I'm a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder and I absolutely love her Chronicles of Ixia series. I think the first three books starring Yelena were probably myI'm a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder and I absolutely love her Chronicles of Ixia series. I think the first three books starring Yelena were probably my favourite but I've still been really enjoying the Glass books featuring Opal so I was looking forward to seeing how things played out for her in Spy Glass. I hate to say it but I think this is the first time I've been disappointed by one of this author's stories. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things to love about this book and I think that anyone who has started Opal's trilogy will have to read this book if only to see the end of her journey but there was one thing in particular that really annoyed me.
I'm going to talk about the positives first and I think the biggest was seeing how far Opal has come since the beginning of the series. She's been through so much and losing her magic at the end of the last book left her despondent and depressed. She feels more than a little sorry for herself at the beginning of this book but I can't blame her for that and I thought the author did a good job of showing how lost and alone Opal felt. I loved seeing her come to terms with what had happened though and deciding to make the best of things. We also get to see her spending a lot of time with Valek which was brilliant, Valek has always been a favourite of mine so I'm never going to complain about him getting more page time! There was plenty going on in this story, lots of action and a good does of mystery and magic that kept me turning the pages.
The main issue I had was to do with Devlin and is where I veer into spoiler territory so you might not want to continue reading this review if you haven't read the book yet! I've actually grown to like Devlin a little in the last couple of books which surprised me considering how we first met him, we've seen a lot of changes in his character and I do think that people can redeem themselves and turn their lives around. I could even get on board with Opal forgiving him to a certain extent and I would probably have been happy to see him find love in a future book once he'd done a bit more to prove that he's changed. What I really, really, REALLY couldn't believe was that Opal fell in love with him. That just didn't seem even slightly realistic and I'm just completely unhappy about their relationship.
This is the man that tortured her both physically and emotionally, not just once but on multiple occasions going on for days at a time. He broke her, he basically destroyed her and he made her betray her friends and the people she loved. Not only was he involved in her sister's murder but he also swapped souls with her boyfriend and then used her boyfriend's body to seduce her and torture her all over again! All this has happened in the space of the last two books and yet now I'm expected to believe that she can not just forgive him but fall head over heels in love? Nope, I don't believe it. In fact I HATE it. I'm disappointed in Opal and I'm angry with Maria V. Snyder for leaving Opal's series with such an unrealistic ending. Of course the one potential silver lining to Opal ending up with Devlin is that Kade is still single and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're going to get to see more of him in the next part of the series. I'd really like to see him meet someone and get his own happily ever after.
I may have been disappointed with Opal and Devlin's relationship but I've still really enjoyed the series as a whole and I would highly recommend all 6 of the current books in the Ixia series. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to learn that Maria V. Snyder was writing a new trilogy for the series and the first book, Shadow Study, is one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 - especially since it is going to be told from the points of view of three of my favourite characters in the series - Yelena, Valek and Janco!...more
I don't actually have a great deal to say about this one. It's not badly written and it's an interesting premise but it just hasn't captured my attentI don't actually have a great deal to say about this one. It's not badly written and it's an interesting premise but it just hasn't captured my attention in the slightest. I don't care about the characters and I'm not even interested enough to want to know how or why people are coming back from the dead.
I think this is probably a case where it's just not the right book for me though so don't let me put you off trying it....more
I absolutely loved Game for Marriage when I read it earlier this year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel Game for Trouble. I had high hoI absolutely loved Game for Marriage when I read it earlier this year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel Game for Trouble. I had high hopes for Nick and Willow's story and I'm happy to say that Karen Erickson has created another sexy story with great characters. I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as the first book but it's still a solid romance and one that I'd be happy to recommend.
Nick and Willow have history, they had a very hot fling one summer several years ago but Nick broke Willow's heart when he walked away from her. They hadn't seen each other for years but now that Willow's best friend Sheridan has married Nick's team mate Jared they can't seem to get away from each other. Nick has always regretted walking away from Willow, in fact it was something he never really wanted to do in the first place, and now he is determined to claim the only woman he has ever loved. Willow is still attracted to Nick but she knows how easy it would be to fall back in love with him and she is terrified of having her heart broken all over again. Can Nick convince her that if she gives him her heart again he'll treasure it forever?
I loved Nick, like Jared he is cocky and arrogant but he manages to pull it off without becoming annoying. He is confident with his looks and body and has never had any trouble getting women to go out with him but Willow is different, she's the only one he cares about and the only one who seems immune to his charms. He is desperate to win her around but he has no idea how to go about it. I enjoyed the scenes where he was asking Jared and Sheridan for advice, it was nice to catch up with the previous couple and their insights into Nick and Willow's relationship were amusing. I loved how persistent Nick was, he shows over and over again how much he cares for Willow. He wants her in his bed but he also wants to look out for her and protect her.
I'm going to be honest and say I didn't like Willow as much as I expected to, I could understand why she was so scared to trust Nick again and I didn't have a problem with that in the beginning. He needed to work at gaining her trust and I was happy with that, I also liked the fact that she was so independent and wanted to make her own way in the world rather than live off of her father's money. What I didn't like was the fact that even after she admitted to herself that she loved Nick and that he loved her she wasn't willing to apologise for the mistakes she'd made. Nick worked his butt off for the whole book to win her around and I really wanted some kind of grand gesture from her towards the end to prove that she was worthy of his attention but once again it was Nick who had to come to her after she'd pushed him away. I loved the actions Nick took and they definitely made me swoon but I'd have liked more to have come from Willow's direction. That's very much a personal preference though and wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying the story.
Their chemistry was off the charts hot, once they gave in to their attraction there was no stopping them which fantastic. They literally can't keep their hands off each other which lead to a very hot public encounter! Game for Trouble was a fab story and I'm looking forward to reading more from Karen Erickson in the future....more
Jamison is having the worst week in history, she caught her boyfriend cheating with her best friend, crashed her car and then lost her job. Really itJamison is having the worst week in history, she caught her boyfriend cheating with her best friend, crashed her car and then lost her job. Really it couldn't get much worse so when her brother, Jared, member of rock band Shaken Dirty asks her to join his band on the US leg of their tour it's not like she has a lot of other options. The only downside is spending so much time in close confines with lead singer Ryder. Jamison grew up around the band members and they're all like big brothers to her but Ryder has always been something more and she's been more than a little in love with him since she was a teenager. He's never looked at her as anything other than his best friend's little sister though and it's time for her to show him that she's all grown up and more than ready for a relationship.
Crash Into Me is the first book in Tracy Wolff's new Shaken Dirty series and I have to say it gets things off to a great start. I loved the dynamics within the band, each of the characters obviously has their own issues to deal with but they're all basically nice guys and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better. In particular I'm excited about Wyatt's story, I want to know more about why he uses drugs to block everything out and I'd like to see him get his life back on track. I really loved Jared too though, he is very protective of Jamison and he cares a lot about all of his friends. I don't think he's going to be able to properly settle down until he knows that the others are all happy so I'm expecting his story to be one of the last in the series.
Although we get a great introduction to the members of the band this is very much Jamison and Ryder's story and oh boy what a story it is! Jamison has been in love with Ryder for a long time now but she knows there is no way he'll ever commit to one woman so she goes along with the idea of having a fling while they're touring together determined not to let her heart get any more involved than it already is. Ryder blames himself for something that happened to his ex a long time ago and he has sworn that he will never get that close to anyone again. Jamison is different though, she sees a side to him that nobody else has ever noticed and she makes him feel like a better man and that perhaps he could be worthy of her love after all. I enjoyed seeing them spend time together, they have a strong bond of friendship and they make a really cute couple. It was also amusing seeing them both insist that they were just in it for a short term fling when it was so obvious that it meant so much more than that.
Jamison and Ryder have incredible chemistry and this book is hot, hot, hot! Throw in a bunch of rock stars on a multi band tour and you're sure to have plenty of bad behaviour and crazy fan antics that will keep everyone on their toes. If I had a minor complaint it would be about the epilogue, I actually felt it gave away too much about what is to come as the series continues. I think series books very rarely need epilogues, especially when you'll be seeing more of the couple in future books, so I would rather have had more time spent with them just after they'd fallen in love rather than a year down the line. Like I say that was a minor complaint though and I thought that Crash Into Me is a fab start to the series. I'm already looking forward to reading the next book as soon as it's available and in the meantime I'll have to check out some of Tracy Wolff's other books....more
I love Jessica Sorensen's writing and am a huge fan of her Ella and Micha books so I was looking forward to finding out more about their friends LilaI love Jessica Sorensen's writing and am a huge fan of her Ella and Micha books so I was looking forward to finding out more about their friends Lila and Ethan. I have to admit I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with Lila though, she has always come across as a bit of a spoiled, rich, party girl who doesn't have a care in the world but at the same time she has been a very supportive friend to Ella and she was obviously keeping secrets so I was hoping there would be a lot more to her character. I should have known that I can trust this author to give me wonderful, complex and three dimensional characters though and there is so much more to Lila than meets the eye! She may have been raised as a pampered princess and given everything that money can buy when it comes to possessions but her childhood was completely lacking of the warmth of a loving family. I tell you one thing right now I wouldn't swap all the money in the world for the love my parents have given me so I don't envy Lila one tiny little bit.
Lila's parents take the award for the most self-centred, nasty and despicable characters I've come across in a long time. My god I wanted to reach into the book and rip into them over the way they treated their daughters! All either of them cared about was money and appearances, as long as their social circle thought they looked like a perfect, happy family who had everything they didn't care what it cost Lila and her sister. Lila was more of a prize poodle - an accessory who had to be dressed to perfection - than a beloved daughter and it broke my heart that she had never been given the unconditional love we should all receive from our parents. As you learn more about Lila's upbringing you discover that she went through a horrific experience, one that would have any decent parent ready to commit murder on their daughter's behalf but that Lila's parents just blamed her for and used their money and influence to try and brush it under the carpet.
That event completely broke Lila and since then she has used alcohol and drugs to bury her pain and to help her forget. She is walking down a dangerous path but doesn't know any other way of coping. Ethan can see how close Lila is to the edge, he's been through it himself and he only just survived so he will do whatever it takes to help her. Ethan has a few secrets of his own and his childhood wasn't exactly the happiest one, he is wary of opening his heart to anyone but while he can't promise to love Lila he can promise to always be there as her friend. I loved that Ethan is protective of her but that he doesn't let her get away with anything. Lila has never had to do all the things that most people have to do to survive, her family had servants to do the housework and she's never even had to cook for herself let alone had to work for her money or live on a budget. Ethan is happy to show her the ropes but he isn't going to do everything for her and I think deep down Lila appreciates the fact that he treats her like a normal girl. Learning to survive gives Lila a sense of achievement that she's never really had before and it was great to see her start rebuilding her confidence.
I don't want to go into too much detail about their pasts but they are both messed up in different ways because of what they've been through. They both have insecurities and issues that will make a relationship difficult but at the same time they fit together surprisingly well. I'd picked up on the chemistry they have between them in the earlier books but it is off the charts here. No matter how attracted they are to each other they take things incredibly slowly and build a strong foundation of friendship before taking the next step. I grew to love both of these characters and I also really enjoyed the little glimpses we get into Ella and Micha's lives now. This is definitely one of my favourite NA series and I'm looking forward to reading more about both of these couples in the future....more
The end of the world started off just like any other normal day, people were going to work and getting on with their lives as usual when the3.5 stars
The end of the world started off just like any other normal day, people were going to work and getting on with their lives as usual when the virus hit. It spread faster than anyone could ever have imagined and killed everyone who was infected, the victims refused to stay dead though and when they came back they were hungry, hungry for human flesh.
Red Hill is told from three different points of view; you have Scarlet the single mother who has been separated from her two daughters and will do whatever it takes to find them again; Nathan who is just trying to find somewhere safe for himself and his young daughter Zoe; and finally you have Miranda who was on her way to spend the weekend at her father's ranch with her sister Ashley and their boyfriends Bryce and Cooper. These three characters start out as strangers but when their paths cross they have to work together as a group to survive.
I have to say really enjoyed watching each of the character's journey to the ranch, seeing the way they reacted when the news of the virus first started spreading, watching them fight their way across the country looking for safety as they tried to figure out what was happening, seeing them face their worst nightmares as friends and family members succumbed to the virus and turned into enemies, all of that was really interesting and made me question my own ability to survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse - I'll confess I don't like my chances! The story makes you ask difficult questions, how far would you be prepared to go to survive? What would you do to protect your loved ones? Would you be brave enough to risk your life for a complete stranger?
I did find that once the group arrived at Red Hill the story slowed down though, once they'd settled into a routine and started getting to know each other I felt myself getting a little bored. The romances that start to develop seemed a little rushed and unbelievable but I did like how conflicted Scarlet felt about finding any kind of happiness when she still didn't know what had happened to her daughters. I thought that was quite an honest reaction and it made sense to me, what I struggled with was the fact that she was able to sit around hoping her daughters would find her. She does start to get a little more proactive towards the end but it was a little too late in some ways and I didn't like the way she was willing to put the others at risk for her own goals. Really I just felt that life became a bit too easy for them all when they got to the ranch, I know it was mentioned that the owner had prepared for a potential disaster but it was hard to believe that it was quite so well stocked with food and other supplies for so many people. It just didn't make sense that they weren't having to go hunting for supplies more regularly.
The story is well written, I was engaged with the characters and cared about what happened to them but it did feel like this was a story I've read before. I don't really read many zombie apocalypse stories so this surprised me and I have a feeling that anyone who is a huge fan of this genre would be even more disappointed. It was a shame we're not given much of an explanation for what caused the virus and how it spread so quickly and I was confused by the military response (or lack of it) until very near the end of the book. The ending felt a bit rushed and failed to answer many of my questions which did make me wonder if we'll get a sequel in the future. I'm not sure if there is enough story left to tell for a whole other book though. It's hard to rate this book, in a lot of ways I really enjoyed it, especially the action throughout the first half of the book, but I did feel let down by the ending and that coloured my view of the story as a whole....more
I enjoyed Darkhouse so was looking forward to continuing the Experiment in Terror series with Red Fox. This story gives us a chance to get to know botI enjoyed Darkhouse so was looking forward to continuing the Experiment in Terror series with Red Fox. This story gives us a chance to get to know both of the main characters a little better and introduces us to some Native American legends which I found really interesting. The story was still creepy but I think it was a little toned down compared to the first book and I wasn't as scared as I'd expected to be. I think my main problem was that it was far too easy to tell who the bad guys were, I had a very bad feeling about a particular character from the moment they were introduced and I just knew all along that they were involved in what was going on. In spite of that I enjoyed seeing how things played out and we meet one of Dex's friends who I really, really hope we'll see more of in the future.
Perry is determined to take the opportunity Dex is giving her to make something of their internet show, it's something that she desperately wants to do well at and she's looking for acceptance from her family and friends. I love the relationship she has with her sister but I have to say I was shocked by how unsupportive her parents are here, it's no wonder she has such bad self esteem when her family are so down on her all the time. I really hope that their attitude changes or that she finds a way to show them just how strong she can be. I like Perry's character, she is quirky and lives by her own set of rules but she's a nice girl and she cares about the people she meets. I'm going to confess that I was irritated by some of the stupid decisions she makes in Red Fox though, there were a couple of times that I just had to roll my eyes, grit my teeth and get on with it which was a shame and did stop me enjoying the book quite as much as I'd hoped to. I don't remember her making such stupid choices in the first book though so I'm hoping it was an aberration and things will be back to normal in The Benson.
Dex is one of those characters who it is hard to get a read on, he can be completely and utterly charming one minute and to put it frankly a bit of an arse the next. I'm starting to get a better understanding of his character now though and he's definitely an intriguing guy so I can see why Perry is so obsessed with him. I'm not sure how I'd get on with a guy like him in real life but he'd definitely keep things interesting! I'm enjoying the chemistry between him and Perry and their banter is always amusing. In spite of the problems I've mentioned I do find this series is incredibly easy to read and quite addictive so I'm looking forward to continuing the journey and getting to know the characters even better....more
Dirty Trick is a perfect Halloween treat for romance lovers! Chrisitne Bell has created a spicy friends to lovers romance with a super hot SW3.5 stars
Dirty Trick is a perfect Halloween treat for romance lovers! Chrisitne Bell has created a spicy friends to lovers romance with a super hot SWAT team hero and a down to earth heroine that anyone would want to be friends with and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Trick has always been a player but he is starting to think it is time to settle down and there is only one woman who he wants to claim - his best friend and neighbour Grace. They have been friends for over a year now and spend nearly every spare minute together but Grace hasn't noticed that he's changed his womanising ways and she has him parked firmly in the friends zone so Trick devises the perfect plan to show her how good things could be between them. With Halloween approaching he decides to don a disguise to seduce her at a costume party and prove what amazing chemistry they have. Grace has always had strong feelings about Trick, after being emotionally abused by her ex she is low on confidence and self esteem but Trick is the one man she feels close to and that she can trust 100%. She would never risk losing their friendship by acting on her attraction to him though, especially when she is certain she would never be able to keep the attention of someone so gorgeous.
I have to say from the moment Trick stepped onto the page in his SWAT uniform he had me swooning! What is it about a guy in uniform that turns so many girls knees to mush? Not only is he incredibly sexy but he is also a great guy, he's caring, protective, loving and he adores Grace. I loved seeing them spend time together as a couple but I also enjoyed seeing the incredible passion between them when Trick dons is catman disguise. I have to admit that I couldn't understand why Grace didn't recognise him but you just have to go with that. I also found myself getting a little annoyed with Trick for keeping the deception going on quite as long as he did but because you see things from his point of view you get a full look at his male logic and can understand why he does what he does. Grace was a sweet heroine and it was good to see her gain confidence with Trick's help, as much as I didn't agree with the way he went about things it did help bring her out of her shell and show her just how much her ex had messed with her head.
Dirty Trick is a sexy story and one that has some fantastic passionate encounters (the cinema scene was HAWT!), it's a quick read and one I'd highly recommend. I'm definitely going to have to start working my way through Christine Bell's back list!...more
Since the day that Aileana witnessed her mother's murder she has been aware of the faeries that walk amongst us unseen by most humans. At a time in heSince the day that Aileana witnessed her mother's murder she has been aware of the faeries that walk amongst us unseen by most humans. At a time in her life when she should be focusing on attending balls and attracting a wealthy husband she is leading a secret double life. While pretending to act like the young lady she was brought up to be she sneaks out at night to hunt and kill the fae with the help of her mentor Kiaran. What she wants most is to track down the faery who killed her mother so that she can have her revenge. It isn't easy keeping her night time activities a secret and she knows that if she is caught she will lose her reputation and be shunned by polite society but that's a risk she is willing to take if it means stopping the fae from killing more innocent victims.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Elizabeth May's debut novel The Falconer and it's been at the top of my wish list since I first heard about it. Just one look at that stunning cover and I was sold but the blurb hooked me even more especially when I heard Aileana compared to one of Buffy's ancestors who fights the fae instead of vampires. I'll admit I was a little nervous that it wouldn't live up to my expectations but I'm very happy to say that this is a fabulous start to a new series and it's one I can't wait to continue. The Falconer is historical urban fantasy at it's best with a strong, kick-ass heroine, a rich historical setting and plenty of action. It also has a hint of steampunk in the weapons and gadgets that Aileana has designed to help her fight the much stronger, faster fae.
Aileana is a fabulous heroine, she has changed a lot since witnessing her mother's murder and is no longer the spoilt young lady that she once was. She has started to realise how trivial her life used to be, how unimportant balls and afternoon teas really are and how little she cares about finding a suitable husband and getting married. She has more important things to worry about like protecting the city from the murderous fae that seem to be arriving in greater numbers every day. It is very difficult for her to keep quiet about her secret life, especially when the gossips are all talking about her behind her back because of the circumstances surrounding her mother's death. She finds it difficult to hold her tongue but knows that nobody would believe her even if she did tell them what really happened. Aileana has had to learn to become tough, she has put a lot of effort into learning to fight and into creating the weapons she now uses to hunt. Her mentor Kiaran has secrets of his own and she isn't sure how much she can trust him but she didn't have anyone else to turn to for help so they have formed an uneasy alliance.
As much as I loved Aileana I also really enjoyed getting to know the side characters too. I'm incredibly curious about Kiaran and can't wait to learn more about him but I think Derrick, the honey drinking pixie, was probably my favourite, he was always amusing and added a nice bit of comic relief to the story. Where The Falconer really excels is in it's fight scenes, the fae that Aileana must battle against were creepy and well described and it was easy to picture yourself in the middle of the story. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I think it's better to let things unfold as you're reading but I really enjoyed Elizabeth May's take on faerie mythology and I'm definitely looking forward to finding out how events unfold as the series continues. I will warn you now that the story has quite an evil cliffhanger but I was enjoying the book so much that I can't really mark it down for that. The Falconer really is a fantastic debut and one I'd highly recommend to fans of urban fantasy with a historical setting, Elizabeth May is definitely an author to watch out for!...more
Kate and her two best friends Kennedy and Arilyn have set up a matchmaking company called Kinnection wanting to use their special sBuddy read with Aly
Kate and her two best friends Kennedy and Arilyn have set up a matchmaking company called Kinnection wanting to use their special skills to help others find love. Kate has a gift and is able to sense the romantic connections between people by touching them so she is especially good at matching couples together who will go on to have a happy and successful relationship. Unfortunately her abilities have never been much use on herself and she's always been unlucky in love. When Slade finds out his sister has joined a matchmaking company he is convinced that Kinnection is a scam and that Kate is just trying to con money from innocent victims. He is absolutely livid and as a lawyer he has the ability to make things very difficult for them so when he issues Kate a challenge she has no choice but to accept. If Kate can help Slade find love he will not just leave her business alone but actively help her promote it. The trouble is that Kate's ability seems to go haywire around Slade and she is far more attracted to him than she should be. Could it be that the cynic and the hopeless romantic might just be the perfect match?
I didn't realise that Searching for Someday is the first book in a new a spin off from Jennifer Probst's Marriage to a Billionaire series when I picked it up, in fact if I had then I probably wouldn't have read it because I haven't read any of her other books. However, I'm happy to say that apart from one family get together where I had trouble keeping track of who everyone was this easily works as a separate story. I think I would have appreciated that particular get together more if I'd known who everyone was but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book and if anything it's just made me more eager to go back and read her other series.
Kate is an immediately likeable character and I loved the interactions between her Kennedy and Arilyn, it's always nice to come across stories with strong and supportive female friendships so that was a definite plus point for me. Kate has spent so long looking for love that she's almost given up on ever finding it, she has a big heart though and longs for that someone special to share life with. If she can't find her own happy ever after she's going to put all her effort into helping other people find theirs so she has thrown herself into her new company with gusto. She just wants to make a success of things and there is no way she is going to let a cynic like Slade come along and ruin everything for her. How can she find love for the man who doesn't believe it exists though?
Years working as a divorce lawyer has convinced Slade that ever lasting love doesn't exist. The one person in the world he cares about is his younger sister and he will do anything to stop her being hurt - either financially by a sham company, or emotionally by some guy who will break her heart. If protecting her means going out on a few dates then he's happy to go along with that, it's not like he doesn't like women after all. What he isn't expecting is to be so drawn to the woman who runs the matchmaking service, Kate isn't like the women he usually meets and he finds himself incredibly attracted to her. They have fantastic chemistry from the beginning but it isn't going to be smooth running for this couple considering they are both pulling against each other.
I don't think I was expecting the amount of humour I got in Searching for Someday, this is a really sweet and romantic story that is full of giggles as well as plenty of heat. As much as I loved the main characters I also enjoyed getting to know the side players and I have a massive soft spot for Kate's dog Robert - he was utterly adorable and made me want to adopt him. This was such a fun read and I've definitely been missing out by not discovering this author sooner. Luckily I already have 4 of Jennifer Probst's other books on my to read pile and I can't wait to jump in and start reading them!...more
Bound is the second instalment of an eight part serialized novel called The Dining Club. Each of these instalments are fairly shorBuddy Read with Ange
Bound is the second instalment of an eight part serialized novel called The Dining Club. Each of these instalments are fairly short (around 30 pages) so don't expect to get a full story in any of them, you really are going to have to read all eight parts to reach what will hopefully be a satisfactory conclusion (I can't confirm that either way just yet because I've only read the first two parts!). The story will be released as a complete novel in January 2014 so if you might prefer to wait until then to read it if you don't like the idea of waiting between instalments.
I had a few issues with the the first instalment to this serialized novel but I hoped that I would enjoy the second part, Bound, more. Unfortunately I just find myself feeling more and more uncomfortable as I continue reading this story. I'm all for stories where couples or individuals experiment with the sexuality and try new things and I have nothing against the idea of the Dining Club. In fact I think it could have been a really fascinating story idea if I didn't feel that Grace was being pushed into something that she didn't want. David has been keeping a major part of his life a secret from her but rather than sitting her down and explaining the kind of things he enjoys and asking her if they can try out new things together he basically blackmails her into going to the club with him. She has no idea what happens at the club, she doesn't know what he wants from her and she is terrified of failing his "tests" because he's told her that their relationship is over if she does. This is not my idea of safe and consensual BDSM and that makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Let me share a couple of quotes to illustrate my point:
Grace's stomach tightened with fear. For a short time she'd forgotten what lay ahead, but now there was no way out. If she wanted to keep David, and after their conversation earlier she knew without doubt that she did, then she had to go through with this.
Grace began to tremble. “I don’t want either,” she whispered. “I don’t know what they mean. I don’t think I can do this.” “Then you simply refuse the dessert, my darling, but of course you know what that will mean for us.” “I’m scared; doesn’t that matter to you?” “Don’t be scared. You don’t have to choose anything, you know that. If none of them appeal to you, then all you have to do is tell Laura. There’s no pressure on you, Gracie, it’s only that…” Trembling, Grace looked at him, and saw the regret in his eyes.
These are not the thoughts of a woman who is enjoying herself and looking forward to a fun evening with the man she loves. These are the thoughts of a woman who is being forced into something unknown, something that terrifies her and that she has no experience of. Does David sound like a loving boyfriend? No, he doesn't. He sounds like a cold, unfeeling bastard who doesn't give a shit about Grace unless she does what he wants. We're led to believe that Grace ends up enjoying the things she experiences but I don't understand how anyone in that situation could. One minute she's scared out of her wits and the next she's orgasming on command the next - would that really happen?
Two instalments into this story and I can't stand David, I hate his attitude towards Grace and I can't see anything even slightly attractive about him. At this point I'm rooting for Grace to pass his damn tests and then when he claims he's madly in love with her I want her to kick him where it hurts and tell him to get stuffed while she waltzes off into the sunset with Andrew. Unfortunately I highly doubt that will happen. I'm just not sure if I can stomach reading any more of this story.
I also want to reiterate a point I made in my previous review about the cost of these instalments. I really like the idea of reading a serialized novel so you get a bite sized part of the story that is easy to read in a single sitting even if you don't have much time to spare. What I don't like about it is that it works out so much more expensive overall than it does if you wait for the full length novel. For example, the first part is currently £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk with the remaining seven parts being £1.49 each so you'll pay a total of £11.42 for the 8 ebooks that make up the whole story when the paperback version of the complete book can currently be pre-ordered for just £5.24. As a consumer that really upsets me and if I hadn't been given free review copies of the first four instalments from the publisher via Netgalley then I certainly wouldn't spend that kind of money on them....more
I think this series might be the death of me, these O'Kane guys and gals just really know how to rock my worldBuddy read with Annie, Aly & Amanda
I think this series might be the death of me, these O'Kane guys and gals just really know how to rock my world and if I could pick one series to dive into and die of hedonistic pleasure this would be it! Every time I think Bree and Donna (the writing duo behind the Kit Rocha name) can't possibly top the antics of the last book they happily manage to prove me wrong and Beyond Innocence was everything I could have hoped for and then some.
I have been desperate to read Jared's story ever since he was first introduced into the series, his best friend Ace (who happens to be my favourite O'Kane!) has been trying to get Jared to join them for as long as I can remember but Jared has been determined to stick to the sidelines. Well, that's what we've always been led to believe but it turns out Jared's motives are a lot more complicated and he's actually Dallas's most loyal spy and the O'Kane eyes and ears inside Eden. Jared's position in Eden society has allowed him access to uncountable secrets and he's more than willing to share, one one condition - Ace and the others must never find out what he's up to. Jared knows he is risking his life but he wants to do something worthwhile and he's doing his best to survive in an impossible situation. I was already half in love with him but the more we learn about his past and the amount of danger he is willing to face for the O'Kanes the easier it was to fall even harder.
I wasn't too sure what to expect from Lili, she appeared in Sector Four in the middle of the night dressed in a blood spattered nightdress and a fur coat with pockets full of drugs having killed the guard holding her captive in Sector Five. Lili has seen it all as the daughter and then the wife of Sector Five's most recent leaders, she learned the hard way never to trust anyone and that any kindness always comes at a price. Life in Five was a nightmare but she knew where she fitted in and what the rules were and now she's lost and completely adrift because she has no idea what the O'Kanes expect from her. She survived the first few months in a drug induced haze but now the drugs are running out and she is terrified. Lili brings out all of Jared's protective instincts, as someone else who is a relative outsider amongst the O'Kanes he knows he can show her the rules and help her settle in but when he is risking his life on a daily basis it isn't a great idea to get involved with anyone. I have to admit I was worried about Lili in the beginning, I wasn't sure she would be a worthy heroine for Jared because she seemed so weak and innocent but she has a core of steel and once she sets her mind on something nothing will sway her from her path. She really proved herself as a valuable asset to Jared and the pair make a fantastic couple. Jared is incredibly patient with Lili and he takes the time to introduce her to her new life slowly, Lili is a willing student and it doesn't take long before she is pushing Jared to let her be his equal partner, both in bed and in business.
Of course you'd expect the sex to be hot considering Jared's profession and I wasn't disappointed there. Lili and Jared share some incredibly sweet and tender moments but there is still plenty of the down and dirty action you'd expect from this series, we even get to see the couple experimenting with Ace, Rachel and Cruz and trust me that's not a scene you want to miss! What I love most about these books are the characters, they're all flawed in different ways and incredibly realistic and I love seeing them open up to each other as they learn about their own deepest and darkest desires. The world building is fantastic too and this is a series I would definitely recommend reading in order so you get the full benefit of the background of the different Sectors and Dallas's battle for control. We're definitely in for some interesting times ahead and I'm even more excited to read Beyond Ruin now that I know who the main characters are going to be....more
This series really does get better and better with every instalment and I am completely and hopelessly addicted to the O'Kanes! I hBuddy read with Aly
This series really does get better and better with every instalment and I am completely and hopelessly addicted to the O'Kanes! I have been dying to get my hands on Beyond Addiction ever since we saw Trix being captured by thugs from Sector Five at the end of Beyond Jealousy, I thought the wait might drive me insane but it was so, so worth it.
Trix escaped Sector Five four years ago and since leaving behind a life of abuse and drug addiction she has made a home for herself with the O'Kanes in Sector Four. She changed her name and let the people she knew in Sector Five think she was dead so that they wouldn't come looking for her. Finn is an enforcer for the Sector Five leader but he loved Trix more than anything and losing her broke his heart. He managed to get clean but is biding his time until he can escape from the sector after destroying his boss and everything he stands for. Finn had no idea that Trix was still alive but the second he finds out she has been captured he knows he has to help her escape, it doesn't matter if it kills him he will make sure he gets her safely back to the O'Kanes.
Trix and Finn's story is action packed from the get go. The shit hits the fan the second that Finn sees how much trouble Trix is in and the drastic action he has to take to get her free is only the beginning - he still has to get her safely back to O'Kane territory. Sector Five bring out the big guns searching for them and Finn's actions give them the perfect excuse to go to war with Sector Four. Dallas isn't one to back down from a battle though and when one of his people is in danger his whole crew will fight to protect them. The story is incredibly fast paced and I spent the majority of the story with my heart in my mouth praying that Trix and Finn would make it to safety.
I loved seeing Trix and Finn's relationship rekindle, they had obviously had a strong connection before but they were both in a drug fuelled haze most of the time so things are very different between them now that they are clean. I was pleased that they both took the time to get to know each other again, they had both changed a lot since they'd last seen each other and even though they still had a deep bond they had to learn each other all over again. I loved seeing Trix stand by her man when they got back to Sector Four. Understandably the O'Kane crew were wary of Finn, he used to be an enforcer for their enemy so they aren't going to just let him walk in like he belongs there but they were grateful for his help getting Trix out and were willing to give him a chance for her sake. Finn has to earn their respect and trust though and I appreciated that he was willing to do that for her.
This story was just as addictive as the previous instalments and this has fast become a favourite series. I always immediately drop everything the second I get my hands on one of these books (I did actually read this back in August & had a great excuse to reread it recently because I'd left it so long to sit down and write my review). I will always auto-buy anything that Kit Rocha writes, these stories are dark, sexy and absolutely fantastic and I don't think I'll ever get enough of them!...more
As a huge fan of Joss Stirling's Benedict Brothers of course I jumped at the chance of reading her latest novel Storm and Stone. I'll tell you straighAs a huge fan of Joss Stirling's Benedict Brothers of course I jumped at the chance of reading her latest novel Storm and Stone. I'll tell you straight away that this is completely separate to her other series and the story has no paranormal elements but that doesn't mean it isn't a fabulous read and it's one I really enjoyed. I'm not sure if this is a stand alone story or the start of a new series but I'm really hoping that we're going to get to revisit these characters in the future, there is definitely plenty of scope for stories about this duo so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Storm and Stone is set in an exclusive English boarding school, one that caters to the children of the extremely wealthy and somewhere that students are supposed to make connections that will help them throughout their lives. Raven isn't from a well off family though, she is a scholarship student who has been allowed to attend the school because her grandfather is the school caretaker as well as her guardian. Raven has had it tough in the last few years, not only has she lost both of her parents but she was bullied badly at her last school and she just wants to find a place where she fits in. Things at Westron haven't been too bad, some of the kids may look down on her but she has a good friend Gina and the others tend to leave her alone. Well, they always did in the past but since the beginning of term things have become decidedly more difficult. Gina hasn't returned after the holidays so Raven is alone and she's facing accusations that she is a thief, Raven has obviously been set up but she has no idea why people have turned against her so suddenly.
The only people still taking to Raven are the new boys Kieran and Joe who seem willing to look past the rumours and see the truth. They not only believe Raven but also stand up for her against the others but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference, especially when Gina returns and acts nothing like the girl that Raven was friends with. Kieran and Joe seem to be on Raven's side but she knows they are keeping secrets from her and it makes it hard for her to trust them completely. But what are the boys hiding and why have they joined the school so late in the year?
I really liked Raven's character, she suffers from horrendous bullying that would break most people but she holds her head up high and refuses to let the bullies see how much she is hurting. Inside she is vulnerable and in pain but she has such a tough outer shell and appears to let things bounce off without effecting her. Kieran was fabulous too, he reminded me of a teenage mixture of Sherlock and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory - he's supremely intelligent but completely clueless when it comes to social situations. The friendship between Kieran and Joe was great, Joe is much more relaxed and is an expert at making friends and fitting in something that Kieran struggles with, but together they make a great team. I loved how they both took such good care of Raven, they were annoyed with the way the others were treating her and determined to help her prove her innocence. The romance that develops between Raven and Kieran didn't feel rushed and I liked the fact that they became friends before anything else.
This story has a great underlying mystery but I don't want to say too much about that for fear of giving spoilers. My only complaint was that we didn't really get to see justice for Raven after one particularly horrible bullying incident - I wanted to see the culprits caught and made to pay for what they did but their actions were kind of lost within everything else that happened at the end of the book. The story definitely feels like a set up for the beginning of a series, again I can't say too much about why I think that without giving spoilers so I'll settle for saying that I'll be the first in the queue to buy any more books that Joss Stirling does write about these characters. If you enjoyed this author's other books then I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try, it doesn't focus quite as heavily on the romance as her Savants books do but what we get is well written and believable and I have high hopes for Raven and Kieran if we are given more books about them....more
Desire is the first instalment of an eight part serialized novel called The Dining Club. Each of these instalments are faBuddy read with Ange
Desire is the first instalment of an eight part serialized novel called The Dining Club. Each of these instalments are fairly short (around 30 pages) so don't expect to get a full story in any of them, you really are going to have to read all eight parts to reach what will hopefully be a satisfactory conclusion (I can't confirm that either way just yet because I've only read this first part!). The story will be released as a complete novel in January 2014 so if you might prefer to wait until then to read it if you don't like the idea of waiting between instalments.
I really like the idea of reading a serialized novel so you get a bite sized part of the story that is easy to read in a single sitting even if you don't have much time to spare. What I don't like about it is that it works out so much more expensive overall than it does if you wait for the full length novel. For example, the first part is currently £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk with the remaining seven parts being £1.49 each so you'll pay a total of £11.42 for the 8 ebooks that make up the whole story when the paperback version of the complete book can currently be pre-ordered for just £5.24. As a consumer that really upsets me and if I hadn't been given free review copies of the first four instalments from the publisher via Netgalley then I certainly wouldn't spend that kind of money on them.
Now, to look at this first instalment in a bit more detail I have to say that Desire was much better written than the other serialized novels I've tried. We are introduced to the main characters Grace and David who have been dating for six months. Grace is happy with the way things are going between them, they get on well, have fun together and their sex life is fantastic but although she is on the verge of falling in love with him she feels that David is holding himself back. When David offers to take her away for the weekend she thinks it is the next step for them becoming more serious about each other, little does she know that David is taking her to a sex club, one where she must pass a series of tests if she wishes to continue seeing him.
Now the idea of the club and the different challenges Grace will face intrigues me, I have to say that if they had discussed it in advance and it was something that they were both interested in trying together I would have felt much better about it though. What bothers me is that David pretty much gives Grace and ultimatum that if she doesn't pass the any of the tests or isn't willing to try whatever he wants her to do then their relationship is over. He has played the perfect boyfriend for six months, waited until she is in love with him and then he pushes her into something that isn't necessarily what she wants. I don't have a problem with him enjoying the club (we don't really know what is going to happen there yet - we'll have to wait for part two to get any details - but it's definitely some kind of BDSM club) but I do have a problem with his deception and the fact that he has been visiting the club on a monthly basis behind her back without telling her about it. I think it's important to be upfront in a relationship, if you have a kink that's fine but you should let the other person know about it and let them decide if it's something they're willing to participate in before they fall in love with you.
Issues aside I'm still curious enough to want to know what happens next. I'm sure Grace is going to find she enjoys things she never would have even considered before, I just wish she'd been given more of a choice about whether she wished to try them! I already have the next 3 parts so I'll be reading at least that far to see how things progress between them. Hopefully we'll get to know more about David's motivations and why he went behind Grace's back for so long before introducing her to his darker side....more
Every year I look forward to the Carina Press Christmas anthologies, I know I'm going to get a a sexy read with the Christmas feelBuddy read with Ange
Every year I look forward to the Carina Press Christmas anthologies, I know I'm going to get a a sexy read with the Christmas feel good factor and that's exactly what Season of Seduction provides. I'm already a huge fan of Christine d'Abo but after reading their contributions to this anthology I'll definitely be checking out more from Jeffe Kennedy and Jodie Griffin in the future. If you're looking to add a little extra spice to your holidays then I'd definitely recommend this!
Five Golden Rings by Jeffe Kennedy - 5 Stars
Tilda's plans to spend the holidays alone on an exclusive resort in Mexico are turned upside down when she meets sexy, dominant lawyer Miguel on the plane. Miguel is visiting his family's resort to sort out a legal problem for them but when Tilda catches his eye he makes her an offer she can't refuse. If Tilda agrees to follow Miguel's orders he promises her pleasure like she's never even dreamed of before. Tilda is a successful business woman who is used to being in control but the idea of giving herself over to Miguel both intrigues her and turns her on and she's more than up for a little holiday fun.
Five Golden Rings was my favourite novella in the Season of Seduction anthology and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Jeffe Kennedy in the future. I love the fact that Tilda knew what she wanted and was willing to go out and get it, she doesn't hide from her sexuality and is happy to embrace her desires and jump into the world that Miguel introduces her to. I think one of my favourite things about this story was the fact that Tilda is a rich and successful woman in her own right, she doesn't need a man to take care of her and she submits to Miguel purely because she wants to not because he pushes her into it. She is new to the BDSM lifestyle but finds it incredibly freeing to let someone else take control for a change. After reading so many stories where you have a rich billionaire businessman and a naive and innocent young woman it is so refreshing to read about a woman who is the complete opposite!
Miguel is sexy as sin and I loved his creativity when it came to the gifts he presented Tilda with, they were such a fun take on the twelve days of Christmas song and I couldn't wait to see what new idea he came up with each day. He introduces Tilda to a completely new lifestyle and turns her world upside down but at the same time he completely underestimates her and I loved how she turned that around on him. My only complaint about Five Golden Rings is that I wanted more, not because anything was missing but because I was enjoying it so much I didn't want it to end!
Ménage on 34th Street by Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis - 2.5 stars
Kat and Liam have a happy marriage but they both love to add a third partner into the mix occasionally. There is only one man that they would ever consider anything permanent with but Hunter couldn't deal with his feelings for them and left 10 years ago to join the Marines. Now that Hunter is back in the area Liam and Kat are determined to show him just how good the three of them could be together.
I have to admit that Ménage on 34th Street was my least favourite story in the anthology, I usually really enjoy ménage stories but this one missed the spot for me. I feel like the authors were trying to do too many things in a fairly short novella and this would have been much better as a full length novel. There was an author's note to say that there will be a further story about these characters but at the moment I'm not sure if I'm invested enough to want to carry on reading about them. There were things I enjoyed about the story - the sex was HOT! - but I never felt that the three of them would be able to make things work. Kat and Liam are obviously in love and very happy together but I didn't feel enough of a connection between them and Hunter. I believed that they had all been in love at one point but after 10 years with absolutely no contact I thought they needed to spend time getting to know each other again.
I spent a lot of the story feeling like Kat and Liam were trying to force Hunter into something he wasn't comfortable with. You could tell he was interested in them both but he's spent so long denying the fact he is bisexual I don't think he'd be able to accept things happening quite so fast. I also felt that Kat and Liam didn't take his concerns about his military career seriously enough, every time he tried to raise the issue they just pushed it to one side and tried to use sex to try and make him forget about it. When I pick up a novella, especially a Christmas one, I'm expecting a hot, sexy story. When it comes to ménage stories I'm not usually expecting a happy ever after but I do want a believable happy for now and I don't feel like I got that here. There seemed to be way too much talking which I started to find boring, especially since the more they talked the less I felt like they would work as a permanent threesome! The story also missed out on the Christmas feel good factor which was a real disappointment.
Naughty Nicks by Christine d'Abo - 4 stars
Every Christmas for the last three years Kim has helped Blake run Naughty Nicks, a seasonal company that provides the sexiest Santa strippers for Christmas parties. Apart from a one night stand when they first met Blake has always kept Kim at a distance but her attraction to him has continued to grow and she is determined to take things a step further this year. Blake has wanted Kim from the moment they met but a nasty divorce has left him wary of relationships, Kim is special though and he finally feels ready to take a risk.
I was already a fan of Christine d'Abo so I had high hopes for Naughty Nicks and I wasn't disappointed, it had everything I look for in a Christmas story - great characters, a cute romance and sexy stripping Santas! Kim and Blake have brilliant chemistry but Blake has several reasons to be wary of pursuing a romance with her, he worries about their age difference and the fact that he's her boss but the biggest block of all is the number his ex-wife did on him when she left him. He has so much fun with Kim but is scared of losing her as a friend if they try and fail at a relationship. It was so easy to tell how perfect these two were for each other and I really enjoyed Kim's attempts at seducing Blake. He was trying so hard to resist her but in the end it all became too much and he had to have her. I loved Blake's big gesture towards the end (no I'm not talking engagement rings but something much more fun!) and I completely believe that these two will get their happy ever after.
I really hope that this might turn into a series because I loved the concept of Naughty Nicks and we were introduced to a few of their strippers who I'd love to see get their own happy endings. If you've not read anything by Christine d'Abo before I'd also highly recommend her Long Shots series which is set in a BDSM club and is incredibly hot, she's become an auto-buy author for me and I'm still working my way through her back list.
Matzoh and Mistletoe by Jodie Griffin - 4 stars
For the last five years Becca has volunteered with the police department every Christmas and Easter and over that time she has become good friends with Jeremy. There has always been a spark between them but until recently Becca was married and unable to take things further. Jeremy has had feelings for Becca for a long time and now that he knows she is single he is hoping to show her how good they could be together. However, when he realises her husband abused her he worries that she will be put off by the fact that he is a Dom. He is sure he has seen signs of her submissive side but doesn't want to push her too hard and scare her away forever.
I'm going to come straight out with it and tell you Jeremy is HOT, I completely fell for his character and I'm sure a lot of other people will too. I will admit to feeling that the relationship development moves a little too quickly in this novella but I enjoyed the story so much I was happy to forgive that. I think one of the things I liked most about Matzoh and Mistletoe is that it goes to great lengths to show the differences between a D/s relationship and an abusive one. It is one thing to give control to someone voluntarily and another thing entirely for someone to take your control away by force. Jeremy is very patient with Becca when he explains the difference and I appreciated that about him, I also loved the way he was so gentle with her and talked through her fears because of the things her ex had done.
Becca has always had desires that her husband wasn't willing to fulfil, he made her feel dirty and wrong because she wanted to experiment in the bedroom so she has learnt to push her needs to one side. Jeremy encourages her to express herself, he wants her to feel free to tell him her deepest, darkest fantasies and assures her that nothing she comes up with will shock him. It was nice to see Becca start to come out of her shell and realise that there is nothing wrong with her because of her kinks. I also really loved how she realised that there is a big difference between being weak and being submissive. This was my first story by Jodie Griffin but I really enjoyed it and will definitely be reading more by her in the future....more
Actress Quinn has lived her whole life in the public spotlight, looking to lose her good girl image she has agreed to star as a subBuddy read with Aly
Actress Quinn has lived her whole life in the public spotlight, looking to lose her good girl image she has agreed to star as a submissive in a new TV show but the problem is that she knows nothing of the BDSM lifestyle. In order to make her role believable she has signed up for a week of intensive lessons at her local sex club, The Den. Marcus is the Dom who is in control of teaching Quinn to be the perfect submissive and he is convinced that it is more than just a job to her. He is determined to unlock her inner desires and make her realise what she has been missing out on but with her whole life scrutinised by the public will Quinn be brave enough to admit what she really wants?
Bonds of Hope is the fourth book in the Wicked Play series and although each story works as a stand alone I'd happily recommend reading all of them. I have become a big fan of this series and the author's writing style and I hope we have lots more books to come about these characters in the future. Marcus is one of the newer owners of The Den but he has worked there since it's opening six years ago and is a trusted and popular Dom. He is a very easy character to like, he is comfortable with who and what he is and doesn't feel the need to explain himself or his actions to anyone. At first he isn't keen on the idea of training an actress but from the moment he meets Quinn he can't deny his attraction to her. He senses her submissive side but it is hard for him to tell when she is playing a role and when she is just being herself. She intrigues him though and he wants to get to know the real person she is inside rather than the front that she shows to the world. I loved the fact that Marcus doesn't try to deny his feelings or push her away when he starts to care about her, he knows what he wants and he just has to figure out a way to get Quinn to agree to be his permanent submissive.
I had mixed feelings about Quinn at first, she comes across as quite naive and judgemental at first so I wasn't sure if I was going to like her. She actually started to grow on me quite quickly though, it doesn't take long for you to see that she has a lot of inner strength when you look beyond the surface. She is actually a lot braver than I gave her credit for and it was interesting seeing her start to realise how much power she had. She has spent a long time letting other people run her life for her, from her controlling mother to her publicist and manager she has let other people dictate her actions without really considering why she didn't make her own choices. As she spends more time with Marcus and she learns a lot about herself and does a lot of growing up, she changes a great deal and actually starts to stand up and make her own plans for her future.
If you've read any of the other books in this series you'll know to expect plenty of hot sex in Bonds of Hope, Marcus certainly knows his way around a flogger and he is happy to teach Quinn everything he knows about sexual submission! The scenes in the club aren't the only ones though and I think some of my favourites were when the couple were in the privacy of Marcus's apartment. I enjoyed the character development and the way they were both prepared to make compromises so they could be a couple, they both have to overcome their jealousy over each other's respective jobs but I was pleased this was something they could discuss like adults before making a decision. There was one thing that I wasn't a huge fan of but I can't really talk about that without spoilers so I'm not going to go into details here, I just felt that it forced their issues somewhat and I would have preferred them to have dealt with things without that hanging over their heads. That was a fairly minor problem though and overall I found myself really enjoying their story. This is another solid instalment to the series and one I'm sure fans will enjoy....more
Wicked Heat is the first book I've read by Nicola Marsh but if all of her stories are both as funny and as sexy as this one then it definitely won't bWicked Heat is the first book I've read by Nicola Marsh but if all of her stories are both as funny and as sexy as this one then it definitely won't be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed this and am definitely adding future books in the series to the top of my wish list! If you like your romances spicy and with great characters then this is a book you're going to love.
Allegra's world has just fallen down around her, her fiancé dumped her days before their wedding and her company is going to go out of business if she doesn't land some big new clients fast. When she hears that the luxury resort where she was supposed to take her honeymoon is looking for a new advertising company she decides to continue with her trip just to try and clinch the deal. She meets Jett at the airport but she has no idea that he's heading to the island for exactly the same reason, what she does know is that she is extremely attracted to him and when he proposes a hot holiday fling she's more than willing to take him up on it. With both of them relying on winning the contract to secure their jobs one of them is bound to get hurt unless they decide that it's worth risking it all for love.
I have to say that the meeting between Allegra and Jett at the airport was one of the funniest first encounters I've come across and you could tell instantly how much chemistry they had. Their banter continues throughout the story and I loved the way Jett pushes past Allegra's cold outer shell and brings out the passionate woman she keeps locked inside. They fit together really well but you just know it is all going to go horribly wrong when they realise that they're both after the same contract. I'll admit that I was a bit frustrated with Allegra for not coming clean with Jett sooner and I could understand why he reacted as badly as he did to her deception but thankfully things all worked out OK in the long run. I loved Jett from the beginning, he's cocky, arrogant and sure of himself but I found his confidence attractive and he lived up to his self built hype. He was also a lot nicer than he let on and he really cared about Allegra's feelings and wanted to help her build her confidence.
The sex scenes were incredibly hot (anyone with mile high club fantasies will enjoy this one!) and I think Wicked Heat makes a perfect holiday read with the wonderful tropical island setting. Along with the main characters I also really liked Allegra's best friend Zoe and am hopeful that the next book might be her story. If you've not read anything by Nicola Marsh before then I'd urge you to give this a try, especially if you're looking for a super HOT story that will make you laugh and swoon at the same time....more
I was excited when I found out that Katra was the heroine of Devil May Cry, I've always liked her character and was very intrigued to find out more abI was excited when I found out that Katra was the heroine of Devil May Cry, I've always liked her character and was very intrigued to find out more about her connection to Artemis and why she is so willing to serve such a horrible goddess. I have to say I loved finding out more about Kat's background, there were so many surprises in her past and finding out who her parents were just blew my mind! Some major reveals right there and they're going to have a knock on effect throughout the series. There is a lot going on in this story, we get a lot of background on upcoming major characters, we get answers to some of the questions we've been asking for the last few books and my anticipation is definitely higher than ever when it comes to carrying on with the series.
I love that Kat is such a fierce heroine, she has her own powers and she has a strong sense of justice. We've seen her protecting others in previous books, even when she has to go against Artemis to do it and I knew she would be a heroine I'd enjoy reading about. Sin has every reason to hate Kat, just for her connection to Artemis since Artemis is the one who stole his powers and made him lose his god status but although he captures Kat just to get revenge he quickly realises that she's as much a victim as he is. I loved seeing him come to terms with the fact that he'd have to choose between his revenge and keeping Kat in his life, it isn't easy for him to put something he has dreamed of for so long to one side but he knows that Kat is worth any price. Kat feels terrible about what happened to Sin, especially when she realises that she played a role in his misfortune thanks to the lies Artemis told her. She is determined to make things right even if it means losing Sin forever.
I loved getting to see more of Simi and her sister Xirena in this story, the two of them never fail to make me laugh and I loved seeing them so protective of Kat. I also really enjoyed seeing a further glimpse into Ash's life, things that have been kept secret from him for such a long time are suddenly revealed and I can't wait to see how he responds to those revelations. He seemed to take the news quite calmly but I have a feeling we're going to see more of his angry side once he's had time to take it all in.
Sherrilyn Kenyon adds even more to her world building in this book, we learn about the Gallu demons who Sin has spent so many years fighting, we get to see more of both The Destroyer and Artemis and we are also introduced to a whole new set of enemies who are plotting to end the world. Things seem to be gearing up towards an epic showdown and I can't wait to find out what happens next....more
I'm a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and the Dark-Hunters series but unfortunately this was my least favourite book in the series so far. Having said thI'm a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and the Dark-Hunters series but unfortunately this was my least favourite book in the series so far. Having said that it's probably still better than a lot of paranormal romance stories out there but I have high expectations when I pick up a book by this author and for some reason The Dream-Hunter didn't quite live up to them.
I did really enjoy finding out about the Dream Hunters and learning about their abilities but I was put off Arik because of his initial attitude towards Geary. He thought nothing of signing away her soul if it meant he got to spend 2 weeks as a human living with her and being able to experience real emotions and I find that kind of thing hard to forgive in my heroes. Admittedly Arik does change his mind and I was glad that he was willing to risk so much to keep her safe once he started to have feelings for her but by that point I wasn't as head over heels in love with him as I have been with all of SK's other heroes.
I liked Geary and I enjoyed finding out about her family's history and their search for Atlantis but I found her hard to connect to and I had a hard time buying into her relationship with Arik. The connection between them seemed to be more about their chemistry than any deeper emotional bond. I think I was actually more interested in the various side plots than I was in the main romance which is disappointing. I still enjoy this author's writing style, I love the richly developed and diverse world of the Dark-Hunters, she never seems to run out of new mythology to pull into the series and that side of things is just as fascinating as ever. The Dream-Hunter may not have been my favourite book but it hasn't put be off continuing the series and I have high hopes that Fear the Darkness will be as good or better than the earlier books....more
Susan is a down on her luck reporter whose reputation is in ruins after a major scandal and the only job she could find is working for a paper that coSusan is a down on her luck reporter whose reputation is in ruins after a major scandal and the only job she could find is working for a paper that covers all the weird and supernatural stories that people only read for fun. She's desperate to get back to investigative journalism and if she can just find one really big story she has a shot at rebuilding her career. When a lead takes her to the animal shelter her best friend runs she suddenly finds herself the new owner of a cat she is allergic to and under suspicion of murder. If that wasn't bad enough the cat turns out to be a Were-Hunter and she couldn't be more shocked when he takes human form and tells her she's in danger. Now she's in a whole world of trouble facing dangerous enemies but with Ravyn at her side she might just survive.
I'm such a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark-Hunters series, she never fails to add something new to her stories or take things in unexpected directions and that's something I love about these books. The sheer scale of this world is incredibly impressive and I have no idea how she manages to keep all of the characters and ongoing story lines straight in her head. I'm sure I've still barely scratched the surface and I can't wait to carry on reading!
There is so much going on in Dark Side of the Moon but I never felt that Susan and Ravyn's romance took a back seat and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. I liked the fact that things seemed to move slower between them, it takes time for them to trust each other and to build a rapport but considering how many new things Susan was having thrown at her I felt that made things much more believable. There is plenty of fun banter between them and all the humour I've come to expect from the series, it's hilarious that Susan is allergic to Ravyn's inner cat and that even his human hair can set her off sneezing. Ravyn's back story is heart breaking, that isn't really anything new for the Dark-Hunters but I think it was made worse in his case by the way his family treat him. He blames himself for a dreadful event that wasn't really his fault but what's worse is that his father and brothers blame him too and I hated seeing the way they acted towards him. What I loved was seeing Susan stand up for her man and put his family firmly in their place, she helps Ravyn see that there was nothing he could have done to prevent the tragedy. Susan and Ravyn make a great couple, they both fight for what they want and they're strong in different ways which makes them perfect back up for each other.
I don't even know where to start when it comes to what is happening in the rest of the Dark-Hunter world during this book. Of course I absolutely adore Ash as always but there are some absolutely shocking things going on with the Daimons and that epilogue almost made my jaw hit the floor. Honestly what the hell is Nick thinking? I love his character (I'm very invested in him since I started the Chronicles of Nick series before I started the Dark-Hunter one) and my heart has broken for him over certain events that have happened but I was completely shocked and horrified at his actions here. I know he's hurting but I'm annoyed that he's letting other people influence him and turn him into the something he never wanted to be. I definitely can't wait to read The Dream-Hunter so I can find out what happens next though, I have a feeling things are about to get incredibly interesting!...more
Wren is Tigard, a rare mix of white tiger and snow leopard, and for his entire life he has been treated as an abomination by both sides of his family.Wren is Tigard, a rare mix of white tiger and snow leopard, and for his entire life he has been treated as an abomination by both sides of his family. He has lived at Sanctuary since the viscous murder of his parents when he was a child but although the Peltier family have allowed him into their home they have never fully trusted him. Wren has spent his entire life being looked down on and feared so it's no wonder he chooses to keep himself to himself and avoids contact with others as much as possible. Everything changes for him when he meets Marguerite, a beautiful human woman who somehow calms his inner beast even while everything about her calls for him to claim her. Wren doesn't want to drag Maggie into his world, especially since he is scared of losing control and hurting her, but when enemies from his past come calling he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
Unleash the Night has a slightly different feel to it than the previous books in the Dark-Hunters series but I enjoyed it just as much as the others. The romance between Wren and Maggie was just so sweet and Wren has an adorable innocence to him that made me fall for him in a big way. As much as Wren is strong and capable of defending himself he is also very shy and he doesn't feel worthy of any woman, especially not someone as perfect as Maggie. Maggie has spent her whole life trying to live up to her senator father's expectations, she hates being in the limelight and just wants to be able to live life on her own terms but her father is always pushing her to follow his plans. With Wren she is finally able to be completely herself, he doesn't want to change her and he encourages her to follow her own dreams. They fall for each other quickly but their relationship has a natural pace to it and never feels rushed or forced. It's like that youthful rush of first love that I'm pretty sure most of us have experienced at some point in our lives and I enjoyed seeing it again through Wren and Maggie's eyes.
I've always enjoyed spending time at Sanctuary with the bears so it was great to learn more about all the different shapeshifters. There is a lot of rivalry amongst the different Were Hunter tribes and although Wren comes from a very powerful family he is treated as an outcast by everyone else. I've always really loved the whole Peltier family but I have to admit I was disappointed with Nicolette in this book, the way she treated Wren really upset and annoyed me, I honestly expected better of her. Thankfully the rest of the family aren't quite so hot headed or prejudiced and she had gone a small way towards making up for her actions by the end of the book. I'm really enjoying the developments we're seeing with Aimee but have a feeling she's going to have a lot of trouble getting her family to accept the man who seems to have stolen her heart.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot but there is a time travel element that I really enjoyed, I love that Sherrilyn Kenyon always manages to find new ways to keep this series fresh and interesting. It was also great to catch up with some familiar faces (I really want to see Fang & Fury get their own books!) and I'm definitely curious about Savitar - I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot more of him as the series continues - I hope so anyway! Unleash the Night is another fab book in the Dark-Hunters series and I'm so glad that I have so many left to devour before I catch up and have to start waiting between instalments....more
Alexion has spent centuries working as Acheron's executioner, it is his job to make sure the Dark-Hunters don't step out of line and he is the one whoAlexion has spent centuries working as Acheron's executioner, it is his job to make sure the Dark-Hunters don't step out of line and he is the one who carries out the punishment for any of them who fail to follow their code. He is forced to live separate to the others, unable to spend long in the human realm and wary of making friends that he may be forced to judge in the future. In fact to most of the Dark-Hunters he is just a myth - the ones who do see him rarely live to tell the tale. Now he has been asked to pass judgement on a friend he knew in his human lifetime, someone he hasn't seen since his early years as a Dark-Hunter. He owes it to his friend to try and save him but can he find a way to bridge the centuries old gap between them? Danger is a female Dark-Hunter who is incredibly loyal to her friends, she would never allow Alexion to hurt them but she can see they are on a slippery slope, one that it will be hard to come back from even with her help. She will do whatever it takes to make them see the truth but their enemy is an expert at spinning lies and turning the Dark-Hunters against everything they should be standing for. Danger knows that Alexion has been sent to kill them all but her only choice is to work with him if she hopes to save any of the people she cares about.
I've become a huge fan of this series over the last few months and Since of the Night is another fantastic read from Sherrilyn Kenyon. This story is such a fun read and it was so full of humour and it had me laughing out loud on several occasions. I loved getting to see another side to Acheron and any time spent with him and Simi is always time well spent. Alexion is probably the closest thing Acheron has to a true confidant, someone who knows more about him than anyone else and it was great to see that strong bond between them. I actually liked seeing that Acheron isn't infallible, he can and does make mistakes but it's the way he reacts to them and works so hard to fix things that make me respect him even more. Alexion is like an older brother to Simi and I loved their interactions too, he and Acheron are both so indulgent towards the demon that it is hilarious to see them all together.
Danger is the first female Dark-Hunter we've really spent time with and I really liked her character, she is a fierce warrior and can definitely hold her own against the daimons she fights. She doesn't trust people easily and keeps others at a distance but once you've earned her loyalty she will defend you with her dying breath. She is wary of Alexion at first, especially because she knows he will think nothing of destroying her friends if they go ahead with the rebellion they are planning, but as she gets to know him she sees that he does everything in his power to convince the Dark-Hunters that they are in the wrong. Alexion doesn't want to kill anyone if he doesn't have to but it is his job to make sure they stick to the rules and he can't allow Dark-Hunters to go around killing humans. The enemy they are facing is a clever one, someone who is able to twist the truth and make it look like Acheron is the bad guy when he has done nothing but protect them for centuries. Alexion has seen first hand everything that Acheron has done for them so he is livid that they are so eager to believe the lies and he won't stand for it.
In a lot of ways I think Sins of the Night was a lighter hearted story than some of the previous books in this series but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. The banter between Alexion and Danger is fantastic and I loved watching their relationship blossom but I also have to give a shout out to one of the new characters we are introduced to. Xirena was absolutely brilliant and I can't wait to see more of her as the series continues, I'm not going to say more about who she is or how she fits in but she was a fantastic surprise and I loved her. I can't wait to continue devouring this series!...more
I have loved all of the Dark-Hunters books so far but I have to confess that Night Play is my new favourite. There is just something so adorably sweetI have loved all of the Dark-Hunters books so far but I have to confess that Night Play is my new favourite. There is just something so adorably sweet and sexy about Vane and I loved how Bride is just an everyday woman who has the same kind of insecurities that most of us do. Their romance is both sweet and incredibly sexy and I think Sherrilyn Kenyon outdid herself with this one.
Vane is just everything you could want in a hero, he is strong, brave, loving, protective and he is willing to put Bride's safety above his own happiness. He's in a tough situation with some powerful enemies on his trail and the brother he loves more than anything has been injured. I loved the connection between him and Fang and it was heart breaking to see how much pain Vane was in at the thought of losing his brother. The last thing he really needs is a woman in his life, particularly not a human woman who knows nothing of the supernatural world and doesn't have ability to defend herself from his enemies. There is something about Bride that he finds impossible to resist though and from the moment he realises they are mates he knows he is in trouble, he only has a limited time to persuade her that they should be together but he has no idea how to go about wooing a human which leads to some very amusing requests for dating advice!
I think one of the things I loved most about Vane was how beautiful he found Bride and how he spent so much time showing her how attractive he found her and how much he cared. Bride has always been a big girl and has always felt insecure about her looks, something that wasn't helped by the way her horrible ex-boyfriend treated her. It was great to see her confidence grow as she started to see herself through Vane's eyes and I loved that he didn't want to change a single thing about her. I felt her reactions to the situation she found herself in as Vane started to open up about who and what he was were very realistic. The way their connection builds was just wonderful to watch and I loved every minute they spent together. It's nice to see such a down to earth heroine in a paranormal romance, Bride is the kind of woman you're probably already friends with which makes it easy to connect with her and want to see her get her happy ever after.
Alongside the fabulous romance Night Play also has plenty of humour and laugh out loud moments, we get to catch up with previous heroes and heroines and I even found myself starting to like Valerius which came as quite a surprise. I have to admit I'd been kind of dreading his book, Seize the Night, (which is the next book in the series) but now I have a feeling that Sherrilyn Kenyon can turn his character around and make me fall for him. As always I can't get enough of the scenes with Acheron and Simi but I also enjoyed getting to know some of the other were-hunters and I really hope that we'll get to see both Fang and Fury's stories somewhere down the line. This is another fantastic instalment to the series and makes me even more eager to carry on my Dark-Hunter journey....more
Kiss of the Night is the fifth book in the Dark-Hunters series and another fabulous book by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have been absoluteBuddy read with Maru
Kiss of the Night is the fifth book in the Dark-Hunters series and another fabulous book by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have been absolutely devouring these books since I started them and the only reason I'm happy to be so late joining the DH bandwagon is that I've got so many books to work my way through before I'll have to start waiting between instalments like everyone else! I was a little confused when I first started reading this one because the time line for the story starts at around the same time as events in book 3, Night Embrace. I was worried that I'd somehow ended up reading the books in the wrong order but it doesn't take long for events to catch up and overtake the previous books.
We hadn't seen a great deal of Wulf in the previous books but I found myself quickly coming to like him. Thanks to a curse placed on him Wulf has a very unusual effect on anyone he meets, apart from members of his family any human he comes across forgets everything about him within 5 minutes of their meeting. As soon as Wulf walks away he is wiped from their memory which makes it incredibly difficult to form any kind of lasting friendships or even interact with members of his staff. Other than his fellow Dark-Hunters the only person who remembers him is his distant nephew Chris. Wulf drives Chris insane with his overprotective ways and thanks to the pressure he puts on him to produce an heir but the two of them have a strong bond and there is a lot of love between them. It was actually really nice to see one of the Dark-Hunters who still has a connection to his family centuries after he became immortal but you can imagine how hard it must be for Wulf to watch his family members continually age and die while he always remains the same. The grief of losing so many people has changed him and Wulf finds it hard to let people get too close.
When he first meets Cassandra he has no idea who she is or that she is an Apollite and therefore one of his greatest enemies. He saves her life almost by accident and never expects to see her again but when their paths next cross he is shocked to discover that she remembers him. That is something that has never happened before and instantly draws him to her, until he finds out about her heritage that is. Cassandra knows very little about the Apollites other than the fact that they killed her mother and her sisters and that they have spent years hunting her too. She doesn't understand why they are after her but she wants to make the most of the time she has left before hitting her 27th birthday kills her. Wulf is torn by his protective feelings towards Cassandra when who she is makes her automatically his enemy. She makes him question everything he has ever been told about the Apollites and he doesn't know what to do with the new information. I have to say I loved the way Cassandra stood up for herself and her people, she makes it very hard for readers not to sympathise with the Apollites and even to a certain extent the Daimons which is something I wasn't expecting.
I don't want to say too much more about the story other than the fact that I loved it. Wulf and Cassandra have a very difficult journey to face and it seems almost impossible for them to have any kind of happy ever after but thankfully Sherrilyn Kenyon is able to masterfully turn things around for them both. It was also great to catch up with some of the characters we already know and love and see how they're getting on. I'm falling more and more in love with Acheron every time he steps onto the page and I absolutely can't wait for his book! Kiss of the Night is a fantastic instalment to the series, a really emotional read that tugs at your heartstrings and will completely change your opinion of certain characters by the end. I can't wait to find out what happens next!...more
I really enjoyed Bitter Sweet Love (the prequel to the Dark Elements series), I liked both Jas and Dez but I think the character that intrigued me mosI really enjoyed Bitter Sweet Love (the prequel to the Dark Elements series), I liked both Jas and Dez but I think the character that intrigued me most was Layla, the young half demon / half warden (gargoyle) girl they met when they were in Washington, so I was excited when I found out that she was actually going to be the main character in the series. White Hot Kiss is set a few years on from the prequel and although Jas does appear occasionally throughout the story I have to admit I didn't like her as much in this book. She just seemed like a different girl to the one we met previously and considering she'd become friends with Layla in the first book I was irritated by her reactions in this one. I was also a bit disappointed that Dez doesn't even make a minor appearance.
However, the focus on this book is definitely on Layla and while there were some occasions when she started to irritate me overall I quite liked her. It isn't easy being the only half demon / half warden in existence. The wardens may have taken her in and they're very happy to use her ability to tag demons to help them in their fight against evil but the majority of the clan have never fully accepted her. Most of them don't trust her, in fact, they're pretty scared of some of her abilities so they always seem to put her down and belittle her. The only warden who has ever treated her like a normal girl is Zayne, he is a few years older than she is and has been protecting her ever since the wardens found her and brought her to live with them. As a part demon Layla doesn't just have the power to tag demons she also has the ability to suck the soul from anyone she gets close to, she has to constantly battle her instincts so that she doesn't harm anyone and Zayne is the one person who understands how hard she has to fight it. It's no real surprise that Layla developed a crush on Zayne but it is impossible for them to be together since wardens have such bright, pure souls and Layla couldn't even get close enough to kiss him without stealing his soul accidentally. I really loved the way Zayne stuck up for Layla in Bitter Sweet Love, he obviously cares about her a lot but in White Hot Kiss I actually found myself surprised and a little disappointed by his behaviour. Considering he is a potential love interest (and the guy whose team I expected to be on before I picked up the book) I was surprised to find myself much more interested in his demon rival Roth.
Roth is very much your typical bad boy, he has the looks, the snarky attitude and the sex appeal that I find very appealing in my fictional characters so it's no surprise I loved him from the moment he steps onto the page. He seemed much more vivid than most of the other characters in this series but even so doesn't really bring anything new to the table - he's exactly what I'd expect from one of Jennifer L. Armentrout's bad boys. Don't get me wrong, she writes very good bad boys, but I just was hoping for more from Roth. Either way I'm still firmly on team Roth when it comes to this love triangle and I do love his character.
I had expected to learn a lot more about the wardens in this book, I'm still not sure I understand why it is OK for the humans to know that gargoyles exist but so important that they don't find out that there are demons walking around. We were kind of given an explanation but it seems a bit flimsy to me and not a very logical one so I'm going to hope that we get more answers to that as the series continues. I think the wardens actually owe Layla a lot more information about her background and why they have kept so much hidden from her. Right now I find the demons more trustworthy than the supposed good guys which I wasn't expecting. There are some fantastic revelations towards the end of the story and the ending left me really eager to get my hands on a copy of the next book Stone Cold Touch. I have a feeling things are going to get very interesting now and I'm looking forward to seeing how certain events play out. I do hope that the triangle has less focus in the next book though. I'm really over that trope now and it's getting a little boring to see nearly every female main character bouncing back and forth between two hot male leads.
While I enjoyed White Hot Kiss and found reading it a pleasant way to pass the time I have to confess that it isn't my favourite one of Jennifer L. Arementrout's novels. I do think fans of YA paranormal romance will like it though, especially ones who are looking for something a little bit different - it's not every day you come across books about gargoyles after all....more
I have become a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder since I first read Touch of Power last year and my experience with her Chronicles of Ixia series has justI have become a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder since I first read Touch of Power last year and my experience with her Chronicles of Ixia series has just cemented her as one of my favourite YA fantasy authors. I'm beginning to think she can do no wrong because every single time I pick up one of her books I'm completely pulled into the world she has created and am captivated by her characters. I have come to love Yelena, Valek and their friends and I'm sad to say goodbye to them now that their part of the series has come to an end. I'm looking forward to getting to know side characters better in the next part of the series but I do hope we'll see appearances from some familiar faces too because I want to know how they get on in the future.
I have loved learning about Yelena's magical abilities and in Fire Study we get to see skills really put to the test. She failed to destroy the Soulstealer in Magic Study so she must go up against them once again but now they know of her powers they have been able to prepare for her attempt to stop them. The enemy she is facing has powerful allies who will stop at nothing to destroy Yelena and she has never been more at risk. Unfortunately there isn't anyone who can help her master her powers, knowledge of Soulfinders has been lost over the years because her abilities are so rare so Yelena has to work out a lot of things on her own. Thankfully she has good friends and people who care about her but letting them close enough to help just puts them at even more risk. Yelena has to decide who to trust and find a way to keep them safe while they work alongside her.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot for fear of giving spoilers so I'll just tell you that this is just as action packed as the first two books, there is so much going on and the characters are really up against it. We get to explore more of both Sitia and Ixia, spend time with familiar faces and get to know some not so familiar ones. It was really nice to learn a bit more about Opal who is the heroine of the next three books in the series and I'm really looking forward to finding out more about her glass blowing skills and the beautiful things she creates.
If you enjoyed the first two books in the series then I'm sure you'll love Fire Study just as much, the characters are in for a tough time but the ending was perfect and left me with a happy smile on my face. I had guessed at who was in league with the Soulstealer but I think we were supposed to and that didn't stop my enjoyment of the story. I can't recommend this series highly enough for fantasy fans but you definitely need to read the books in order starting with Poison Study. I'm just so relieved I have three more books already available to read - I know I'm going to be devouring them very soon....more
I was such a huge fan of Poison Study that I couldn't wait to dive straight into Magic Study to continue following Yelena's story. I had high expectatI was such a huge fan of Poison Study that I couldn't wait to dive straight into Magic Study to continue following Yelena's story. I had high expectations and once again Maria V. Snyder smashed them with this incredible follow up, she has seriously become one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to carry on reading this series. I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review will have already read Poison Study so there may be spoilers for that book but it will be spoiler free for Magic Study. If you haven't started the series yet then stop reading this review right now and go grab a copy of Poison Study - buy it or borrow it from the a friend or the library but just get hold of a copy ASAP and start reading immediately, you won't regret it!
Now that Yelena's secret has been discovered and the Commander knows that she is a magician she has an execution order hanging over her head and staying in Ixia would mean certain death. Her only hope is to escape to Sitia where, with the help of Irys, she can not only find her long lost family but also begin her magical training. It isn't easy to leave Valek and her friends behind to face the unknown but Yelena knows she needs to learn to control her magic before it destroys her and she isn't one to turn away from a challenge. Meeting her family isn't easy though, her parents are delighted to have her back in their lives but she is wary of them and finds their affections stifling while her brother, Leif, seems to hate her on sight and she really doesn't understand why. Yelena must try to find a place for herself in Sitia but it is hard to know who to trust, especially when everyone seems to have their own reason to get close to her.
I loved getting to see how different Sitia is to Ixia, while Ixia is much more ordered and controlled it is also better at providing for it's citizens. Sitia on the other hand is brighter, more colourful and chaotic, there are less rules but for the first time ever Yelena sees beggars and realises that some people don't even have enough food to survive. Both cultures have positives and negatives and Yelena starts to realise that perhaps Ixia isn't as bad as she originally thought it was. I think my favourite part of Sitia was the Zaltana's home in the jungle though, I loved their treetop hideaway and it would be a wonderful place to visit. For the first time Yelena has a family who cares about her and she isn't quite sure how to deal with their affection, she has been on her own for so long that she doesn't find it easy to trust or to let anyone in and she is confused by the way her family instantly accept her as one of their own. Although she doesn't understand why Leif hates her so much she probably understands his suspicious reaction more than she does her parent's open acceptance and love.
Yelena has done a lot of growing up and her reaction to fear is no longer to run away, now she is much more prepared to fight to protect herself and those she cares about. It was fantastic to see her learning to use her magical abilities but I'm glad she didn't start to just rely on her magic to get her out of difficult situations, she is still more than capable of physically kicking butt thanks to the training she had in Ixia. Although I enjoyed watching her make new friends and allies I'll admit that I missed Ari and Janco, their banter was one of my favourite things about the first book so it wasn't quite the same without them. Luckily they have more of a role in the second part of the story and it was great to see them both again. I'd also missed Valek in the beginning, I fell for him big time in Poison Study and missed the romance between him and Yelena, thankfully that was also much more present and just as swoonworthy as ever later on in the book. I love the fact that Valek doesn't try to take over Yelena's life, he knows she is where she needs to be and he also knows that she can protect herself. He always has her back but doesn't try to stop her from fighting her own battles.
Magic Study was every bit as addictive as it's predecessor, the plot is fast paced, well written and full of intrigue and betrayal. There are plenty of plot twists to keep you on your toes and we are introduced to some fabulous new characters to go along with those we already know and love. If you enjoyed Poison Study you're going to love this one just as much if not more!...more
I'm always nervous when it comes to reading the final book in a trilogy, it's very hard not to have high expectations with series you love and so manyI'm always nervous when it comes to reading the final book in a trilogy, it's very hard not to have high expectations with series you love and so many times I feel like the ending is a let down so I was wary going into this one. Thankfully my worried were unfounded as Veronica Rossi finished Perry and Aria's story on a high note.
I don't want to say too much about what happens in this book but it is much faster paced and more action packed than the previous two. Again we see Perry and Aria separated for large chunks of the story but the time they do spend together more than makes up for it. They are one of my favourite YA couples and I think they make a brilliant team. I also loved spending time with Aria and Roar, they have such a fantastic friendship and I love that bond between them. I think the most special thing about it is that the author never tries to turn it into a love connection, they care for each other but there isn't even a hint of romance. How many boy/girl friendships can you think of in YA stories that are like that? I actually can't name a single one apart from theirs off the top of my head which shows how unique it really is.
The characters are what made me love this series, there are people I love and ones that I hate but so many of them bring out strong emotions in me. I'll warn you now that not everyone survives the story and there are moments when you'll definitely want to have tissues on hand but no matter how dire the circumstances seem I always felt like there was hope. I enjoyed seeing Perry and Aria working together to unite their people against a common enemy and I loved seeing certain people get what they deserved. Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is your friend - until they're back to being your enemy again - and there are some very surprising alliances in this book.
Into the Still Blue is a strong ending to a fantastic series and I'm sure it's one I'll be rereading again in the future. In the meantime anything new written by Veronica Rossi will be jumping straight to the top of my wish list....more
After her mother's death Merry set out to change her life, first by losing nearly 100 pounds and then by setting out on an advenBuddy read with Amanda
After her mother's death Merry set out to change her life, first by losing nearly 100 pounds and then by setting out on an adventure. Three weeks trekking across the Scottish Highlands might not be everyone's dream holiday but Merry is looking forward to getting away from it all and discovering just what her new body is capable of. When she is taken ill in the middle of nowhere she has no choice but to seek help at an isolated cottage. Rob left his entire life behind him to exile himself in Scotland, he has spent the last few years avoiding people and trying to put his past mistakes behind him but he can't exactly turn an injured woman away when there is nobody else who can help her. He reluctantly lets Merry stay with him while she recovers and quickly finds that his gruff and secretive nature isn't enough to keep her at arm's length. As Merry draws him further out of his shell Rob must decide whether he is ready to face the world again or whether to continue with his isolated and lonely existence.
Unbound is the first book I've read by Cara McKenna but considering it's one of my favourite reads of the year so far it definitely won't be the last! It takes a lot of skill for a writer to immerse me so fully into a story and to hold my attention for a whole book especially when you only really spend time with the two main characters but that's exactly what she did. I fell in love with both Merry and Rob and enjoyed every minute that I spent with them.
Merry has been through a lot but she has taken steps to change her life and become the woman she always knew she could be. Her weight loss has taken hard work and determination but she is proud of her achievements and disappointed with the reaction she gets from the people who are supposed to be her best friends. She refuses to take on their negativity though and sets out on a journey of self discovery hoping to reconnect with her mother's birth place and at the same time put her own past behind her. I found Merry was immediately a likeable character, she doesn't have the best self image but she is self aware enough to recognise why she feels that way and she wants to be comfortable and confident of her new image. Her journey across the Highlands has shown her just how capable she is and she is relishing the freedom from her normal day to day life and other people's expectations of her.
Rob is an extremely messed up character, he is ashamed of so many things that he did in his past and instead of facing up to his demons he has hidden himself away from the world and is letting life pass him by. It isn't until he starts to get to know Merry that he realises just how much he has been punishing himself but even when he understands that it doesn't make it easy to open up to her and let her in. Along with his tortured past Rob is also hiding a sexual kink that he has always been ashamed of, he may be attracted to Merry but he is worried his needs will be a turn off for her and is too afraid to share them with her. Rob was such an intriguing character, some of the things from his past should be a turn off but I found myself falling for him anyway. I'm not going to spoil things when it comes to his kink but I will say it was hot as hell seeing how happy Merry was to help him fulfil his fantasies!
Merry is such an open and accepting character and she really helps to bring Rob out of his shell. She challenges him to face up to his past and by doing that she helps him learn to live in the present. He starts to question everything and finally starts to deal with his demons rather than run from them. It was great to see how much progress Rob made and I enjoyed seeing Merry's confidence in herself and her own sexuality grow as she took on the role that Rob needed her to. This really is a case of opposites attract, Rob is an introvert who is shy, grumpy and would rather be on his own while Merry is the cheerful life and soul of the party who thrives on being around people. You might think that the two of them together would be a recipe for disaster but they fit together perfectly and both bring out the best in each other. It's been a long time since I loved characters quite as much as I adored these two and there were parts of both of them that I found incredibly easy to relate to.
Unbound is a fabulous novel, one that was much more emotional than I expected and that has huge amounts of depth. Rob is a flawed hero, one who has a habit of letting his past rule the present but his journey was all the more compelling because of that. Along with the emotional growth this story has some of the hottest sex scenes you'll ever come across and it has turned me into an instant Cara McKenna fan. I can't wait to start working my way through her back list and I can't recommend this highly enough to anyone who likes their contemporary romance a little on the kinky side!...more