Yelena reminds me of Benjamin Linus in the TV series Lost -- she always seems to get captured and beat up...
In this sequel to Poison Study, I felt a l...moreYelena reminds me of Benjamin Linus in the TV series Lost -- she always seems to get captured and beat up...
In this sequel to Poison Study, I felt a little disappointed. What disappointed me was the characterization of our heroine. In Poison Study, Yelena had a difficult time, forced to choose execution or death as a poison taster. But she prevailed and overcame the difficulties that arose. In this book, Yelena seems rather helpless at times. She is betrayed, ambushed, captured, bound, and beaten many different instances in the book. Give the girl a break!
While Yelena's helplessness disappointed me, there was another side to her character. Yelena seems to have the ability to make really loyal allies and friends OR really nasty enemies. Her friends rescue and protect her often. Yelena also has the ability to talk with horses. It was cute and touching at first, but a little annoying later on in the book. In Magic Study, Yelena is just coming into her powers. She will be a strong master magician.
I was touched when Yelena was reunited with her family. Her father had drawn a sketch of her for every year she was missing. Her mother was a little wacko, but kind and loving. And there was 14 years' worth of sibling rivalry to catch up on. As I read the descriptions of the Zaltana's homes, I pictured the treetop homes of the Navi in the movie Avatar...
I so missed Valek! Note to authors -- please do not write about a sexy man like Valek in one book and then make us wait and wait and wait and wait for his appearance in the sequel. Not nice at all! I felt Yelena's longing for Valek. I missed him too.
The supporting characters were memorable. I was so happy to see that Ari and Janco came back. And enterprising Fisk, once a beggar, now an entrepeneur, all because Yelena took interest in his plight. Cahil truly annoyed me -- his immaturity and lack of discipline was truly loathsome.
Anthologies are always hit or miss for me. It is rare that I like all the stories or am able to finish the entire book, especially when the authors ar...moreAnthologies are always hit or miss for me. It is rare that I like all the stories or am able to finish the entire book, especially when the authors are new to me. Dates From Hell is not one of those anthologies. I loved the stories.
Dates From Hell has stories by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland. Two authors that were familiar to me, and two authors that I had not yet read. Each story explores dating in the paranormal/supernatural world.
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison This story takes place immediately before Dead Witch Walking and introduces Ivy and Kisten, living vampires. Ivy is struggling with her job and a boss that holds a promotion over her head for a price. Kisten is Ivy's love interest. Kisten is a little flat in this story. Ivy is portrayed with both vulnerability and ingenuity as she plans revenge against her boss. 4/5 stars
The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands This is a very cute story about a girl who becomes a lab experiment by mistake. The result? She is able to shape shift into any person merely by looking a photo. A very sweet look at love and a fun twist at the end. 3.5/5 stars
Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong Clearly, my absolute favorite story in this book. This story introduces Hope Adams and Karl Marsten. Hope is a half demon who thrives on chaos. Karl is a werewolf that specializes in jewelry theft. I never really enjoyed Hope's stories in Personal Demon; Hope was never one of my favorites. I really liked this story. It was action packed, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and it had a lot of sexual tension between the main characters. 5/5 stars
Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland Here's a good reason not to look for dates on the internet: Poor Kit - Her dates keep wanting to suck the life out of her through sex. As one of the few remaining virgins in New York City, Kit is a target for a demon and Chavez the demon hunter must protect her. I liked this story. Kit is one normal girl. She wears glasses and doesn't have a perfect figure. She has a normal job and she doesn't like it. Her protector, Chavez is mysterious but is attracted to her because she is well read. 3.5/5 stars
This anthology was a fun read. I got to enjoy two stories by Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong where I got some background into their characters. I hope to start reading other books by Lynsey Sands and Lori Handeland.
Another entertaining book by Jeaniene Frost. At Grave's End kept me on the edge of my seat. It made me cry. At parts I just wanted to throw the book a...moreAnother entertaining book by Jeaniene Frost. At Grave's End kept me on the edge of my seat. It made me cry. At parts I just wanted to throw the book across the room - No! You can't do this to me! Then I just couldn't put the book down. Oh, Bones, you are one of the sexiest characters out there in the fictional world.
Yet, I feel just a little bit unsatisfied. The first two books in the series were hawt. The romantic tension between Bones and Cat was epic. The two main characters were very sexy. In this book, it fell a little flat. Come on! They are newlyweds! Why were they acting like an old married couple?
The story line was exciting. Both Cat and Bones fight villains from their past. Cat gets some closure regarding her dad. Bones must join forces to fight Patra, a very old girlfriend. Cat's mom undergoes a drastic change and actually becomes bearable. I think that I am beginning to like her. I did like some of the new characters. Vlad, in particular, was a nice addition.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series.(less)
Storm Born has one of the funnier opening scenes that I have read in a while involving a haunted shoe. It also has a very sexy fairy king who is very...moreStorm Born has one of the funnier opening scenes that I have read in a while involving a haunted shoe. It also has a very sexy fairy king who is very good at tying complicated knots. Add in a prophecy about the heroine's unborn and unconceived child, and a shapeshifting fox, and you have a very fun read.
Eugenie Markham, or Odile Dark Swan is a shaman who banishes spirits and fey from our world. She is hired to find a missing human child and must travel to the Otherworld to find her. There, she discovers that she is part of a prophecy where her child will destroy our world. Soon, all sorts of creatures try to either kill or rape her.
Eugenie discovers her roots and learns to use her powers with the help of Dorian, the fairy king. Did I mention that Dorian was sexy? Dorian probably has the best lines in the book. Lines that make you want to melt... Dorian's training methods might make some readers uncomfortable as they do involve a lot of knot tying.
The supporting characters add humor and color to the story. Kiyo, the shapeshifting fox, is equally at home in both the fairy world and our world and serves as both a lover and protector of Eugenie. One of Eugenie's minions - Volusian - is especially memorable. While his spirit is bound to Eugenie, he must do her bidding. Should he be released from his bounds, he will most definitely kill her.
Reading this book a second time in preparation for Shadowfever.
Once again, the reread is so much better than the first readin...more Reread in January 2011
Reading this book a second time in preparation for Shadowfever.
Once again, the reread is so much better than the first reading! It is really a lot of fun to look for all the clues in this series. Who/What is Barrons? Who is the Lord Master? Why does everyone want the Sinsar Dubh?
Mac has been in Ireland for a little more than a month now and so much has happened to her. I am really liking how her character has evolved. I am beginning to believe that the pretty in pink Mac was really a facade and beneath that facade is a very intelligent, brave, and lethal young woman.
I love how we get to see the many sides of Barrons. Barrons can be aloof, stubborn, and tender. I am still not convinced he is human, though I have an idea what he is. I enjoyed how Mac stands up to him.
The side trip to faery was a real trip. V'lane recreating Alina from Mac's memories was touching, but a little invasive.
The action in this installment was a mile a minute. Never have I seen a character get so battered. Nothing can stop Mac on her quest for her sister's revenge.
I completely lost track of time as I was reading Bloodfever.
The second book in the series was better than the first. Mac is still in Dublin, looking for her sister's murderer. She stays with Jericho Barrons and works in his bookstore when she is not sniffing out fae artifacts.
Mac has matured since the first book. She is no longer a Barbie doll dressed in pink. Mac now carries weapons and flashlights to protect her from the fae. Barrons' character is still a mystery; yet he always seems to rescue Mac.
I enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the next one.
Initial Thoughts: In this third book of the World of the Nightwalkers the focus is on human Leo Alvarez and his Night Angel love Faith. Leo is at the...moreInitial Thoughts: In this third book of the World of the Nightwalkers the focus is on human Leo Alvarez and his Night Angel love Faith. Leo is at the compound in New Mexico when all hell breaks loose and his friend Jackson is attacked by the villainous imp Apep. I loved Leo and Faith as a couple. Leo had a lot of issues to work through and at times, I wanted to smack him upside the head. Faith was perfect for Leo and I loved how she stood up to him.
The Review: There's something to be said when you finish a book and immediately want the next book in the series. Jacquelyn Frank's The World of the Nightwalkers books is just that kind of series. The Nightwalkers are a breed of supernatural beings that dwell in the night. Each book focuses on one specific couple. The lead couple in Forsaken is the human mercenary Leo Alvarez and his Night Angel love interest Faith.
The story picks up immediately after the events of the previous book where Leo was introduced to the world of the Nightwalkers in a rather nasty and painful way. Leo is scarred, both mentally and physically. He is recovering at the Nightwalkers' Arizona compound surrounded by his "family" Docia (Tameri) and Jackson (Menes).
In this book Leo and Faith seek out the assistance of a powerful Djynn after an attack on the compound leaves Jackson mortally wounded. I think I enjoyed this part the most - Gray the Mavid was a very impressive character. I loved how Leo and Faith had to bargain with the djynn who wanted them to go on an impossible task in order to secure his help.
Leo and Faith were wonderful together. The attraction is strong and Leo fights it constantly. At some points, I thought that Leo was being an ass. Their love does win out and the sex is hot and steamy. The ending brought tears to my eyes, it was so nicely done.
Apep the villain just gets more and more evil as the series progresses. He is also so very full of himself, too. Apep took on the form of a woman and he ponders the limitations of this form:
"This form is so limiting," Apep observed, once again inspecting himself in the mirror. "I can't sense things as well as I should. It's seriously curtailing my omniscience. However as time goes on it should improve. I am, after all, me."
I think that one of the things that I love about this series is that it is based upon Egyptian mythology. Each Nightwalker carries the soul of an Egyptian god and is hosted within a human body. The human blends with the Egyptian soul and benefits from that soul's power and knowledge. I also like the variety of paranormal creatures in this series. There's gargoyles, flying horses, djynn, angels and more.
Forsaken is a strong addition to The World of the Nightwalkers series. I'm so glad that Forged is coming out in April.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for a review copy of this book.
I took copious notes this time around. I wanted to see if the author left us any clues to rectify that a...moreReread Jan 2011 in anticipation of Shadowfever
I took copious notes this time around. I wanted to see if the author left us any clues to rectify that awful cliffhanger hangover that I had the last time I read this book. Alas, I have even more questions now than I did before. I have more "suspects" (you all know what I'm talking about if you've read the book - and if you haven't I'm not spoiling) than ever for that last page of agony.
Mac undergoes every kind of emotion under the sun in this installment of the Fever series. At one point, Mac is not able to speak, so the young Dani takes over the narrative and POV. This actually works. It is refreshing to see the world through another sidhe-seer's eyes, especially one that has been raised in this world. Dani speaks with a maturity, yet that 13 year old slides out at the cutest moments.
It amazes me how little time has passed from the moment Mac arrived in Dublin to this point in the story. This book starts in November. Mac has changed from Barbie princess to a black leather clad warrior. Mac has grown, matured, and adapted to the world around her. I love her interactions with Barrons. There is a chemistry between these two characters and it is most enjoyable when they are at odds with each other.
In the other corner V'lane, the fairy Prince, the death by sex fae. Mac is fearless when she interacts with V'lane. V'lane's effects on Mac become more and more subdued as time goes on. V'lane seems to be falling for Mac.
Mac learns more about her background, and her mother. There still are a lot of questions remaining, and even Barrons wants to know what Mac is.
Karen Moning - you are a genius. I had more fun reading this series a second time. I can't wait to read Shadowfever! I hope all of our questions get answered.
When we last left our heroine, it was Halloween and all sorts of bad things were happening...and then Cliffhanger! So this book starts right where we were dropped off.
What I loved about this book is the continued development of the characters. Mac has changed. Gone are the pretty pink fingernails, the matching outfits, and her innocence. Mac is a fighter now, dressed in black leather and fighting for the human race.
I especially liked Dani's character. Dani is super-fast, a little snarky, and a perfect partner for Mac. We still don't know who or what Barrons is, but you have got to love him just the same.
I had to chuckle at the "Recipes from Dublin" section at the end of the book. All different ways to serve Unseelie. Yum.
So, this book made me laugh, sit on the edge of my seat, cry, and want to throw the book across the room. Read it, it's totally awesome!
And yes, there is another CLIFFHANGER of all CLIFFHANGERS at the end!
Lisa Kleypas has a way with words. She takes them, and crafts them, and creates an incredible story that transports the reader back in time. And while...moreLisa Kleypas has a way with words. She takes them, and crafts them, and creates an incredible story that transports the reader back in time. And while the reader is swept back to the mid-1800, something else happens: it is almost impossible to put the book down. I started reading Secrets of a Summer Night yesterday afternoon. Yesterday evening as my eyes grew heavy, I had to, just had to, finish the book.
Annabelle, Daisy, Lillian, and Evie have been wallflowers for the last few seasons. The girls strike up a friendship and decide to help each other land a husband. This first book of the Wallflowers series focuses on Annabelle and her search.
I found that the book started a little slow for my taste, however it was a nice set up to a great story. Annabelle’s character was a little annoying at first. She had the attentions of Simon, yet she persisted in trying to get the rather boring Lord Kendall. Simon Hunt was very interesting. I enjoyed his wit, his patience, and his attentiveness to Annabelle. I loved how their courtship was juxtaposed with a chess match. Each move made by Simon was a deliberate move to gain Annabelle’s trust and finally love.
What struck me were the class distinctions during this period. You were born into a class, you married in that class, and you stayed in that class. I found it odd that the aristocracy did not work, that work and investing money was considered vulgar.
I also had a difficult time with all the clothing worn by women. I can’t imagine being stuffed into a corset and wearing so many layers of skirts. I had to laugh when the girls decided to play a game of Rounders in their knickers. When they were discovered, it was absolutely shocking, even though most of their bodies were covered.
I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next one in the series. (less)
If you are a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, then you’ll understand when I say that Lover Avenged is one of the best books in the series....moreIf you are a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, then you’ll understand when I say that Lover Avenged is one of the best books in the series. Lover Avenged focuses on the fairly intimidating Rhev. Rhev is a businessman, a drug dealer, a man incapable of emotion or feeling. Rhev is portrayed as a man of many secrets, some of which are damaging to his position in the vampire world. Rhev is approached with a proposition that he kill Wrath, the vampire king. And with this proposition, our story unfolds.
Rhev’s love interest is Ehlena. Ehlena comes from a “fallen” glymera family. She works as a nurse and takes care of her schizophrenic father. Ehlena meets Rhev at the clinic and takes an interest in Rhev. When Rhev is with Ehlena, he becomes a different person. He is smitten by her, he is loving and loyal.
I enjoyed this book because it did not only focus on one of the Black Dagger Brothers (and technically Rhev is not a Brother). It focused on the relationships of the Brothers, especially Wrath and Beth. It always amazes me that these large, imposing men can be turned to mush by their small female. We also get a picture of Zsadist and Bella’s happy ever after life with their young, Nalla.
I took a small dislike to John Matthew in this book. I found that he acted childish and impulsive. His relationship with Xhex was an exercise in miscommunication, although I blame both characters for that. I hear that may change in the next book.
The sworn enemies of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Lessers are becoming more of a threat under the leadership of Lash. Lash is still as vile as he was in the earlier books. His leadership of the Lessers provides more cohesiveness to their attacks.
J.R. Ward has a most special writing style. If English is not your first language, her slang and made up words must be daunting. Oftentimes, I would reread a sentence or two to figure out exactly what she meant. She does have a creative way of describing things – like “minimall sprawlopolis” and “phatasmagasm”, although I’ve been told that the latter word is in the Urban Dictionary.
I really liked this book. I enjoyed almost every moment. Our heroine Eugenie commutes between the human world working as a shaman and the Otherworld a...moreI really liked this book. I enjoyed almost every moment. Our heroine Eugenie commutes between the human world working as a shaman and the Otherworld as the Thorn Queen. Eugenie has grown and developed as a character. She genuinely cares about her kingdom and tries to work out ways for her subjects to be able to survive in the new arid lands. When some girls go missing, Eugenie starts to hunt for them. I found it interesting that Eugenie does not tell her stepfather about her new position in the Otherworld. Gentry are still after Eugenie, hoping to impregnate her and fulfill the prophecy.
Eugenie continues to learn how to use her magical powers, learning from Dorian’s mistress. The banter between Eugenie and Ysabel was humorous and we get an insight into Dorian’s many talents in the bedroom. We learn from Ysabel that he also has artistic talents with a paintbrush. Hmm…knots and paint. Dorian proves himself to be a good friend and ally to Eugenie. The sexual tension between the Eugenie and Dorian was delicious. Which brings us to Kiyo. I am ashamed to admit that I actually liked Kiyo in the first book. I came to despise him in this book. I found him judgmental and lacking empathy for Eugenie.
One of the memorable scenes that stand out in the book is Queen Maiwenn’s baby shower. As the gentry rarely have young, the gifts were just a little inappropriate for a baby. Fine china and gemstones were amongst the gifts, contrasted with Eugenie’s gift of a teddy bear.
I can't believe that there will be such a long wait for the next novel in the series. Can't wait to read it. (less)
This book was a most satisfying read. I was mesmerized. I had trouble putting the book down. I read until my eyes could no longer focus on the page.
So...moreThis book was a most satisfying read. I was mesmerized. I had trouble putting the book down. I read until my eyes could no longer focus on the page.
So what makes a book so captivating? It has to be the cast of characters that I have grown to love. Maybe it is because the story is full of interesting twists and turns. Or maybe it is because J.R. Ward has a unique language in her books that has me adding new idioms and phrases to my vocabulary.
Lover Mine focuses on John Matthew and his love, Xhex. I must say that at the end of Lover Avenged, I was ready to throttle John Matthew. He was acting like a petulant child. Thank you for growing up and acting like the vampire you were meant to be, John Matthew. John and Xhex’s relationship is beautiful. They are absolutely meant to be with each other.
Xhex is one hardy female. She is a survivor. She is tough. She seems to be indestructible considering what her character goes through in the book. Yet when she is with John Matthew, we see a side of her that is vulnerable and loving.
A Black Dagger Brotherhood book is never complete without a few subplots. My favorite subplot was Darius’ back story which seemed to mirror the main story. Darius' story is fascinating. Darius is a true vampire of worth. Tohr has been turned out of his family home, so Darius takes responsibility for Tohr.
I didn’t understand the Holly and Gregg Paranormal Investigation subplot for the longest time. All I can say is don’t skim over this subplot, all will be revealed later on.
And if you needed some relationship angst, Blay and Qhuinn are for you. These two just keep having near misses here and there. Every time Qhuinn is with a female, Blay suffers. If Blay sees another man, Qhuinn is jealous. Angsty….
We get some insight into Payne’s character. Payne is the daughter of the Scribe Virgin and she is not allowed to venture into our world. I am looking forward to reading more about her.
With the leadership of Lash, the Lessers seem to have become more formidable enemies. Lash is focused on building an army of Lessers. However, Lash has become distracted from his ultimate goal. His character becomes completely vile and he makes the most disgusting antagonist ever.
There were a few annoyances in the book, namely the lack of question marks which made me re-read several paragraphs a few times. Also I found that the transitions were a little abrupt leading me to once again re-read paragraphs.
So far, this is my favorite Black Dagger Brotherhood book. I am so looking forward to reading Lover Unleashed when it is released. (less)
I first picked up this book because it had an intriguing cover. As I started reading, I realized that this was not your average vampire story...more3.5 stars
I first picked up this book because it had an intriguing cover. As I started reading, I realized that this was not your average vampire story. First of all, the characters are very colorful, the writing is humorous, and the vampire lore just a little different from all the other stuff out there.
Jody has been made into a vampire. She was attacked, bitten, left under a dumpster, burned her hand in the sunlight, and left with a shirt stuffed full of money. There was no vampire sire to teach her how to be a vampire. She figured out a lot on her own. She realizes that she needs to have a human to help her out in the daylight hours. Enter Tommy, an aspiring writer. Tommy has left his home in the Midwest to experience life as a starving writer because according to his family, a writer must starve to be good. Tommy finds work at the local Safeway, where he meets Jody.
Most of the book revolves around Jody's relationship with Tommy. However, the secondary characters really do steal the show. From the five Wongs who want to marry Tommy for their American citizenship, Scott and Zelda the turtles that Tommy saved from becoming dinner, Jody's mother, the Emperor of San Francisco, the Animals at Safeway, the police homicide detectives, even the elusive vampire sire, all meld together in a funny, sometimes hysterical story.
I would recommend this book to people who are looking for some comic relief to their vampire reading lists.
I’ve always been fascinated by jaguars (the cat, not the car). Their sleek bodies, the way they move – jaguars are the ultimate...moreJaguar Fever 3.5 stars
I’ve always been fascinated by jaguars (the cat, not the car). Their sleek bodies, the way they move – jaguars are the ultimate predators of the jungle. So when the opportunity to read Jaguar Fever by Terry Spear presented itself, I jumped at the chance. I enjoyed Ms. Spear’s Heart of the Wolf series, so I knew that I would be in for a treat.
Jaguar Fever is the second book in Ms. Spear’s Heart of the Jaguar series. Don’t let this put you off if you are an “OCD must read series in order” type of reader. All of Ms. Spear’s books can be read as standalone books – you can even jump around in her series without feeling lost.
Jaguar Fever is a sexy story with an environmentalist slant. It seems that someone is smuggling jaguars from their natural habitats (and even zoos) and using the poor creatures as target practice for a rich man’s safari hunt. Wade and David Patterson are investigating the case at the Jungle Cat Fever Club, an aptly named jaguar shifter club. At the club, Wade meets Maya and is instantly smitten. Maya plays hard to get. She’s not really ready for commitments.
Once the mating dance filled with misunderstandings, alpha caveman moments, and dangerous situations is done, Maya and Wade are sizzling hot together. By the way, Ms. Spears writes some pretty hot sexy scenes. *fans self*
I think that I’d like to explore the resort in Belize where Maya, her brother Conner, and his pregnant mate Kat stayed at. It sounds absolutely heavenly, and perfect for cats.
Jaguar Fever was an enjoyable read for me. The last third of the book was action-packed, edge of your seat exciting. I can’t wait for more books in this series!
Series Reading Order:
Savage Hunter Jaguar Fever
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a review copy of this book.