Gorgeously written. If it was just a retelling of Cinderella with more emphasis on the faerie mythology, I would have already been happy, but at the m...moreGorgeously written. If it was just a retelling of Cinderella with more emphasis on the faerie mythology, I would have already been happy, but at the midpoint the story takes a lovely turn. Moody and beautiful. (less)
Really loved reading the story of Zhong Ye and Silver Phoenix. In many ways, this story was a more mature one than the first book, Silver Phoenix. The...moreReally loved reading the story of Zhong Ye and Silver Phoenix. In many ways, this story was a more mature one than the first book, Silver Phoenix. There was definitely a much more romantic element: first and foremost the poignant and tragic love story of Zhong Ye and Phoenix and also Ai Ling's growing feelings for Chen Yong as she matures.
Definitely recommend that you read the first book before reading this one as the threads continue the first story and give them more context. As with the first book, the descriptions are fabulous and the worldbuilding is gorgeous. (less)
I feel remiss for taking so long to discover Laura Kinsale. I was totally taken by surprise by this book.
It starts with your usual dissolute rake, bu...moreI feel remiss for taking so long to discover Laura Kinsale. I was totally taken by surprise by this book.
It starts with your usual dissolute rake, but very quickly takes the characters and the story in many unexpected and gut-wrenching turns. I really felt the pain and frustration of two people from such different worlds coming together in this piece. Also, with my background in psychology, was very intrigued by the descriptions of the mental asylum. I wrote a paper on the history of psychiatry way back when and it was fascinating to see the practices fleshed out in the book as well as the glimpse into the hero's mind as he recovers from "madness".
So many layers in this story. My first Kinsale, but definitely not my last. (less)
Stephanie is a mother of two and separated from her husband. All she wants to do is be strong for her children, taking them on a camping trip to show...moreStephanie is a mother of two and separated from her husband. All she wants to do is be strong for her children, taking them on a camping trip to show them that life will still go on. Things go bad quickly as an accident near the campgrounds drops Stephanie in the middle of a deadly situation. She learns two devastating secrets: first that her husband has been lying to her and second she's stumbled upon evidence of a local crime ring, and she's the only one who can identify Victor, one of the masterminds behind it all.
John is a cop who's been through hell and back. He's lost his partner and his family to his job, but he hides his tortured soul well and quickly becomes a rock for Stephanie and her family as they're forced to go into witness protection.
What I really loved about this story was the characters. Both John and Stephanie were very strong and realistic people, dealing with life and coming to terms with the mistakes of their past, while thrown into dangerous situations that were out of their control. Also in stories with children, it's important that they're realistically portrayed and integral to the story. John's interactions with Stephanie's children were heartwarming and they really gave a sense that somehow, these people had formed a family while on the run.
In between dodging bullets and explosions, John and Stephanie fall for each other in a romance that grew deeper as they came to know more about one another. I thought the book was nicely balanced and look forward to reading more from Autumn Jordan. (less)
I'd read Stephanie Draven's two Nocturne Bites, Midnight Medusa and Wild, Tethered, Bound before picking up her novel. For the shorts, I was impressed...moreI'd read Stephanie Draven's two Nocturne Bites, Midnight Medusa and Wild, Tethered, Bound before picking up her novel. For the shorts, I was impressed with the seamless way Draven wove in Greek mythology into the modern world. I was also very impressed with her vivid and unique heroines.
I have to say that even coming in with high expectations, POISONED KISSES still blew me away. The novel has all the mesmerizing storytelling of the shorts, but bigger, richer, with SO much more to offer. I had a couple of minutes one morning, so I picked up the book to check out the first pages. I was in the middle of other books at the time and had a day of work ahead of me -- forget all that. I was sneaking in reads of POISONED KISSES every chance I got and was done by the end of the day with tears streaming down my cheeks.
Kyra is a nymph of the underworld, struggling to find her place as the magic of the Old World wanes around her. Of all the Greek gods, only her father Ares, remains strong. Men have stopped worshiping the other gods, but warfare continues to feed Ares. Kyra is no Daddy's girl, and from the very first scene of the prologue, we can see she's going to be waging an epic battle against the god himself.
As a soldier, Marco was forced to stand by while innocent people were slaughtered in Rwanda. The experience traumatizes him and scars him so deep in his soul that he's become a hydra--a monster with many faces and blood that kills anything it touches. He's a very powerful weapon for Ares and the other gods of war. That's why Kyra has no choice but to kill him.
I LOVE the clash between Kyra and Marco. They are worthy adversaries and the tension is scorching every moment they're together. The worldbuilding is also breathtaking. Draven takes an approach that weaves in the many mythologies of the world together. The story unfolds at a tight, tight pace and packs a lot in without a hitch. This book is a rulebreaker and an absolute pageturner.
After reading POISONED KISSES, the bar on paranormal stories interwoven with Greek myths has been set WAY high.
As always, Joanna Bourne's prose is fresh and beautiful. At times I felt Maggie was a bit wordy when I would have wanted more urgency, but I did love...moreAs always, Joanna Bourne's prose is fresh and beautiful. At times I felt Maggie was a bit wordy when I would have wanted more urgency, but I did love both Maggie and Doyle's characters. Their love story developed in a surprisingly quiet way amidst all the other drama.
I did sense this was a bit of an ensemble piece with secondary characters taking a significant role and subplots often overshadowing the main characters. This isn't a complaint as I've come to enjoy the cast of spies and operators within this world.
If anything the book makes me want to read Adrian Hawker's story even more. Adrian does steal the show in the book, but maybe that's because I've been so drawn to him since The Spymaster's Lady. (less)