Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harper Collins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.karenhawkins.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1 Rogues series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
I first read this book in July of last year, and at that time, placed it firmly on my Keeper Shelf. I just re-read it, and I am happy to say that my feelings are unchanged. Even though it's not free of problems, it's still one of my favorite go-to stories when I feel like a re-read.
Despite the problems with this book, it's still a highly enjoyable, easy historical to read, and was exactly what I was in the mood for. 4.5/5 Stars, and I look forward to picking up the rest of the books in the series....more
While the premise was interesting, I found myself skimming a lot.. The characters all felt very flat, and the "love" that our heroine kept insistiMeh.
While the premise was interesting, I found myself skimming a lot.. The characters all felt very flat, and the "love" that our heroine kept insisting she felt seemed so shallow and possibly even forced... I never really felt her falling in love; she hung out with this guy for a short time them *bam* she's in love with him. Not falling in love, no, In Love. *shakes head*
I also figured out the twist only a few chapters in, even though it wasn't "revealed" until the very end. I don't know if that's a commentary on the author's skill, or merely the fact I read too bloody much lol I probably read too much :P
It felt very YA even with all the (fade to black) smexin that was so prevalent..
Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't awful by any means. I think it was just a case of NMS
What worked for me: Loved the concept behind Starfane (er, the world, not just the novel lol).. I also enjoyed (to a point) the love triangle/quadrilateral that Lauren was rocking there.. The snippets of werewolves, vampires, shape shifters, fairies, unicorns, and dragons was fun as well :)
What didn't work for me: Shallow characterizations, promiscuity of the heroine, and the ease of which she (and the male characters, actually) Fell In Love all annoyed me, and really detracted from the story IMO.
Also, there was way too much talking and not enough action. There were several instances (and I admit, this is where I ended up skimming), where we read along as something happens to the heroine, then we have to read a full accounting of the action as she tells someone else about what just happened.. A simple "she filled him in on her experience with such and such" followed by a transitional sentence or two to give the reader an anchor point as to exactly where they are in the conversation would've flowed much better as we read it.
Also along those same lines: I may be an immature person, I don't know, but reading a bunch of characters handling strong emotions like love, passion, jealousy, hurt, anger, and rejection, all by very calmly and maturely talking everything out is very very (very) boring. There were very few times in the entire story that a character acted out their anger rather than just kind of... explain it away. I'm not saying everyone needed to be melodramatic or soap-operaish, but still, stiff courtesy in the face of strong emotions doesn't keep my attention as a reader. Add to that the unbelievable swiftness of all the ILY's in the story, and I'm going to have to say 2 1/2 Stars
I really enjoyed this one -- it wasn't her "usual" (that is, it seemed to have nothing to do with the Night HuNight's Darkest Embrace - Jeaniene Frost
I really enjoyed this one -- it wasn't her "usual" (that is, it seemed to have nothing to do with the Night Huntress series, at least not that I recognized), but it was still quite good.
What worked for me: *Wings. Oh mama, I love me some wings *sigh* *I liked the world building -- it was thorough enough that you got the basic gist of things without bogging the story down with superfluous details that made you want to throw the book at the wall. *Hot sex and betrayal. I do love me some hot sex and betrayal. *smacks lips* *I really liked Raphael's mama lol
What didn't work for me: *The whole eating the souls of lesser demons thing was a little hinky for me.. I mean, how long does that last? Is it like me, who needs a chicken sammich or a mochachino every 3 hours or I feel like I'm starving, or is it more like a "holiday feast" deal where you can get away with munching on them a couple times a year? That needed to be cleared up to me a bit because, yeah, population issues, especially since full-blooded demons are rather rare.
Overall though, I honestly forgot it was a short story as I was reading it, which I say as a compliment, since most short stories feel rather rushed to me, especially when they're not already part of an established series. 4 1/2 Stars
Mated -- Shayla Black -- part of the Doomsday Brethren series.
SO not my cuppa tea. Hero is a manwhore, knocks up the heroine, abandons her knowing she's pregnant, continues to be a manwhore, and then tries to be all like "but I did it for your own good"?? Yeaaaahhh. No.
What worked for me: *um... hang on, I'm thinking.. yeah, I got nuthin.
What didn't work for me: *Hero is a manwhore, knocks up the heroine, abandons her knowing she's pregnant, continues to be a manwhore, and then tries to be all like "but I did it for your own good" lol
*I do NOT like the whole "sex recharges magic" theme in my romances because that invariably leads to rampant promiscuity on pretty much everyone's part, which is really REALLY not my thing.
*Obviously a part of a series, I was pretty lost as to who was the bad guy, who were the good guys, and why the hell they were fighting. Probably much better if you've already read the series though, so keep that in mind.
Overall: 1 Star BUT I'm not a fan of the series -- I think fans of the series would appreciate this MUCH more simply because it's a major character that they've already been introduced to, and will be desensitized to the slut-factor.
This is apparently part of a series (Moon Chasers) but I feel that it did fairly well as a standalone. While it certainly did its job as a "teaser" of sorts and made me want to read the series further, I don't feel like I missed anything in not having read the series.
What worked for me: *I liked that the heroine is emotionally strong. I agreed with the hero that most women would've been a big watery mess of self-pity, but she wasn't, and I enjoyed that about her. She certainly had a lot to pity herself over -- mother with Alzheimer's, best friend was brutally murdered in front of her, she's bitten by a werewolf, kidnapped by a nutcase vigilante, and now locked in a basement with the understanding that in a month when she "turns" at the next full moon, she'll be killed.
*LOVED that when she was about to be killed, she emphatically stated "My name is Lily" -- humanizing herself which is exactly what you're SUPPOSED to do in that type of crazy situation, but an action that is almost always ignored in novels.
What didn't work for me: *They fell right into bed VERY shortly after meeting. I know, I know, it's a short story so the timeline is often rushed for things like this, along with the fact that lycans/werewolves/whatevertheycallthem are very sexual beings and that's part of this series' schtick, but still, not really my thing.
OVERALL ANTHOLOGY RATING: 4 Stars, despite the atrocity of the Shayla Black one LOL ...more
In a post-apocolyptic dystopia, civilization has fallen and Beaters, mindless flesh-eating zombies created by a disease originallyThat was... intense.
In a post-apocolyptic dystopia, civilization has fallen and Beaters, mindless flesh-eating zombies created by a disease originally spread by a plant dispersed through biological warfare, threaten the lives of everyone in existence.
Cass was captured by the Beaters only to awaken two months later with no memory of what had happened to her, and wounds that indicated that not only had she been a victim of the Beaters, but that she herself had been infected and had recovered.
The only thing driving her on is finding her young daughter, whom she had only just gotten back (after having lost custody of her due to her alcoholism) for a single day before being taken by the Beaters.
What follows is a horrifying, heart-stopping, gory narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat, gasping for air, as Cass tries desperately to find her daughter while navigating this dangerous new world where the Beaters are not the only threat to the weak.
What worked for me: * Deliciously gory, parts of this story were like a bad car wreck, where you want to look away but can't tear your horrified gaze from the action.
* I loved the Beaters -- the progression of the infection from euphoria to a horrific new existence, was terrifyingly plausible.
* The pacing was amazing, and there wasn't a single time that I was tempted to skim.
* I loved the little "extra" glimpses into human nature -- things like piling rocks outside of houses where the dead had been found, or leaving an empty pot outside of a building to signal to other raiders that there was nothing left worth salvaging at that location. Add to that the inevitable power struggles, how the powerful took advantage of the weak, and how everyday people found courage that they never imagined they possessed, and it's easy to imagine that this is a future that could actually happen.
What didn't work for me: * It felt as if the connection between Cass and Smoke was one of convenience rather than love, destiny, or even chemistry. Cass had been molested as a child and turned to sex and alcohol to both mask her pain and give herself a false sense of control over her life. Her relationship with Smoke felt like a continuation of this self-flagellation, and Littlefield told us, rather than showed us of the existence of deeper feelings on her part (and really none at all on his).
* The ending was most definitely a "Happily For Now" rather than a "Happily Ever After". There were no ILY's at all in the story, both of which contributed to the feeling that the connection between Cass and Smoke was one of convenience rather than anything deeper.
* There was an astounding lack of explanation for what was really going on. While it's true that this could've very easily been a device used by Littlefield to help the reader place themselves in this world, since neither the reader nor the characters ever really understood what the hell had happened, I found this to be disappointing. It would've been nice to know more of Smoke's history (as I got a distinct feeling that he somehow contributed to all the crap that had happened), and I wish that there had been some hint as to what was really going on in the rest of the world. Had the blueleaf spread to the rest of the country? To the rest of the world? Or was this a situation similar to 28 Days Later, where (spoiler alert for the movie here), the world hadn't fallen to the disease but rather had quarantined the infected areas waiting for the disease to die out before offering assistance? Is Cass a carrier? Has she somehow infected Smoke? Will poor Ruthie be "normal" again after her traumatizing experience? What was really the deal behind The Convent? All of these questions are left completely unanswered, leaving a distinct sense of dissatisfaction in this reader.
In the end, I feel exhausted. It's a good exhausted, however, rather like the kind you feel after a long run, or after accomplishing a hard task that you'd set out for yourself. I think one redeeming fact to this story is that I do know that it's the beginning of a series, and as such, the missing answers to those questions I mentioned are hopefully forthcoming. I really hope that both Smoke and Cass are the stars of the next novel, as I am dying to know what will become of them. 4/5 Stars...more
Our vampire hero, Graf, is on his way to Washington, D.C. for a party with his sire, Sophia, when he pauses for a late night snack at an abandoned gasOur vampire hero, Graf, is on his way to Washington, D.C. for a party with his sire, Sophia, when he pauses for a late night snack at an abandoned gas station in a small town. The only problem is his "snack", a Penance, Ohio resident named Jessa, is also being chased by a giant monster possum. Or something. Graf isn't sure exactly what "It" is, but he knows it's bigger, stronger, and much, much smellier than he is, and proceeds to high-tail it out of Penance. At least, that was the plan.
Unfortunately for Graf, all of the residents of Penance have been trapped for five years with no contact to the outside world. Travelers can pass right through, but they never stop, and only a few whispered rumors indicate that anyone from Penance has ever been able to leave. And now, they can add a vampire to their numbers.
What worked for me: * This book was hysterical. Graf wasn't a nice guy when he first arrived into town, and as such initially viewed Jessa and everyone else of Penance as a simple food supply. It wasn't until later when he began to see her as a woman rather than cattle, and during the transition there was quite a bit of hilarity to his thoughts. He once mentioned how awkward it was to offer her solace while she was upset because it was rather like "comforting an ice cream cone".
* I like that the vampire's bite wasn't all sexy. It was gruesome and painful and there was nothing attractive about it. This is a nice change from a lot of paranormal romance novels which indicate a type of euphoria that the victim receives from the bite.
* I really liked the small-town mentality. Having grown up in a small town, I recognized a lot of the attitudes that would only have been amplified by forced isolation. Bullies, mob mentalities, and prejudices abounded, which made things feel much more "real".
* I really liked that Graf wasn't preternaturally cunning or intelligent, nor did he instantly "have all the answers". Numerous paranormal romances (honestly, romances in general) have the hero always know exactly what needs to be done and rarely making mistakes. Graf doesn't have any big plan -- he's totally winging it through the whole situation and really shouldn't be depended upon to "fix" things or to get himself and Jessa out of any sticky situations.
What din't work for me:
* I didn't care for the fact that Jessa was an adulteress. Somehow I just don't find it endearing to have a heroine knowingly sleeping with a married man, no matter what their history together.
* I wish they'd had a better name for the creature other than "It". I kept getting Tim Curry flashbacks every time I read the name, which took away from the story quite a bit.
Overall, I really liked this book. Watching Graf go from top-of-the-food-chain, arrogant and cold to a man in love was gradual enough to be gratifying without making the reader feel as though things were dragging. While I didn't care for the main conflict between Jessa and her redneck mostly-ex-boyfriend, I did like the way the story played out in the end, and would love to read more about these characters in the future.
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Spice AutThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Spice Author’s Website: http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Scorching
I should first begin this review with a confession -- I don't typically enjoy books where the heroine is a prostitute, and those few books that I did enjoy all had a heroine whose profession was one that she'd been forced into or was at bare minimum reluctant to participate in.
Then enter Jessie. When the book's blurb calls Jessie a "lusty lass", let me tell you, they mean it. She thoroughly enjoys her profession, and has absolutely no qualms about taking on as many customers as she desires.
Thus, it was hard for me to warm up to this novel at first. However, even with the mild distaste that I had for the heroine's behavior, I was completely drawn in by Ms. Walker's writing style. Lush and erotic, she managed to weave a tale that even managed to make me forget, just as Gregor did with Jessie, that she was for sale.
Despite the unfortunate word choices in many of the love scenes, I have to say that they were incredibly hot. Even though one of the things I initially disliked about Jessie was that she was incredibly and unashamedly wanton, there is no doubt that her enjoyment of her job definitely helped to create some of the steamiest scenes I've ever read in an historical novel. There is some light kink as well, without going into full-on BDSM, which I really enjoyed.
Readers should note that there is also explicit M/M and F/F action in this book as well.
I loved how Jessie and Gregor's relationship progressed, and adored the twist towards the end. I also really enjoyed the paranormal aspects, as it's not often that I get to read a book involving magic that doesn't also have the seemingly requisite werewolves, vamps, and/or fae to go along with it.
Fans of wanton heroines, revenge plots, hot love scenes, and reluctant heroes are going to love this book. Since I tend to shy away from lewd and shameless heroines, I didn't enjoy this as much as I might have, but with the rich writing, erotic love scenes, and intriguing plot line, I still end up with a very solid 4/5 Stars....more
Expected Release Date: August 23, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarleqThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 23, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: www.lauracaldwell.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Warm
Overall, this wasn’t actually the type of story I typically seek out. While the mystery was incredible — tons of nuances and hints to pick up on, as well as some very lovely unexpected twists — I wasn’t happy with the romance aspect. There’s a love triangle, Izzy’s mom and stepfather are having problems, and the romance just plain wasn’t my cup of tea. Plus, the shifting POV was incredibly disorienting in the beginning, which took a lot away from the reading experience.
That said, I did enjoy reading it. As I said, the mystery itself made the book worth reading, and it is for that reason that I’m giving it a very solid 3.5/5 Stars, despite the disappointing romantic aspect....more
This one ended up being more of a 3.75 for me, because I've never been a fan of heroines doing the whole bed-hopping thing (which has beHoly cannoli!
This one ended up being more of a 3.75 for me, because I've never been a fan of heroines doing the whole bed-hopping thing (which has been a bit of an issue for me for the whole series), but really, talk about being punched in the stomach by a story.
I can't even review it right now because I'd end up spoiling the whole thing for you.
Not my favorite of the series, because... spoiler... but, really, the story couldn't have gone any other way.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment. ...more
Expected Release Date: November 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: EntaThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: November 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://rosalielario.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Demons of Infernum Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
After months of no work, interdimensional bounty hunter Ronin Meyers jumps at the chance to locate an incubus who’s using succubi as murder weapons. Faced with the possibility of being forced to return to hellish Infernum if he fails, Ronin and his brothers will stop at nothing to take out the incubus and anyone else involved—even the beautiful succubus who stole his heart, then nearly his life, during the most mind-blowing hour of his existence.
Night after night, Amara and her fellow succubi are forced to extract special abilities from the strongest Otherworlders for their psychotic master’s growing collection. When the gorgeous angel-demon hybrid she believed to be dead captures her, Amara is both stunned and elated. But the happily ever after she’s dreamed of will have to wait.
Together, they must bring down the madman hellbent on destroying them… and become each other’s salvation in the process.
Half demon, half angel, Ronin Meyers has literally lived through hell. Now, after having battled alongside his brothers and defeating his evil father, Ronin finds himself bored. As an interdimensional bounty hunter, his permission to stay on Earth is dependent on the work he does — but with so few assignments coming his way, Ronin fears that soon he may be called back to Infernum to work for the council there.
When a sexy demon, Amara, almost kills Ronin with seduction, he’s embarrassed and angry, and more than that, he seems to have lost his ability to calm enemies — an ability inherited from his angel mother, and one that he’s come to rely on in battle.
When an order from the Council comes down to capture an incubus who is up to no good, Ronin is shocked to discover that the sexy she-devil who almost killed him is working with the demon in question. Capturing her to use as leverage against her master, Ronin soon discovers that there is so much more to Amara than her succubus nature. It’s impossible for anyone but another sex demon to be with a succubus without her killing them, however, so no matter how strong the chemistry, or how much they begin to care for each other, there can be no happily ever after… Or can there?
I love the entire Demons of Infernum series, which began with Blood of a Demon, followed by Mark of the Sylph, and now including this novel, Touch of the Angel. While I do suggest that new readers invest in the entire series, if for nothing else than the fact that the books are excellent, I think that for the most part, this book works just fine as a standalone. New readers may not get all of the nuances of the previously established relationships, but all of the background imperative to this particular plot line is included.
The thing that kept this from being a 5-Star story for me was the promiscuity of the heroine. Now, I fully understand that it was in no way her fault (she’s a succubus, and quite literally requires sex to survive), but even so, a past like hers is simply not something that’s easy for me to accept in a heroine. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Amara — a lot. She was intelligent, sweet, loyal, and despised being a succubus. In the end, however, it was still hard for me to recover from my initial dislike of a succubus heroine, which did affect my overall enjoyment of the book.
In the end, this was a solid entry to the series, and I think that both newcomers and fans of the previous novels will highly enjoy it for its heat, angst, and action.
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: SourcThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: February 1, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Sourcebooks Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca Author’s Website: http://elisabethstaab.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Chronicles of Yavn Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
In the end, this was a good fated-to-be-mated story, lots of steam, plenty of angst, and quite a bit of set-up for future stories. I almost wish that some of the many subplots had been pared down a bit, because I had the distinct impression reading it that there were actually three or four novels preceding this one in the series. There were times when there were so many characters in play, and just so many subplots playing out, that I kept feeling as though I'd missed something important, but couldn't quite put my finger on just what that "something" might have been.
Despite that, however, the mythology was intriguing and the setup for future stories definitely have me hooked, and the high steam rating makes this a perfect read for these cold winter nights.
I admit, I had started this one a long time ago and put it down only a chapter in, because I didn't care for the fact that the book started off with tI admit, I had started this one a long time ago and put it down only a chapter in, because I didn't care for the fact that the book started off with the heroine climbing out of the hero's bed after a drunken one-night stand.
I should never have put it down.
There was tons of intrigue, betrayal, angst, danger and excitement plus a good dose romance and sexual chemistry.
A very solid 4/5 Stars, with a full review to follow.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Publishing ImpriThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2012 Publisher: Penguin Publishing Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://laurawright.com/ My Source for This Book: Virtual Signing (Private Purchase) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Mark of the Vampire Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Hot Romanceaholic’s Pet Peeves: Continuity Errors Romanceaholic’s Favorite Tropes: Abused Heroine, Enemies to Lovers, Fated Mates
While I would definitely recommend that new readers go back and familiarize themselves with the previous stories in the series, I really enjoyed this installment to the series. I’ve enjoyed Gray and Dillon’s characters ever since they were first introduced, and I couldn’t wait to see how they both grew over the course of their relationship.
Dillon was just as stubborn as I’d come to expect, and Gray was even more delightfully alpha than I’d anticipated. The dynamic between them didn’t seem to follow the stereotypical “romance novel” feel, and yet, it still worked. Gray’s unexpected dominance was quite sexy, and the chemistry between the two was explosive.
Even with the crude sexual language, which as my readers mostly know is not my thing at all, there was no denying that the love scenes were hot, and the romance itself was quite satisfying.
Overall, this was an enjoyable installment to an already entrancing series, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book.