I snagged this one from the library right before I left for vacation, and while I realized it was part of a series, what I didn't realize was that it...moreI snagged this one from the library right before I left for vacation, and while I realized it was part of a series, what I didn't realize was that it was book 12.. Unfortunately this meant that it was a little hard to keep up despite the author's best efforts, and it left me floundering at times trying to keep the vast number of characters and their powers and their relationships straight while still trying to keep up with the main storyline.
That said, the mystery and suspense was beautifully paced, and while I of course was disappointed to the lack of smut (heh), there were two rather satisfying romances on an emotional level.
I DID like that there were notes at the end of each chapter marking references from previous books. An author's note indicated that this was something new with this installment, and it did seem like it would be helpful, were I to want to go back and read up on a particular incident, or refresh my memory had I read some of the series up to that point.
3.5/5 Stars -- would probably been higher were I more familiar with the series going in.(less)
One of the best Amanda Quick novels I've read in a long time -- it had much more "substance" so to speak than many of her books, with a greater focus...moreOne of the best Amanda Quick novels I've read in a long time -- it had much more "substance" so to speak than many of her books, with a greater focus on the relationship and the action than on the "psychical" elements (though they were certainly present too).
Not my favorite from Amanda Quick, but still entertaining. As with all of Ms. Quick/Krentz/Castle's books, it was very... light. I've read all but a f...moreNot my favorite from Amanda Quick, but still entertaining. As with all of Ms. Quick/Krentz/Castle's books, it was very... light. I've read all but a few books from this author (which is saying something -- I know there's over 80 of them, probably more), and one thing I've always been able to count on would be that they're easy reading. There's excitement, danger, and a touch of steam, and makes a great pool-side read.
Expected Release Date: August 28, 2012 Publisher: Angry Robot Imprint: N/A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 28, 2012 Publisher: Angry Robot Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://terribleminds.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Miriam Black Series Best Read In Order: Would work well as a standalone Steam Level: Chaste Romanceaholic’s Pet Peeves: Forced Nudity, No Happily Ever After Romanceaholic’s Favorite Tropes: Tortured Heroine
Just as dark and gritty as the first book, Blackbirds, this book is certainly not my standard fare. There’s blood, violence, gore, foul language, an almost abnoxious heroine, a rather reluctant hero, weird (and gory) psychic visions, and most of all, no sex, romance, or any sort of Happily Ever After.
I was a big fan of the first book in the series, and this one was even better. I do think that it would stand well on its own so new readers shouldn’t worry about being left behind, though I do suggest reading the first book just because it was awesome.
Lawbreaking, violence, serious injury, vulgarity, deeply seated family issues, horrific visions, and life-changing decisions abound, and there’s no denying that there are few limits on what the author puts both the characters and the reader through.
I wanted to like this much more than I actually did. I loved how Natali...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
I wanted to like this much more than I actually did. I loved how Natalie’s blindness both shaped her as a character and affected the story, and Mac was delicious, but while they had good chemistry, I wanted to pimp slap both of them about 45% of the time.
My biggest problem, however, was that the main “suspense” conflict had a moment about 75% in where it completely dropped into the background and no longer added any tension. I admit, it spiked again towards the end, and the final climax of the story had me on the edge of my seat, but in the end, I just wasn’t as invested in the suspense and mystery as I think I should have been.
I do still want to read the sequel when it comes out, if for nothing else than to see playboy Jase tamed by Carrie, but in the end, this one just didn’t really do it for me.
Recommended for fans of blind heroines, hot detectives, and twisted villains.
I went into this story having no idea who the hero was. After all, the o...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
I went into this story having no idea who the hero was. After all, the official blurb makes no mention of his name, and I have to agree with the author/publisher that this was an excellent ploy -- had I known who the hero was, I'm not certain I would have given it a chance, and would have missed out on what turned out to be a really enjoyable story.
I definitely enjoyed it, with amnesia and physically scarred heroes ever being a favorite of mine, and for once, I truly felt the battle between good and evil in this particular soul.
I also enjoyed Mels' character, not only for her blend of softness and self-sufficiency, but the small side story of her relationship with her mother was surprisingly enjoyable.
While I think fans of the series will note that the "romance" in this story was a bit more subtle than in the previous books, there was still plenty of steam and chemistry, and I would be hard pressed to express disappointment to the surprising additions to the overall story arc.
However, there were a several of my pet peeves, without the... freshness, I suppose you could call it, that I typically find in a J.R. Ward book. I'm not sure if it's because I've read all of her Urban Fantasy novels, and therefore have perhaps become a bit blase about her writing voice, or if it was the unreasonably high expectations set by the expense of the Kindle edition, but there almost felt like something was missing.
Still, I loved the hero with such a fierceness, and the ending was so satisfying for me, that I didn't really care about those things.
Recommended for fans of physically and mentally damaged heroes, self-sufficient (yet realistic) heroines, and kick-butt action, topped with just the right amount of steam.
Expected Release Date: January 2, 2012 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 2, 2012 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: rosalielario.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3.5, Demons of Infernum Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but works well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
I’m a huge fan of the Demons of Infernum series, and when Cresso played quite a large part in the last book, Touch of the Angel, I knew I would have to read his story if it ever came out. I was not disappointed.
Cresso was just as tortured and sexy and wonderfully in love as he had been presented in the previous book, and watching his unrequited love for Genevieve
While there were several cameos from the main series, I do think that this one would work okay as a standalone. There was nothing that really jumped out to me as something I’d have needed to read the previous stories to understand, and while I would of course recommend this series to any fan of sexy paranormal romance, I do think that those unfamiliar with the series would still get the full impact of this story.
Recommended for fans of unrequited love, terrifying stalkers, and angsty inter-office affairs, sprinkled liberally with some incredible sexual tension and intense passion.
Expected Release Date: January 24, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harel...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 24, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harelquin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://leslietentler.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Chasing Evil Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Crime reporter Mia Hale has been following a series of disappearances in the Jacksonville beach area when she postulates a connection between the disappearances that even local law enforcement seems to have overlooked. Unfortunately for Mia, her interest in the disappearances has put her firmly in the sights of a sadistic killer who takes her, thinking to add her to his gruesome collection.
When Mia is found wounded and disoriented on a beach in Jacksonville, it becomes evident that not only had she been taken by the serial killer dubbed The Collector, but that she is the first woman ever to escape from his clutches.
When FBI agent Eric MacFarlane discovers that The Collector has come out of hiding and is once again taking and mutilating women, he knows that Mia Hale is the key to the case. Unfortunately, Mia has been left with no memory of her captivity, and outside of the physical scars of the torture she endured, it appears there is nothing she can do to help law enforcement.
Eric has a very personal history with The Collector, however, and isn't about to let a little amnesia stand between him and what could be the only break the case has ever had. Strong-arming Mia into doing whatever is necessary to recover her memory, Eric soon finds himself struggling between his determination to stop The Collector and protecting the fiery woman who holds the key to his capture.
But The Collector isn't finished with the tough and determined Mia Hale, and it soon becomes very clear that Mia is to be the pinnacle of his collection, and Eric and Mia both find themselves firmly in the sights of a brutal and sadistic killer..
Overall, this was an exciting, terrifying read. The Collector was one of the scariest fictional serial killers I've read about, and the pacing was absolutely perfect. Adding in Mia's amnesia and the slow recovery of her memories, as well as Eric's connection to The Collector added a wonderful amount of tension to the story, and several unexpected twists and turns kept me on my toes for the entire read.
I also loved the way that Mia and Eric's relationship developed, with both the pacing of their physical relationship ,and the unexpected emotions developing along the way.
Recommended for fans of brutally terrifying serial killers, of survivors refusing to be kept down, and of sexy FBI agents battling between catching a killer and protecting the woman they're falling for.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Berkley Trade Author’s Website: http://www.liladipasqua.com/ My S...moreExpected Release Date: August 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Berkley Trade Author’s Website: http://www.liladipasqua.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Fiery Tales Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Scorching
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful maiden by the name of Sabine, daughter of the most famous and celebrated playwright in Paris. Young, and beautiful, the girl anxiously anticipated the time when she and her lovely twin sister would make their debut into Parisian society, attending balls and soirees, and of course, making an advantageous marriage. But there was one man above all that Sabine had within her sights -- her very own Dark Prince, Jules de Moutier. While they had never had a chance to truly meet, she pinned all of her hopes, dreams, and of course, heady fantasies, on the handsome and sensual aristocrat.
But all of these dreams crumbled into ashes when Sabine's life was cast into the cinders -- her father dead, her beloved sister cold in the ground, and the horrible Moutier family the very cause of their fall from grace. With the family's land gone, and exorbitant taxes levied against her family by aristocrats and the monarchy alike, she knew that it was only a matter of time before she and what was left of her family were thrown into debtor's prison, where a fate awaited her that was worse than death.
Determined to be the master of her own fate, she devised a plan to steal a fortune from a band of rogues -- a fortune that would not only ensure her family's safety, but would allow her to search for the truth behind her dear twin's disappearance. Posing as a skilled strumpet, she and her two male cousins intend to infiltrate the privateer camp, distract the leader, and feed the rest of them men wine tainted with a sleeping draught.
But this was not just any band of privateers. No, the leader proved to be none other than Sabine's own Dark Prince, the man she both lusts after and despises with all of her being. Suddenly, her simple plan is no longer simple at all, and within Jules' arms, she discovers a passion and a freedom unlike any other. But can Sabine allow herself to succumb, knowing that his family is the one that ruined hers?
This book was so wonderfully, deliciously hot. No, really, if you wear glasses, you may want to keep a soft cloth handy, because they're probably going to steam up when you read this book. Not only are the love scenes beautifully lush and erotic, but there's also a delightful level of passion and emotion flaring between Sabine and Jules.
Perfect for heating up these cold winter nights, highly recommended for fans of luscious sensuality, heartbreak and betrayal, and one of the sweetest happy endings I could've imagined.
Expected Release Date: October 17, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: S...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: October 17, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Author’s Website: http://mercyloomis.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Madison, WI, 1999.
College student Amanda Bairns is finally about to take control of her own life. Getting her degree and finally getting out from under her mother’s thumb should mean this is one of the happiest times in her life. But when Gabriel, a friend from school, turns out to be a psychotic vampire intent on making her his newest fledgling, her dreams of the future turn into a nightmare filled with blood, mind control, violent sex, and murder. With the transformation incomplete, Gabriel promises Amanda one month to choose between the seductive power of vampirism or the frail weakness of being human prey. Four weeks seems like a small enough time to hold onto her humanity, but with each passing day, the new seductive powers she’s discovering, the physical changes, and the blood lust thrumming in her veins all become harder to ignore.
Amanda’s transformation is not their only concern, however, when it becomes apparent that there are outside forces whose interest in Gabriel’s newest fledgling could mean a major shift in power not only in the city of Madison, but in the supernatural community as a whole.
This book was a bit of an adventure for me. You see, it’s not what I would call a “traditional” romance. Instead, it’s more of a horror novel with romantic elements, which I admit threw me off a bit. However, if you approach this story as less of a romance and more of a sexy horror story, I think that you will get the full effect of the novel.
Even though I do tend to prefer traditional romances, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Gabriel was sexy and terrifying, and Amanda was so incredibly real that I couldn’t help but love her. She, as like most people, preferred to think of herself as someone who would never even be tempted to abuse or harm another human being, but as her transformation progressed, she quickly realized the intoxicating abilities of pure, unadulterated power. This, more than the blood and gore, was probably one of the scariest things about this novel — the idea that it doesn’t require a sociopath to start thinking of other humans as beneath you once you get a taste of real power.
While there was one scene that troubled me greatly, the overall story captivated me from the very beginning and wouldn’t let me go. The ending was absolutely fantastic despite being perhaps a bit unexpected, and I would recommend it for any fan vampires who are actually scary rather than sparkly*.
A very solid 4/5 Stars
*For the record, I am a Twihard, so that was not a bashing of Twilight fans lol(less)
Expected Release Date: October 25, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harle...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 25, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://jaciburton.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Killer series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Twelve years ago, sixteen year old Anna Pallino was attacked in an alley behind the ice cream shop where she worked. Her boyfriend, Dante Renaldi and his three foster brothers came to her rescue, subduing the attacker before he could get away. But things went horribly wrong when they realized that the beating they'd dealt the perpetrator had resulted in his death. Calling on Anna's policeman father to help clean up the mess, they each went their separate ways, with Dante leaving town for good.
Now, back in town to help his foster parents celebrate their anniversary, the last thing Dante expected was to get caught up in a murder investigation -- with the murder bearing a striking resemblance to the attack on Anna all those years ago.
With his job in Special Ops forcing him to keep his real life a secret, Dante is stunned to discover that the pretty sixteen year old Anna has grown up -- into a tough police detective.
Seeing Anna reminds Dante of everything that he had to walk away from twelve long years ago, and he's not about to let her slip through his fingers again. But when more murders spring up, each hitting closer to home, Anna has to decide if Dante is a man she can trust, or if he's the one behind the killings.
I really loved Anna and Dante. Anna had never quite gotten over not only her attack twelve years ago, but also Dante's seeming defection just when she needed him the most. Dante, as well, never really got past his love for Anna, and when they reconnected, it felt very authentic.
The chemistry between the two was absolutely crackling, and when they finally consummated their relationship, it was delightfully hot without detracting from the suspense of the novel.
One thing about this book was its unapologetic tendency to kill or at least severely wound major characters of the story. This ramped up the suspense quite a bit, since you never really knew if any of your favorite characters were safe.
Some of the events with the villain and the final resolution between Anna and Dante didn't really flow well for me, but overall, this was a sexy, entertaining read.
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Ra...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Random House Publishing Imprint: Ballantine Books Author’s Website: http://christyreece.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 7, Last Chance Rescue series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Five years ago, Honor Stone, a new addition to the FBI, falls into a blazing affair with the incredibly sexy and slightly dangerous ex-cop Seth Cavanaugh. When Seth's own dirty dealings catch up with him, he's accused of murder, and Honor's own career could suffer greatly by their association. Allowing Honor to think that what they had together was purely sex, he cruelly breaks off their relationship and walks out of her life without looking back -- or so it seems.
Now, finally able to have some semblance of a normal life, Seth is stunned to discover that his niece is missing, and that there could be a possible link to disappearances from all over the country. Desperate to find her, he solicits the services of Last Chance Rescue -- an under-the-radar organization that specializes in solving missing persons cases that the FBI are baffled by.
Forced to work together, Honor and Seth are both determined to keep things purely business, but neither can ignore both the passion and hurt that crackles between them. No matter his reasons for walking away from Honor in the past, Seth vows that nothing will ever separate them again. When Honor is taken by the maniac behind the kidnappings, however, nothing will ever be the same...
Overall, this one was really good. The angst created by Seth's deception and defection five years prior adds a delicious amount of emotion to the story, and the race against time to stop an evil kidnapper lends quite a bit of pulse-pounding action.
I liked both Honor and Seth quite a bit, and while I was just as angry at Seth's behavior as Honor was, I greatly approved of the pacing of both their reconciliation and the development of the case.
While there were a few scenes that were difficult for me to read, I have to admit that the illustration of the abuse that the kidnapping victims suffered definitely helped to reinforce the evil and insanity behind the kidnapper.
Recommended for fans of estranged lovers, crazed villains, and of reuniting with the only person you could possibly love.
Expected Release Date: June 13, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequi...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 13, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://www.jblynn.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Fifteen years ago, Emily Wright was kidnapped by a serial killer. Barely managing to escape with her life, she has put her past behind her, refusing to return to the small town where she was abducted -- and where her father and younger sister still live. When her father is hospitalized in a serious boating accident, she returns home to take care of her sister, never quite able to put aside her feelings of unease at returning to the place of so many horrible memories.
Soon, her sister's friend is killed and left in front of Emily's house for her to discover. Shocked and horrified to realize that this killer may be after her and her sister as well, she turns to the one man who has always been able to make her feel safe -- Bailey O'Neil, her best friend from "before".
A deputy for the small town's Sheriff's Department, Bailey's father has just been killed in a traffic accident when Emily returns to town. Having always harbored a secret crush on her, Bailey knows that Emily is meant for so much more than their small town, and he, can offer. Discovering that Emily's life could once again be in danger, he calls in some favors from the FBI, and joins with Emily to discover the identity of the killer before anyone else gets hurt.
The whole time I was reading this, I couldn't help thinking that this book would translate very well onto the big screen. There was something for everyone -- romance, action, murder, and mystery, and at the end, I was literally reading it with my jaw open saying "NO WAY!". Beautifully, beautifully done. The solution to the mystery wasn't an obvious one like so many are these days, and the romance itself was both sweet and delicious. I adored the small-town dynamics, with gossip and secrets both confusing the investigation, and the climax of the book was full of heart-pounding excitement.
Recommended for fans of small-town romantic suspense that keeps you guessing until the end, childhood friends who later become lovers, and of dysfunctional families finally coming full circle. A very enthusiastic 4.5/5 Stars
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Sharon Gerlach/Running I...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Sharon Gerlach/Running Ink Press Author’s Website: http://sharongerlach.wordpress.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Chaste
Note: As of the date of this review, Malakh is only $0.99 at Amazon and Smashwords
This is not a traditional “romance” at all. While there was absolutely no sexuality (darn it), I didn’t really mind too much because the general storyline was so interesting. Even so, there is a sort of HEA, even if it’s not exactly the one I would’ve preferred.
I’m so torn on the ending. See, there was this incredible twist at the end. I’m talking a forehead-slapping, I-really-shoulda-seen-this-coming-but-didn’t-holy-crap-that’s-awesome twist. And yet… Unfortunately, the part that bothers me is an enormous spoiler, so I can’t really say much of anything about it without ruining the entire story. Therefore, I think I’ll have to go with “I felt misled in the end, and not because I hadn’t figured out the twist”.
Overall, a very enjoyable novella. While I wish a few things had been explained a little better, and that perhaps there’d been more worldbuilding, I still loved it. Even as a novella, it was really the perfect length where the action and story arc was concerned, so unlike most novellas I wasn’t left at the last page asking “that’s it??”, which was a nice change.
I have to say though, that despite the lack of sensuality and the fact I’m still disgruntled over the ending, that Ms. Gerlach is a masterful storyteller. The plot twist was so beautifully done that nothing became glaringly obvious until you reflected on everything after the twist had been revealed, and for that alone, I will give this one 5/5 Stars. (less)
This fast-paced read had everything: murder, secret societies, governmen...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
This fast-paced read had everything: murder, secret societies, government corruption, and of course, a nice dose of steamy romance.
As far as I know (and someone please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken), this is a standalone novel. However, it read as though it were the debut of a series. I admit, I am sincerely hoping there are future books planned to expand on this one, because there were quite a few loose ends that I would love to see tied up.
That said, I did enjoy it. The romance was wonderfully hot, the fast-paced action kept me on the edge of my seat, and the whodunit kept me guessing until the end. A solid 4/5 Stars(less)
I picked this novel up at my local used bookstore, having recognized the Lowell name from previous novels th...moreFull Review available on The Romanceaholic
I picked this novel up at my local used bookstore, having recognized the Lowell name from previous novels that I’ve read by Elizabeth Lowell. Expecting to be blown away, as I’m a fan of Elizabeth Lowell, I was disappointed that this turned out to be just an okay read for me.
I love romantic suspense, I love relationships between cops and witnesses, and I adore amnesia in romance. This story just fell rather flat for me, however.
Fans of Elizabeth Lowell (Heather Lowell’s multi-published mother), will likely be disappointed, but new readers may still be appreciative. 3/5 Stars(less)
Let me tell you, Cynthia Eden knows how to write a hot romantic suspense...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Let me tell you, Cynthia Eden knows how to write a hot romantic suspense! Whew!
While Deadly Lies works well as a standalone novel, I do think it would beneficial to read the entire series in order to fully appreciate what Sam has been through, and the reasoning behind certain actions.
One thing I adore about Cynthia Eden, other than her scorching love scenes, is the fact that she doesn’t shy away from the horrific. Her villains are truly twisted, dark, and evil people, and she doesn’t try to skim past the terrible reality of what a serial killer truly does.
Overall, I adored this book. Sam was a wonderful combination of strength and fragility, and Max was an absolutely delicious, over-protective, perfectly possessive, and honorable hero. A very solid 5 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.