Expected Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Imprint: CasablaThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Imprint: Casablanca Author’s Website: http://www.becmcmaster.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, London Steampunk Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but might work well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Favorite Tropes: Darker Debuantes, New Twist on Vampirism, Forbidden Romance, Rags to Riches
I was a huge fan of the first book in this series, Kiss of Steel, and so when I saw this one was available, I knew I had to snatch it up. While I still find myself a bit more fascinated with the Blue Bloods and the mythology of vampirism in this series than I do the Verwulfen, I can’t deny that Will and Lena absolutely shine in this story.
With an enormous amount of chemistry and sexual tension, not to mention the forbidden aspect of their romance, they made an amazing pair, and when you throw in the intrigues of court and the new worries of a treaty between the Blue Bloods and the Verwulfen clans from other countries, I was simply glued to the pages.
Expected Release Date: October 30, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint:This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 30, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.mayarodale.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Writing Girls Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Favorite Tropes: Unrequited Love Pet Peeves: “Noble Sacrifice” that does nothing but hurt everyone involved.
I’ve been waiting on this book ever since I picked up the first installment of the series, and couldn’t resist snagging a copy as soon as I saw it was available.
I truly adored Annabelle’s transformation from invisible wallflower to Interesting Female, and the blockhead (nodcock lol) Mr. Knightly’s complete and utter ignorance of her crush on him love for him.
What I didn’t love, however, was Annabelle’s “Grand Gesture” (was a little TOO bold, even for the “new” Annabelle) or her “Great Sacrifice” (which made me want to beat her about the head with a stick). Still, it was very much in keeping with the overall tone of the series, and I enjoyed it greatly.
Recommended for fans of unrequited love, of shy heroines discovering their own courage, and of finding out that what you want isn’t always what you need.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group ImpriThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://www.amandabonilla.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Shaede Assassin Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Utterly alone in the world, assassin Darian is a Shaede — a being who can dissolve into shadows, move with unbelievable speed, and who cannot be killed. Having been created and later abandoned by the man who rescued her from an abusive marriage almost a hundred years prior, she has learned to rely only on herself, reinventing herself as a notorious assassin known for avoiding innocent targets.
However, her next mark will cause her to question everything she has accepted as truth, and in accepting the job, sets her along a path that will change her life forever.
I originally heard about this book on another blogger’s Waiting On Wednesday, which is a meme that highlights upcoming books that bloggers are excited about. I was lucky enough to snag an advanced reader copy, and let me tell you, I was absolutely blown away. I, quite literally, could not put this book down. I read it in line at the grocery store, I read it while I was cooking dinner, I read it while folding laundry, I read it propped up in bed that night. In fact, there was quite a bit of angst for me at the end when I realized that I would have to wait until July for the next installment in the series, despite the solid feeling of resolution at the end.
While not without faults, Darian’s character and the world as a whole sucked me in and refused to let me go. The first person point of view allowed the reader to experience first-hand the frustration, loneliness, heartbreak, and love that Darian went through over the course of the novel, and the high level of action and intrigue kept my attention from the very beginning.
Darian is a badass, no doubt about it, but her arrogance that served her so well in the past suddenly becomes a huge liability, and she has to learn to rely on others, as well as to sift through truths and lies in order to discover just what it will mean for her to become part of the Shaede community.
The world that Ms. Bonilla created is utterly fascinating, and the two main love interests, Tyler and Xander, were able to hold their own even against Darian’s oft-overbearing presence.
Recommended for fans of fast-paced, original Urban Fantasy, of strong heroines suddenly thrown completely out of their element, and of a sweet, albeit complicated, love story. A delightfully solid 5/5 Stars.
Expected Release Date: January 10, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: SimoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 10, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprint: Gallery Books Author’s Website: kresleycole.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 11, Immortals After Dark series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
See, I have so much to say about this novel, but almost everything I want to talk about is a spoiler in some way, which is killing me. However, in short, I will say that this was definitely worth the wait.
I’m not blind to the detracting points, however. The overall story arc involving Saroya was taken care of far sooner than I’d expected, and as such, felt a bit anticlimactic. That said, the longer word-count of this book is what made it feel as though it was taking place fairly early in the story, when in reality, by the time the resolution was occurring, most books would have been pretty much over.
I definitely would not suggest this book as a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the series. Lothaire has been a major player from the very beginning, as has Nix, and I truly think new readers would be doing themselves a disservice by not, at the very least, going back a few books before trying to tackle this one.
However, I do think that fans of the series will definitely enjoy Lothaire. Ms. Cole’s trademark humor, action, steam, and seemingly impossible-to-overcome obstacles are all present in great abundance, and both Lothaire and Ellie themselves are absolutely wonderful. I, of course, cannot wait for the next book.
While spoiler-free for The Rift Walker, this revThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
*** Spoiler Warning ***
While spoiler-free for The Rift Walker, this review does contain spoilers for The Greyfriar. Please scroll to the next BOLD text if you wish to avoid any possible spoilers.
Expected Release Date: September 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Prometheus Books Imprint: Pyr Author’s Website: http://clayandsusangriffith.blogspot.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Vampire Empire Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Warm
Official Blurb: Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance's horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, Senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.
As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind, and if Princess Adele could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires. But such a victory will also cost the life of Adele's beloved Greyfriar.
The Rift Walker is the second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, the Vampire Empire series brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.
The Rift Walker picks up a short time after The Greyfriar left off. When we last saw Adele, she had returned to Alexandria to "recover" from her time with the vampires, and to await her political marriage to the insufferable Senator Clark, while Gareth returned to Caesar's side, hoping to ingratiate himself to his younger brother in order to get inside information into Caesar's plans for the war.
Expanding on the incredible Steampunk world created in the first novel, The Rift Walker follows Adele's adventures through the African interior, as she attempts to not only avoid marriage to the deplorable Senator Clark, but struggles to harness her newfound ability to actually manipulate the powers of the earth to in turn superheat and destroy vampires from the inside out. A perpetual pawn in the schemes of others, she is finally beginning to come into her own as a leader, and while Garret/Greyfriar does play a large part in the story, this is truly Adele's moment to shine.
[End Possible Spoilers]
While perhaps not quite as gory as the first novel, there are still plenty of action sequences that should satisfy the more blood-thirsty readers, and there are more than enough surprising twists to catch anyone's interest.
Like The Greyfriar before it, The Rift Walker quite literally has something for everyone: politics, betrayals, mysteries, romance, murder, family drama, action, steampunk, magic, and more, which make this novel quite literally the most incredible narrative that I've had the pleasure of reading for the entire year.
One thing that some readers may object to is the price of this novel. I will freely admit that this series falls far outside of my own comfort zone as far as price point goes. The MSRP of the paperback is $16.00 and the ebook's MSRP is $11.00. However, there are two very important things to note on this. First off, is that as of the time this review is published, the paperback is $10.88 at Amazon.com and the Kindle version is $9.59, which should make it more comfortable for most readers to click the "buy" button. Secondly, and most importantly, this book actually is worth the MSRP. I'm just as frugal as the next girl when it comes to purchasing books, but I promise you, buying anything from the Vampire Empire trilogy will be money well spent.
One thing I should stress, however, is that I very highly suggest reading The Greyfriar first, because not only is it an absolutely incredible book in and of itself, but because I think new readers to the series will be pretty much lost in the plot without the experience of the previous novel to fall back on. Plus, part of the awesomeness of The Rift Walker is probably just the sheer and utter joy of being thrown back into the world readers came to love from The Greyfriar.
In the end, I of course adored it. It is by far the best book I have read all year long (which is definitely saying something) and I am delighted to give it an incredibly solid 5/5 Stars.
I am currently running a giveaway on my blog, where one lucky winner will receive a paperback of either The Greyfriar or The Rift Walker (winner's choice).
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira AutThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://www.brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes – Bulletproof Book 1 Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Holy wow. This book was absolutely fantabulous!
Pulse-pounding action, police corruption, a spurned lover, and deadly gangs out for revenge, all paired with a delicious romance make this a novel that can’t be missed. Despite some concerns I might have had with the epilogue, this is hands-down a must-read, and I gladly give it a very solid 5/5 Stars....more
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: PengThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://jrward.com/ My Source for This Book: Wal-Mart Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Fallen Angels series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I must start off any review for a J.R. Ward book with the disclaimer that I consider myself to be a Cellie — that is, a big fan of the WARDen (J.R. Ward’s affectionate on-line nickname). As such, there are often times when I am so excited to have one of her books that I tend to forget or even not notice some issues that non-fans might find with the book.
That said, there were definitely a few things that annoyed me, such as the overuse of certain terms, and the cameo-like crossover between the Fallen Angels series and the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The relationship between Veck and Sophia was definitely of the whirlwind variety, and yet, you never really get the feeling that their feelings are false or developing too quickly, which is a testament to the skill of the author. The added angst of the final twist, planting suspicion in the minds of those who have supported Veck was absolutely wonderful, and the final confrontation was breathtakingly exciting.
In the end, while I didn’t feel that this was the strongest entry into the Fallen Angels series, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The love scenes were absolutely delicious, and the advances in the overall story arc definitely took a turn that was both unexpected and incredibly intriguing.
I do recommend that new readers pick up the first two novels in the series before reading this one, as I do think that they will not appreciate a lot of the beautiful intricacies of the overall story and character developments without the full background from the rest of the series, but even so, this is a very strong entry into the Fallen Angels series.
Recommended for fans of dark heroes finally finding a balance between their inherent evil and the possibility of integrity, of strong heroines whose faith can change the world, and of an intricate but oh-so-intriguing universe, this book has earned a very solid 4/5 Stars...more
Expected Release Date: July 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand CenThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author's Website: http://www.vickydreiling.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Lady Julianne Gatewick has always harbored a tendre for her brother's best friend, Marc Darcett, the Earl of Hawkfield. When he's asked by her brother to be her guardian for the season, and then whisks her around the ballroom in a borderline scandalous waltz, she's ecstatic -- that is, until he informs everyone within earshot that she's like a sister to him and therefor in no danger.
Heartbroken and humiliated, she turns to her friends and her (rather wild) aunt and after a few tears and a lot of advice, she decides to write a pamphlet for other women in her situation to give advice on how to even a social playing field where women are expected to be chaste and charming and marry very young, while men are expected to be rakes and wait until the last possible minute to fall into the parson's mousetrap. Called "The Secrets of Seduction", her anonymously penned pamphlet creates a storm of scandal among the ton, and soon everyone is trying to discover her identity, including Marc. Fed up with Marc's admonishments to avoid other rakes, and determined to finally make him see her as a woman rather than an annoying little sister, she asks Marc to teach her the tricks that rakes use for seduction, so that she will be better equipped to recognize and avoid them in others in the future. Little does she know that Marc has been doing everything in his power to avoid his attraction to Julianne, and when you play with fire, you just might get burned...
Overall, this was quite enjoyable. While quite different from the first book in the series, Ms. Dreiling's voice as a writer remains as strong as ever, so that the angst and chemistry between our hero and heroine is everything we've come to expect.
The beautiful pain that Julianne's unrequited love of Marc brings was absolutely wonderful, and the forbidden aspect of their relationship just added to the fun.
Recommended for fans of childhood friends secretly pining for each other, of heroes with pasts so scandalous that they avoid love altogether, and of discovering that together, anything can be overcome.
Expected Release Date: Available now! Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Berkley AThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available now! Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Berkley Author’s Website: www.nalinisingh.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 10, Psy-Changeling Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
*Happy Sigh* I have been anxiously awaiting Hawke’s story since the very first Psy-Changeling novel back in 2006, and I will say right now, that this was hands down worth the wait.
Because the Psy/Changeling world is so intricate, and because this book marks the beginning of a long-coming war between the Psy and the Changelings, I will say straight out that this is a series that is best read in order. While some of the previous novels were not my favorites, it is certainly important to understand the general story arc before trying to tackle this book, or readers will likely be very lost outside of the relationship between Hawke and Sienna.
There are three species of people in this world — the Psy, the Changelings, and Humans.
The Psy are a race of very powerful psychics, with their abilities varying widely in both type and strength. The most powerful of any of the Psy are those who are Cardinals — scoring extremely high on the power scale, Cardinals are immediately recognizable by their eyes which are solid black, including the sclera as well as the iris.
Unfortunately, in the past, the Psy were often victims of madness and violence, due to some of their uncontrollable powers. In the late 1970′s they undertook a radical social change called Silence, which basically allows all members to have incredible control over their powers by effectively removing all emotions. Unfortunately, while Silence was the answer to many Psy’s prayers, it is not perfect, and there is plenty of room for corruption and abuse under its regime. Physically the weakest of the three species, they are the most mentally powerful, and often defend themselves with their psychic abilities. The Psy are ruled by the Council — a group of men and women who tend to be self-serving at best, and psychotic at worst. The Psy are also incredibly dependent on PsyNet, a psychic network that links each of their minds together (though they are taught at a young age to shield themselves for protection), and which also provides important biofeedback that they require to function.
The Changelings are a race of shapeshifters, with a large variety of different species. The main packs in the Psy/Changeling novels are SnowDancer (wolves) and DarkRiver (leopards), but many other species make appearances, including deer, rats, various birds, and aquatic creatures. Changelings are the strongest physically of the three species, with limited psychic powers such as the ability to partially shield themselves, and to form varying degrees of psychic bonds within their packs.
Humans are the weakest of the species, both physically and in psychic ability, but the one thing they do have to their advantage is that the other two species tend to underestimate them. Humans play only a small part in the series in general.
Hawke is the Alpha of the SnowDancer pack. A victim of an insidious attack on his pack at a young age by a group of Psy, Hawke also lost the woman his wolf recognized as his mate while he was still a child. Wolves mate for life, and having lost the female that his wolf recognized as his mate at such an early age, Hawke knows that he will never be able to give a woman a full mating-bond like the others in his pack. Like all Changelings, Hawke is a very sensual being with a very strong sexual drive. However, as an honorable man, he always makes certain that all of his lovers understand that he can never take them fully as a mate, and that they are not looking for something that he can never give them.
Sienna has been half in love with Hawke since she was sixteen — the day he first showed her kindness as a defector from the Psy. Now almost 20, she is no longer a young girl who is entirely off-limits as a woman, and has begun to prove herself as a powerful and valuable member of the SnowDancer pack. Sienna, however, is more than just the woman that Hawke refuses to admit his attraction to — she’s a Cardinal X-Psy, a designation so rare that less than ten exist at any given time in the entire world, with Sienna being the only Cardinal of that designation in known history. We’ve heard about the X-Psy in previous novels, but with no real explanation of the power other than it’s deadly both to others and the wielder, and that if Sienna were to ever completely break Silence, she’d almost certainly die — and take out everyone around her in the process.
Overall, I adored it. The sexual tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife, and the angst of their relationship was absolutely gut-wrenching. Add to that the fact that the events leading up to war have finally come to a head, and the glimpses into the lives of some of the more important players from previous novels, and I truly couldn’t be happier with this book.
While the price point may put off some readers (the ebook is $12.99 as this is a hardcover release), I will gladly tell you that if you are at all a fan of the series, it will be worth every single penny.
Recommended for fans of the series, stubborn alpha heroes with incredible sexual tension and chemistry, unrequited love, seemingly insurmountable odds, and a kick-ass heroine finally allowed to come into her own, all liberally sprinkled with political intrigue, family issues, and pulse-pounding action.
I would rate this a 10 if I could, but as it is, I will have to settle with a very enthusiastic 5/5 Stars. ...more
This is a Quickie Review. For the full (and shockingly enough, spoiler free review), please visit The Romanceaholic.
I’m going to say this, and trust mThis is a Quickie Review. For the full (and shockingly enough, spoiler free review), please visit The Romanceaholic.
I’m going to say this, and trust me, I don’t say this lightly: BEST BOOK OF THE SERIES SO FAR.
Was it perfect? Of course not. Did I care (or even really notice)? Notsomuch.
Oh my goodness I don’t even know where to begin. I am going to do my best to be spoiler-free with this, so it’s going to be rather short and sweet.
Overall, I of course adored it. I think fans of the series are truly going to enjoy this one, though alas, newcomers to the series really should skip this one and instead begin at the beginning, as I don’t think they’d really be able to make heads or tails of Caldwell. That said, I do think that it’s more of a standalone than the previous few novels, so the brave few who aren’t really interested in wading through 8 books in order to begin this one may stand a chance of at least enjoying the relationship between Manny and Payne. And hey, at least those readers will be able to empathize with Manny and his “say what?” reaction to being introduced into the BDB world.
A very cheerfully solid 5/5 Stars, and I’m anxiously awaiting whatever else the dear WARDen decides to grace us with....more
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: DorcThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://ljmcdonald.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Sylphs Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Warm
I struggled so much in writing this review, because I wanted it to remain spoiler-free — so much so that I found that I couldn’t even write a good synopsis without giving away crucial spoilers.
While I think I’ve managed to achieve that goal, that leaves so many little things that I took great joy in that I couldn’t mention because of it. As a fan of the series as a whole, I greatly appreciated the fact that this book focuses less on a specific “couple”, as previous books did, and far more on the residents of Sylph Valley in general — their relationships, how each individual life affected the others, and how the entire community came together during a crisis.
As a side note, I am dying for Thrall to feature in a book. While he was only mentioned in passing in this book, he is easily the most anticipated of characters on my part, and I hope that he gets a very happy ending.
Overall, while it didn’t blow me away due to the plethora of character deaths, the abuse of the sylphs, and the sheer annoyance I had with Solie for not preventing the whole mess, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be reading the next installment in the series once it’s released.
It all started for me when I was poking around the other day on CatherinThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
It all started for me when I was poking around the other day on Catherine Anderson’s website and stumbled across the excerpt for this story (which can be found here for those interested). I had never heard of such a thing as “miniature guide horses”, and so after reading the excerpt, and performing a bit of Googlefu on the subject, I knew I had to read this one.
n the end, I enjoyed this novel, but wasn’t completely blown away. I thoroughly enjoyed the animals, as well as Mandy’s dysfunctional relationship with her brother, but was a bit put off by a few of Ms. Anderson’s “trends”. However, to be fair, there were several twists that I hadn’t been expecting, and at least one occasion where I was actually surprised because I was expecting a certain cliche to result and quite the opposite happened.
Overall, a very solid read, recommended especially to animal lovers, readers who enjoy heroines with an abused past, and fans of heroes who want a more committed relationship than the heroine.