personal demons, definitely made this one a worthwhile read.
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Im...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Imprint: N/A My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: NA Steam Level: Warm
I am so very torn on my final rating for this novel. On one hand, the first person POV lets the reader into Ben’s mind, and when Ben begins to suspect he’s insane, you feel his confusion and paranoia as your own, which is actually pretty awesome. On the other hand, events got so confusing at times, that it was only my own sheer stubbornness that made me stick it out until the end.
I was also disappointed that this was not exactly the “romance” I’d thought it would be when I first started reading. Ben’s bisexuality, while not bothering me in and of itself, definitely led to situations that were confusing and awkward for me as a reader, and frankly, there was such a strong concept of open relationships in this novel that I couldn’t really enjoy any romance in it. Casual sex simply isn’t my cup of tea, even in novels, so the romance lover in me was greatly saddened by the lack of monogamy.
In the end, I have to go with what is literally a middle-of-the road rating. While the psychological aspects were quite frankly astounding, there were simply too many factors that didn’t mesh with my preferences, such as the many open sexual relationships, the non-traditional HEA, and the simple fact that it was so utterly confusing that it took sheer willpower to plow through the middle long enough to get to the explanation towards the end.
Review to follow (I have WAY too much to type to do it tonight), but GAH! I thought Here There Be Monsters from The...moreOMFG I LOVE THIS BOOK *falls over*
Review to follow (I have WAY too much to type to do it tonight), but GAH! I thought Here There Be Monsters from The Burning Up Anthology was fantastic, but holy cow, this one just blew that out of the water :D
10 Stars (because dangit, it was better than just 5)(less)
**spoiler alert** This is my first book by Val Roberts and overall I was pretty impressed.
What worked for me: I loved the idea of a matriarchal society...more**spoiler alert** This is my first book by Val Roberts and overall I was pretty impressed.
What worked for me: I loved the idea of a matriarchal society. Their emphasis on tradition and distrust of technology bothered me a tiny bit, because I felt like it stemmed from an old stereotype that men are more likely to be technogeeks than their female counterparts, but that's just my own personal quirk.
The sexual freedom of the females made sense when you consider that "subjugating oneself to a mate" is probably the most historically significant factor in keeping women oppressed, but I admit the serial monogamy was a bit depressing -- I'm an old fashioned gal at heart and like the idea of lasting love, but it really fit in that society.
I loved that our heroine was a warrior, and had a deep sense of honor which governed the majority of her decisions. It takes a strong woman to put up with some of the crap that'd been handed to her, but Taryn was truly royal down to her fingertips.
I also enjoyed all the secondary romances in the story, even if some of them were a bit.. unconventional.
I also adored that our heroine had a deep fear of flying, because I can SO relate :)
What didn't work for me: I didn't like that everyone was plotting against Taryn -- her sister, the hero, some random people who really had nothing to do with her, but most of all, her best friend.
I definitely understand the motivations, both political and personal, but it was disheartening to see her manipulated over and over again by those she should have been able to trust. Conspiring to have her fall in love? Sure, no problem. Conspiring to get her unwittingly knocked up? That's messed up.
I think it would've been so much more satisfying had they merely been plotting to form an alliance between the two kingdoms, rather than actively trying to get her pregnant -- getting her drunk, slipping her fertility drugs, etc.
I also didn't like that the hero intentionally removed her scar without discussing it with her, and then lied to her in the end and said it was an accident, when at the time of injection it clearly said he was thinking that there was a "side benefit" which I took to mean that he knew bloody well that the treatment would remove her scar.
Overall though, it was a good story. Their sexual relationship progressed a little rapidly for my tastes, but it fit well into the context of the story (and quite frankly, the steamy bits were nice and hot).
First off, I have to say, you know I'm a Cynthia Eden fangirl, because I shelled out danged near $10 for this book on kindle. I don't do that for just...moreFirst off, I have to say, you know I'm a Cynthia Eden fangirl, because I shelled out danged near $10 for this book on kindle. I don't do that for just anyone lol I usually have a strict limit of $6.99 for a kindle book (on principal lol), but for CE, I'll make an exception.
I'm glad that I did.
I've loved Zane since the first Night Watch story. I mean, how can you NOT?? Deliciously sexy, honorable, alpha, demon hybrid? *fans self* Whoooo..
I'm trying not to have any spoilers (what?? I can do it! Really!), so I'll just leave the synopsis up to others or the book blurb :)
What worked for me: *The length. OF THE BOOK! Gah. Get your minds out of the gutter! lol There was a time when it slowed down in the middle and I honestly thought the book was wrapping up only to discover *BAM* book was only half over :D I love when that happens, because it's almost like two books in one. *The whole bit with the witch at the compound and the powers thing... that I really wish I could say more about but dangit I'm not gonna spoil y'all with this one. Really. I'm not..... dangit. *Zane. Just. Zane *dreamy sigh* And the shower. And that he was the ONE PERSON she never had to worry about hurting with her fire (what?! that's not a spoiler -- that was in previous books!) *The chemistry was hottttt between the hero and heroine. I loved that our heroine wasn't all squeaky-clean innocent, and I loved that even while Zane was trying to fight his attraction to his bounty, he was falling in way more than just lust with her. *That scene in the basement. Oh good lord I do love me a dangerous man.
What didn't work for me: *I was quite sad at some of the deaths in the book :( I know, I know, that's on purpose, but one of the victims, I was really hoping would get a HEA :( *I didn't feel like everything was quite as resolved at the end as I typically like.. And not just in a hey-I-bet-I-know-who-the-next-book-is-about way either. I don't really know how to explain it -- I can't really put my finger on it to be honest -- something just felt.. unresolved.
So, overall? 4 3/4 Stars, but you can totally round up to 5 if you want :)(less)
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 mea...moreThis 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.
**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...more**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
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.(less)
What I liked: *Loved the premise both with the whole concept of Dark Matter, and with the Daughters of Delphi and oracles *I loved the rocky relationshi...moreWhat I liked: *Loved the premise both with the whole concept of Dark Matter, and with the Daughters of Delphi and oracles *I loved the rocky relationship between Tara and Harry
What I didn't like: *While interesting, the descriptions and interpretations of both the tarot and other methods of divination definitely bogged down the story *For some reason I had thought this was more of a paranormal romance than an urban fantasy when I strted reading it, and thus was a bit disappointed with the resolution (or lack thereof) with the H/h
Overall, a good read, despite getting bogged down in parts with the overly descriptive bits with the Tarot
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Av...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://josswarebooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
Picking up where Abandon the Night left off, Theo has been shot and apparently left for dead. Discovered by some locals, he’s brought to Selena so that she can care for him as he dies. Known as The Death Lady, Selena has the ability to foretell a person’s death, and to ease their transition into the next world.
I do believe that this book would not stand very well on its own. While a lot of the concepts were very well reiterated without feeling like infodump, there is so much information that was presented in the first three books that it would’ve been impossible to include every single thing of import without rehashing the entire series. As such, I would strongly urge readers to start from the beginning to understand everything they can about the gangas, the Strangers, Bounty Hunters, the Change, Envy, and the Resistance, as well as to get used to some of the newer slang.
Overall, I did enjoy it. It was a nice change to have an older heroine with all the baggage that comes from having lived a full life past your early 20′s. Theo is delicious as always, and I loved the new tidbits about the overall story arc.
Recommended for previous fans of the series, those who love post-apocalyptic dystopian tales, and fans of age differences in their romances. 4/5 Stars(less)
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 ad...moreThis 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.
Holy cow! There's a good reason that Ava Gray is firmly on my "auto-buy" list!
Ok, I lovedSkin Game, and I do suggest reading that one first, just bec...moreHoly cow! There's a good reason that Ava Gray is firmly on my "auto-buy" list!
Ok, I lovedSkin Game, and I do suggest reading that one first, just because it's an awesome book in its own right. However, I do think that Skin Tight could easily stand on its own. While you're only given vague references to Kyra's ability from the first book, she's not actually present enough that you need to know anything other than the fact that she's "different"..
So, slight spoiler for the first novel, the hero of Skin Tight does something to Mia (the heroine of this novel) towards the end of the book which leaves her spitting mad at him (and rightfully so). Thinking they'll never see each other again, they end up working together at the same office, and whooboy Mia is not one to live and let live.
I don't want to give too much away, because the masterful Ava Gray (who also writes as Ann Aguirre and Ellen Connor, btw) does such a delicious job of slowly unraveling details and I'd hate to ruin it for you.
That said, I LOVE THIS HERO!!! Good heavens he was just all sorts of delicious with his "curse" and his revenge plot and his attraction to Mia and all the delicious angst that comes with the combination of the three.
I'm dying to read Skin Heat (book 3 in the Skin series), and will be gnawing on my fingernails until January. Arg!
Final verdict? A very easy, VERY solid 5 Stars(less)
(Kindle Edition) My first book of 2010, and I couldn't have chosen a better one :)
A huge fan of the entire Ghostwalker Series, I was glad to see Christ...more(Kindle Edition) My first book of 2010, and I couldn't have chosen a better one :)
A huge fan of the entire Ghostwalker Series, I was glad to see Christine Feehan pull away from the we-just-met-but-OMG-I-just-have-to-have-you motif that's present in so many of her other books.
In Street Game, our hero and heroine have known each other their whole lives, and were even involved romantically before any of the pheremonal whatnot occurred.
Never fear, the conspiracy is still alive and kicking, with several old players making an appearance, as well as a few newbies. There was also quite a bit of hat-tipping towards characters from previous novels, and I have to say that I sincerely hope that Kane is going to be one of the heroes in an upcoming novel, because his story is one I'm dying to hear.
I adored the underdog Paul, really hope that Javier gets his own novel one day, and was quite enamored with our hero in all his chest thumping glory (especially that he was so bewildered by his feelings for wee Jaimie)
I definitely think this was one of her stronger novels, with much the action finally not taking place in a swamp or jungle scenario ;)
Overall a very solid read. 4 1/2 stars (only losing 1/2 a star because I feel it can't stand on its own without reading at least a few of the previous novels)(less)