Another great instalment from the Moira Rogers writing team! The fifth instalment in the Southern Arcana series andReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Another great instalment from the Moira Rogers writing team! The fifth instalment in the Southern Arcana series and this time the lead characters are Sera and Julio. If you remember Julio was brutally tortured in Cipher, protecting Kat. This book sees him coming to terms with those events, and also understanding his place on the werewolf council following the political coup led by Alec in Deadlock.
Julio is an alpha werewolf with pre-cog skills. Super alpha and super dominant, but he also had this kind of laid back style I really liked. Sera is a coyote a dying out, shape-shifter breed, she’s also a submissive. It’s really easy to think submissive equals weak, and I nearly fell into that trap at the beginning of the book, but Sera is a survivor and a while she needs to submit she also is strong and determined to make her own decisions. Since Deadlock we’ve seen her trying to stand inner own two feet after escaping from her abusive marriage. Of course, as you know in books, abusive husbands always come back to bite you on the arse! Impulse is no exception.
In an attempt to come to terms with their pasts, and escape their surroundings, Sera and Julio go on a road trip. Cue, smoking hot chemistry and some interesting, kinky sex. Although perhaps not as kinky as erotic romance readers are used to reading . I would say, don’t read submissive and dominant and think this book is about BDSM, because while it touches on it, I wouldn’t say that is really what this book is about.
I found it interesting how Sera balanced her need to be submissive in the bedroom, yet tried to fight against her coyote nature to submit to Julio in real life. It added an extra dynamic to their relationship as Julio had to fight the opposite desires.
Their road trip takes us deeper into the werewolf community. We see and begin to understand the implications of the werewolf rule and how it has impacted people outside of the New Orleans cast featured in the series. From poverty to deep resentment. We also encounter horrible bigotry as Julio and Sera try to carve their way for a new leadership and a new way of thinking, when others are determined to keep things how they are or were.
Politics play an important part once more and that’s one of the things I really enjoy about these books. The political manoeuvrings, almost like werewolf chess, but also the twists and thrills as each characters are delivered blows or developments you never really saw coming.
Patrick is fast becoming a character who really intrigues me, he might be human but he most definitely has a few tricks up his sleeve and I really can’t wait for his and Anna’s book (they better be getting one!).
I perhaps didn’t love this book as much as Cipher, but I think that’s more that I just loved Kat and Andrew more than there was any deficiency in the story. The Rogers writing team aren’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects and Impulse faces domestic violence, bigotry and poverty head on, all delivered in a sexy package. A really enjoyable read.
If you want a little taste of what the Deacon Chalk series is all about, it’s definitely worth giving SPIDER’S LULLAReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
If you want a little taste of what the Deacon Chalk series is all about, it’s definitely worth giving SPIDER’S LULLABY a try. It’s a novella that takes place between Blood and Bullets and Blood and Silver, but to be honest I think you could easily pick it up as a stand-alone. There are a few references, but nothing that would spoil things for you.
The story evolves around one of my reluctant favourite characters. I say reluctant, because as a terrible arachnophobe, I still find it hard to believe I’m reading a book about a were-spider (I’m even glad I had it as an ebook, as I even find it hard to look at the cover!). Yes, that’s right a spider as big as a human, even the idea makes me feel a bit nauseous. Given the rather tongue-in-cheek name of Charlotte, you’ve got to love Tuck’s sense of humour. But dare I say it, Charlotte is rather cool, in an understated chic kind of way. Eight gross legs and all.
The plot theme is familiar to what we’ve seen in all the books to date. Bad guys do something very bad, often affecting someone Deacon cares for, roll on lots of blood and violence, and lots and lots of guns. And of course, the bad guys deservedly get what’s coming to them. But it’s far from a tired format. It’s slick, it’s dark and occasionally a touch of subtle, black humour.
When Charlotte’s egg sac of spider babies *shudder* are kidnapped, along with a dancer from Deacon’s club, you know without a doubt he won’t stop until he gets them back. Of course being were-spider babies you don’t want them hatching without mummy present or things could get decidedly hmmm carnivorous, yes I think that deserves another *shudder*.
There is something almost comic book-esque in Tuck’s writing style. The action is quite cinematic, pulling you right in and depicted in such a way you have a very vivid picture of what’s happening and in particular what a certain character looks like.
This novella is almost non-stop action, barely giving you time to come up for breath. Deacon is a bad-ass with a tender side. He fights because he cares, almost too much. Which makes him not only a great character, but one you want to get to know, to peel beneath the layers.
Tiff makes a big appearance in this book. Emerging from the naive girl she was in Blood and Bullets, to become a fighter at Deacon’s side. The love story between them slowly being hinted at. I just don’t know if I quite get her though, there is something that makes it hard for me to connect with her. And I have to admit, I find it irritating that Deacon refers to her as ‘little girl’ albeit as an affectionate term of endearment.
A great read for urban fantasy fans, Deacon is fast finding his place amongst other monster fighting heroes. Buckle up for the ride because it’s going to get bloody! And yikes there are spiders, hundreds of them in fact. I need to read a romance now so I don’t have nightmares.
Plix is a woman whose has dedicated her whole life to seeking vengeance, determined to get to the bottom of her fathReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Plix is a woman whose has dedicated her whole life to seeking vengeance, determined to get to the bottom of her father's death. She's had her body upgraded with computer components to enable her to be the best she can be.
Waking up battered in a gutter, she has no memory of how she got there, and she seeks the one person she know can help her - Edison. Edison is a tuner, who specialises in 'tuning' human computer upgrades. He's been patching Plix up for years, but each time gets harder and harder.
This novella is a combination of science fiction mystery and romance. We watch Plix so determined to get to the bottom of her father's death at the expense of everything else in her life. At first the love story is just hinted at as we watch Plix too driven to notice anything else, and Edison's pain as he is unable to stop her suicide mission. But this unrequited love really does capture you as the reader right from the start.
While there was a certain amount of intrigue about the mystery part of the story, I did want to see what had driven Plix to become the woman she was and left her with nothing else in her life. There was not enough time in the book to really develop this theme as much as I would have liked.
I was fascinated by Plix's upgrades and the futuristic setting of the story. I found it hard to picture what Plix looked like in my head. I wanted to know more about this world, how these upgrades worked and how it had changed humanity. This important aspect of the book lacked explanation. But, the possibilities of these human adaptations were really interesting. I really hope that the author is planning to write another book in this world as this novella was sadly just too short to explore some of the clever concepts it created.
I really did however, love the romance. I felt for Edison as he continued to patch Plix up and send her out into the unknown, and as he did the gulf between them painfully widened. It made the romance seem not only genuine, but gave me a smile of satisfaction when it finally did happen.
An easy read novella set in an intriguing new world, but more importantly, a really fab romance.
RATING: 7/10 - Very good, would definitely recommend ...more
Magic Gifts is a great novella in the Kate Daniels series. It is included with Gunmetal Magic, the Andrea spin-off (Reviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Magic Gifts is a great novella in the Kate Daniels series. It is included with Gunmetal Magic, the Andrea spin-off (which I really must read). I was however, sent it separately for review. It takes place after Magic Slays, the latest instalment, but before Gunmetal Magic.
The story begins with Kate and Curran going out for a dinner date. But as ever for things with Kate and Curran things don’t quite go to plan. It ends with a woman dying, a fight with some vampires, an evil necklace and a small child seriously in need of some help.
The main plot evolves around Kate and Curran in a race against time to save the small boy who has an evil necklace stuck on his neck draining the life out of him. Even for a hundred pages, this story packs a punch. It has everything I’ve come to love about this series, witty dialogue, great interplay between Kate and Curran, fun characters, super action scenes and of course evil, dead things. There is also some brilliant dialogue between Ghastek and Kate, he really should know better than to bet against her!
We get some new characters in the shape of Vikings, who quite frankly like to get drunk and start fights all the time. They are completely hilarious! Look out for the scene with Curran walking naked through the Viking camp. Yes, yes, I did say naked, I told you this was a good story.
Magic Gifts also gives a big of an insight into The Guild and how it is run and Kate and Jim’s relationship. I’ve since seen that Jim has his very own novella – Magic Dreams, which I shall fast be making a purchase of!
The ending ties everything up nicely, but also manages to deliver a clever plot development I didn’t see coming. This is a great series accompaniment for fans, but I wouldn’t say it’s a good introduction for newbies. But if you haven’t read book one yet, I highly recommend that you do so.
A completely superb novella to accompany one of my favourite urban fantasy series. Funny, sexy, action packed. If you love Kate and Curran and you haven’t read this yet, go and download it now. I promise you won’t be sorry.
'That Thing At The Zoo' is James R. Tuck's debut novel, introducing us to the world of DeaReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (8 out of 10 on the blog)
'That Thing At The Zoo' is James R. Tuck's debut novel, introducing us to the world of Deacon Chalk. We featured Tuck in our Debut Author Spotlight last month. At 80 pages, it's more of a novella, but well worth your times and a superb introduction into this new urban fantasy series.
Deacon, a man whose entire family was killed by a supernatural monster, now spends his life hunting the things that go bump in the night and killing them. So when Atlanta's zoo animals are being barbarically murdered, it's only natural the police call him in to investigate.
There's something about Deacon that slightly reminds me of a male Anita Blake. He's tough, determined and somewhat ruthless. There's a darkness to him, enhanced by his personal tragedy. This novella only scratches the surface of who Deacon is, there's plenty left unsaid and it's really only just enough to wet your appetite. But most importantly, you can't help but like him as he is seriously, seriously cool.
"You look like hell yourself, man. What are you going to do?" I held my gun up. "Suck it up. Keep moving. Finish this."
Tuck has a fantastic turn of phrase. There is a college kid coolness about some of his language, but you can also vividly pull into your mind the image he is trying to depict. Then there are some descriptions that amongst the blood and gore you cannot fail to smile at. Don't get me wrong this is far from a comedy, in fact the story is very dark and hints at further darkness yet to come, but there is also a hidden wit.
'The priest lifted scar tissue masquerading as an eyebrow while he lit another cancer stick. His Zippo clicked open with a metallic chime, flared a one inch spout of orange flame, then clacked closed. He worked the smoke around in his mouth like a pipe-smoker, tasting it, enjoying the flavour.'
'His hair out of the constrains of the hat was the biggest freaking mullet I have ever seen. I grew up with some white trash family members. I have seen mullets. Jimmy the zookeeper's mullet was absolutely epic.'
The story itself is a page turner, a mash of action, gore and horror with a super evil creature and plenty edge of your seat scenes. And lots and lots of guns, again reminding me of Anita. But all of this pivots around Deacon, Deacon makes the book. We are briefly introduced to some other members of his team in one scene. A scarred priest (mentioned above) and Kat the owner of Deacon's strip club, who are equally fascinating, and I found myself wanting to know a lot more about them as well as Deacon's background.
This novella really just gives you a flavour of what is to come, it sucked me right in with supernatural magnetism. I want to learn more about the world and more about the characters. So Tuck has achieved I'm sure exactly what he set out to achieve with this story. Made me want to read more!
'That Thing At The Zoo' introduces you to a new series and even better hero. I truly can't wait to get my hands on the first full novel of the series 'Blood and Bullets'. Fans of gritty urban fantasy will love this one. ...more
Twin identity swapping stories always seem to make me think of Disney's 'The Parent Trap'Reviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
Twin identity swapping stories always seem to make me think of Disney's 'The Parent Trap' (the original is so much better) or Pascal's Sweet Valley High series which I so loved as a girl. There is of course nothing new about the concept, I find I sometimes like the stories, and other times not so much. 'The Husband Trap' thankfully fell into the first camp.
It begins with a wedding. Adrian, Duke of Raeburn waits for his bride, however it is not the woman he thinks it is walking down the aisle, it's in fact her twin sister Violet. In love with her sister Jeanette's fiancé, when Jeanette refuses to go through with the wedding, to avoid the terrible scandal Violet agrees to marry Adrian in her sister's place. The problem is Jeanette is a society princess and party lover and Violet is a shy, retiring bookworm.
This book is a sweet, easy-reading romance. I immediately endeared to Violet, maybe it was her love of books! But I enjoyed the fact that she was clever and shunned society norms. By contrast Jeanette is a spoiled brat who was guaranteed to set my teeth on edge. The love story between Violet and Adrian is warm and cosy like a lovely winter duvet. It builds nicely throughout the book, making it believable. You of course get the ultimate revelation and subsequent fall out, but you always knew that was coming and it just adds to the tension and glow of the romance.
Adrian isn't your typical alpha romance hero, in fact he's not that much alpha, more gentlemanly. But still dreamy enough to pull off the title of hero. I also became very fond of Adrian's brother Kit and the secondary plot and friendship that developed between him and Violet. It added a fun undertone to the story.
I did have a bit of an issue with the twins names in the book. Violet's full name was Janette Violet and of course the sister she swapped places with is Jeanette. Now ok, I get that the spelling and pronunciation is slightly different, but essentially they both have the same name. Would anyone really ever do this to their children? This felt like a very obvious and unbelievable plot device to get around the legality of the swapped marriage.
A really nice, well written regency romance that paces the love story nicely, with characters you love, and characters you love to hate. ...more
CRASH INTO ME immediately hooked me in during the first few pages. Sonny was the type of heroine I love, tough, bravReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
CRASH INTO ME immediately hooked me in during the first few pages. Sonny was the type of heroine I love, tough, brave, determined and kick-ass. You see her kick a fellow cocky (male) agent’s butt in the first chapter and can’t help but grin.
Our hero is sexy, recluse and surf pro Ben, if a little arrogant, trying to raise his slightly wayward teenage daughter and hiding himself away from the world since his wife’s murder, which he became a prime suspect for. As another woman is found murdered in exactly the same way, Sonny goes in under cover with the aim of getting close to Ben.
There are many parts to the plot. The core of it focuses around the murder mystery, there are several contenders for the villain and the story weaves its way cleverly until the end. I did guess the killer, but I seem to be doing that a lot lately, maybe I’m reading too many mysteries? So I didn’t hold that against it. Then you have the relationship between Sonny and Ben, the relationship between Ben and his daughter Carly who is self-harming herself, and there is the love story between Carly and James an abused, but brave fisherman’s son. There are so many components to the story, that it is a very detailed and layered book. It is written with obvious warmth and passion, but it also becomes perhaps slightly cumbersome at times because of it. There was a hell of a lot going on – romance, teen romance, suspense and murder mystery, as well as drug and psychological problems, it could easily have been stretched out into two books
I loved both love stories that of Ben and Sonny which was fiery, sexy, complex and wild. Then in contrast the tenderness and youth of Carly and James was a lovely comparison. The ‘grown up’ relationship tempered the angst of the young-adult one. Each character has got some very serious issues. As I mentioned Carly self-harms and James has an abusive father, then you have Ben who is a recovered alcoholic/drug-addict and Sonny herself who has been raped years before. It doesn’t make this book a light read, but it does make it interesting and each of the characters rounded and multi-dimensional.
The undercover part of the story was the part that didn’t always sit that comfortably. You watch Ben and Sonny begin to fall in love, where Ben doesn’t even know Sonny’s real name, and she’s running behind his back stealing items for evidence. There’s a part of me that knows this was meant to be part of the – is he, isn’t he the killer – plot, but it didn’t make the love story very clean for a while, and in general I like clear cut.
I disliked how Sonny went through a stage of inadvertently doing everything to discredit herself as a good cop. Sleeping with the suspect, lying about developments, hiding evidence and not confessing her own personal involvement. It all went a bit too far. Especially as Sonny is portrayed as such a career cop, it didn’t sit well with how her character. I think is because I liked her so much, it annoyed me that she did such crazy things.
But as much as these elements irritated, I still really did enjoy this story. I loved how Ben was arrogant at the beginning thinking how easy it would be to sleep with Sonny and she led him on a merry dance. The Carly and James story really was lovely, I think James was the best character of the book actually, so brave and tortured and noble. Carly did need a good slap a couple of times, but she grew on me. The surfing setting was great, I loved the beach and was jealous of the glorious weather.
CRASH INTO ME did have a few issues where there was too much going on or the characters didn’t behave in a way either I didn’t like, or didn’t quite sit well. There was also some personal developments in Sonny’s life that didn’t get concluded. But overall it was a really good read, with some great romance, against a super backdrop. I will definitely read something by Jill Sorenson again.
When I first began 'Viper's Kiss', I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought thatReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
When I first began 'Viper's Kiss', I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought that the heroine Maggie was going to irritate me. But luckily she grew on me very quickly. She has spunk and ingenuity. A librarian with a reasonably quiet life, Maggie gets caught up in the worst case of mistaken identity. Arrested and charged with espionage, Maggie gets attacked, kidnapped and arrested all in one day.
Our hero Luke is a security expert charged with bringing 'The Viper' to justice and retrieving the last item, an important military weapon she stole. If I'm honest there's nothing remarkable about him, he's your typical romantic hero. Tough, brawn, brave and handsome, oh and super clever. But I liked him never the less!
Perhaps one of the harder plot points is that it takes a very long time for Luke to trust Maggie and at points of the story, after some very sad developments with Maggie's poorly mother, this is actually quite heartbreaking. I wanted someone to route for Maggie and be in her corner. Just when you think Luke's there, he takes a few steps backwards again.
The chemistry between Maggie and Luke is fantastic, virtually palpable. And despite Luke's annoying trust issues they were a couple I really routed for. Which made this a great, sizzling read.
You do have to suspend your disbelief a little as the plot is perhaps a little far-fetched. It's quite a short book, not quite a novella, but not really a full novel either. And the story is completely, non-stop, action packed. Blink and you might miss something. It's one of those books that whizzed by as the pages just keep on turning.
One comment... I'm not sure what's going on with the book cover? Hunky man yes, but I think given the plot the publisher could have easily come up with something much more fun. But I do have a few issues with romance covers in general!
This was an entertaining read, I enjoyed the story and how despite being a slightly conservative librarian, Maggie is brave, tough and feisty. The romance had plenty of sparks and the plot kept you guessing....more