Now that it's finally over, I went ahead and read it in one sitting! Oh, I loved it so much!! Such a great new world that is fun and quirky and intere...moreNow that it's finally over, I went ahead and read it in one sitting! Oh, I loved it so much!! Such a great new world that is fun and quirky and interesting and I hope and pray they write more!(less)
I loved the Riley Jenson series, so when I saw that the Nikki and Michael series was being re-released, I jumped at the chance to get into another series by Arthur.
Nikki is a PI on the case of a runaway teenage girl. Her psychic abilities help her in every way, but it isn’t until she finds out who is controlling the teen’s strings that Nikki will realize there are scarier things in the world than her psychic ability. During her case she continually runs into Michael, and finds that being alone isn’t as great as she thought.
Michael has a secret of his own, but the pull toward Nikki is almost more than he can overcome. Although his goal is to track down and take out Jasper, Michael finds that Nikki is more than he expected, and he begins falling for her, little by little. But as Jasper plans to take down both Michael and Nikki both, they find themselves in the fight of their lives.
This book had a very urban fantasy feel to it, despite the fact that the series focuses on the couple of Nikki and Michael. The romance reader in me was disappointed, as I wasn’t expecting the book to end on a non-HFN or HEA note. I was hoping we would get to see a little more in the development of their romance, instead of the way the book left with the separation. That being said, I do really love the way Arthur writes a long-term romance, and if Nikki and Michael are anything like Riley and Quinn, I’m down to continue with the series.
I liked the world that Arthur created here. I’m not ga-ga over vampires (I’m more of a shifters girl), but I did really like the simplistic world that Arthur had shows us so far. I hope that things continue to develop as the series goes on, and that we get the chance to see more unfold in the world.
I have to say that I connected with Michael more so than Nikki. I thought that Michael was such a tortured and fabulous hero. I loved his dark and broody attitude, and although he walked at the end, I was pretty smitten with him. I loved that he tried so hard to be everything good that he could, and when his world turned a bit upside down, he knew he would have to do anything and everything he could to make sure he got that control and perfection back.
I wanted to like Nikki as much as I liked Riley, and yet she came across as a bit of a victim to me. She had a lot of excuses and explanations. She had a couple TSTL moments that really drove me crazy, and I wanted he shake her at times. I hope that in future books Nikki really grows more as a character and becomes a heroine that I can really get behind.
All in all I enjoyed this book. The world is something that I’ve come to expect from Arthur: fun and sexy. While this book isn’t as sexy as Arthur’s previous books, I have high hopes for Nikki and Michael. I’m excited to see what else Nikki and Michael get into, and hope that their romance gets a chance to turn into something epic.
This book absolutely gutted me!! I cried for Kit and Damon, and I am so excited for the next installment, I can't even begin to tell you what I would...moreThis book absolutely gutted me!! I cried for Kit and Damon, and I am so excited for the next installment, I can't even begin to tell you what I would do to get my hands on the next book. Kit has absolutely restored my love of urban fantasy! (less)
I’ve found in the past that I have a hard time getting into urban fantasy series with a male protagonist. I think it probably has something to do with the *usual* lack of a strong romantic sub-plot. However, when I first picked up the Deacon Chalk books, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed the book, the author, and the series overall.
Deacon is no stranger to the monsters that haunt the night. Since the brutal murder of his family, he has made it his mission in life to hunt down each and every creature in his city. He has slowly extended his circle of friends and continues to fight the good fight. When a group of witches who have been terrorizing the world for hundreds of years come knocking on his doorstep, Deacon will have to partner with an unlikely partner – a government agent from an agency he’s never heard of – in order to take them out. But as the body count rises, Deacon will have to make some hard choices, and pray that he will be able to take out the triad before someone he loves gets caught in the crossfire.
Let me start by saying that this book takes place over the course of just a few days. How Deacon, Tiff, and the others got through this hellish night is beyond me, because the action was non-stop and hard hitting. The book starts with a bang (literally), and just keeps the hits coming one after another. I was tired just reading what they were going through!!
Many times I struggle with the urban fantasy genre because authors don’t provide enough of a romance to keep me engaged, especially with a male protagonist. However, Tuck has done an amazing job slowly building the romance between Deacon and Tiff. I love these two together. Despite the reservations Deacon has about falling in love again, he hasn’t done any boneheaded move like push her away to avoid his feelings. They fight side-by-side, they provide the support the other needs, and they have a pretty solid relationship. Plus, we get a pretty steamy love scene in this book. So hot! I’ve enjoyed watching these two come together throughout the series and hope that Tuck continues building a wonderful bond with these two.
I’ve also really come to adore the supporting cast of characters in this series. From Deacon’s best friend and hacker genius Kat, surrogate father and priest Father Mulchay to Ronnie, the stripper who was bonded with a group of ghost spiders to Sophia and her mysterious were-babies. They are a wonderful support system for Deacon and the series in general. A new addition to the team was added this book, Agent Heck, and I hope we can see more of him in the future! My only fear is that Tuck has shown he isn’t afraid to off one of the main characters, and I can’t imagine shedding anymore tears when my next favorite person is killed.
I’m really excited to see where Tuck takes the series next, especially after the way things ended for Deacon and crew. The witches really did a number on everything that Deacon holds dear in life, so I’m anxious to see what direction the series will be taking in the next installment.
All in all I continue to be impressed with the Deacon Chalk series. I think the books continue to get better and better with each new installment. I love Deacon’s kick ass ways and his ever present sarcasm. Although the books have quite a bit of a religious base, I’ve never felt as if religion was being slammed down my throat while reading, and that is a miracle in and of itself. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Deacon, Tiff and the rest of the crew! I give Blood and Magick a B+(less)
MinnChica: I’m a newbie to Anne Bishop, so when I heard about her new series, I was excited to finally give her a try. And I have to say that I’m so glad that I did. I’m usually not a very big fan of urban fantasy books without a little bit of romance, however, I really enjoyed this UF book, despite the lack of a core romance in the story.
E: **Hang head** apparently I need to visit Bookpusher refresher training because I am a huge Anne Bishop fan. I was extremely excited to see that she was coming out with a new series and the fact that she was branching into UF made me even more curious about it. I absolutely LOVED reading Written in Red. I loved it so much that I read it twice back to back and have read it a third time since its release date. I mentioned on twitter that I had the same feeling of discovering a great read that I had when I first found Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy. I cannot wait to find out what Bishop will do next.
MinnChica: I thought this story was absolutely amazing. It had a little bit of everything to keep me happy. Engaging characters, a fabulous plot, and a unique and fresh world that pulled me in and kept me flipping pages faster than I could read the words on the pages. I was a little worried that the concept of cutting would cause a little ick factor for me, but I found that Bishop wrote those scenes so powerfully that I wasn’t bothered at all by something that would normally have me a little queasy.
E: Like MinnChica I found that Written in Blood had something of everything. The very otherness of The Others. And yet they were willing to befriend and protect Meg. The sheer ruthlessness of the individuals Meg escaped from and their inability to care about humanity which in some ways made them more alien than The Others. Meg’s self-control and will when it came to cutting and the toll it cost each time. The hints of growing attraction between Simon and Meg but nothing blatant. And the very vividness of the world which seems to be a Bishop trademark.
MinnChica: I absolutely adored Meg. I thought she was such a wonderful and refreshing UF heroine. She had an air of innocence that translated in everything she did, and it made her come across as so sincere. She was sweet and loving to everyone she met, didn’t judge the Others, and was quick to find a friend, regardless of who or what they were. I wish that more UF heroines were like Meg: sweet, charming, loving, willing to bleed for those she loves, and yet knows her own limitations. She was a breath of fresh air.
E: It was wonderful having an UF heroine who wasn’t the all powerful, practically indestructable, and very physically fit. Meg was so the opposite yet her strengths came out as the book progressed. Her innocence and willingness to learn combined with a complete lack of pre-judgement towards anyone was so touching. Yet even with her innocence was an awareness of evil so Meg didn’t come across as saccharine sweet but had a fierce protective streak towards those she cared about.
MinnChica: I hope that we get to see a romance between Simon and Meg develop. I was absolutely blown away by how deeply I was pulled into the stories of each and every character. Simon, Sam, Vlad, Tess, Henry, Monty, Jester, Winter, even the Ponies were all so beautifully written that I couldn’t put the book down. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a book where I was immediately drawn into and in love with so many characters after only the first book in the series.
E: Yes the supporting cast was also wonderful. Their various personality quirks combined with their animal or elemental traits. How Other politics was rather cut and dried, one species wasn’t above any of the others so they provided checks and balances and a relatively peaceful co-existence. Watching Simon and Meg interact, how others interceded on Meg’s behalf when Simon’s frustration and confusion about Meg came out as anger. The police in the local town and their efforts to stay on The Others good side. I even found myself wondering what the self-centered spy was going to think to justify her actions and thought that she had a very fitting end. I really enjoyed all of them.
MinnChica: All in all I thought that Bishop created one of the best urban fantasy worlds since Ilona Andrews came out with the Kate Daniels series. Everything comes together to create book magic – an engaging world, well written characters, and a storyline that sinks its hooks in you. I can not wait for the next book in the series to see where Bishop takes us next!
I give Written in Red an A
E: Like I said in the beginning I LOVED Written in Red. This is one of the most enjoyable first book in a series that I have read in a very long time. I am very glad that Bishop decided to branch out into UF bringing the same skills she used in her dark fantasy series. This book took the familiar aspects of UF and twisted them to provide something fresh and unusual that had me addicted from the first page. In fact writing this review has made me want to go back and read it for the fourth time. I can’t wait for the next one.
I’m always on the lookout for new UF books, and while I read one or two of Jocelyn’s previous series – Dark Days – it wasn’t a series that immediately hooked me like so many others. When I read the blurb for Angel’s Ink, I knew I’d have to take the chance on this one, and so glad I did!
Gage likes his quiet life of mixing potions and doing tattoos. He’s got a great shop, with two great employees, and mostly keeps below the radar of those looking for him. Although he’s on the fritz with the much-hated wizard council, he manages to keep himself free and clear of their politics and guardians.
But things in Gage’s life take a twist when he tattoos with an ingredient he’s never used before, and turns a dying woman immortal, then his old mentor from wizard training comes back to haunt him, and his longtime employee Trixie (whom he’s in love with) has her past catch up with her…. Things go from seemingly normal to crazy insane in just a few days. With everything piling up, will Gage be able to fix everything, before time runs out?
I loved that Drake’s novel had a different feel to it than most UF books. Sure there are vampires and shifters, but they don’t make up the core of this paranormal world. I like that Drake incorporates a ton of different mythological and supernatural creates into the world, and that they all seem to fear the wizard and witches, whom are the big bad of this paranormal world.
It took me awhile to really get a feel for Gage’s character, but at the same time I instantly liked him. he was sarcastic and funny, and although he was pretty desperate to keep a low profile, he was also willing to do anything and everything within his power to save those he loves. Even when he knew full well it would put him directly in the path of his wizard guardian. I loved his relationship with Trixie, and how the romance played out in the book. I hope we get to see more and more of Gage and Trixie together.
I also thought the tattoo aspect of the book was so neat. I love the idea of tattooing a charm or spell into the skin, and all the good and bad that comes along with it. The potions and mixing was neat too, and I’m glad we got to see a little hint of how the process works, I do hope that Drake really delves more into it in future books.
The secondary characters in this book were amazing, and I can’t wait to see where everyone’s journey takes them. Gideon, the wizard guardian, was an interesting twist, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out in the series. I loved Bronx the troll and Trixie the elf – the two other tattoo artists in Gage’s shop. While we got to learn so much more about Trixie than Bronx in this book, I hope we can focus more on Bronx in the next book. I’m excited to see how things work out with Sofie the witch cat, and if she’ll play a bigger role in future books.
The one thing that did somewhat bother me was that it seemed like there were a MILLION things going on. It felt like Drake kept adding more and more drama and mishaps into the storyline, and it was a wonder that Gage was able to get out alive after just a few short days of his world tumbling down around him.
All in all I really enjoyed this story, and I think readers who enjoy reading male protagonist UF with a heavy romance influence will really enjoy this book. It was different and unique and fresh, and it really did have just enough romance to really whet my appetite, but a strong UF world to keep me entertained. I can’t wait to see what Drake has in store for this series in the future! I give Angel’s Ink a B-(less)
I’m always on the lookout for new urban fantasy books. It’s one of my favorite genres, with some of my favorite authors. While a lot of people have criticised the cover of the first Saturn’s Daughter book, it actually caught my eye. Not just the uncomfortable positioning of the woman’s body, but the fact that she is holding a tire iron next to a Harley, instead of a sword or gun in some faraway land. It’s something I’d never seen before, and knew I was in for a heroine who wouldn’t mind getting down and dirty.
Tina has been working in the Zone for a few years now, trying to make ends meet while finishing up her law degree. She never expected the Zone to change her life, but instead of offering her a regular paycheck, she developed some weird supernatural powers. She accidently sent her boyfriend to hell when he tried to kill her, she caused a freak tornado, sprinkler systems to randomly go off, and who knows what else.
Tina just wants to graduate law school and find out who terrorized a group of kids in the Zone. But the secrets of the area are quickly unraveling, and Tina will have to do things she never imagined possible in order to keep herself and her newfound Zone friends safe from danger. But will she be able to do so without damning herself?
I have to admit that when I put this book down, I had some mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I really liked that Quaid set up her paranormal world in a way I don’t ever remember reading before. Instead of your standard things that go bump in the night, a chemical spill has contaminated a poor area of Baltimore known as the Zone. People from the area are beginning to notice weird things, special abilities and that basis for her world building was unique enough to keep me engaged and wondering. However, the book progressed SO SLOWLY from start to finish that I found myself getting bored and wanting to skip ahead. Never a good sign.
Despite her ability to deny, deny, deny, I really liked Tina. She had spunk and character and was an all around good character. She struggled a bit with the paranormal super powers, and although she walked into a bar daily where the Lady Justice over the door winked and flirted with her, she seemed to have a hard time accepting that the supernatural could take over people as well as objects. I thought it was a good mix of acceptance and struggle on her part though, as I can imagine finding out you can literally curse people to hell isn’t exactly something to toy with.
One of the things I hope Quaid does NOT do in this series is start an on-going and never ending love triangle. Sure, Max seems like a nice guy, and despite the whole ‘being sent to hell’ thing, he tried to prove time and again that he really did love Tina, regardless of how their relationship started out. At the same time, Tina’s boss Andre makes his big play for the girl he loves to fight with. I personally had a soft spot for Andre, because I love my heroes to be absolutely Alpha in everything they do. But Tina waffled between the two of them, never seeming to make a commitment to one or the other. Like I said, I hope this doesn’t become a recurring theme in the series.
All in all I thought this was a decent debut UF novel. There were some major pacing issues for me in the first half, and I felt as if the story dragged horribly. However, Tina and her battle with gaining super powers, trying to figure out how to get her ex-boyfriend out of hell, and keeping the secrets of the Zone were enough to keep me reading. I will definitely be willing to give the next book in the series a shot, especially if we get to see some more romance time between Tina and Andre. I give Boyfriend from Hell a C(less)
Dorina, Dorina, Dorina… One of my favorite female urban fantasy characters of all time. She lives in a world where people openly hate her, criticise her, and fear her. Yet she takes it all in stride and does the best she can to make some money, protect her friends, and sorta build a relationship with her family.
Dory has been working day and night to help the Vampire Senate take down the smuggling ring that was bringing illegal goods into the world. But when she wakes up and doesn’t even remember her own name, she knows that the whole mess has taken a serious turn for the worse. To top it all off, the Vampire Senate is holding a competition for new members, Louis-Cesare is pushing her for more, and a new breed of vampires seem to be popping up at the most inconvenient times.
There is sooooo much that happens in this book, I don’t want to give too much away, but I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was! Not only does Dory seem to kick ass and take names from start to finish, but we get some great romance with Louis-Cesare tossed in and so much history revealed that this book just might be my favorite in the series so far!
Probably the biggest thing I loved about this book was the fact that we did get to see so much of Dory’s history revealed in little pieces throughout the book. But not only do we get to see some of Dory’s past living with her father as a young girl, but we also get to learn so much more about the dhampire nature and why Dory is so unique within the vampire and dhampire world. The way that Chance describes the whole situation, from when Dory was a young girl to now is just absolutely mind-blowing and incredible. If I wasn’t already head over heels in love with the world building and way of life for Dory, that alone would have me shouting in the streets the awesomeness that is Karen Chance.
Another aspect of this series that continues to pull me in is the romance between Louis-Cesare and Dory. It’s rocky at times, especially since Dory is dhampire and Louis-Cesare is the Senate golden boy, and all their acquaintances and friends don’t get them. But they are devoted to each other, they are committed to making some kind of relationship work (even when Dory claims she isn’t), and they are always there for one another. Supporting each other, pulling each other out of the mess that is their lives and moving forward together as a solid force. Their relationship is one that I constantly root for, because I know that they will always make it through the fire.
I absolutely love Micrea and the supporting cast of characters in the Dory series. Even though I started reading Chance with the Cassie Palmer series, I have to admit that even after one Dory book, this series far surpassed anything Cassie ever did, and I might have even given up a little on the first series. Micrea plays such a pivotal role in this book, and although he is a Senator on the Vampire Senate and known for being protective of Dory, he can also be ruthless when he needs to be. I loved that he got the chance to really prove to Dory, in more ways than one, just how much he loves her and is devoted to her. And to top it all off, I love that Dory was FINALLY given the chance to really see that, to acknowledge it, and to come to grips with it.
The end of the book gave us a HUGE twist as well, in relation to the state of the Vampire world. Again, I don’t want to give anything away, but Oh.My.God! I am so excited about this new development, and I can’t wait to see where Chance takes the series now that such a huge wrench has been thrown into the mix!
All in all I can’t even say enough good things about this book! Dory was awesome, and the action never seemed to stop from the moment the book started. She was constantly proving just how strong she could be, while also getting the chance to show everyone she has a softer side as well. The romance continues to play out in the best possible way, with Dory and Louis-Cesare building a stronger and stronger foundation together. The history that is revealed and the future that is already beginning was all so mind-blowing, and I am already anxiously awaiting the next Dory book! I think that all I want for Christmas is another Dorina book! =) I give Fury’s Kiss an A-(less)
Tuck is back with the 2nd novel in his Deacon Chalk series, and when I went back to re-read my review of the first book, I was happy to say that a lot of the elements that made the book a C read for me before were not as prevalent and bumped up my overall enjoyment of this book. This was a FABULOUS sophomore novel and I am looking forward to more from Tuck and the rag-tag crew of Deacon and his pals.
It’s been a quiet few months for Deacon, but one night changes all of that. He steps in to save a dog being beaten, and stumbles into a hornet’s nest of shifter politics and deadly family secrets. With his group of friends at his side, Deacon is convinced to help the local group of prey shifters stand up to the rogue group of predator shifters. But with a few guns and only a few fighters able to stand by his side, Deacon might be outmatched and outgunned, and lif as he knows it is threatened beyond his expectations.
I really enjoyed this book, and the more time I spent with Deacon, the more and more I liked him. So many times I’ve read male protagonists that I just didn’t really like. They were assholes and did jerk-like things, but Deacon is like a real southern gentleman. The death of his family still haunts him, but with Tiff in the picture now, he is starting to feel the ice crack around his heart. He is smiling more, and living life instead of just letting it pass by. I love that Deacon has such a huge and caring heart. Despite the fact that he kills monsters for a living, he also takes everyone and anyone under his wing and will protect them with everything he is. He’s the kind of hero that you can really root for.
I loved the action with the shifters too. Tuck has carved out a very unique way of looking at the shape shifter world, with predators and prey animals, and a hierarchy within that world that is twisted and screwed up beyond belief. I liked that it felt as if it had never been done before, and it was fresh and different and gave this book a feeling of individuality that I didn’t feel in the 1st in the series. I loved the twists and turns of who was a good guy and who was bad. I loved all the different shifters that Tuck introduced into the story, and how hard Deacon had to fight to take most of them down.
The book is brutal, it’s dark and gritty and there is a LOT of bloodshed. But it was also sweet at times, it had an ongoing romance that took a backseat to the action, but was also on the forefront of Deacon’s – and my mind. The romance parts really broke up the action and gave me a chance to recover from the craziness that was the rest of the book. I also really enjoyed the sense of family that we get from Deacon’s crew. They are all people he has saved and taken under his wing, and although they don’t have his Angel blood, they each have their own way of contributing to story, to Deacon and to the fight.
I was also glad to see more develop with Deacon and his power. I didn’t think it was explored enough in the first book, so seeing Deacon struggle with what he can do, taking it to the next level and using his gift for both healing and killing was great to see. Tuck has really started to take Deacon’s unique situation and make it his own, giving the series a new and fresh feel. I can’t wait to see what Deacon discovers he can do next!
All in all I was extremely happy with the 2nd Deacon Chalk book. Whereas I thought the first was a little unoriginal, Tuck has stepped out of the mold and created a unique plot with different shifter society and has taken Deacon’s unusual skills and highlighted them more and more. I love the addition of the romance plot, and the way the high-action and drama plot was broken up by more tender moments. I can’t wait to see what Tuck has in store for us and Deacon next.
Secret is back in the 4th installment of the series, and this is going to be a very difficult review for me to write. I really enjoyed the story, but the last 10-15% of the book absolutely killed me, and in many ways put a bit of a stain on the series.
Secret’s wedding to Alpha Lucas is coming closer and closer, and although Secret isn’t one hundred percent on board with the event, she is willing to do what is necessary for the pack. But someone is desperately trying to kill her – to make sure she doesn’t make it to the big day. When she and Lucas travel down to meet with her uncle, they will have to jump through hoops to get his approval on their nuptials. When they return to New York, the assassin comes closer to Secret than ever before, and she will be forced to engage in a fight to the death – and on her wedding day to boot.
I have to say, the action in this book is the best the series has to offer so far. Between the car chase, the stand off in the bridal shop, the battle in the swamp and the final showdown between Secret and her assassin, this book really was incredible. There was plenty of high octane moments when Secret kicked ass and took names, along with plenty of snark and hilarious one-liners that broke up the intensity of the scenes. I absolutely loved that aspect of the book, and think that Dean is one amazing storyteller.
I also loved getting a glimpse into Secret’s extended family. We haven’t really seen much of her family save her grandmother, and getting to meet her uncle, great-grandmother, and the siblings she never knew about was such a treat. Seeing her try to come to grips with her past and her family and all the preconceived notions she had just added another depth to Secret’s character that I absolutely loved getting to see.
Secret still amazes me with how strong of a character she is. She can fight alongside vampires and wolves, and get the better of most of them. She is funny and sarcastic and a heroine that I adore reading. However, when it comes to Secret’s love life, I have a very VERY hard time watching her act like a twelve year old girl. This continues to be the only (but HUGE) downfall of the series for me. I am a romance girl at heart, and having Secret constantly bounce around in this weird love-trapezoid-thing is starting to discolor my adoration of the series.
I have always been firmly on Team Desmond, and have never bothered to hide my dislike for Lucas. In this book, Lucas takes his asshatery skills to a whole new level, and I ended up losing a lot of respect for Secret because of the way she let him treat her. Add in how she treats Desmond – not seeming to spend a lot of time considering how her actions affect their relationship – and I wanted her to pull her head out of the sand and force her to see exactly what she was doing.
Then the ending…. ZOMG the ending. Talk about a cluster. The assassin, the wedding, the heartbreak, and the cliffhanger in which Secret is about to make the biggest mistake of her life (in my opinion). It was all a little too much for me, and if Secret goes through with what I think she does in the cliffhanger, I might have to break up with her once and for all.
All in all I am still sucked into the world of Secret and have an intense love-hate relationship with these books. They are like crack to me, with incredible storytelling and wonderful plots that are amazingly written. However, like I said, the romance (or lack thereof) aspect is starting to weigh heavily on the series and making for difficult reading. I sincerely hope Secret makes a decision in the next book. I give Keeping Secret a C+(less)
I’ve long been a urban fantasy fan, and while this cover first struck me as a straight fantasy book, it definitely falls within the UF genre.
DJ is one of two wizards in the New Orleans area, and when the Hurricane Katrina comes she gets evacuated to safer lands. But when her uncle and head wizard goes missing, DJ must get back into the New Orleans area to investigate not only his disappearance, but also the influx of preternatural creatures coming from the beyond.
Then DJ gets assigned a new partner, Alex, tries to avoid her undead pirate stalker and sets up a famous dead guy as her spy. When she gets closer to solving a series of serial killings, will she find that her uncle and mentor has started working for the other team?
This is Johnson’s debut novel, and one that I thought was strong with a lot of promise. One of the things I really enjoyed about reading this book was that the authors feelings and heartbreak surrounding Hurricane Katrina and the city of New Orleans came through beautifully, but not in a nasty way. There was no pointing fingers, placing blame, instead there was a sadness for the situation as a whole, and a clear desire to move forward to regain the wonder that is New Orleans.
I thought the world building was really interesting as well. I can’t wait to find out more about the beyond and the different supernatural beings. I liked the twist on the undead, and how some famous people from history made an appearance in the book. One of my favorite characters in the book was the pirate Jean Lafitte. He was so funny and brought such a light comedic relief to the overall somber story.
One of the things that I wish would have been better explained and given more page time to was the serial killings that Alex and DJ were working on solving. It didn’t feel as if much time was spent on that aspect of the story, and once that sub-plot wrapped up, I felt as if there was something missing. While the case was eventually solved, they barely had a hand in solving it, and it was just touched on briefly toward the end of the book. I would have liked to see more work on that.
However, I thought the end did a good job of setting up the second book and continuation of the series. It’ll be interesting to see where things go with a secondary character who was turned into a loup-garou, the repercussions of a deal that DJ had to make, and what kind of impact her Fae blood will have to the series.
While the romantic in me wasn’t nearly as happy, we were given some great sexual tension between Alex and DJ. When Alex first stepped onto the page I fell hard. He is a badass enforcer with big guns and a cocky attitude. It was plain to see that he cared for DJ, and I hope that we will get the chance to see a relationship develop between these two over time.
All in all this was a strong urban fantasy debut. The world building is both fresh and exciting, the characters were fun and engaging. The city of New Orleans post-Katrina is a wonderful backdrop and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures DJ and Alex, her stalker pirate and the rest of her rag-tag crew go on next. I give Royal Street a B-(less)
Oh Secret, I don’t even know where to start. I alternately love and sometimes hate you, and yet you’re like crack to the urban fantasy lover in me.
Secret’s life keeps turning upside down and right side up. She’s sitting on the vampire Tribunal, trying to make things work with Lucas and Desmond and continually gets wrapped up in more mystery than one girl can handle. She is committed to helping find a missing college girl, help her ex-boyfriend get exonerated on murder charges and navigate the murky waters of her personal life.
When she stumbles across a professor who doesn’t seem quite human, Secret’s whole existence will be put to the test with lost memories. Mix that in with Lucas acting selfishly at Desmond and Secret’s expense, they might not get out of this one alive, or with their hearts intact.
While I am an absolute sucker for the urban fantasy genre, the romantic at heart ultimately wants to know there will be a happily ever after, and with the Secret books, I find my inner romantic constantly let down. Secret’s romantic relationships are messy and ugly and nasty and make me want to open a can of whoop ass on Lucas and Holden, and even occasionally Desmond. I want there to be some kind of definitive love match, and Dean keeps throwing a wrench in my fantasy. I was a million times more pissed at Lucas in this book than ever before. He is an egotistical asshat who doesn’t take anyone else’s feelings into consideration. While I can see his reasons, it doesn’t make me want to hurt him any less.
That aside, Dean is an incredible UF story teller. The plot twists and turns and interweaves from the very first page. The action is constant and keeps me on my toes from the first page to the last. Her imagination and ingenuity in building the world and people in it continue to blow me away. I loved the demon aspect in this story, and the paranormal aspects seriously amaze me.
I enjoy the fact that the series is also moving along and unfolding even more with every book. Although I’m still not sure where Secret is headed in the overall series, I love the journey we are taking with her. Each book slowly unravels more about the vampire Tribunal, the ongoing werewolf politics and just how Secret will fit into both worlds. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
All in all the Secret McQueen series continues to provide for a fun, snarky and action-packed read. I love Secret’s sense of humor, the mystery in each book and overall direction of the series. While the romantic in me is still unbelievably frustrated (and I have a feeling that just isn’t going to end anytime soon), I will continue to pick up these books in hopes that Secret will tell Lucas where he can stick his precious pack, tell Holden to take a flying leap and live happily ever after with Desmond. A girl can hope right? I give Deep Dark Secret a B-(less)
Publisher: Kensington Publish Date: February 7th How I got this book: ARC from publisher
Tuck is debuting his new series, Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter, with Blood and Bullets. This is a hard review for me to write, because while I really enjoyed the story, the book also didn’t work for me in a lot of ways.
Deacon lives for one thing and one thing only: killing vampires to avenge his family. His whole life seems to revolve around killing vampires and evil creatures, he even has a little extra kick in his blood to help him get the job done that no one else can do. One night, an ambush is set that has Deacon coming closer than ever to death, and he is determined to find out who wants him dead. With his rag-tag team of friends, Deacon goes to extremes to find the immortal who wants his head on a plate, and comes close to loosing everything.
This book is filled with fast packed action scenes. At every turn it seems as if Deacon is kicking vampire ass. But at the same time, it doesn’t seem to help the story move at a quick pace. It took awhile for the book to get moving quickly, and I found that I put the book down quite a few times before things got to a point where I was sucked into the story line.
I also felt as if this story was one that I had already read before. It had a lot of the same elements from JF Lewis’ Void City Series. They both have heroes that own strip clubs, are obsessed with their cars, have an assorted group of friends that help them fight evil, and are unique in their supernatural fighting abilities. At the same time, there were enough differences for me to enjoy the story, but the similarities were just enough that I always felt like it was a story that had been done before.
One of the things that I did like was that Deacon wasn’t a total asshat. I have read a few UF stories with a male protagonist written by a male author in which the hero came off as a douche. I was glad to see that Deacon’s character didn’t adopt that style. He was morally sound, devoted to his beloved wife, and dedicated to take out evil, regardless of the cost to himself. He cared for his group of friends, protected them in all possible ways, and was an all around likeable guy. I wanted to cheer for him and see him triumph in the end.
I think that fans of the urban fantasy genre who are always looking for stories with male leads will enjoy this. Although for me it moved at a slower pace than I would have liked, the plot and characters did eventually pull me in and keep me engaged. I am looking forward to future books in the series, especially if we get to see more of Deacon and his budding relationship.
All in all I had some mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I really enjoyed the overall story, but as I said before, it didn’t feel like it was a brand new story and that dragged it down for me a bit. I do hope that Tuck can continue to develop the series and characters and create a unique aspect to the series. I give Blood and Bullets a C- (less)
This book is sooo hard to rate, there were so many things I loved about it, and so many I didn't.
Dani being 14 didn't really bother me, until I reali...moreThis book is sooo hard to rate, there were so many things I loved about it, and so many I didn't.
Dani being 14 didn't really bother me, until I realized just how immature and childish she is. I don't read YA because I can't stand the selfishness and insecurities and immaturity of those characters. Dani goes through moments when she is so young, and others when she is so grown up for her age. Her POV didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, but her inability to see little things that were directly in front of her annoyed me.
LOVE Ryodan! If he isn't her HEA, I'm going to throw a fit. That being said, it was a little odd seeing two grown men and one older boy circling around Dani like she was chum and they were hungry sharks.
Christian went crazy. As in like - batshit, stalker, creeper crazy! I'm hoping it doesn't last forever, because he kinda weirded me out...
Love Dancer, and I can't to see how KMM twists his character around throughout the series.
A little bit of a cliffhanger, but nothing compared to the Fever books. Then again, I didn't really expect anything different from KMM, so it didn't surprise me!
So many feelings about this book, good and bad!(less)
Publisher: Kensington Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: review copy from publisher
Dani’s debut urban fantasy novel was one that caught my eye and had me hoping I was going to find my next crack-a-licious UF series.
Sloan is not only insanely smart, but also just a little bit insane. Her life is erratic and crazy with her mentally ill mother, chemist room-mate and her brand new job at the FBI. Working for the new paranormal division, Sloan has a hard time believing, but jumps right into the fray of things. When the first case takes weird after weird turn, Sloan will have to use everything in her arsenal (including some resources from her past she would like to forget) to solve this case.
When things turn from weird to even weirder, Sloan gets pulled into the thick of things and realizes that this case is becoming more and more personal as the days go on. With her sexy partner tempting her at every turn, her arch enemy getting promoted to her team and her personal life crumbling each day, Sloan just might be able to survive another day.
While there were quite a few things I really enjoyed about this book, there were also a few things that I felt were lacking. For a debut novel, there were a lot of great things going on. Sloan was a fun and snark character and although her IQ is off the charts, her lack of streets smarts leaves a little to be desired. But it provides for some awesome comedic relief. However, for those readers who don’t like an endearing but clueless heroine that takes awhile to pick up on social clues, this book wont be for you.
I also liked the set up for the series. I think it’ll be a fun and fast paced series that will encompass a lot of different paranormal creatures (I don’t think I’ve ever read about the particular kind of vamp we had in this story – so fun), and the series has a lot of room to grow and change and morph. I also didn’t feel as if the love triangle was too much. Instead, it felt more relaxed and believable. I just hope it doesn’t get stretched out over time.
I do think that the pacing was a little slow at times, which surprised me a bit given just how much plot was going on. It felt as if there were about 20 different story-lines going on at once, and while most of them did eventually tie in, they still felt disconnected and choppy to me. It did become a little difficult to follow along when there were so many different things going on in each and every scene.
There were also moments that I really didn’t feel the love connection between Sloan and JT. Yes, things developed VERY slowly for these two relationship wise, but there were moments when I just wasn’t sure why they were together, what about each other attracted them. Yes the physical lust was there, but the emotional connection came much later (if at all really).
All in all I think this was a strong urban fantasy debut with a lot of room for growth and improvement. I look forward to reading more about Sloan and JT, I think the paranormal aspects will be unique and refreshing to read. This book seemed to mix a lot of mystery and suspense into the plot as well, so that was great fun as well. I give Blood of Eden a C+(less)
In the fairness of full disclosure, I read this story in a previous draft as well. While I liked it back then, I love and adore it now.
Andrea is incr...moreIn the fairness of full disclosure, I read this story in a previous draft as well. While I liked it back then, I love and adore it now.
Andrea is incredible in this book. She kicks ass, takes names, and is a total bad ass. I love her, best side-kick. Ever. Raphael has some total d-bag moments, but I love him. He more than makes up for it with some groveling and hilarious shifter pranks. Asciano gets some great page time, and I love that little kid!! A few moments with Kate and Curran, and they are a blast. BUT WAIT - the novella Magic Gifts that Ilona had for free on her website during christmas, is added to the end of this book. *CHEER* As always, Ilona delivers an incredible story wrapped around myth and folklore that leaves me desperate for more! (less)
Publisher: Samhain Publish Date: November 29th How I got this book: eARC from author
Dean is back again with another installment of the Secret McQueen series, and a cute little Christmas novella at that.
Secret is trying to figure out what to get all her friends for Christmas. It’s the first year she has had to worry about buying for anyone else besides her grandma. But shopping ends up being the last thing on Secret’s mind once she gets pulled in to assist on a case of grizzly murders. Once Desmond’s sister goes missing, Secret fears that it is connected with her murders. With Holden at her side, Secret will search the city to try and find her before it’s too late.
I absolutely adore this series. I love that Secret is such a fun and snarky heroine. I love that despite her bad ass skills, she is still clumsy and unsure of herself. I absolutely loved the mystery plot surrounding this novella. It was action packed, gruesome and totally twisted. I liked the way Dean combined the plots with the killer and the missing children, especially Penny.
I have to say, I love Secret with Desmond. They are such fun together, and the sexy times as totally hot. The only thing that I am nervous about with this series is the love triangle aspect. Although there is no page time with her other werewolf boyfriend Lucas, there are so many love interests in Secret’s life, and I am not a fan of that uncertainty. Add in the fact that Secret made a promise to Holden that she is worried about keeping, I’m not seeing any resolution to her love life anytime soon.
Although this is listed as a Christmas novella, the Christmas moments are few and far between. I do wish we would have seen a bit more of Secret’s time with Demsond’s family, and their Christmas traditions, but I understand why the plot moved the way it did. I did love the fact that Secret was able to have her own little Christmas celebration with the new friends and family in her life though. It’s nice to see her have more people to rely on.
All in all this was another great addition to the Secret Series. The novella is action packed while trying to chase the killer, but there are also some really sweet and tender moments between Secret and Desmond that are setting up their relationship in a beautiful way. I just hope that Dean doesn’t drag on Secret’s love life for the remainder of the series.
Publisher: Samhain Publish Date: September 20th How I got this book: eARC from Author
Secret McQueen is back for another action packed UF novel from Sierra Dean! We pick up after that INSANE cliffhanger with Secret running away from her problems. But after a few months, she is kidnapped back by Sig, and forced to deal with the Holden issue. She is set on clearing his name, and will do whatever she can to make sure he doesn’t go down for a crime he didn’t commit.
As the plot twists and turns, Secret is thrown into some crazy situations, has to deal with new vampires and wolves, all while trying to figure out what the hell is going on with her complicated love life. But when she discovers who is really behind the plot to frame Holden, will she be able to make it out alive?
I really enjoy the Secret Series. They are fun and incredibly fast paced and everything you could hope for in a classic urban fantasy. Secret is snarky and fun to follow as she gets herself into situation after situation. I love her humor, as well as the fact that Secret gets beat up on. I love that she is such a unique being in her world, but that she isn’t all powerful and all knowing, she still has to do a lot of fighting, and a lot of licking her wounds. It just makes Secret all that more likeable.
Dean has a tendency to leave off her novels on a cliffhanger, and this is no exception. After the “you must kill Holden” cliffhanger from the first book, I was glad to see Secret struggle so much with it. I loved that she came back determined to not go through with it, and that she was dead set on making sure she cleared his name. The mystery and action surrounding that was VERY well done and made for an enjoyable read. I was definitely kept guessing throughout the story.
One of the things that I don’t like about the series is the love… pentagon? Secret is soul-bonded with two wolves, Lucas and Desmond. It isn’t so much that triangle that bothers me, because at this point in the series, Secret is obviously in love with Desmond, and really struggles with her relationship with Lucas. It’s the added factor of Sig and Holden, the two vampires that throws me for a loop. There was a weird meta-physical three-some in this book that was interesting and creepy all at the same time. I hate when the heroine is loved by everyone for no real reason, I just hope that there will be some other kind of explanation behind why everyone wants her.
All in all, the 2nd Secret McQueen novel was a killer follow-up to the first, and a definite Urban Fantasy great that fans will fall in love with. Secret is a wonderful character and Dean does an incredible job of pulling in the reader and keeping them on the constant edge of their seats. UF fans will not want to miss out on this one!
This book killed me. Absolutely, positively killed me. It’s been a week since I finished it and I’m still reeling. The romance aspect of this book flayed me open and literally squeezed my heart till it hurt. There were twists and turns that Andrews sprinkled in the book that had me both laughing and crying. The end had me sobbing, literal tears streaming down my face as one of my favorite characters in the series sacrificed their live to safe the others. There were so many different emotions packed within every moment, every scene, every word. I am so excited about the way this series has progressed, and I love the way that Andrews had made it possible for the world and characters to stay true to themselves. I love the journey that Kate is on, and I am so excited and sad with each book that comes out, because it means that Kate’s journey will soon be coming to an end.
This series remains my all time favorite. The romance, the action, the drama, it is all the perfect blend of harsh and unforgiving and loving and sweet. Never before has a book cut me open as much as this did!(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
I wanted to love this book. Urban Fantasy is my first love, and I’m usually a fan of Dane’s work, but I have to say I was a little disappointed in this one.
Rowan is the Vessel for the goddess Brigid and her job as Hunter is to make sure that the vampires of Las Vegas stick to their treaty and not kill humans. But a mad vampire is on the loose, killing women in a graphic and horrific way, and it’s up to Rowan to solve these grizzly murders. But between having to keep secrets from the human police, and the new vampire master in town, solving this murder is even harder than she thought.
Clive wanted to come to Vegas, but was worried about the Hunter in town. With the protection of her foster father and Lord of all vampires, there are misconceptions that she gets away with murder, literally. But once he gets to know Rowan and spend more time with her, he realized that she has so much to offer both him and the community at large. But will they be able to come to some kind of understanding before the murdering vamp sets his sights on Rowan?
I hate when a book I’m really excited for has me feeling just meh the whole way through. I can’t say there was any one thing about this book that I particularly didn’t like, but there also wasn’t anything that I really loved either. It was just very average, on all fronts.
The thing I like the most about the book was probably the world building. I like the aspect of Rowan being the vessel for a goddess, and acting as the keeper of the treaty. It was a nice blend of mythology and vampires that was a fresh and new idea. I have to say though, I felt like there could have been so much more done with it. It seemed like a times scenes were rushed along and it could have been expanded on and explained better throughout.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters either. Don’t get me wrong, there were elements of both Rowan and Clive that I liked, but as a whole I just found myself not connecting with either of them like I usually do in UF series. Rowan is a fairly typical UF heroine; she kicks ass with a sword, has a takes no prisoners attitude, and yet has brief glimpses of vulnerability. I did like the few times we really got into her mind and were able to see her struggles with having to be so hard all the time.
Likewise Clive is a typical hero. He’s handsome, classy, a little pigheaded and possessive to a fault. But there were times I thought he acted out of character. For example, he and Rowan were beginning to build a relationship and Rowan was put into a situation where she has to defend herself against a vamp. When Clive finds out, he impulsively accuses Rowan of acting out of line. Yet he seemed to be starting to trust her, seeing things her way and was already having trust issues with his own people. To me, it felt out of line for him to not look into things on his own before blowing up.
Dane really does erotica best, and the sex scenes rocked throughout the story, of course. It definitely wasn’t as steamy as her normal stuff, but I applaud the fact that she can really shape the romance to the story. Although Clive and Rowan danced around each other for most of the book, I think she also did a great job of showing just how compatible they were, both in bed and out of it.
All in all it was a decent read. There were little aspects I liked here and there, but definitely thought it could have used some expanding on many scenes and ideas. I don’t know if Dane plans to make this a series, but I can only hope that we get some additional resolution to some of the sub-plots.