A short note before I start my review of Venom. It really isn't possible for me to tell you the plot of this story without some mild spoilers to not o...moreA short note before I start my review of Venom. It really isn't possible for me to tell you the plot of this story without some mild spoilers to not only Spider's Bite and Web of Lies, but to Venom. There are, also, so many wonderful things that happen in this book and everyone of them are spoilers too. So what's a girl to do? I'll spill as little as possible, but if your interested in none, skip over my spoiler section.
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
Gin Blanco is learning Newton's third intimately. This theme was brought up several times in Venom, but the main circumstance is with her new arrangement with Roslyn Phillips. In Web of Lies, Roslyn owes Gin for Fletcher Lane and she knows it, so when Gin comes demanding her help to enter Mab Monroes soiree to kill Tobias Dawson, Roslyn could do nothing but comply. This is the case of the closer we get to people, the more we care about them and Gin Blanco is turning out to be no different. As a result, because she asked Roslyn to lie to Mab Monroe about the where abouts of a certain invitation and rune, Gin has placed Rosyln right in the line of sight of Mab's second in command, Elliot Slater. Now, Elliot is obsessed with Roslyn and is administering his own special brand of love to which Gin can't let slide. Elliot Slater will never touch Roslyn again is Gin has anything to say about it.
All we've ever seen of Gin is "The Spider", never really before have we've seen Genevieve Snow, and in Venom, this side is the one with feelings, fears, and love. As more about Gin's past is uncovered, the more we get to see the harsh truth of Gin's reality. It's no secret how much I love this character and now I get to see her as more human and with compassion.
Let me just say that Ms. Estep has a great cast of characters. All well rounded and each personality stands out clearly in my mind. I have my favorites, but can I just say how excited I am that Donovan Caine is no longer around? Good riddance Caine, I won't be missing you and please, don't come back because we have Owen Grayson now. *sigh* Owen. There is a scene that just wretched my cold little heart in to a big pile of goo pushing me further on to team Grayson, as if I needed anymore of reason than I was shown prior. He's one hot, sexy beast and utterly perfect for Ms. Blanco and in Venom you'll see exactly why I think so.
I'm absolutely dieing here to tell you everything that happens, but instead, let me just tell you some of the questions that I had: What exactly is Sopia Deveraux doing with those bodies? Does she have any magic? Why did Mab Monroe kill Gins family? Why was she after Bia?
All of these and more will be answered through a page turning, action pact plot. Ms. Estep sure knows how to deliver a fantastic story and awesome fighting scenes. As you can see, I completely enjoyed Venom more than Web of Lies, but some of the quirks that bothered me in the series first two novels are still present and I can only contribute this to the rapid succession in which all three novels were released. And while Venom might be left with a bit of a cliff hanger, it only increases my appetite for this series and makes me want Tangled Threads that much more.(less)
Not in love with the way things turned out in general. I think - depending on the team you're routing for i.e. Seth, Roman - will be the deciding fact...moreNot in love with the way things turned out in general. I think - depending on the team you're routing for i.e. Seth, Roman - will be the deciding factor on how you receive this last edition to Georgina Kincaid. Full review as soon as I'm allowed to post it.(less)
I have this habit of when I see a new book that I absolutely love the cover of, I go and search out the author. I want to know about everything!: the...moreI have this habit of when I see a new book that I absolutely love the cover of, I go and search out the author. I want to know about everything!: the book, the author, and when I can expect to get it in my hot little hands. Of course, I haven't got a clue of its contents or even if I'll like the book, but I just can't help my expectations. Sometimes it can be a rude awakening when things turn out to be different than what we thought they were or would be. Except, luckily enough, this wasn't the case for me. Instead, it was the case for poor Riley Poe.
Afterlight has the reader watching through Riley’s eyes as she navigates the wreckage of her past. Riley was a rebellious and misled youth searching for a place to belong. She never did find what she was looking for and from the ashes of a tragedy she has become the smart, independent woman she is today. She is someone I can relate to and could actually see as my best friend. I'm completely in tune with her, from her sense of style to the play list she has blasting over Inksomnia's stereo. I had several songs myself I could introduce her to and then we could spend all night rocking out.
We get excitement, action, love and mystery in every page of Afterlight. Old memories surface as Riley's brother falls deeper into a world that she can only guess to be a cult. When she turns to her surrogate Gullah father for help, he thrusts Riley into a whole new world. The tough as nails yet squishy soft inside tattoo artist rebels against the existence of vampires, but it'll be the sexy mystery man, Eli Dupre, who helps her come to terms with the knowledge and keep her safe. Usually it's Doll Day who hears music when reading a book. Something that comes more natural to her, I would think, from being a singer. She must hear it in everything, but this time it was me hearing Katy Perry's Extraterrestrial in the background.
There is one thing about Afterlight I really did not like; it has a preface. I’m not a huge fan of the preface. They always seem to tell you some bit of information that you aren’t suppose to know just yet. Something that could have added that extra bit of excitement or anticipation. I have no idea why I read it this time, knowing that I should have skipped it, but alas, I did and it left me with the feeling that I was robbed. If you can help it, I say just skip to the first chapter.
Elle Jasper’s debut into light urban fantasy romance is a quick and fun romp into the underground of Savannah’s warm nights. Lost Boys meets 30 Days of Night with a late night call from Twilight in this seductive, witty drama where the story flows like magic and the characters are very exciting. Mixing pop culture and occult references, Ms. Jasper brings to the table a sizzling new adventure that will leave you panting for more.(less)
I was really apprehensive when asked to read Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow. Not because it's her debut novel in her new paranormal romance L.O.S.T. seri...moreI was really apprehensive when asked to read Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow. Not because it's her debut novel in her new paranormal romance L.O.S.T. series, but because it didn't actually seem like something I'd be into by the blurb on the back cover. Boy was I wrong. It's directly right up my alley.
Jax Cassidy is a newly converted member of the Last Option Special Team. Chosen by the Godfather for her skills and ability to survive and adapt to her situation, it's been six months since she was inducted. At first, her all male team were unsure about the feisty little female, but their tune quickly changes after Cassidy's trial mission. She's been turned in to a femme fatal killing machine. With a small frame, beautiful face, and brains to boot, all in which help her to quickly make short work of all her marks.
Colonel Lazarus is the leader of Ny Verden, or New World coven, the most powerful vampire coven on earth. He's also the leader of The Solution. They are another organization much like L.O.S.T., searching for, then eliminating enemies of the state. However, Lazarus uses it for his own personal gain to power. He has high hopes that he will be climbing his way all the way to the top of control in The White House through Senator William Rowland. Lazarus uses Senator Rowland to gain funds and information for The Solution, but Senator Rowland has had enough of The Solutions tactics. Lazarus's message has always been about patriotism, but his methods are turning to terrorism and is causing more problems for the US than he solves.
Lazarus's number one operative is Marcus Cross. Changed by Lazarus seven years ago after he was left for dead in Afghanistan, Marcus has become the ultimate killing weapon. Already a soldier before, his vapirism gives him even more of an edge with his vision that rivals a hawk, his sense of smell that is as keen as a wolfs, and his strength of that of a cobra. Add to that, being able to disappear at will and taking the shape of any victim he's drained and you get someone truly frightening... unless your Jax Cassidy.
L.O.S.T. 's next mission is simple: After Rowland stops funding The Solution, Lazarus is royally pissed off and starts to take it out on Rowland's family. So he calls the Godfather for help, and the Godfather knows that Cassidy is just the girl for the job. Her mission is to infiltrate The Solution at all costs and take out Lazarus and his operatives, but she's going to have to go through the charmingly sexy Marcus Cross first.
Enemy Lover is a paranormal romance with multiple person points of view. (Think J.R.Ward's BDB series) It's world is ignorant to the beasties that walk amongst them and as of now, only vampires have been revealed to it's readers. Enemy Lover is slow to start with it's introduction to the world, and L.O.S.T, but taken the complexity of the story that Harlow has created, it's only to be expected. She sets up the world and introduces characters at lighting speed. I must confess that I actually got lost (haha) in the beginning trying to figure out just who everyone was. However, once I did, the story became addicting, and the pace picked up quite nicely. Also, the story in Enemy Lover got quite dark at times and had a more urban fantasy feel to it, which is why I think I was so pleasantly surprised. One would have never known by it's cover.
Cassidy is damaged, unpredictable and stubborn. She fights for what she believes in and is learning to put her trust in others. Marcus is the Alpha male, cocky at times, but rightly so and not so much that your irritated, but instead making him more endearing. Together they explode on the page not with just hot smexn' and passion, but intense love. However, Harlow's heroine and hero have both been plagued with uneasy times and with an even harder life. While I know authors use certain story plots to help shape their characters, I really wish she didn't take the road she did with Cassidy. She showed with Marcus just how easily it could of been to take another route, but as authors so often do, she used the use of sensitive subjects to turn Cassidy into a much harder heroine. I'm hoping, though, that's the last we see of it in this series, because Enemy Lover was a wonderful read. I'm looking forward to more from Harlow and what she has in store for her L.O.S.T. series.(less)
Day: I don't know where to begin. I almost feel like I need a cigarette after reading the fifth installment in Fro...more4 Doll ARC review at Paperback Dolls.
Day: I don't know where to begin. I almost feel like I need a cigarette after reading the fifth installment in Frost's 'Night Huntress Series' because the wait is finally over.
I am fairly new to the whole Urban Fantasy genre, and this series was one of the first (after Charlaine Harris' Sookie books) that I picked up and I instantly fell in love with Cat & Bones. Since my initiation into the UF world in 2007, my horizons have broadened and I have read many other fantastic books. That being said, I am still loyal to the ones that got me hooked and Frost's work is no exception.
This Side of The Grave took me a while longer to fall back into rhythm with and it's not from a lack of desire to read the book. It just didn't impact me the way the earlier books had. The plot was a bit slower than I had anticipated. That could be a "me" thing or a "waiting so long for book I am not in the zone" thing. But, somewhere around page 125 or so I decided I was over thinking the story and that I just needed to sit back and enjoy the book candy. Then everything clicked for me and I got my reading groove back. Once the mojo was restored, I started enjoying it more and seeing where Jeaniene Frost's talent really shines through... and that is in her characters.
And what characters they are! Many will go on & on about Bones and his yumminess, but I really love her side characters like Mencheres, Tate, Fabian (the ghost) and Vlad....I really love Vlad! Vlad had some of my favorite scenes in the book and I love the chemistry between him and Cat. Speaking of Cat, she has grown so much since the beginning of the series. Her maturity has been well written and it appears that married life agrees with her...at least if she can mange to keep her jealousy over women scoping out her man in check;).
Okay, so I already said that I think Jeaniene has some great characters but there is one thing I feel she does better than create these great characters. What's that you ask? Well, the woman can really write some fun and blush inducing sex scenes. That is something she does like no other and she does it without them feeling overly dirty or sweetly romantic. She writes sex scenes that are realistic in the way a man & woman might tease each other during the act. Yet, she also manages to take it to that fantastical level so that even though there is a slice of realism in their interaction, they are far more sexy than your everyday real-life shag.
All in all I liked This Side of The Grave. I had hoped to love it, and maybe I will once I get a chance to read all the books back to back. But, the wait is finally over and I feel grateful that I got a chance to reacquaint myself with some truly great UF characters and even more grateful that the wait for book 6 won't be near as long. Bring on Vlad's book! I really can't wait for that!!!
Me: *Quickie review from the Kittn* Jeaniene Frost is an automatic buy for me, whether it be her Night Huntress series or her Night Huntress World series. Like Day said, this woman can write! Characters, plots, ... smexy time. ;) All of it. She sucks you in and holds you until the turn of that last page.
My feelings on This Side of The Grave aren't all that different from Day's and that's the biggest part of the reason I'm going to make this short. Like her, it took me some time to get back in the groove of things and I really wish I had done re-read of Destined for an Early Grave before hand to refresh my memory after reading First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness.
This edition is a lot slower than the previous ones so Cat can deal with some family issues and old enemies. However, while we waited, we got some great one-on-one time with one of my favorite sub-characters, Vlad! Having more of him in any book is always a plus, but because Ms.Frost writes such great characters - but books can only be so long - there is always someone who doesn't get ample page space. This time around, sadly, it's Ian. Never fret though, he does make a cameo; I just wish it were longer.
This Side of The Grave is a good addition to the series. We get everything we've come to expect from Ms. Frost - action, adventure, romance, .. chapter 32's. I think fans will be quite happy with the result.
Elvie: I get a pat on the back for being prepared. To get ready for This Side of The Grave, I actually managed to listen to all six audiobooks set in the Night Huntress world beforehand, so I was ready to jump in at full speed!
I think the best adjective to describe this latest addition to the Night Huntress series is "solid." Ms. Frost delivers a respectable, enjoyable read that doesn't color outside the lines or offer jaw-dropping surprises (although, I will say two words - Jeanne d'Arc!). That's not to say that nothing new happens - it wouldn't be Cat's crazy life if bizarreness, emergencies, and tragedies didn't crop up regularly. The main conflict of the story, of course, is the need to deal with the race war that the ghoul Apollyon is trying to stir up, using Cat as a focal point despite her transition to full vampire status. The side stories and the introduction of what is likely to be the next be problem in Cat's world help mix it up, though.
Aside from the previously mentioned big role for Vlad (I'm a fan of Ms. Frost's take on Transylvanian snark, too! Vlad's book soon, please??), my favorite thing about this book was Tate's redemption. Yes, Tate manages to finally lose the asshat provocateur role he's been adopting ever since Bones re-entered Cat's life. Aside from being generally annoying, I felt like it was a real barrier to Tate's character coming into his own and fulfilling his potential. And it's just in time, too, because I think Tate is going to need all the friends he can get in the next book...
All our friends from previous books and spin-offs put in an appearance, even if some of them are tragically short. Even Veritas makes an appearance. Surprisingly, it was Mencheres and Kira who provided one of my LOL moments in this book. In general, though, the tone of this book was more somber than many of the other entries in the series. Of course, Bones is still a smart aleck, and Vlad is, well, Vlad. He was another bright spot. He really elevated his friendship with Cat to a new level in this book, and it made him even more likable than before (if possible). And, of course, Ms. Frost managed to steam up my glasses a few times in that way she does. Nobody does the smexy quite like her!
Another definite positive about This Side of The Grave was the way it ended. Although there are several plot threads left unresolved, and the situation isn't exactly what I'd call stable, Ms. Frost bucks the general trend and does not end the book on a horrible cliffhanger. Whew. So, those of you that worry about such things can go ahead and read with confidence. You won't be letting yourself in for months of unbearable torture. Instead, it would be a real shame to deprive yourself of reading this thoroughly enjoyable installment.
Mona Leigh: Have Cat and Bones finally met their match? Does someone exist in their supernatural world capable of kicking their butts? You’ll find the answers to those questions between the covers of the latest Cat and Bones offering, This Side of the Grave.
A war is brewing between the ghouls and vampires. Without giving any spoilers, suffice it to say there are unfortunate and unpleasant surprises and sadness in store for Cat and she’s totally unprepared for them.
True to form, This Side of The Grave has plenty of action, both in the boudoir and in the field. We get a peek at a softer side of Cat kept hidden until now, and it’s nice to see her willingly expose it. Even Vlad displays a nicer side to his personality.
With war looming on the horizon, Ms. Frost brings new vampire Kira and new demon Denise in on the action alongside the other kickass vamps. Marie Laveau makes an unforgettable appearance showing us some serious power heretofore unknown in Cat’s world.
As a Cat and Bones fan, I liked this addition to their saga. I especially liked the interactions among the new wives as they met and learned to work together. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I read one chapter with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. All in all, I loved it. (less)
I can remember when I was a little girl and first read the story of Cinderella - I think most of us can. How the horribly treated cinder maid defeated...moreI can remember when I was a little girl and first read the story of Cinderella - I think most of us can. How the horribly treated cinder maid defeated her evil stepmother by marrying the handsome prince - *sigh* how romantic. Eloisa James has now taken this timeless classic and made it her very own with the debut in her new fairy tales series.
It all started with rats... well not exactly rats, but something similarly close. One small Maltese that turned Katherine Daltry's world upside down and around. Though, we'll get back to the rats... er dogs. Since Kate's father died seven years ago, she's been treated by her stepmother as nothing more than the help, instead of a lady of the Yarrow house that is her birth right. Marianna Daltry hasn't exactly turned Kate into a maid, but she has moved her to the attic and fired most of the staff, making Kate pick up the slack. She also has no interest in the upkeep of what's left of the tenants and instead uses Kate's fathers money to buy unnecessary frivolous items. Kate can leave Yarrow house at anytime, but she fears what would become of the tenants and what's left of the staff. So she stays and endures.
Victoria Daltry has had a slight mishap with feeding her dog, Ceasar, which couldn't have come at a worse time. Marianna has concocted the perfect scheme (in her eyes), she needs Kate to pose as Victoria so she can marry Algernon Bennet who needs the approval of his uncle, The Prince of Marburg. It just won't do for everyone to see Victoria in such a condition (with a reputation to uphold) and first impression is not only wanted, but needed. Now, because of the rat, Marianna forces Kate to take her sister Victoria's place in meeting the Prince.
Prince Gabriel Augustus-Frederick William von Aschenberg of Warl-Marburg-Baalsfeld is in love with archeology and wants nothing more than to be sifting through the ruins of Carthedge. He doesn't want to be at Pemeroy castle. He doesn't want to be responsible for the family and staff his crazed brother, The Grand Duke, threw out of Marburg on the grounds of religious impurity. He also doesn't want to meet Algie's new bride or his own betrothed for that matter. He wants to be free to do as he wills, to dig in the dirt and uncover history. However, as much he doesn't want to do all these things, honor bounds him to his responsibilities.
When Gabriel first meets Kate as Victoria, he thinks nothing much of his nephew's new betrothed. He most certainly doesn't see where the ton thinks of her as the seasons beauty. Kate has a similar negative reaction to the Prince. Though, while she thinks him an attractive man, it's the air of arrogance that turn her off. Gabriel wants two things in a woman - biddable and bedable. He see's neither in Kate, but there's something about her that he can't stay away from. With him knowing her as only Victoria and his future bride only a few days away from arriving, Gabriel tries his hardest to stay away from Kate, but fails miserably. Duty and honor are the only two things holding him back from the alluring Kate and Gabriel is finding it hard to live up to his position.
Kate is exactly how I always wanted my Cinderella to be - a fighter. She fights for what she believes in, what's right and wrong. She fight's her stepmother as much as she can in her position. She isn't book smart, but she has made effort to be and she's not lacking in common sense. Her sister Victoria isn't the awful stepsister, but actually very sweet and caring. She's never taken part in torturing Kate like Marianna does and that's why Kate relents on going along with the crazy plan. Even the Prince is different from our perfect first. He's arrogant, a little rude and brooding. It's not until Kate really gets to know him that she finally understands his personality. Although his arrogance never really goes away, it becomes more playful and sexy.
A Kiss at Midnight is actually my first Eloisa James novel. The other girls at Paperback Dolls completely love her, so when we got the chance to review one of her novels, I jumped at the offer. The story is one we've all heard before, but the twists that Ms. James puts in are a welcomed change. Most of the novel takes place at Pemeroy, but I didn't feel the least bit claustrophobic. Pemeroy is a very large castle, and Ms. James makes use of the grounds. My favorite character has got to be Henry, Kate's "Godmother" This woman says exactly what's on her mind. She's a little vulgar for the times and completely self assured. It's plain to see that she wants nothing but good things to come Kate's way. She does everything in her power to make her comfortable and happy.
I took A Kiss at Midnight for exactly what it was, a fairy tale romance. I wanna say how important it is that I make it clear that this is a fairy tale and not a historical romance. Ms. James expresses this herself in the authors notes at the end. But anyone who reads this beautiful story will have no doubt about it. A Kiss at Midnight was romantic, sexy and funny and I myself am already more than ready for the next in this series, which I hear will be about Sleeping Beauty.(less)
I’ve been following Jaye Wells' Sabina Kane series since the beginning, because when you get a book in your Am...morePreviously posted at Paperback Dolls.com
I’ve been following Jaye Wells' Sabina Kane series since the beginning, because when you get a book in your Amazon “If you liked this, than you might also like this…” called Red-Headed Stepchild, who could refuse? The book was practically calling out to me! The second, The Mage in Black, I snatched up as soon it hit the stores and devoured it immediately. So when I saw the third in the series Green-Eyed Demon up for grabs on NetGalley, my loud shrieks of fan girly enjoyment could be heard streets away!
At the end of The Mage in Black we left Sabina – half vampire, half mage, all bad ass- the exact same way we find her at the beginning of Green-Eyed Demon - pissed off. It’s only been three days since her twisted grandmother, Lavinia, kidnapped her long lost twin sister, Maisie, and getting her back will lead Sabina and Co. to the wild haunted streets of New Orleans.
There are so many reasons to why I love this series. First we have the truly kick-ass heroine, Sabina Kane. You can see the evolution of Sabina through the first two books in the series, but it isn’t really until this one that we find her accepting things about herself or changing them for the better.
Then we have her “Team Awesome” as the best minion any super chick could ask for, Gighul aka Ms. Giggles, calls them. Mr. Giggles brings flare to the page and snark to our lives with some of the funniest quips and what's even more spectacular is that they're usually directed at the fiery Sabina. But there’s more to this seven-foot tall green demon - sometimes hairless pussy cat - and he shines brightly this time in some unusual ways.
"Whatever. I think you need to go find that boy and tell him how you feel. Then you need to ride him like a tilt-o-whirl." Mr. Giggles
Last but not least, a fabulous hero, Adam Lazarus, who is by all means probably one of the most genuinely nicest heroes I’ve ever seen. He has sincerity, he has class, he has intelligence and of course he has some banging good looks.
This series just gets better and better with every book and Green-Eyed Demon knocks it out of the park for me this time around. I relished the laugh-out-moments of Ms. Wells’s witticisms:
“Excuse me, but I’m only half vampire. And you have a lot of nerve. Like humans are any better. Last I checked, you don’t exactly consider cows your equals. “
Her back went up. “Are you calling me a cow?”
I raised an eyebrow. “Moo.”
And while the twist and turns kept me on the edge-of-my-seat it’s nothing compared to the explosive ending that has me ready for the next in the series… like NOW!
Go forth, Dear Readers, and grab up Green-Eyed Demon with me on the twenty second then preorder the fourth, Silver-Tongued Devil, more people need to know about this series.(less)
Skyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
In...moreSkyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
In present day Portland, we meet Laura on her wedding night. Laura has married a man not for love, but for practicality. As a straight forward, smart, independent woman she knows that crazy in love is still crazy and chooses the more safer option. As she falls asleep, her spirit floats up and back down in to the body of one Maud Gonne, Dublin's famous beauty, 100 years in Ireland's past. Greeted by Ida Jameson, she's convinced that it's all only a dream and welcomes the idea of a love play between the crazy in love Ida with Maud believing in only the symbolism of the act.
Ida Jameson believes that everything she wants or loves turns sour at it's climax.
"But every gem-like moment Ida sought to fashion for herself turned to a dirty paste of disappointment while unexpected opportunities inevitably found her unprepared, in her worst dress or bad skin."
Everything that she strives for she knows she will never obtain, but that does not detour her in her journey to find completion. She wants her childhood friend, Maud and to be apart of the Theosophical Society in a way that borders obsession and driven by open opportunities. When she finds a chance meeting between Maud and William Yeats, she hopes to present Maud, in a mesmerism state again, as Laura to him for guaranteed acceptance in to their society. Though, like everything else, it slips from her grasp and as Maud, Laura falls for the hopeless dreamer and handsome poet Yeats and him with her.
Entrancing from page one, In Dreams Begin sets the reader off on a course of finding love, sexuality, security, infatuation, freedom, sacrifice and imagination though a wide scale array of emotions from pain to pleasure. Like and Falling, Fly, Skyler asks what's the difference between need and want? Imagination and reality? Love and infatuation? What do we accomplish by holding ourselves back or sacrificing our love? Is love really a sacrifice of freedom? Adding to her own more person quandaries:
"Do I truly possess my own body? Is it mine to maintain, enhance, neglect or add horns to? Can I give myself to someone? Do I own my child? Is my body’s health a status symbol, a communication tool, a shell for my soul, or a public policy problem? And isn’t channeling the souls of other people really what all writers do?"
As we follow Laura through time to the other half of her soul, we will see the toll it takes on her poet, Yeats. The sacrifices he will endure for the love of Laura. How Laura finds her freedom, security and peace from the war raging inside her. Meanwhile, Ida has shifted obsessions once again, willing to travel to Hell and back to bring her one true love to her at any cost. Is Ida the devil or villain of this fairytale? Maybe, but I can't help but feel sorry for her plight. All she's looking for is love and freedom, however, life is cruel to her. In a time where beauty is everything and woman are less than second class, she has nothing to hold on to. The tighter her fist clench to keep what she wants and needs close, the faster it falls from her grasp leading her down a path of rejection and failure, desperate. Is Laura, Maude and Yeats the victims of crazed actions? Of course, but are they any less to blame? No.
In Dreams Begin will leave you drunk on words of the beautiful poetic writings of Skyler White. However, also like and Falling, Fly, I found the first person past tense point of view of Laura a bit jarring mixed with Ida's third person present tense point of view. Again it took me longer than I would of liked to get into the story, but once I did, it flowed. By the end, you will learn the answers that plagues Laura's questions and Skyler's alike. Your going to have to work for this one, for it is not a simple read, but it will be worth it for what it provokes in you alone.(less)
When we left Victory Vaughn last year in Deadtown, Ms.Holzner’s debut, she was confused, battered, and...moreFind the original posted on Paperback Dolls.com
When we left Victory Vaughn last year in Deadtown, Ms.Holzner’s debut, she was confused, battered, and a little broken from sending the Hellion, Difethwr the Destroyer, to Hell. Now almost six months later she’s entirely recovered. Well... unless you count that demon mark still burning up her arm. O.. or the confusion of choosing between to delectable men. But whose counting?
Beginning Hellforged is Ms. Holzner’s unmistakable fast paced fighting style. Vicky’s on a job to take care of a Glitch with her sidekick Tina when things get out of control which is usually just an example of another days hard work. Except this day is the last time anything will make since for our demon slayer for quite sometime, because when she goes home from Creature Comforts later that night to get a little shut eye, her dream-scape is invaded by none other than the Destroyer himself.
Here is where Hellforged slows down. Vicky’s Aunt Mab calls her home to Maenllyd in Wales to "finish her training". While she’s there, it’s a constant schedule for Vicky of taking that next step in her demon education. The second prophecy at her birth has been set in motion and now Vicky’s trying her hardest to make sure The Book of Utter Darkness’s edict doesn’t become her fate.
So, I know everyone wants to know of what has happened in the Vicky, sexy were-wolf attorney Alexander Kane and gorgeous Detective Daniel Costello love triangle, but I’m going to disappoint. There’s honestly nothing I can tell what with Vicky being in Wales for over half the book and then the other half being too spoilery. In reality, there isn't much romance what-so-ever. In UF's I don't expect to have a romance, but if there is a presence of one, I do expect some growth of character for those of romantic interest to which I found Hellforged lacking in. However, I will say that Vicky does choose by the end (for now ;)) and I am really happy by her choice.
By the end, Hellforged did bring back all the heart pumping, pulse racing, edge-of-your-seat action that we saw in Deadtown. Though we missed out on the comical zombie aspect to which I think makes this series so great. Ms. Holzner’s writing style keeps me turning those pages, but her ending is what has me hoping that the next in the series releases sooner rather than later. Ms. Holzner your slight cliff-hanger ending was not nice. (less)
Kitt: I want to put my gushing out there early and tell you that I really liked this book! The romance, the story,...morePreviously posted at Paperback Dolls
Kitt: I want to put my gushing out there early and tell you that I really liked this book! The romance, the story, the drama! Oh and the hero! Aiden has now taken up ranks in my book boyfriend stable! He's utterly delicious!
Noa: Gush away! I absolutely agree, and I'm surprised that I do! :D When I read Wedding of the Season I thought there was no way I would like Scandal of the Year simply because Aidan was so wooden in it. How can you have a hero who is so stuffy? But Ms. Guhrke really did it. She made Aidan a wonderful hero without changing his character. He didn't become something very different in this book; he hasn't all of a sudden shown true colors as a rake...Nope! He remained true to his character but because we now get to see it in depth - well, this one is a keeper.
Which reminds me - I keep asking myself whether reading Wedding of the Season is essential in order to read Scandal of the Year...I do believe they are standalone but in a series. I liked that Ms. Guhrke didn't spend half the book detailing events in Wedding of the Season, but on the other hand, you do get the pertinent information to this story.
As for Julia - what a fabulous heroine. She had depth, intelligence, a three dimensional character who shined on every page. And I love how she calls Aidan “Petal”.... I've been calling everyone around me Petal for the last week.
What did you think of Julia and her story?
Kitt: Aiden was a surprise! Like you, I was extremely happy that Ms. Guhrke didn't change his character, but instead, he stayed true to himself and we got to find out how truly charming and scandalous ;) he can be.
As to not get sidetracked with my gushing for Aiden, you should know I thought Julia was awesome as well! For what you said, but I also think Aiden described her best - "..a beautiful, strong, and terribly vulnerable woman, a woman who had suffered much and come out stronger on the other side. A woman who needed rest and tranquility and security more than even she understood.”
Noa: *gets teary eyed* beautiful!
Kitt: Again, Scandal of the Year starts off after the fact - we always seem to be coming in after the good parts have already happened, huh? It's about a year and a half later and Julia has finally gotten rid of her tyrant husband, but the means to her marriages end has a high price, because Julia is now a social pariah and Aidan is slightly tarnished in the eyes of the ton, although he is a wealthy, single duke so he's not given the cut direct. However, their mutual notoriety and mutual friends force them to be in contact with each other and ultimately gives them the time to discover and develop their romance.
Much like the first, this book does center a round past events, but unlike the first, I found that I didn’t mind it as much. I would have never guessed from Wedding of the Season that Aiden and Julia had a thirteen year old history with each other and living it out through past scenes was kind of fun. I can see, though, how this could not be for some. With us living in the past, the present of Aiden and Julia’s romance is somewhat rushed and their turn around happens really fast – like in twenty pages.
What did you think of their story?
Noa: I really loved it. I'm getting so tired of immature heroes and heroines and for me, this book was a refreshing change. Julia and Aidan were such a fun couple to 'watch', possibly because they are complete opposites without being caricatures of a 'type', but also because they weren't trying to change each other - if Wedding of the Season was about two people trying to change each other and change their ways, Scandal of the Year was about learning to accept each other's different foibles - not faults, foibles.
Like you, I was surprised at just how long Aidan and Julia knew each other but I didn't mind the jumps from past to present, it didn't ruin the flow of the book for me and I liked how the scenes from the past were connected to a relevant scene in the present. The fact that Julia was always a bit… unruly ;) and Aidan was always Mr. Proper (sorry, Lord Proper) made the romance between them more real - Aidan knew who she was before they grew up, and she knew what he was like from way back when - they didn't fall in love with a fantasy of each other, they fell in love with the person standing before them.
As for Aidan's scandalous side...if only Trix (Wedding of the Season) knew then what we know now... since honestly? The love scene in Scandal of the Year leaves the one in Wedding of the Season in the dust.
So, any thought on what next in this series?
Kitt: You always seem to have a way of taking my thoughts and putting them to words ;) Especially when I really like a book, I find it harder to express why, you know? So it’s no surprise that I once again agree with everything you just said. Like you, the fact that Aiden and Julia wanted each other for who they were and not for whom the other wants them to be made me like this book so much more. Love is never about changing the other and instead about loving the other for exactly the way they are.
After Scandal of the Year, I find myself excited for the next in Ms. Guhrke’s Abandoned at the Alter series. If I actually had my pick, I’d choose Julia and Trix’s cousin, Paul, to be the next story we read about. His feelings for his wife are conveyed quite loudly without a word being uttered. It’s obvious he’s been hurt terribly. I want to know what happened to make her move back home and if the marriage can be salvaged, but alas, since the series is about abandonment at the altar, and not marriage, we may not get to see his story for some time.
What about you?
Noa: Ah! but you see I have some insider information (ok, ok, I visited the website) and while I was SURE Paul would feature as the next installment's hero - hey, it might be a "I'm going to get my wife back before she makes a huge mistake" theme - but no! It seems that Trouble at the Wedding (January 2012) will focus on a new set of people. So I wonder if Paul will ever get his happy ending or if we will just have to wait a little bit longer to get it.
I think we both agree that this book was fabulous :) Laura Lee Guhrke got it right - the hero, heroine, plot, setting...I for one can't wait to read what else she has in store for us, now all that remains is to urge you dear readers to get into the lovin' groove and let us know what you thought.
As a side note: Laura Lee Guhrke left us a comment about Paul! :) "Wow, you gals are tough! Want to be in a critique group?
Seriously, though, I did want to pop in because one of you mentioned Paul and wanted to know if he was getting a story. The answer is yes, in my next series. I'm going back to the Girl-Bachelors, but with a twist. Look for the Rakes of Little Russell Street, starting some time in 2012. Paul's story will be one of those. You'll just have to wait and see how and why he becomes a rake and how he deals with it."(less)
The Vampire Voss is the first in Colleen Gleason’s exciting new Regency Draculia Trilogy. Set in 1804 London, Ms....morePreviously posted at Paperback Dolls.
The Vampire Voss is the first in Colleen Gleason’s exciting new Regency Draculia Trilogy. Set in 1804 London, Ms. Gleason mixes two of my favorite genres together – the paranormal and the historical romance – something I wish more authors were out there doing.
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Ms. Gleason’s Gardella Vampire series (although I do own them and hope to get to them soon!) so this is my first time into her world. I like how she was able to capture everything we love about both genres. The masquerades, the parties, the gentleman’s clubs, and propriety of a historical while still enabling us to feel as though we’re reading the paranormal.
I also liked her heroine, Angelica Woodmore. She’s not particularly funny, witty, or even incredibly intelligent. She’s just average with one exception – she has an ability known as ‘Sight’ where she’s able to see the death of whomever she comes in contact with. This particular gift is what has gotten the interest of our hero piqued.
Voss Arden, Viscount Dewhurst, is a member of the Dracule – a man who’s made a Covenant with Satan himself leaving him with the Mark. This ‘Deal’ gives him power, strength, immortality and complete freedom with no consequences for his days on earth or the actions thereof. Except, there’s a problem with Voss that I just can’t get past- he’s spoiled, selfish, arrogant, egotistical. Mostly he’s a manipulator. While he loves to collect his information and solve his puzzles or make jests and games he only aspires to trick and manipulate and to take from others for his own gain – this includes Angelica.
At no point do I feel Voss is redeemed. His attempt at the end feels like just a little too small, a little too late. Because of this, I also wasn’t sure of what I was reading. While I know this is a historical paranormal romance it reads more like an urban fantasy- the romance just wasn’t there. By over two thirds of the book, Voss and Angelica still don’t even like each other, though, Voss being more indifferent than anything. And by the time the ‘I love yous’ do surface, it was like a blow from left field and I have never been a fan of the ‘love conquers all’ adage.
It’s always hard as a voracious reader to find anything new, so when I do, it’s always a pleasure to find an idea so fresh. Ms. Gleason’s storytelling and writing are an intriguing mix of the traditional and the unique with smex appeal. While I wasn’t a fan of Voss, I was one of The Vampire Voss and I can’t wait to ‘meet’ Dimitri in his book, The Vampire Dimitri, releasing next month.
As the first in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, we are drawn in to the life of Darian, a Shaede assassin who resembles a demeanor not that mu...moreAs the first in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, we are drawn in to the life of Darian, a Shaede assassin who resembles a demeanor not that much unlike the first scene we meet her in. As she’s standing on top of building in the middle of Seattle’s freezing winds, the metaphors are not lost on the reader. In fact, Darian can be so cold and unfeeling at times that it’s hard to relate to what she’s going through. However, as we progress, parts of Darian surface – to Darian and the reader – far beyond what anyone thought she may be capable of.
At least a century has passed for Darian by the time we meet her in Shaedes of Gray and I enjoyed the flash backs we saw every so often as she tells how her life came to be the way it is now. For virtually her entire Shaede existence, she was led to believe by her maker, Azriel, that they were the last of their kind. Azriel comes off as the knight-in-shining armor for not only Darian at first, but to us as well, and it isn’t until years later – and his sudden departure from her life – that Darian finds herself surviving the best she knows how, doing the only thing that Azriel was forthcoming in teaching her – how to slip into shadow to be as silent as the night.
A paid assassin by trade and skills, Darian works secretly with Tyler to rid the worlds populous of the foul and vile scum polluting Seattle’s streets. It’s on one of these missions that Darian runs into Xander, King of the Shaedes. This is no chance meeting, but only a ruse to test Darian’s skills. From this point on we’re thrust with Darian into the secret underbelly of Seattle’s paranormal scene and how Ms. Bonilla stays mostly clear of the more mainstream beasties that we would normally come across in an urban fantasy is one of my most favorite things about Shaedes of Gray. Instead, she fills her pages with Shaedes (creatures of shadows), Lyhtans (creatures of light) Djinns and Oracles. Though, don’t fret, there are some old favorites there too.
Some of the things I didn’t like about Shaedes of Gray were that the beginning isn’t very smooth with Darian’s standoffishness and absence of feeling mixed with some first novel choppiness causing the reader to feel a little detached to what’s going on. Though, it does seem to all, but disappear by the middle leaving us to revel in victories and even some heartache right alongside Darian. Another thing was that the ending was perilously close to being a cliff-hanger. I must admit I was more than a little worried when I got to the last few pages and still so many things were happening that it seemed a little hard pressed that all would be concluded in time, but I should have never feared. Ms. Bonilla raps up Shaedes of Gray very nicely, leaving us with the thrilling prospect of multiple story arc possibilities that I personally am chopping at the bit to find out more about!
With Shaedes of Gray, Amanda Bonilla pounces onto the urban fantasy scene with fantastically fresh and exciting new ideas in her darkly seductive debut novel. Like a roller-coaster ride, strap yourself in for the slow and easy start to the heart-racing, pulse-pounding finish. I absolutely loved Shaedes of Gray and I’m excited to say that it will now be one of my go to recommendations and top 5 favorites for 2011. Now only if Blood Before Sunrise would get here sooner than July of next year!
I stopped reading at page 40. This book is dnf for me. I can't finish it. At this point, it isn't a won't or a will, it's an actual can't. My heart is...moreI stopped reading at page 40. This book is dnf for me. I can't finish it. At this point, it isn't a won't or a will, it's an actual can't. My heart is broken. I loved Karin Tabke (and I'll even continue to read her as Karin Harlow), but I. Just. Can't finish this book or this trilogy.