I came across this series completely bu chance, and I was wary at first because of its art. I'm usually very picky about my manga art, and this one se...moreI came across this series completely bu chance, and I was wary at first because of its art. I'm usually very picky about my manga art, and this one seemed more old fashioned than what I like with the big popping eyes of the heroine. But I admit, by the time I reached the end of the first volume, I was very much smitten with it.
The art, as classic as it is, combined with the witty dialogue and likable characters, makes a fun story to read. The plot may not be the most original, but it still managed to grab my interest, and I'm already making plans to read the rest.(less)
I don't know why I insist on having the good books age on my bookshelves. Thanks to the excitement for the publication of the new Immortals After Dark...moreI don't know why I insist on having the good books age on my bookshelves. Thanks to the excitement for the publication of the new Immortals After Dark book, I remembered I had this one stacked away and wanted to give it a go while I waited. A pat on the back for me!
For those of you who're familiar with the Immortals After Dark series, this might be considered as a spin off. We're still in the same world, only this time we follow the sexy Dacians, a breed of vampire who closed themselves up in their land of Shadow and Mist where nobody comes in unless they're invited, and nobody comes out unless they're permitted. They got some serious security issues though of course things are about to change.
Trehan Daciano, the assassin of his land is sent off after a demon to kill him for breaking one of their rules, nobody comes out once they're in. He's cold, calculated, he lets logic and duty lead his way instead of being mingled with any kind of emotion. He's very determined and dedicated to his job. And then he meets Bettina, the wounded yet powerful half demon half Sorceri, as a prize to be won in a tournament to the death. He has two choices, kill whoever he came for-who, by the way happens to be the demon Bettina has eyes for- and go back to his land, or stay and compete in the tournament to win the hand of his Bride. I think you can guess which option he goes with.
I absolutely loved Trehan's character. He started off as this big emotionless duty-driven vampire, but then quickly he turned into newly awakened slave to his Bride. He was aggressive yet not at the same time, his jealousy towards the demon Bettina had a crush on was palpable, so was his anger, but he never reflected it on Bettina. Sure, he was manipulative at times, and he might've lost his temper once or twice and yelled or been the scary vampire that he is, but he was still careful with it all. Even the good guys in these books are still a little bad, but I thought Trehan was also a bit more sweet, especially in the way he was so clueless about how to woo his woman. Besides, a man who considers a library as his home is always a sweetheart in my book.
Bettina, I also liked. She was a wounded Queen, she had great potential and she was strong but she was also very afraid. At first. She was a typical young woman when it came to matters of the heart, and she did have crazy godparents and an even crazier tournament to deal with, so I think she handled all that brilliantly. I don't know what I would've done if a giant of a demon with horns and scales all over his body was fighting in the tournament, and was almost the unofficial winner because there seemed to be no one stronger. Shivers. All. Over. So Bettina started off as meek but then with the help of both Trehan, and her own ability to believe in herself, she crossed the threshold and became who she really was. I liked that transition.
The plot was engaging and interesting and fun as always, I love the world Kresley Cole creates, she writes such quirky characters that it's always a pleasure to read her books. The bad guys are bad and wicked, sure, but then again, so are the good guys! (less)
Finally, probably the most anticipated book of the BDB series has arrived. The story we've all been waiting for, the one of the two good fighters, bes...moreFinally, probably the most anticipated book of the BDB series has arrived. The story we've all been waiting for, the one of the two good fighters, best friends. Well, at least it's the case for this lady here. So long I've been looking forward to this book, it was still a wonder when I finally picked it up and started reading it.
Qhuinn and Blay were the two characters whose story was a long time coming. They've been the best of friends and they've been through a lot together and we've all witnessed every single detail. So it's not a surprise when you know two characters so well and you watch them grow up, you start to build hopes for a story of their own.
These two have already been through death and denial, but a book of their own? Of course they had to have their own set of ups and downs and obstacles along the way, tangled no-go relationships, surprising revelations, babies, some more denial and fear and rejection. And that's probably only half of what was going on. But somehow, JR Ward made it work. The huge book, which hurt my hands to hold up on more than one occasion, provided us with lots of emotional situations, and even though the action was less than so, the heart wrenching scenes were more than enough to hook me. It was the whole point anyway, Qhuinn and Blay had more on their plate than lessers' drug problems, they both added their own things into the mess that became their relationship. And I admit, I'm glad that this flow was interrupted only by more interesting character-revolved subplots.
I know this book belonged to these two guys, but I couldn't help but think it was more about Qhuinn. His struggles and fears were the basis of the story, it was more about his overcoming his past, accepting his present and embracing his future. We all know Qhuinn had been through a lot. He was different and he lived a life of discrimination and denial, so it was important he leave the self loathing and accept and love himself, and that was the biggest plot here. I was more than happy to be inside his head more than any other character, and witness how he finally got to know himself and know what he wanted and how he got it.
Blay was almost the opposite of Qhuinn. Even though along the way he changed and became tougher, it was still clear he was the vast and green meadow to Qhuinn's dark and cold cave. Blay knew who he was, what he wanted, he had always known and he even went after it but met a wall that was Qhuinn. Blay had the family that loved and accepted him, so he knew what love was all about and I think that was why it took him a while to pass through the wall of Qhuinn's denial. Gotta give it to the guy though, it was a thick wall.
In the end you can see why they make a good couple and why we've all been rooting for them, it was just inevitable these two getting together. Their story was heart shattering at times, and sexy, oh so sexy, at others and it was a satisfactory way to begin their relationship.
Other than the happy ending of Qhuinn and Blay, we also got insight to some other characters that have been introduced before, focusing on a few especially, which was good, like I said, I always prefer any character to a lessers storyline, because let's face it, they fail epically as the bad guys. Now the new group, on the other hand? They can be bad guys, or even Assail the new drug lord, but I want them on the side of the, well, good, so I'm wishing for a different big bad wolf. And if I give those guys cookies, or I don't know, guns and knives and stuff, would they come to the Brothers' side? It's dark there too.
Well anyway. Yet another book left behind. Now the biggest question? It's not whether or not the the Band of Bastards are going to be the good guys or not, or what's going to happen with Assail and his new interest, and you know I'm not talking drugs, or how are things going to be resolved with Layla and Xcor the traitor, or what more family drama awaits Qhuinn, or how much more of a dork can Trez appear in front of a certain Chosen.. No, the real question is, how the hell am I going to wait until the next book is released? (less)
There's a certain kind of wonder and beauty to the world Nalini Singh had created that it surprises me every time I read it. I pick up the books and a...moreThere's a certain kind of wonder and beauty to the world Nalini Singh had created that it surprises me every time I read it. I pick up the books and all at once I want to both be a part of that world but also feel like I don't belong in there. It's hard to explain, so I'll just keep to my review of the beautifully written story of Jason the Spymaster and Mahiya the Princess.
It's been a while since I last read a Guild Hunter book, and I wasn't sure how much I could remember from the little pieces we got about Jason, but thankfully once I started reading it I quickly picked up on everything. That's how much Nalini's writing has an impact I guess, no matter how long it has been, all is embedded in your mind.
I don't know if I even have to say this but I loved Jason. A lot. More than I think I can describe with words. There was some kind of vulnerability to him that was very much endearing if you can believe it. He was the right combination of tough, dark, dangerous and caring. I think the biggest reason why I love these heroes is because of their darkness. There's a certain attraction in the way they carry that darkness within them, and the way you always know they will never change that, even with you, but they're willing to merge it with their relationship with you. Do I even make any sense? Well, I'm hoping I made some sense at least to Mahiya.
Now Mahiya was the opposite of Jason. In fact, she was pretty much the opposite of almost every character in this world. She was most caring, she was kind and very nice, she was filled with a hope for a future where she had a family, something she wasn't allowed to have so far. But don't let this deceive you, Mahiya was also very strong, very determined, after all, you don't grow up under Neha's *care* and be anything else. And in her bright personality, she was the perfect fit to Jason's darkness. I cannot tell how much I loved the two together.
Everything other than Jason and Mahiya was also very engaging and wonderful. We got our usual dose of the other characters, for which I'm glad because it makes me sad when others get forgotten, and the plot just kept thickening and thickening. Makes you wonder how it could possibly end, or where it could ever go and how, but I'm hoping there's still time and perhaps a few books more to think about all that.
A beautiful, beautiful book in this series. (less)
I've been feeling the lack of a good m/m story for a while now, so this book was very much welcome....moreFind the review also over at Under The Covers blog
I've been feeling the lack of a good m/m story for a while now, so this book was very much welcome. It's a spin-off from the 'Partnership in Blood' series by the same author, and even though I am obsessed with reading a series in order, this didn't turn out to be as scary as I thought it would be. This was also my first time reading a book by Ariel Tachna and I can say that it won't certainly be the last.
Since this is a spin-off story, it takes place after the events in the main series, but not having read them -yet!- wasn't much of an obstacle. A powerful werewolf pack comes to the wizard/vampire pairings for help about their mating rituals, the couples are unable to have children and they're afraid the pack might be dying out because of that. The helping hand comes in the form of an enthusiastic, werewolf fanboy, newbie wizard named Marc, who's sent in to the pack to observe the ritual performed by the pack's shaman, a gorgeous black wolf named Adenet.
The book mainly is about the different relationships from the previous couples, as well as how Marc tries hard to make Adenet acknowledge their inevitable bond. Gotta say, I loved the sexuality in this book, my god it was hot! More than once I wished I had a vampire partner of my own to be wild with in the bedroom, or perhaps a werewolf to mate with in abandon, but let's just get back to the review. The characters were likable, especially Marc, and I enjoyed the dark way the vampires were handled here. I don't know, I've always been a fan of the darker side -they have cookies and all!- The plot wasn't hard to follow since the main thing is the relationships, but still I think it would help if one reads the previous books first, for the sake of connecting to the characters more.
My biggest problem, however, was the constant use of French words. The author has lived and worked in France so I can understand her choice of including the culture, since the story is set in France, and I could understand a few commonly known words here and there, but whole sentences in French, or words that may not be widely known to non-French readers is another story. Thankfully my sister helped me with this, but for those who don't have French speaking sisters, this might be a bit of a challenge, not to mention it disrupts the flow of the story.
Overall, I still liked the book, it was an interesting world where different races are made to mingle, and I'll definitely work on getting my hands on the other books. Who knows, it might also help improve my French!(less)
The new book of the Midnight Breed series was one I've been waiting a long time. Not only because of the surprising forward time jump of twenty years,...moreThe new book of the Midnight Breed series was one I've been waiting a long time. Not only because of the surprising forward time jump of twenty years, but also because it was to feature the two kids -not so much kids anymore, of course- who I hoped would end up sometime in the future. And my excitement was high, because what I hoped would be an epilogue at the end of the series perhaps, turned out to be a whole book that introduced a new path and storyline.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought the young children Mira and Kellan would one day make a right couple. Lara Adrian seemed to think so. And she gave us their book with a whole new set of threats and bad guys, new potentials for future books, and a brand new story that derived from the one we loved of The Order.
Twenty years have passed since the Order has come out to public and people found out about the existence of the vampires known as The Breed. The knowledge has brought inevitable fear and loathing with its acceptance, and the expected craving for the unknown. And just like everything else in the world, people are divided in their opinions about The Breed. After all, twenty years is nothing compared to believing all your life that vampires did not exist.
Even though this book is the eleventh in the series, I think it'd be safe to say it can also be considered as the first in a brand new one. Most of the characters are well known to us, but there are as much new ones, and the setting and conditions is much different than we last seen them. The children we once knew are now all grown up and fighting, the old enemy had been defeated, and the characters are now faced with the world knowing exactly who and what they are. And in the middle of it all, there is Mira and Kellan, who shared so much together and who had been friends ever since they were children, now facing a whole lot of difficulties and messed up situations, not to mention the deep feelings they have for each other.
Without spoiling anything, since I breezed through the book I'm not sure where things are said and done, I have to say this book was a bit slower in pace than the previous ones. It was, however, fitting to a book that introduced a new world to us, just like a first in a series would. More than the discovery of Mira and Kellan's feelings for each other, as they were crystal clear from the start, this book was about the setting of this new storyline. So most of the book was building a relationship between the reader and the new characters and easing us into the new way of things. And all the while we also witnessed Mira and Kellan's reunion and love for each other, and the difficulties they had to face and how they handled them. With the quick tumble into the romance of Mira and Kellan, and the slow pace of the action, I think I would've preferred it the other way around, with the two struggling with their passion and the action playing a bigger role.
Kellan and Mira's characters surprised me. Not in a bad way, and certainly not in disappointment, but the way they went head first into the story and their relationship felt a bit rushed. It seemed like while clearly trying to avoid a tragic end, they ended up making decisions that led them to the path they were trying hard to avoid, which is understandable of course, but it was still frustrating to read for a fan like me. Many occasions, they broke my heart with their desperation and love and hopelessness, I was more than ready to jump to the last page to assure myself of their happiness.
The biggest lack, however, would be in the action for me, especially when it came to Mira. She's a human woman, and you know it's not usual for such a person being in the ranks of the fighters, and yet she's a captain of her own team and we hardly got a chance to see her fight. Even Kellan, with his Breed power and speed and abilities, spent little time to impress us with a good long fight. I would've liked to see them more in action even though the story took a rightfully different course. That is not to say, of course, there wasn't any action, because the biggest one of all came towards the end of the book, where we got to see where exactly the story is going to go, and what troubles await our heroes in the future. The kick start of excitement in the end was the real deal in the book in my opinion. It made me look forward to the upcoming books and their heroes.
A great book to suck us right back to the world of The Breed, and I, for one, cannot wait for more. (less)