When I first sat down to write this review, I realized that I had a bit...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
When I first sat down to write this review, I realized that I had a bit of a problem — how on earth was I going to rein in my inner Fangirl long enough to put together coherent sentences on just how fantastic this book was? I’m still not certain that I am able to do it justice, but suffice it to say, I loved this book. It easily ranks right up there with my adoration of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, and yes, even Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series, and I will tell you that is no small feat at all.
With not only intriguing characters but fascinating world-building, new twists on old mythologies as well as original creations, and an exciting mystery behind the disappearance of many non-human children, the story never felt rushed, even though it was full of action and multi-faceted characters that made it easy to become fully immersed in Kit’s world.
Recommended for fans of strong heroines with a horrifying past, of alpha heroes with hidden depths, and of fresh new twists on old mythologies.
An impossibly solid 5/5 Stars. *As of 7/10, I've read this three times. If anyone wonders why I'm "behind" on my 2012 reading challenge, this is why lol (and yes, it's still 5/5)
-- A Slightly Off-Topic Rant (10.19.2012)
I've noticed quite a few reviews where people were upset that Kit wasn't a Kate Daniels clone. Kit isn't Kate, despite the similarity in names and their penchants for sharp pointy things. Kit is, well, Kit. She has a completely different past, a different skill set, different magic, and lives in a completely different world with its own set of rules.
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I first read this and went around the internet gushing to anyone who would listen about how this was the best Urban Fantasy I'd read since the Kate Daniels series, it wasn't because I thought that Kit and Kate were so similar, it's because I recognized in Kit the same vulnerability, stubbornness, and potential that I saw in Kate in her first book.
If you look back at Kate in her first novel, she was a lot younger and lacked a lot of the experience and maturity that has developed her character into the awesome power that she is. Kit's also like that in some ways -- she's not superwoman, she doesn't always make the right choices, she occasionally acts impulsively, and she's got her own personal demons to battle just like anyone else. And I for one can't get enough of her.
So please don't go into this expecting a heroine just like Kate Daniels, or you're probably going to be disappointed. And please, don't be put off by the reviews expressing disappointment that Kit turned out not to be Kate... Instead, go into this book with an open mind, and I think you'll find that Kit is a character that you're going to want to follow through many books to come.
This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher.
From the moment I read the blurb about this story I was intrigued. The idea of phsyically kn...moreThis ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher.
From the moment I read the blurb about this story I was intrigued. The idea of phsyically knowing without a doubt the identity of your "fated mate" greatly appeals to me. I also thoroughly enjoyed the "starcrossed lovers" aspect of it, with Anaria and Kalil being on opposing sides of a multigenerational war.
What worked for me: *I am a huge fan of both "fated-to-be-mated" stories and the "enemies to lovers" concept. Throw into it a touch of kidnapping, prejudice, sabotage, and a thirst for vengeance, and you've got the ingredients for an intriguing story.
*I enjoyed the twisty "secret" that completely rocked Anaria's world. I did figure it out fairly early on, as I think was the author's intention, though I admit the names of the different worlds did get confusing on occasion so I did go recheck them against the prologue as the story progressed.
*I also enjoyed Kalil's psychic friend, Lyon, though I was disappointed that he didn't have a larger role in the story. I would hope for a sequel starring Lyon, but being described as seven feet tall might make it a bit difficult to cast him as a hero in a future story.
What didn't work for me: *The writing was quite choppy. There simply wasn't a lot of flow between the sentences. For example: Kalil awoke alone. His body did not glow. Anaria was nowhere in the vicinity. He had a sinking feeling. A simple rewrite would make it all flow together better, such as Kalil awoke alone. His body was not glowing, indicating that Anaria was nowhere in the vicinity. With a sinking feeling, he... and segue into the next action or something.
*I'm not really sure I was feeling the chemistry between Anaria and Kalil. She went from hating him to wanting him to kind of hitting on him to being ready to destroy the ship they were on to screwing him in the supply closet, followed shortly by an experiment in light BDSM.
Plus, there was the whole "forced to be naked in front of other people thing" or the wedding orgy, both of which are SO not my kink, so that was a bit of a put-off as well. To be perfectly fair though, I'm biased against that sort of thing in erotica unless the female happens to enjoy her public nudity (and preferably knows this predilection ahead of time). I also think this is an inherent downfall in novellas; when a story is shorter than novel length, there simply isn't as much time to build as great a depth and chemistry in the major characters as one might hope for.
*I was also a wee bit confused as to why the secret needed to be kept a secret to begin with. Perhaps it was simply a matter of one side of the war not yet being strong enough to really do anything about it, but I still can't help but feel that had they revealed their secret earlier, some of the neutral worlds might have taken their side.
Overall, I love the storyline. Had the text flowed a bit better, I would've rated it a higher, but as it is, 3 Stars.(less)
Ahhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don't w...moreAhhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don't want to spoil it just yet for those who can't resist reading reviews), I must say that overall this was one of the best stories in the series.
There was a nice little surprise at the end that had my jaw on the floor, and let me tell you, that doesn't happen often.
I'm very very anxiously awaiting Payne's story, though I know it'll be a long time coming (boo).
A word of warning though, do yourself a favor and read the series in order. While the earlier books (books 1-4 perhaps) are easy enough to read as standalones if you must, Lover Mine is definitely not for the uninitiated.
I will definitely be re-reading this one in the future.
In the tradition of the other Banning Sisters books, this novel was full of secret plots, spies, and intrig...moreGood Lord this book was a long time coming!
In the tradition of the other Banning Sisters books, this novel was full of secret plots, spies, and intrigues.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was really never a dull moment, and every time it seemed that progress had been made, something else jumped forth to cause problems between them (just like I like it lol)
Sensitive readers should be aware that this novel contains attempted rape, kidnapping, and a sexual assault (some would call it "forced seduction", but honestly I think it may have crossed the line a bit).
It also has the dreaded "hero sees the heroine naked without her consent" thing which drives me NUTS in romance novels. Attention Authors: THAT'S NOT SEXY.
Despite that, however, it was a wonderful way to end the Banning Sisters Trilogy which started with Scandalous followed by Irresistible. Gabby/Nick and Claire/Hugh play a big part, as does their wonderfully meddlesome aunt.
I absolutely adored Neil, however. I know I may be alone in this, but one of the things I loved about him was that he actually, honest to goodness considered killing Beth -- just snapping her neck. Usually in romance novels (outside of Anne Stuart's creations of course lol), even the most hardened assassin hero would never consider killing an innocent woman who'd gotten in his way. I liked that he was all like "Man that sucks I'm gonna have to snap her neck. Oh well." (paraphrased of course :P)
The only thing keeping it from being 5 stars is the fact that the ending seemed really abrupt to me. Everything got wrapped up in a nice little HEA mind you; it's just that there was some fade-to-black smexin that seemed a bit out of place, followed by a short bit of action and then cut to what was practically an epilogue where Robards told us, rather than showed us how the rest of the stumbling blocks to Neil and Beth's HEA were quickly and tidily swept away. Knowing how long it's been since this book was supposed to come out (what is it, an 8 year wait?), it almost feels like Robards took the old dusty, unfinished manuscript off the shelf and spent a few days quickly whipping up an ending and sent if off to her editors so that she could just be done with it.
Still, despite that, it was a highly satisfying and attention-grabbing novel that I would highly recommend to any fan of the Banning Sisters novels (which, I admit, I suggest reading in order before picking up this novel, even though it could easily stand alone).
**spoiler alert** Ahhh this book was SO much better than I was expecting it to be!
I admit, it got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Lina met Deme...more**spoiler alert** Ahhh this book was SO much better than I was expecting it to be!
I admit, it got off to a bit of a slow start, but once Lina met Demeter, things definitely picked up.
Hades. *fans self* Oh my. *fans self some more*
Hades was delicious! How I adored him! He was absolutely everything a romantic hero should be - dashing, tender, sexy, wealthy, compassionate, and above all, willing to own up to his mistakes, all the while maintaining his powerful aura. He was the perfect blend of alpha male, full of the natural arrogance of a god, and a closet romantic who was compassionate and fair (well, most of the time lol).
I also thoroughly enjoyed the liberties that Cast took with the original myth, including that of Orpheus and Eurydice, Minthe, and of course, Persephone herself (including the bit about the Pomegranate)...
It was also refreshing to have an "older" heroine -- in her early 40's, though obviously for the majority of the story, her outward appearance didn't reflect her mortal age.
The ending was sweet (but left me slightly confused for a moment -- nothing major, just a question of dates really), and throughout the entire story was a nice "chick lit" undertone of loving people for who they are inside and not for their outer appearances. While this theme was pervasive, however, it was definitely subtly done, unlike some other "chick lit" stories where you feel that the author is lecturing you the whole bloody time.
The bathing scene annoyed me.. Granted, it was hot, but I have this.. aversion, I guess you could say, to heroes in romance novels seeing the heroine naked without her knowledge or consent. While she never discovers that this took place, it still irritated the bejesus out of me. Blech.
Other than that, though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable, sweet and romantic story, and I would highly recommend it (and boy did it make me want some authentic Italian pizza lol)
It's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romanti...moreIt's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romantic storyline in my novels, with a clear "hero" and "heroine", possibly some steam, definite monogamy, and a clear Happily Ever After (HEA)
And yet, despite the fact that this book had none of those save the bit-o-steam, I adored it.
Kara Gillian is definitely one of my new favorite heroines. She's kick-butt awesome (I mean, she is a cop y'all) without being all Xena-Warrior-Princess.. She's able to hold her own with the Good Ol' Boys she works with, but still shows just the right amount of vulnerability -- emotional and physical -- to keep her real without making her a pathetically delicate little flower always in need of saving.
Rhyzkahl. Is awesome. *falls over* I absolutely adored how scary sexy cool he was and was so thrilled to see Diana Rowland throw in a nice tasty reminder that HELLO! HE'S A DEMON LORD! DON'T F*** WITH HIM! lol He kind of reminds me of an Anne Stuart hero *snickers* Y'all AS fans know what I'm talking about here -- the man (er.. demon) is not a traditional "hero" -- rather he's completely self-serving, and while he does have distinct moments of being super awesome to the heroine, you can NOT forget that he's not only a demon, but a demon lord and as such you shouldn't try to manage him or treat him as you would a human because he will f*** you up!
When I started the book, I was absolutely Team Rhyzkahl, but as I continued to read, I started to understand why so many people are Team Ryan (gah. I'm getting flashbacks to my Twilight days :P). Ryan is.. *dreamy sigh* Yeah. Ryan's great.
I'm actually about a third of the way through the next one, Blood of the Demon.. It's going to KILL me waiting for Secrets of the Demon (the third book in the series) which is still being written. I typically try not to start a series until there are at least three or four books in already out because I'm not a very patient person. At all.
I would recommend this one for fans of police procedurals (Law & Order and CSI fans for example) who also enjoy a healthy dose of the arcane, and don't mine a few mildly explicit love scenes thrown in for seasoning.
**spoiler alert** I'm mildly ashamed to admit that I liked this book lol
First things first, let's get the major point of contention out of the way.
The...more**spoiler alert** I'm mildly ashamed to admit that I liked this book lol
First things first, let's get the major point of contention out of the way.
Their first sexual encounter, if not strictly "rape", was most definitely "dubious consent"... Honestly I'm leaning towards the "rape" designation, as seen in my keywords. He doesn't physically force her, but when a man tells you to get naked and get in the bed or else he'll have his men come and forcibly undress you, that's rape.
I still liked the book *hangs head in shame*
It was nice to find out that while Alex hadn't been a saint, that a lot of his previous reputation was exaggerated, and it was plain to see that he was actually devoted to Natasha...
Of course, it earned a spot on my notorious "oh noes u saw me nekkid" shelf, which is, as some of you may know, a pet peeve of mine... I can't stand when a hero sees a heroine naked without her knowledge or consent -- drives me bonkers but it seems to be so popular in romances for some reason. Get a clue authors -- that's not sexy!
*clears throat* Er. Sorry. Soapbox issue and all that..
Anyway, Natasha earned a place on the TSTL shelf because she actually went along with her brothers' scheme to begin with *facepalm* Yeah sooooo wouldn't have happened in real life, but hey, it's an HP -- that's why we read them, true?
And yeah, I guessed what the sister's deal was waaaaaaaay back in the beginning, though I didn't have the specifics quite worked out in my head.
Yes, it was contrived. Yes, it was melodramatic, and yes, the ending was way too neat and pretty, but that's all part of being an HP. You wouldn't read them if you didn't enjoy a bit of a literary soap opera, now would you? :D
So despite all the negatives, I have to say that overall it was an enjoyable read.
**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...more**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 ;)
**spoiler alert** Wow. This book had a LOT of sex lol
There was not one, not two, but THREE distinct "romantic" storylines (though only the H/H officia...more**spoiler alert** Wow. This book had a LOT of sex lol
There was not one, not two, but THREE distinct "romantic" storylines (though only the H/H officially got their "HEA"). Every time you turn around, someone's got their pants down or skirt lifted or down on their knees or... Yeah..
Honestly it started to take away from the story after a while. I realize that sex was a very important plot device (just glance at the official description to see that), but some of it seemed gratuitous rather than plot-driven. I didn't mind any of the encounters between Dev and his partners or between Creed and Annika (*hot*), but there was just one or two too many encounters between Remy and Haley.. I got to the point I practically skimmed, and that's never a good thing.
The magical tattoos thing just really didn't do it for me, either. *wrinkles nose*
And while we're at it, go ahead and smack me for this double standard too -- I don't care for female protagonists who use sex as part of a spy job. Total double standard because, as anyone who reads my reviews knows, I adore me some Anne Stuart and she's the cliff-hucking queen of the sex-and-seduction-as-a-means-to-an-end plot device. For some reason though, it doesn't sit well with me when a female does the same thing *shrugs*
Despite all that, I did enjoy it. I was a bit disappointed that Remy didn't push the "what happens if I say no" issue, just because I'm a sadist and wanted to see what they'd say (*evil laugh*), but overall it was a good story. The emotional relationship between Remy and Haley seemed well paced, despite their sudden dive into sex right after they met, and I really enjoyed Creed and Annika's.. er.. "relationship". I was hoping that they'd get their own book, but from reading the descriptions of the next few, it doesn't look like that's the case. I wonder if they continue the trend of secondary (and tertiary) romances in future books.
I'm finding myself withdrawing from the more erotic romances lately, so do keep that in mind when you consider my rating -- it's entirely possible that I'm being unfair to the novel simply because my own personal tastes are changing :)
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's...moreRe-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. (less)
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 pl...moreI'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** 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
So yesterday I was browsing Amazon and saw this book for $2.99 and having just finished All Fired Up, I decided to give this one a go, even though it'...moreSo yesterday I was browsing Amazon and saw this book for $2.99 and having just finished All Fired Up, I decided to give this one a go, even though it's Fantasy and not PNR like I'm used to.
I am so glad that I did :)
The worldbuilding in this novel is breathtaking. Everything from the Cervidae (deer shifters), to the mythology behind Dark Elves, to the magical abilities of the various inhabitants of Shaldar simply explode off the page as though you were really there.
And of course, how could I notlove a character named Jessalyne?? (lol that's one of my online names on various forums and sites for those who were wondering).
Another thing I adored about this book was that our hero was a Dark Elf, and had luminous, dark charcoal colored skin *fans self at the mental images* Often times authors shy away from interracial relationships in their romances, and even when they don't, many times there's not such a pronounced physical difference between the hero and heroine. In Heart of Fire though, Jessalyne is ethereally pale -- white blond hair, very pale skin, and amethyst colored eyes. Ertemis, on the other hand, has midnight black hair, dark eyes, and gorgeous black skin (that author, heroine, and reader alike get ample opportunity to revel in lol).
I would definitely categorize this as a fantasy romance rather than a paranormal romance, and I'd have to say that if it's not technically a YA, then at the very least traditional romance readers should understand up front that while there's some PG to PG13 makeout sessions, any actual lovemaking is fade-to-black. PLEASE don't let that stop you though if you're a traditional romance reader. The romance between the H/h is sweet and angsty and beautiful. Ertemis starts to fall for Jessalyne within days of meeting her, and poor Jessalyne, deny it as she may, can't help but be attracted to and intrigued by the multifaceted Dark Elf.
I was sad to discover that Kristen Painter only had two novels available, because I definitely found myself wanting more of her stories, be they fantasy or paranormal romance.
**spoiler alert** Ahh I had the most epic review written and my bloody computer decided that NOW was the time to shut down for an automatic update! *g...more**spoiler alert** Ahh I had the most epic review written and my bloody computer decided that NOW was the time to shut down for an automatic update! *grumbles*
The second installment in this series (the first being The Battle Sylph), Shattered Sylph picks up four years after we left off...
I do love me a tortured hero, and let me tell you, Ril is tortured in spades.. He was drawn to this world under the pretext of finding a queen (mate) only to be forced to witness her brutal murder and was subsequently forced into slavery for several years. He only managed to escape madness by falling in love with Lizzy when he watched her being born (now now people, settle down, it's not squicky, I promise!) He always wanted to take her as his queen and lover (not always the same thing mind you) as soon as she was old enough (and, er, after he'd hopefully by then killed her father, who is the man who murdered his queen and was therefore bound to)..
Wellll as you may have figured out by reading the first book, things didn't quite work out that way (hence the spoiler warning lol) -- he was bonded to a different queen, and was able to taste freedom for only a short time before being horribly injured in the epic battle at the end of Battle Sylph, which left him broken, weakened, and unable to change forms or fight without great pain.. This makes him pretty much useless as a battle sylph since it's their purpose in life to, er, battle..
So anyway, physically weakened and feeling generally worthless, he of course doesn't feel he's worthy of Lizzy and backs off from her (disregarding her own feelings on the subject of course)..
Then lo and behold, Lizzy gets herself kidnapped by slavers who wisk her off halfway around the world and sell her into a harem for a buttload of other (enemy) battle sylphs (whom I can't help but picture in my head as some of the creatures from Monsters, Inc., thanks to the fact that my children insist on watching that movie every. single. day. But I digress).
Soooo it's up to Ril, Leon (his "master" to whom he's still bonded since bonding is for life, but has rescinded all orders and set him as free as is possible with a sylph), and this stupid punk kid Justin who's got the hots for Lizzy to go rescue her.
Some readers have complained that what happens to Lizzy is completely unbelievable, in that she manages to escape the worst of what could have potentially happened to her. I say this is Romancelandia and I for one have no problem with setting aside my disbelief and allowing this type of thing... If I wanted to read a story where my heroes and heroines were unable to escape horrific and/or irreversible damage, I'd read a non-fiction story or some chick-lit. As it is, I was glad that things worked out as they did.
My one true regret from this novel was that 89 had to be destroyed. I don't think I've ever, in the history of reading novels, felt so much compassion for a villain -- a rapist and murderer especially! My heart just broke though from the very short glimpse into his mind and reasoning, and I really wish that he'd been somehow incapacitated or whatever and given the chance to bond in the end with the new Queen and maybe have a chance at redemption. I understand why that couldn't happen (and really, the poor guy was crazy as a soup sandwich so it was probably an act of mercy in the end to kill him off), but I'm such a sucker for a tortured hero that I think he was redeemable.
As with the first book in the series, I say any fan of The Princess Bride or Stardust would thoroughly enjoy these novels.
Uber-Solid 5 Stars (and I can't wait for the next one in November)
I'm so annoyed -- I wrote a long (and brilliant, of course!) review and Goodreads apparently ate it *scowls*
So let's try this again!
So I saw this new...more I'm so annoyed -- I wrote a long (and brilliant, of course!) review and Goodreads apparently ate it *scowls*
So let's try this again!
So I saw this new release on Amazon yesterday and snagged it for my Kindle based on the synopsis. It wasn't until I was a couple chapters into it that I realized that it was the newest novel in a series that I started but never finished! Doh!
However, it turned out fine, because while there wasn't a big info dump at the beginning like some authors *cough*Jayne Castle*cough* tend throw into the newest editions to a long-running series. Most of the characters from previous novels were only mentioned in passing (if at all) and really only Edward and the Jäger-Sucher's were mentioned with any regularity.
What worked for me:
*I loved that they didn't villainize Alana. Too many authors take the easy way out and turn a deceased spouse (especially one who started off in the story as a complete paragon of goodness and virtue) into a vile biznich or jackhole whom the reader should be thankful that our hero doesn't have to put up with any more. Kudos to LH for keeping her inherently "good" even as she made her more "real".
*While not as humorous as, say, a Kresley Cole novel, there was definitely a lot of snark and humor in the story which certainly helped to keep things from becoming too maudlin and heavy.
*The magic factor -- an alternate explanation for werewolves outside of the previous.. er.. science explanation from the previous novels. While it did leave a wide open blank as far as explanations go, it was helpful to have another factor that could've been the cause of the differences between Julian's werewolves and the werewolves Alex traditionally hunted.
*I really enjoyed the chemistry between Alex and Julian. The whole enemies-to-lovers thing is a favorite ploy of mine to begin with, and so yeah, while they did seem to fall into bed at a moment's notice (c'mon folks, ever heard of foreplay?!), the fact that they were disgusted and angry with themselves afterwards added delicious tension.
What didn't work for me:
*Julian's viking past. Yeah yeah, I know, he was a bloody VIKING, but still, I didn't like some of the things he'd admitted to doing. It's unfair to judge him with contemporary ethics when his bad deeds were done in a time where they were not only encouraged but were expected and dangerous not to participate in, but nobody likes to hear that their hero used to be a rapist. Blarg.
*The whole nudity thing -- sure they were werewolves and therefore pack and nobody cared and blah blah blah but I still have a hard time identifying with a heroine who cheerfully runs around in her birthday suit amongst strangers, especially of both sexes, unless of course it's that sort of story *wink wink nudge nudge* lol
*The whole issue that came to conclusion during the epilogue. It felt predictable and too... neatly wrapped up for my tastes. Also would've preferred that some other loose ends be tied up (but I won't mention which ones since it'd be a spoiler) ;)
Overall, a very enjoyable story. While I think there was enough information to eek by without being terribly lost, I would still suggest that readers new to the series pick up at least one or two previous novels first, so that they will better understand the basic motivations and personalities of the Jäger-Sucher's and Edward especially. Solid 4 Stars(less)
I had high hopes for this book, because I really enjoyed Gabriel's character in The Lover, and was looking forward to re...moreWell color me disappointed. :(
I had high hopes for this book, because I really enjoyed Gabriel's character in The Lover, and was looking forward to reading his story. Unfortunately, it fell a bit short in my opinion. The twist, while surprising, was a bit contrived (even moreso that "the man" in The Lover), and again the technical jargon during sex was a put-off for me. I don't know if it bothered me more in this book because it was more prolific, or if it was merely my getting bogged down from it having read three Robin Schone books in a row.
What worked for me: *Oooh the twist as to why Gabriel hated Michael *falls over* Even though it falls under the "contrived" description I mentioned above, it was still a "Say what??" moment, in a good way.
*The concept -- gutter born bastard who's been raped and abused and prostituted all his life to the point that he hasn't touched another human being in over a decade falls for a spinster governess who's fallen on such desperate times that she's auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder. Would've been better had they not had the whole "second man orchestrating everything solely to ruin his life just because of the mess that went down in the first novel with Michael", but hey, I'm not all THAT picky
*How Victoria refused to give up on Gabriel, and how Gabriel longed to find a woman who would accept him for what he was, good and bad, light and dark, and make all that he'd suffered worthwile *swoon*
*Unlike other reviewers, I DID feel that there was love between Gabriel and Victoria. I admit it wasn't the sappy, besotted kind, but was instead the I-don't-WANT-to-love-you type, but still, I felt the love :)
*Still got that issue with the servants I mentioned in my last review, but not NEARLY to the point of the other novels, so I'm counting that as a favorable point :)
What didn't work for me: *Sex reading like a technical manual. Again. All this talk of vaginas and clitorises (clitori?), and vuvlas and penises and so forth are just flat out not sexy.
*I swear, if she'd referred to the electrical lights as "blinding", or the flyaway hairs on Gabriel's head as "areola" ONE MORE BLOODY TIME, this book would've been in the DNF category rather than read. It's called a thesaurus. Use it.
*The buttsecks made me laugh. I don't think buttsecks is supposed to be funny, but I'm not kidding you, it wasn't until almost a chapter after everyone was done orgasming that I was actually certain that buttsecks had even occurred. I mean, yeah, I knew they'd scrumped, but for an author who's so determined to use the word "vagina" in every third paragraph, you'd think she could've made it a little more clear of what was actually going on. Though, I suppose on further reflection, the absence of the word "vagina" should've been enough to confirm that it was, in fact, buttsecks.
*What the hell is up with the modiste? Just. Really. And forcing Victoria to be naked all the time, from the first undressing to the appointment with the modiste, to the being clad only in a towel while Gaston was in there, to the final twisty bit of being spied on during sex with Gabriel. I swear I was starting to think this was a Jaid Black novel or something. Oi.
You HAVE to read the first book in the series or you won't know wtf is going on. This is more like "Part II" of The Lover rather than a standalone sequel.
So, not to the standard of her other books that I've read, but not quite a wall-banger. 3 Stars(less)
What worked for me: *Lone wolf being forced back into the pack, and being too stubborn/alpha to come back like a good little puppy. *The whole bitterswe...moreWhat worked for me: *Lone wolf being forced back into the pack, and being too stubborn/alpha to come back like a good little puppy. *The whole bittersweet "I love you but we can't be together" thing that lasted over 100 years.
What didn't work for me: *Too much sex. Yes, you heard me. Too much sex. It seemed like once they got in bed that first time, that's ALL THEY DID for like 8 chapters or something. It was obnoxious.
*The neighbor was obnoxious, Henry or Harry or whateverhisname is was TOTALLY underutilized as a plot device (oh man I saw a sequel just crying to be written with him as a hero), and them always getting caught naked all irritated me.
*The identity of the killer. I won't say more so it's not a spoiler, but I felt like she took the easy way out with the killer's identity.
*I don't like that she was a virgin and he had been making free with the (human) ladies in the meantime. Yeah yeah I know realistic blah blah blah but I get so sick of the women who are in love with a guy and so keep their legs firmly closed while the man who is supposedly just as in love with her sleeps with others but it's okay because it didn't actually mean anything *rolls eyes* I'd much rather have had them BOTH take lovers in the meantime, even if in the end it was the cliched "nobody was ever as satisfying" deal.
Oh how I wanted to like this novella. The premise sounded perfect for me: a plus sized heroine, accidentally gets infected with vampirism but is never...moreOh how I wanted to like this novella. The premise sounded perfect for me: a plus sized heroine, accidentally gets infected with vampirism but is never actually fully “turned”, is given the chance to save herself by going places where turned vampires can’t go and rescuing their missing Guild Master. Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately, rather than reading like a completely fleshed out story, this reads much more like a quick outline for a novel.