**Warning this review contains spoilers for the first book in the series**
If you thought 'Dead, Undead, Or Somewhere In Between' couldn't get any better, then you're in for a treat. J. A. Saare has excelled herself in 'The Renfield Syndrome'. Taking off where the previous book left us, in a twist you couldn't possibly have foreseen.
Rhiannon finds herself one hundred and one years in the future, in a world ravaged by demons, vampires and werewolves. With humans fast becoming on the extinction list. She has a deal to deliver on and just fourteen days to do it, before a demon claims her soul. But the future is unlike she could ever have imagined, and she suddenly finds there are more things than just her soul to fight for.
Rhiannon is back in all of her kick-ass glory, and maybe just slightly less foul-mouthed! As much as she is occasionally outrageous, she has definitely grown up in this book, becoming a fantastic urban fantasy heroine. There are scenes when I thought my heart would break for her as she navigates through the new futuristic world and the implications of the decisions she has to make.
This book has so many twists and turns with characters doing things you do would not expect them to, that it keeps you completely on your toes. There are parts where it's completely un-put-downable. Some characters totally surprised me with their actions, some in a good way, others in an awful way. You will certainly look at Paine and Disco differently by the end of the story.
Saare has cleverly combined some of the latest literacy trends for dystopia in with classic urban fantasy. I was sucked into the new world and absorbed by her vision of a demon ravaged future. But it also added an unusual dynamic to the story. I've said before how much I love time travelling romances, but I think this is the first time I've read it in urban fantasy and I loved it. In fact, I loved the entire book. It's gritty, dark, action-packed urban fantasy. Just the way I like it!
A superb second instalment in the Rhiannon's Law series, Saare has written an even better book than the first, which left me desperately wanting more. The last page arrived far too soon! Is 'The Ripple Effect' ready yet?!...more
THE VAMPIRE SHRINK got off to a really good start for me. With Kismet the psychologist who specialises in treating pReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
THE VAMPIRE SHRINK got off to a really good start for me. With Kismet the psychologist who specialises in treating people who believe in vampires, who most certainly does not believe in vampires herself. With the trend for goths and fake fangs, Kismet believes this new specialism might be the key to her career.
When Kismet begins helping a young girl who frequents vampire clubs, she becomes introduced to 800 year old vampire Deveraux and sucked into a whole new world she never believed existed. As well a serious amount of trouble, trouble that also leads FBI Agent Alan Stevens to her door.
I really enjoyed Kismet’s role as a Psychologist in this book, it was amusing to watch her try and navigate through her patients conditions and reading her internal dialogue as she did so. It added a different slant to the story.
I ran a little hot and cold with Kismet, I started to really buy into the blossoming love story with her and one character and then something happens and she virtually jumps into bed with another. The explanation behind why this was ok, was that she was a modern women and she hadn’t committed to anyone. Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but it left me feeling a little disenchanted, rather than buying into a potential love triangle. In general I came away thinking that the love story part of this story was quite muddled.
I think the setting of the novel and the rules around the paranormal world needed further definition, at times it left me somewhat confused. There are a couple of strange scenes in this book, a particular one with a protection ceremony springs to mind. That seemed a little weird and also left me wondering what on earth had exactly happened. I felt like the author needed to have spent a little more time building and defining this.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to seeing where the series goes now that Kismet believes in vampires. I think the psychologist angle could make it both amusing and different from other books in this genre.
This is an imaginative and fun take on a fairytale. Our two main characters are Charming,Reviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (6 out of 10 on the blog)
This is an imaginative and fun take on a fairytale. Our two main characters are Charming, the Prince Charming of Cinderella fame. Who is now a beleaguered father of two, middle aged and bespectacled. Who has reinvented himself in the Greater World as a bookseller and renamed himself Dave. He is also the father of two girls who have been abandoned by their selfish mother and Charming's ex Ella. Our heroine is Mellie, Snow White's evil stepmother, who is on a campaign to clear her name and that of other evil stepmother, because it certainly wasn't her that fed Snow the poisoned apple!
The book starts off with Charming at a book fair, because he is a total book geek and runs his own book store (personally I don't see anything wrong with this!), where Mellie is campaigning against the misrepresentation of fairy tale characters in novels. Sparks fly as Charming is horrified at Mellie's wish to censor fiction. The pair are like chalk and cheese with Charming quietly bookish, although gifted of course with magical charm, and Mellie outspoken, yet insecure all at the same time. It's not long before Charming convinces Mellie there maybe a very different approach to improving the perception of wicked step mothers, after all look at vampires - everyone loves them now! Cue an unlikely partnership.
As a lover of happy endings and fairytales, I did have to get over the fact that Prince Charming and Cinderella are divorced, but not only that but Cinderella is the baddie. The horror! ;-)
This isn't a hot and sizzling romance, more like a warm and fuzzy one, or a hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on the top. But I wouldn't say there were lots of sizzle and sparks and the love story itself is a slow burner.
The pace of the book is also sedate. I liked the world creation of the Greater World (our human world) and the magical kingdoms where fairytale characters really exist in separate kingdoms. The story is however, slow moving at times. There are some really witty scenes, a fab coffee shop sequence springs to mind and there are some parts that unfortunately dragged. Which meant the overall flow of the book could have done with a bit more speed and a little less detail. For example, we meet some characters briefly, never to see them again.
This is the first book I have read by Grayson, but I've since discovered she has written a series of these fairy tale adaptations. While I enjoyed the story and its gentle chiding at fairytales, I probably wouldn't want to read lots of them. But perhaps that is more to do with my love of fairytales and happily ever after, than a criticism of the writing, because I did enjoy it never the less.
A fun take on what happens after happily ever after with our favourite and not so favourite fairytale characters. A gentle love story that will probably appeal to people who like less spicy romances. ...more
'Red's Hot Cowboy' is a fun, hot, contemporary romance. Pearl has given up her banking jobReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
'Red's Hot Cowboy' is a fun, hot, contemporary romance. Pearl has given up her banking job and partying lifestyle in the city to run the 1950s motel her aunt has left her. On Christmas Eve, hoping for a quiet night, a storm and local power cut gives her a full house and leads the police to her door.
It's a case of mistaken identity for Wil Marshall who somehow finds himself in handcuffs at Christmas after a night's stay at Pearl's motel. Now he needs the feisty motel owner to help him out.
I really liked both Pearl and Wil. Wil is sexy and charismatic and you can almost see him breathing off the page. I'm a big fan of hunky cowboys, perhaps I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the cowboy bit, but he was certainly a hero that was right up my street! Pearl is sassy and brave and as lover of clothes, I did love her sense of style. As a pair the banter between them was both amusing and entertaining.
The setting of a fifties motel should not have worked, or at least I wasn't quite sure about it, but it did adding a sense of quirkiness to the story. Adding in a mix of interesting characters and mini story-lines to the overall plot. The best of these was Lucy, an abused woman who has escaped her husband and ends up working for Pearl. I would like to see her get her own novel.
I do think it missed one thing and that was a big climax. Whether it was a life or death scene or major will they, won't they moment in the relationship. Instead the book was a slow, steady burn. But I couldn't really put my finger on a real pivotal moment.
I haven't read the first book in this series, but it really didn't matter. You could easily pick it up as a stand-alone novel. It's a cute read, for when you don't fancy picking up anything too serious or heavy going.
This is the first book by Carolyn Brown that I have read and I will definitely be looking out for more. A great, fun and heart-warming romance. ...more
'Crushed Seraphim' is quite an interesting and mixed read. Seraph Angel Emma is tossed froReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com - 6 out of 10 on the blog
'Crushed Seraphim' is quite an interesting and mixed read. Seraph Angel Emma is tossed from heaven by corrupt Angel Everett, and given the task of convincing half-breed vampire Jason that he in fact a good person, even though he drinks human blood.
But, Jason's redemption and belief in heaven is barely the tip of the iceberg. God is trapped in hell and Everett is about to take over heaven and only Emma is aware of his evil plans. Emma must now not only save Jason, but undertake the terrifying journey to hell in order to rescue God.
This was an interesting book because of its take on good and evil. Is the Devil evil or merely a misguided soul in need of redemption? Are all Angels good and are even the good ones always pure and true, or driven by very human weaknesses? The lines were mixed and didn't always play out the way you would have expected them to.
What made this a mixed read was the characters and their interactions. At the core of the story is a love triangle, between Emma and Jason and Jack. My problem was I didn't both truly believe in or engage with the initial love story between Emma and Jason, it seemed to come out of nowhere with very little chemistry. When the declarations of love came, I was a little bit taken aback and thought, wow, where did that come from? And just as I came to terms with the blossoming romance between them, enter Jack and a love triangle emerged. As a consequence it took me a while to fully engage with either potential romances until the final chapters.
Right from the prologue, the character who totally stole the show was the Devil (aka Jack). He is the ultimate charismatic, seductive bad boy you just can't wait to see come good. He sucked me in during the prologue. So much so that I was disappointed when the story shifted to Emma and Jason, I wanted to know more about what made this dark man tick.
The first part of the book danced about quite a bit, lots of things happened too quickly and the romance between Emma and Jason frustrated me. In fact, I was tempted to give up on it. But, just as I was getting a measure of the book and how it was all going to play out the final third of the book really picked up pace, and finally I was fully sucked into the story. Although, the cliffhanger at the end just as things were starting to get really good was slightly annoying. But there seems to be a bit of a cliffhanger trend at the moment in books. Because of the disparity between different parts of the book, I would give the first two thirds of the book a 5/10 and the final third 7/10.
If you can get past the first part of this book and the lack of believable chemistry between Emma and Jason and reach the seductive depths of hell, you will be rewarded with a dark romance and a story that will eventually suck you in. ...more
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is a uniquely drawn novel, rich and creative. For me it's pulled into two parts: before the doors to elsewhere close, and after. With second part of the novel by far having the grittier storyline. Marketed as a YA novel, I think this book would appeal to readers who normally only pick up adult novels too. ...more
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
I have to say that while I did enjoy reading it, 'Retribution' was probably not my favourite Dark-Hunter novel.
I loved Jess, the gunslinger from the Wild West who was shot in the back on his wedding, and sold his soul in service to the goddess Artemis in exchange for his revenge. Particularly his super cool powers with guns. But I did not engage so much with Abigail.
I felt for Abigail, but I struggled with the fact that she has been killing dark-hunters for years and was hunting Jess when they end up together. I felt like the terrible acts she had committed, albeit because she was deceived, were forgiven all too easily. Particularly by Jess.
There also seemed to be a lot of Jess and Abigail's past that were not fully explained enough for my satisfaction. For example the details of Jess's role in Abigail's childhood, but also about Jess's heritage. Jess refers to himself as having a Native American mother, but I wanted to know more.
Also be warned, we're introduced to a whole new Pantheon in this book. Kenyon's books have always been made up of lots of characters and I enjoy the mix of mythology into the narrative, but I think anyone new to the series may struggle to keep up. I, however do like the fact that Kenyon always strives to keep this series fresh and interesting even twenty books into the series.
This book does have some great action scenes. There's plenty of it and it comes thick and fast. Because of this you really don't have time to get bored in the slightest, the plot is pacy and exciting. There are some cameos from previous characters, the most notable being Zarek, but I did miss Acheron, it would have been nice to just have one scene with him.
Thankfully the lack of Ash in the book was made up for with a bonus scene at the end and we get the chance to see him and Tori again as she gives birth to their son. A super mini scene for fans! In fact it made me want to read'Acheron', probably my favourite book, all over again.
Ok, so this book isn't the best in the series, but I do still love the dark-hunters and don't plan to give up on them. You really should give them a go if you haven't yet....more
***Warning spoilers for the first book in this series, 'Shade' ***
Jeri Smith-Ready has created a clever and different world in this series. Just over sixteen years ago, the 'Shift' happened and every child that has been born since can see and talk to ghosts. This has changed the world and created a divide between pre and post shifters. Imagine being able to testify in your own murder trial. Our lead character Aura is a post-shifter and tragically lost her boyfriend Logan at the beginning of the last novel.
'Shift' takes off a few weeks after 'Shade' ended, with Aura trying to get on with her life, but unable to move on with the devastating knowledge that Logan has turned shade. At the centre of this book is perhaps a somewhat unusual love triangle, with Aura torn between the ghost of the boy she loved and her feelings for the very much alive Zachary.
The first part of this book is a mix of grief and painful teenage hormones at times with characters seemingly making frustrating decisions. Aura seems to be growing up and dealing with her grief slowly, but surely. Logan on the other hand seems to have grown entirely selfish with little thought for those around him, self-seeking the fame and notoriety he didn't have enough time to reach in life. Even Zachary doesn't quite behave as nobly as I wanted him to. Then there is a third unexpected character thrown into the mix who completely surprised me. All churning the painful hormone cocktail as each character tries to find his or her way.
Because of this swill of emotion, I didn't feel like the book really started moving and come into it's own until the final third of the story. It focused more on the relationships between each other and Aura's gift with ghosts and I felt like I was waiting for things to get moving. But, then in the final third we finally get the action and insight into the mystery and Aura and Zachary's birth that it felt like I'd been waiting the whole book for. But I wish that more of this mystery and pace had been woven into the early part of the book.
This is a well written novel that deals with young adult issues of grief and relationships in a clever way. Aura is a heroine to look up to as she struggles and grows up through the experiences thrown at her. I would have liked a bit more of the broader storyline explored in more detail earlier in the book, but I would still definitely recommend it. ...more
I wasn't really a fan of 'Demons Prefer Blondes' there were times when the storyline engagReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (4 out of 10 on the blog)
I wasn't really a fan of 'Demons Prefer Blondes' there were times when the storyline engaged me, but for the most part it dragged. This was one of the books I felt like I chugged through rather than read it. Picking it up because I'd promised to review it, not because I wanted to snuggle down on the sofa and find out what happens next.
It tells the story of beautician Lucia Gregory, who unwittingly opens a demonic box and unleashes demons on earth. At the same she also discovers she's a half-succubus and gains herself some rather cool powers as well as a whole world of trouble.
The prologue begins really well introducing us to our sexy hero Rafe who is given a mission to retrieve the box and save Lucy. But Rafe brings with him some of his own troubles, the main of which is a missing sister he would rather be saving than embarking on this mission.
The biggest problem with the book was that it just tried too hard too be funny. As a consequence the jokes felt like that awful moment at a party when someone delivers the punchline only to be greeted by silence, and you can almost see the tumbleweed rolling across the carpet. They were too forced and packed too close together. There was barely a break before the next one was delivered and it made the story quite tiring to read.
Secondly was that so many of the plot points were not fully developed. Let's start with the demonic box, other than unleashing Lucy's powers, it didn't seem to have much a further point in the story. I also wanted some things explained to me in greater detail, we're told that demons are immortal but the weaknesses were never fully explained. Also the fact that when demons 'poofed' they left behind ice crystals, I was never sure why. The strangest thing of all is that Lucy is a succubus but the need for her to have sex to survive or the implications of this discovery is not explained at all. The plot seemed to happen a mile at a minute without stopping to always let the reader catch up.
Then, the thing I found hardest of all was the heroine was just so irritating. On a positive note she did have some great friends, from best friend Serah to her two gay co-workers. But her one-liners sadly grated on me.
A book with potential, but it simply tried too hard. A lot of things happened too fast or the characters were too accepting of different developments and fates. Which is a shame as I did want to like this book, the prologue and back cover really had me intrigued....more
'In the Heat of the Bite' is a great book that combines a regency romance with the wonderfReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
'In the Heat of the Bite' is a great book that combines a regency romance with the wonderful world of vampires and the supernatural. It's the second in a series, but I haven't read the first and you can easily pick it up as a stand-alone novel.
Matthew has been a vampire for over six hundred years, and was once a real knight in shining armour. He's never been in love and has no wish to be, not wanting to inflict his lifestyle onto an innocent woman.
Rhiannon is a witch, with some pretty super cool powers. She can control the weather. Although not so great when your emotions get out of control, and you inflict a thunderstorm on those around you, or perhaps even send a bolt of lightening into the punch bowl.
Intent on rescuing her sister from the unkind manipulations of her aunt, Rhiannon travels from Scotland to London and find herself thrown into the society and the ways of the ton. It only takes her first event for her to cause a scandal, and now everyone's talking about her.
Matthew and Rhiannon are great characters, but it was the supporting cast that stole the show in this book. Staying in London with her best friend Cait, it's Cait's werewolf brothers-in-law who light up the pages. The hilarious threesome were continually making me laugh with their antics, be it getting into trouble or sneaking into balls they weren't invited to.
Do you ever have a book that you simply enjoy, but don't have a lot to say about it? 'In the Heat of the Bite' is one of those books. It's a romance through and through, the plot evolves around the budding relationship between Matthew and Rhiannon. While this is a really great romance and they are a fab couple, this does mean that not a lot else happens in the book. I wonder if this is why I have little to comment on it. It's one of those books you can sit back and enjoy and close with a smile on your face.
A fun supernatural romance, I enjoyed the mix of paranormal with the regency setting. Sit back and enjoy the great characters, and sizzling chemistry between Rhiannon and Matthew and work out who you would hit with a lightening bolt if you had the chance! ;-) ...more
This is book three in Ashlyn Chase's series about an apartment block where nearly all the inhabitants coincidentallyReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com
This is book three in Ashlyn Chase's series about an apartment block where nearly all the inhabitants coincidentally happen to be supernatural beings. It is a light-hearted and fun book. I've read books two and three and wouldn't say you need to read an previous books in the series to pick any of these up.
'The Vampire Next Door' is a love story about vampire Sly and witch Morgaine. Sly is a vampire who was turned twenty six years ago by a cruel vampire who also caused the death of his beloved wife. Morgaine is a witch with a lot of issues, namely she is afraid of the dark and agoraphobic. A nyctophobic witch is certainly an interesting match for a vampire.
As much as I liked Morgaine and Sly as characters, I felt like their relationship lacked chemistry. Their coming together felt flat, rather than full of anticipation and excitement. Because of this, I didn't quite buy into their love story. It also meant that the sex scenes to me lacked, well, sexiness and just resulted in me skimming over the pages in order to get to the next part of the story.
It was actually the secondary stories around some of the other apartment's inhabitants that were much more entertaining. Firstly we had Morgaine's somewhat ditzy cousin Gwyneth. From her funny Southern ways to her total outspokenness, she made me chuckle regularly, as well as the fact she shares her apartment with resident ghost Chad, who in itself a great, sardonic character. Then we had new fiery resident Lily and then apartment super Jules who also happens to be a merman. I hope to see more from the latter couple, hopefully even their own book?
My other problem with the book is that a lot of issues were sort of scooted over. For example Morgaine's agoraphobia and nyctophobia seemed to come and go in its severity. Sly was being stalked by his evil maker that started to lead to a climactic showdown and then was all over with comical abruptness. Then we have the Sly's refusal and sudden change of heart over Morgaine's future that happened with no explanation behind the reason for the change.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike this book or even Sly and Morgaine, it was fun and light, but it felt like it needed a bit more development around some of the key plot moments, and a bit more time spent building the chemistry between Sly and Morgaine, so that it swept me away, rather than left me gently shrugging. But it is worth reading for the great setting Ashlyn Chase has created and to get to know the apartment's other residents....more
I was kind of sad, and kind of happy when Vincent's Shifter series came to a end. Sad becaReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (9 out of 10 on the blog)
I was kind of sad, and kind of happy when Vincent's Shifter series came to a end. Sad because, well, it was the end, and happy because it was nice to see all the threads come together. So I was very excited to see she had a new adult, urban fantasy series out.
'Blood Bound' is entirely different from her Shifter books, set in a completely new world and actually introduces some new concepts and supernatural beings which was quite exciting. Our heroine Liv is a blood tracker, give her someone's blood and she can track them down. This story is set in a world where the city is run by two supernatural mafia bosses, each of whom have supernatural beings bound to work under their command.
Years ago, when she and her friends were twelve and too young to know any different, they swore a blood oath to always come to the aid on one another should it ever be needed. Liv hasn't seen her friends for years, but when Anne turns up and compels her to not only help and kill her husband's murderer, but work with the ex-boyfriend she never quite got over, Liv quite literally has no choice. It's do it or die.
I found myself very angry with Liv's friend Anne at the beginning of the novel for forcing to not only do something against her will, but commit murder. If she was a true friend she would simply have asked. Liv is one fierce heroine, and everything in her rebels against doing something against her will. It took me a little while to warm to Liv's ex-lover Cam too, for the same reasons as he was complicit in Anne's compulsion.
Liv is determined and strong willed to the point of destruction, but very complicated too. She keeps a lot of secrets in the story and makes you wait to find out about them as well!
One of the things that was slightly strange with the writing style was the changing point of views. The story is written in the first person, but is narrated by two people - Liv and Cam. It would alternate quite regularly, even mid chapter, so that there were several occasions when I had to rewind and work out who was actually narrating. But it did make me warm to Cam after his shaky start.
The story is made up of lots of component parts. From the role of the mafia bosses, the murder mystery, the new supernatural world which made a fascinating change, and the slightly painful and broken relationship between Liv and Cam. Which actually surprised me by growing on me and leaving me desperately routing for them to be able to get together again by the end.
This book is so clever, Vincent weaves so many different threads throughout the book, pulling it together at the end like a fine symphony you can't help but sit back and be impressed at how she doesit. I personally think her writing style has definitely improved since her last series.
I am very excited about this new urban fantasy series! A hero and heroine with guts and determination, and clever and inspiring new supernatural world and a plot that leaves you on the edge of the seat. This is well up there as one of my favourite books of the year. ...more
"Demon Dance" takes quite a different turn to the first two books in the series. In previoReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
"Demon Dance" takes quite a different turn to the first two books in the series. In previous books we read Gabriele and Lucrezia's stories, which with the exception of the end sequence in 'Futile Flame', were appealing to me as they were vampires and stalkers living amidst the real world. Lilly's story was a lot more fantastical.
It requires the reader to make a few more leaps or faith, with the magical and manipulative Allucian species playing a very important part in the story. At first I felt a little like a duck out of water, and found it hard to grasp that Lilly ended up in what I perceived to be the Garden of Eden. You have to ride through these pages until you become submerged into her story.
Once again, we're taken on a fascinating journey through time as Lilly's story begins to unfold. A wickedly dark life outside of the rules and regulations of normal society. The narrative jumps from century to century as we see Lilly's life in different times and on different lives. And what struck me the most was just how clever it was. How all the different strands in the earlier books all led to this one, and how everything begins and ends with Lilly. There were several big twists I really did not see coming.
I'm not sure I liked Lilly as much as a lead character as I did Gabriele and Lucrezia, while beautiful, I don't think she was as darkly seductive as the other two. Although she is perhaps the one I'd be more likely to be friends with. She also made some choices with regard to her love life that I disagreed with. And, despite being the most magically adept and knowledgable of the three, ironically at times, she did come across occasionally as the least worldly. Never the less I did still very much enjoy her novel.
This book is gothic and macabre and once again I found myself being seduced by the darkness of Stone's vampires. Her characters are sometimes cruel, sometimes kind, but very compelling. The novel continues once more with strong themes of sex, violence, rape. The relationships between each of the characters are complicated to say the least, but this aside you cannot help by becoming hooked by their stories. These are vampires that very much sit in the horror genre, but are still darkly appealing as lead characters.
This books nicely pulls together all of the threads of the series. If you're looking to return to dark and gothic vampires, then Stone gives you a chance to escape from the sparkly and romantic. I'd thought this book was the end of the trilogy, but Stone could very easily pick the story up again, it will be interesting to see if she does. ...more
This is a pretty unusual romance, in that the heroine is a prostitute. As with all of Catherine Anderson's books she deReview on www.BookChickCity.com
This is a pretty unusual romance, in that the heroine is a prostitute. As with all of Catherine Anderson's books she deals with the subject matter with empathy and warmth making it an enjoyable read, if hard going at times. Franny is a victim of circumstance, she does not enjoy being a prostitute or do so by choice, if any woman does. But has to not only deal with the hours that her job often entails but being continuously ostracised by the rest of society.
Catherine Anderson has written a foreword to this book, and her aim in writing this story was to highlight the plight of women before the women's liberation, including a touching story about her great-grandmother. She talks about the women who became widows with a family to raise, and how there were very little employment choices. Many had the choice between prostitution or watching their children starve to death. I think most of us know what we would chose. And this is the premise of this novel. The eldest daughter of a large family with a blind mother, Franny does the only thing she can think of to save them all from starvation and enters into the world of prostitution at the painful age of thirteen.
The subject matter does not always make this book comfortable reading, particularly when Franny reminisces about that dreadful first time at thirteen. But she is a charming, warm and interesting character. Despite her profession, Anderson still manages to portray her convincingly as innocent, which is quite a feat in itself. This is a woman who has never known love, tenderness or even kindness from a man.
Chase Wolf is quite a contrast to Franny, you don't have to have followed the series to read this book, but we met his parents Hunter and Loretta in 'Comanche Moon', he is their half Indian son. Tough and confident his attitude towards Franny is pretty awful at the beginning of the novel. He believes her to be after nothing but money and not a befitting friend to his sister. One of the charming things about this story is how this opinion turns around until he would do anything in his power to save Franny.
At the centre of this story is the theme that love conquers all, but also of redemption. Of Franny's redemption from her awful past, but also for me of Chase redeeming himself from his awful behaviour towards Franny in the beginning.
Anderson has written a beautiful and touching love story. When I read the premise that Franny was a prostitute I had a picture in my mind of what that character would be like, but Anderson has gone out of her way to break away from that archetypal stereotype creating a unique character in Franny. But also at same time she highlights the plight of women during at time when for most a good job was non existent no matter how desperately you might have needed one. It makes me glad to be born in the year that I was.
This is a love story that will take you by surprise, sweep you off your feet and make you believe in second chances. It is so easy to look down upon a women who sells her body for money and this really made me think about what choices would take a woman to that place. Remarkably thought-provoking for a historical romance and fabulously heart-melting too. ...more
This book wasn't quite what I expected it to be at all. I love Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, but this was vReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
This book wasn't quite what I expected it to be at all. I love Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, but this was very different. It took a little while to get going, as it felt very disjointed at first. You begin with Evie the main protagonist's story, then the second chapter is about the fall of Troy which totally threw me. And the book continues like this with alternating stories. Evie, more about Troy and the Greek Gods, some other stories which it took me a while to twig were of Evie's ancestors. Then, to top it off, Evie was also writing a comic book and we get inserts of the comic story written into the narrative too. Because of this it takes a while to get into the swing of things. I found the sections on Evie's comic book quite distracting, and found myself skipping over them and then worried that I would miss something of importance and made myself go back and re-read them.
I find the Greek Gods fascinating, and also the main concept of this book was fabulously unique. Evie's family are responsible for caring for the storeroom. A room where magical artefacts that the rest of the world believe to be fictitious. This is a responsibility that has been passed on from generation to generation.
As Evie returns home to care for her dying father, she knows nothing of the storeroom's existence, and becomes puzzled by the strange visitors that keep turning up at the house.
The story is set somewhere in the near future, with the world on brink of all out war. But the details of this is never fully explained, which is a shame as I would have liked more and to understand how the world had got there and the full implications. There are references to rationing and check points, but they were only references.
The book instead focuses on the storeroom and the mythology behind it, bringing into the story a collection of fascinating characters interested in getting their hands on its contents. With the world on the brink of an apocalypse some of the characters intent on preventing it, others hastening it.
The problem with this book is that it tried to achieve too much, there was a lot going on which meant the author did not have time to fully explain all of the concepts. On Carrie Vaughn's website this is listed as a stand-alone novel and not the beginning of a series, but it felt like if some of the story had been given more time to breathe, perhaps across two or three books then it would have been more satisfying. As a stand-alone I would of also liked a little more time spent on the ending.
Despite its problems, I did still enjoy this book and if you're a fan of stories with reference to Greek mythology then I also think you will like it too. Evie is a great character, and I totally fell for Alex and the two of them really make the book work. It was also fun, and the author's sense of humour became apparent at certain points when a couple of hero mythological characters popped in I couldn't help but smile....more
Having read quite a few time travel romances, I started this book with a certain set of exReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
Having read quite a few time travel romances, I started this book with a certain set of expectations. Hero travels forwards in time, has to come to terms with the modern world, believes women are to be protected and are not necessarily equals and spends a good part of the book learning to live and of course love again. And I have to confess as formulaic as they often are as long as they have a good plot, in general I love them.
But 'Awaken The Highland Warrior' is so much more than this. The time travelling hero is actually only really a small part of the story. At the centre is a group of brave and determined warriors battling evil demons and trying to save the human race. All in yummy kilts too! It also manages to steer away from being quite corny which would have been very easy to do.
Our heroine Bree inherits a map she believes will lead her to a treasure chest, and instead finds Faelan, a warrior who has been trapped in a time vault for one hundred and fifty years. Before she knows it all sorts of crazy things are going on around her family home, with demons attacking and general mystery and mayhem.
The last thing Faelan remembers is being attacked by a demon and now he's alive in the 21st century, knowing only that he must stop that very demon from killing the human race. But first he must come to terms with not only all of the changes in the world, but the loss of his immediate family too.
This book has a lot going on in it, but not in a way that you struggle to keep up. There are some great characters, I love the inventive world that Clenney has created with warriors, time vaults and of course demons. It mixes action and romance, whilst at the same time encapsulating some of the emotion you would genuinely imagine feeling if you had been propelled forwards in time.
The relationship between Faelan and Bree has quite a bit of suspicion in it, with both at one time or another suspecting the other to be a demon. Which did get a tad ridiculous towards the end, how much proof did they need? But apart from that I really enjoyed it.
The pace began to loose a little momentum towards the middle of the book, but really picked up when Bree and Faelan go to Scotland. You then begin to see try scale of the demon war, as well as meet some fabulous Scottish, kilted men which I can't wait to meet again in the subsequent books.
This is a great book. If you usually steer clear of time travel books, but enjoy a good paranormal romance then I would recommend you give it a try. Another paranormal series to add to my wishlist :-) ...more
I would definitely describe this book as a romance with a science fiction setting rather tReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
I would definitely describe this book as a romance with a science fiction setting rather than the other way around. But isn't without its fare share of action. Mara Skiren makes a living as a Black Market scavenger, she's also an ace pilot. When one of the 8th Wing's pilots gets kidnapped, only a scavenger can get them in to save her. But Lara is a loner and hates having passengers on her ship.
Commander Kell Frayne needs to rescue his pilot and friend and Mara is his only hope. Fortunately this is nothing a little bit of blackmail can't solve. This book sucks you in right from the beginning. Mara is just my kind of heroine, tough smart and seriously knows how to kick ass. She and Kell are tough equals in the it own right and the love story between them crackles and pops.
At just under 200 pages this is a fast read, but it still delivers plenty of punch. Both Mara and Kell are complex characters with difficult pasts. While on the surface they are total opposites, a strict Black Wing pilot and a scavenger, look deeper and they are both very similar fighting their way for their own place in the world.
The chemistry between them is thick and a touch on the super sexy side. But it goes with the story and their strong personalities. I loved how they moved from clashing, to lovers, to partners which was all written in a believable way.
Yes, there are a couple of parts that are slightly predictable in the story, but it really didn't detract from it at all.
A fun, smoking read I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Mara and Kell are great characters, and l really hope there are going to be more books in this new sci-fi romance series. ...more
This has to be one of the best Anita Blake novels I have read in a long time. Fans of JeanReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
This has to be one of the best Anita Blake novels I have read in a long time. Fans of Jean-Claude, Micah, Nathaniel and co. may miss their total absence. But I actually enjoyed the change & the absence of complicated relationship discussions. For the most this book was just Anita, Edward and lots and lots of guns! Oh yes....!
It does help that Edward has to be one of my favourite characters of the series. The fact that his and Anita's relationship is platonic is just so refreshing. I would class 'Obsidian Butterfly' as one of my favourite of the series, when Anita enters into Edward's world. I also like how their friendship has developed in this book, from more than just work colleagues with admiration from each other's skills, but genuine friends.
There are some scenes that took me back with pleasure to Hamilton's early writing. One particular in the woods, just Edward & Anita stranded with darkness approaching, had me rubbing my hands together in gruesome, violent anticipation.
The Harlequin play a very important part in this novel, and it's great to get some baddies that pose a serious challenge to Anita and Edward. We get some real monsters and proper edge of your seat action scenes.
About three quarters of the way through, the tone of the book changed with the arrival of bodyguards from St. Louis. Let's face it, it was quite remarkable that Anita was 'allowed' to travel without them anyway. But while it annoyed me a little, and the whole police politics around their arrival took away from the story, they definitely add to the big showdown at the end so I won't complain too much ;-)
Side note... Am I the only one that cannot abide Nicky? He is like a simpering, wet puppy who fawns unattractively over Anita. What I don't understand is why this tough, uncompromising woman, who let's face it can have any man she chooses puts up with it? Can he meet an unpleasant end somewhere please Ms Hamilton?
Then there's Olaf, I do hope we get a book with a big, bloody showdown between him and Anita, the man so has it coming! And I just know it will also be edge of your seat stuff. Bring it on!
This is definitely the best Anita book I've read in a long time and it's really got me excited, I hope this is the start of things to come. I don't mind the relationships with all the men, although I wish there were a few less. But I love the action scenes, because Hamilton does really know how to write them and give you the proper chills....more
'Spell Bound' took a little while to get going with the first few chapters feeling more liReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
'Spell Bound' took a little while to get going with the first few chapters feeling more like they were pulling together threads from the previous book, than the beginning of a new book. You most definitely need to have read 'Waking the Witch' before you pick it up. There are also lots of references to previous books in the series, but you probably still could pick these two books up as standalone if you wished to.
After the first few chapters, it felt like the story finally started to get going and it takes off exactly where 'Waking the Witch' left us, with Savannah still having a witch hunter on her tail. But there's one very large problem, at the end of the last book Savannah offered to give up her powers in exchange for helping a young girl we met in 'Waking the Witch' and it seems like someone has taken her up on her offer. But as Savannah begins to research into the witch hunter and how to stop her, she uncovers a much more sinister supernatural plot that affects all of her friends.
I've followed Savannah throughout the entire series from the rescued child to reaching adulthood. But, as much as I have anticipated her stories I find her quite a hard character to get on with as she's quite immature and a little bit selfish. But as the book progresses she does begin to realise this and slowly grows up, until at the end of the book I found myself being quite proud of her.
Savannah has loads of potential as a character, but I don't think she's quite reached there yet. However, I find I want to watch her fulfil that promise. The most exciting thing is that 'Spell Bound' is setting the story up for Savannah's third book and it looks like there may potentially be a supernatural war just about to begin and I'm seriously looking forward to it! Because I think the next book is going to be a complete roller coaster ride. But I do think that it made 'Spell Bound' felt like the middle of a trilogy.
If you're a passionate follower of Armstrong's Otherworld series like me, you will be pleased to enjoy lots of guest appearances from previous characters. I actually don't think there is any character that doesn't pop in at one point or another.
There is lots of action and the plot is fast paced, although perhaps a bit of a lack of magic with Savannah's missing powers. I enjoyed this book more than 'Waking the Witch' and I very much enjoy Armstrong's writing style. However, as this series progresses it has lost a little bit of its sparkle and does not compare to the likes of 'Bitten' or 'Industrial Magic'.
I can't finish this review without of course talking about the romance, I desperately wanted it to happen in 'Waking the Witch' and morosely watched as it didn't. Does it happen in 'Spell Bound'? Hard to say without spoiling things, let me just say I wanted more.
This is a fun book, written in a great pacy writing style I've come to enjoy and love from Armstrong. Is it the best book in the series? No.... But fans will definitely still enjoy it. ...more
I don't think the Ashlyn Chase would be offended if I described this book as a little bit silly. Curvy lawyer Roz, dReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
I don't think the Ashlyn Chase would be offended if I described this book as a little bit silly. Curvy lawyer Roz, decides to shake up her life and moves into her recently married friend's apartment looking for a new start. Little does she know she's moved into a building full of supernatural crazies! Her neighbours are made up of a werewolf, a couple of shape shifters, two witches, a ghost and a crazy landlady to name a few.
As soon as she moves in she bumps into her hot upstairs neighbour Konrad, who unbeknownst to Roz also happens to be a werewolf. Konrad has a rather interesting way of earning a living. The co-owner of a security firm, Konrad's role is to break into buildings and stage fake burglaries in order to convince people to take up their services. Not a great mix for a respectable lawyer!
The plot runs a bit too fast and seems a little underdeveloped at times. The hero and heroine fell into bed ridiculously fast, after no more than two conversations. And there's just not enough blossoming chemistry to pull it off. Then straight afterwards they develop the ability to talking telepathically to one another, and Roz a human doesn't seem to really bash an eye lid at the revelation. Personally I think the discovery should have earned at least a little freak out!
Events happen in the story and just when you're waiting to see how a certain character will relate, the narrative jumps ahead and they're sort of skimmed over.
Roz and Konrad's dating journey is slightly bizarre, but amusing. Both deciding they hate their chosen vocations, they embark on a quest to find new careers. This leads to lots of crazy dates as they try out different jobs from bar tending to sky diving. Mixed into the plot is also a burglary mystery, involving ghost witnesses and psychics. For such a reasonably lightweight book, you certainly don't get bored.
Now, one thing I struggled with is the author has some of the most unusual and creative descriptions for a certain part of a woman's anatomy. In fact, she seems to mention it a little too much for my liking. For example, after a particular bout of bedroom gymnastics, Roz speculated that "Her vagina felt well used." Gah! Waaaaaay too much information! Why couldn't she just say 'she felt well used'? It would have exactly the same affect without being half as crude or as cringeworthy. And this theme continued throughout the book, much to my consternation.
Despite the plot flaws and a few annoyances, I couldn't help but enjoy this book. It's wacky, fun and silly, with a great cast of characters. I would go as far to say that I'm definitely planning on buying the first in the series and reading how it all began. I just wish the author didn't have such a fascination with women's body parts! ;-)...more
'The Heir of Night' is the first in a new four part fantasy series. The Derai live on theReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
'The Heir of Night' is the first in a new four part fantasy series. The Derai live on the edge of the world, charged with guarding 'The Wall' against the ancient and terrifying Swarm. A ferocious, demonic race.
The Derai are an uncompromising people, ruled by tough rules and routine. But their task is such a hard one, they dare not deviate from the way of life that has been followed for hundreds of years. For, legend claims that if the House of Night falls, the rest of the world will follow. Victims to the Darkswarm.
Thirteen year old Malian is the Heir of Night, daughter to the Earl of Night and as his only child and successor is destined to rule the Derai after his demise. A daunting task for any child to comprehend, but Malian embraces her future with relish, longing for adventure.
By contrast our other main character is Kalan. Kalan is from a noble warrior family, but when is family discovered he has magic they disowned him, turning him over to be trained as a priest of the Temple of Night. For in the Derai magic and warriors do not mix.
This is a book about destinies, bravery and hard choices. When after years of silence the Darkswarm rise again, it becomes evident that the Derai are no longer strong enough. A lot of the old ways and magics have been lost with time. And suddenly the fate of both a race and the world may potentially rest on the shoulders of two children - Malian and Kalan. But they are surrounded with suspicion, untrained and in terrible danger.
The first few pages take quite a bit of concentration, as there is so much world building and past to take in. It was one of those books where you occasionally have to pause as reread the previous paragraph in order to make sure you have understood it correctly.
I really engaged with the characters. They are complex and intriguing. Take Malian's father as an example, a tough and scrupulous man, strict to the point of brutal. He makes decisions that you can't quite comprehend and yet is softened by his love both Malian and his non Derai girlfriend Rowan.
Those of you that struggle with dream sequences, may struggle with this book as there are a lot of them. As Malian and Kalan discover the ability to enter the dream world and converse with legendary warriors of the past and mythical beings. A lot of the plot moves forward through these passages.
My one big criticism of this novel, is that it very much feels as though it's setting up the rest of the story and subsequent novels. It's about setting the scene and while still enjoyable, did feel slightly incomplete.
An interesting and promising start to a new fantasy series. With great characters, I really enjoy stories about destinies and look forward to seeing who Malian and Kalan become. I also have teensy hopes of a potential love story there too. ...more
Aaron is one of those characters you immediately endear to when you begin reading. Orphaned and having spent his lifReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Aaron is one of those characters you immediately endear to when you begin reading. Orphaned and having spent his life in care, he has finally found a family who loves him and is making a place for himself in the world, doing well at school and hoping for a college scholarship.
But things start to get strange. It's starts with the the dreams, but then inexplicably on his eighteenth birthday Aaron is suddenly able to speak and understand multiple languages, and that's just the beginning. Aaron discovers he is a Nephilim and has an incredibly important part to play in the battle between angels. His destiny is far from what he believed or even what he wants it to be.
This is actually two books, 'The Fallen' and 'Leviathan' which are books one and two in the series. In both books Aaron is the lead and I thought he was a great character. He's different in that he's essentially a good boy, but I liked that. But perhaps because of this or maybe because he finally has a place he feels he belongs, he struggles to embrace his fate. In the second story 'Leviathan' this did get a little frustrating, I just wanted him to grab his sword and kick some evil butt!
There are also places where this book is a touch slow, particularly during 'The Fallen' a lot of time in the narrative was spent setting up the story and building the what is a Nephilim theme. This could have done with cutting and speeding up in sections.
This book did surprise me by being darker and more violent than I expected, especially for a YA. For the most part, I enjoyed the fact that this book didn't pull any punches, but I was a little disconcerted by some events. It's hard to express my problem without giving away the ending of the first book, but I hope I'm not revealing too much by saying I was quite displeased by Aaron's brother's fate.
Anyone that knows me, will know that I adore dogs. So it was a real bonus for me that Aaron's dog Gabriel played such a big part in the story. I loved the fact that they could talk to one another and Gabriel's part was written by someone who also lives with a food obsessed pooch like myself! :-) I would go as far as to say that Gabriel was my favourite character.
If you're a person who likes lots of romance in your books, then this book may disappoint a little. While there is the beginnings of a love story, it was a very minor part of the novel. Although I do have my own suspicions of how the story may develop in subsequent books in the series.
In summary this was a good book, I loved the angels and the mythology interwoven into the narrative. I thought Aaron was a great character, with a lot of potential and I fell I love with Gabriel, the talking dog. Where can I buy one?! There were a few sections that perhaps weren't quite to my satisfaction, but don't let that put you off reading this book because the rest of the story by far made up for it....more
This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the futReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the future when the world has been consumed by the oceans. People live in cramped high rise blocks on the limited land available, lucky to have two rooms per family. But there are some that choose a very different life entirely and decide to live the 'darklife' and make their homes at the bottom of the sea.
Now, if you like me think that living at the bottom of the sea means a life in oppressive submarines, think again. Kat Wells' under sea world is magical and vividly drawn. With homes built from jellyfish style structures, liquid gel that means people can dive without the risk of decompression sickness, electricity and entire farms and rural wildlife surviving in this new world, as well as dangerous deep sea creatures. It really is fabulously clever.
Ty has lived on the ocean's floor all his life. At fifteen, he was the first child to be born and live his entire life under the sea. But there are rumours that this new life damages children, giving them a 'darkgift', a new supernatural ability. Which has made topsiders suspicious of darklifers and other people reticent to try this new life for themselves.
Then, during a dive Ty meets Gemma. Gemma is a gutsy topsider searching for her missing brother. But the more Ty and Gemma begin to investigate and look for Gemma's brother, the more they begin to realise things are really not what they seem in this new world.
This book has a nice element of drama to it. With an underwater outlaw group raiding homesteads and submarines, a small murder mystery, as well as the dangers of the deep. It's actually a really absorbing read.
As Ty is fifteen, I would say that this book is on the younger side of YA. But it's pitched really well, with just a small romantic element. Ty is grown up and brave for his age, and a really engaging main character. As this is slightly on the younger side, I probably would not have picked this book up ordinarily if it had not been sent to me for review, which would have been a real shame, because I really enjoyed it. But more than anything I just loved the deep sea world.
A great book with a spectacular world setting that will appeal to adults both young and old. This is one of those books I would love to see translated into film, because of its cinematic quality....more
I wholeheartedly admit to having a bit of a soft spot for cowboys. Never having been to the West, it's easy for me tReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
I wholeheartedly admit to having a bit of a soft spot for cowboys. Never having been to the West, it's easy for me to romanticise about life on a wild ranch, with a hunky, brave and honourable cowboy at my every beck and call ;-)
This book very much has a light-hearted tone and lots of humour. Tyler is desperately trying to make ends meet. But, he's behind on the mortgage and with large outstanding bills he needs to find an extra job or he and his brothers may end up losing the ranch that has been in their family for years.
Rolling up to The Lucky Star bar, he has no idea what he's letting himself in for, but he knows the money is good. Cue the moment of horror when he realises he's not only going to have to strip to earn his money, but dance too.
The bar is jointly owned by book keeper Emily and her super feisty cousin Jolene, and is staffed by a bunch of independent women with a determination to prove their business acumen. Unfortunately there are certain members of the town who are less than pleased with having a strip club open up in it. This throws some vandalism and an interesting mystery into the story, and who better than hunky cowboy Tyler to help them get to the bottom of it?
The chemistry between Emily and Tyler oscillates between sweet and crackling. There is also a really nice sub story between Emily's cousin Jolene and love interest Jake, which I actually would have liked to have seen more of.
I enjoyed the relationship that Tyler shared with his brothers, Tyler is one of these fabulous honourable men that will always do the right thing for the people he cares about.
One element I did struggle with is the dismissive approach to Tyler having to strip to earn himself extra cash. If Tyler had been a woman, I feel the book would have been filled with outrage rather than humour. Yes ,it was funny and it did make the book entertaining, but at same time it did make me feel a little uncomfortable. Tyler hated stripping and dancing for entertainment and was often treated like a piece of meat. It felt that this was ok, because we was tough and brawn and should be able to 'man up' and take it.
My annoyance with the way Tyler is treated aside, this is a fun and lighthearted romance. Great if you fancy a happy ending and a bit of escapism, as well as filling your imagination with visions of hunky cowboys!...more
Christina Courtenay has this fabulous ability of creating a vivid and rich setting to her books. The historical JapaReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Christina Courtenay has this fabulous ability of creating a vivid and rich setting to her books. The historical Japanese backdrop of this novel was one of the things that really made it for me.
The book opens in 17th century England with our heroine Hannah Marston being forced into an arranged marriage by her parents. Unable to bear the man she is due to marry, she stows away on one of her brother's boats which is just about to begin an epic journey to Japan, disguised as a boy.
A journey to Japan in the 17th century is no small undertaking, and unlike some other more fluffy romances I have picked up before, I liked that the novel didn't shy away from the difficulties faced by a crew on such a vast and dangerous sea trip. From illness, starvation, sickness and death. Although as with any girl disguised as boy stories, you do have to suspend your disbelief that in two years only one member of the crew manages to guess that she is actually a girl.
Our male lead is the proud Japanese warlord Taro and the story alternates between Hannah and Taro's viewpoints, portraying two very distinctly different stories at first. As the novel spans a good couple of years before they even meet, there is a lot of interesting scene setting from Hannah's difficult journey and Taro's painful first marriage, which is as enjoyable as the love story itself.
Taro learns of Hannah's arrival many years in advance via a vision from his sensei, and has been awaiting for the arrival of the flame haired woman long before she arrives. When she does arrive the romance is slow in growing and is built with absolute care by Ms Courtenay. It is a fascinating clash of cultures, and is detailed with many twists and turns involving a collection of characters that continue to have a big impact on Hannah and Taro's lives. Taro is terribly proud and more than a touch arrogant, for example getting Hannah kidnapped by samurai warriors so he can learn more about her is certainly a different approach to dating!
As with any romance, as a reader a happy ending is of course a pre-requisite and don't worry 'The Scarlet Kimono' doesn't fail. But, I would have liked the story to take one more final leap to make me a totally happy reader.
A very rich and detailed historical book that is both absorbing and fascinating. I love the fact that Christina Courtenay puts a lot of time and research into her books creating a vivid picture of 17th century Japan. Her characters are strong, and well rounded as likeable for the flaws as their perfections. A great read....more
This is a sweet, contemporary romance that's a quick and easy read. Girl next door and former tomboy Jodie shed herReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
This is a sweet, contemporary romance that's a quick and easy read. Girl next door and former tomboy Jodie shed her image years ago, leaving the small town she grew up in to become a rodeo queen.
But things change and Jodie has returned home, glad to leave the make up and glitz behind she has a vision to transform her deceased father's ranch into a riding centre for people with disabilities. In all the years she's been away she has never forgotten bad boy next door Teague.
Teague has always been a little bit in love with Jodie, but things have changed. He's cleaned up his image and become a successful businessman and ranch owner in the years since she's been away. Yet, despite everything a part of him still doesn't think he's good enough for her.
There were some things that really worked in this story and some other bits not so. Teague cares for his older brother with Downs Syndrome, which gives him the complex role of brother, parent and carer. This part of the story was well written, interesting and added a rich layer to Teague's characterisation. Jodie has trouble shedding her glitzy, rodeo queen image and reinvent herself and get her new career taken seriously. As a consequence, she shows grit and determination as well as compassion.
Then there's the not so good. There is an odd sub plot about Courtney a wealthy, young woman who for some inexplicable reason desperately wants to be with Teague and won't leave him alone. It gets complicated with the role of her rich, magnate father, some polo players and a nasty arson plot which all got a little bit strange to be honest. I actually think the story might have been better without it included.
While this was an enjoyable story, it missed the spark of a brilliant story. The plot was a little muddled at times and distracted from the central love story, which meant I didn't always fully engage with the main characters.
I did however, very much enjoy the background of Teague's Downs Syndrome brother and Jodie's role setting up her ranch as a disabled riding centre, and when the love story worked it was both sexy and tender....more
I have been a huge fan and followed Sherrilyn Kenyon's 'Dark-Hunter' series for years.Reviewed for www.BookChickCity.com (7 out of the 10 on the blog)
I have been a huge fan and followed Sherrilyn Kenyon's 'Dark-Hunter' series for years. While there have been a couple of miss books, most of them are fantastic. Nineteen books in and this series is still going strong, unlike some other long standing series I just don't seem to get bored with it.
Sherrilyn Kenyon has created a rich world of characters and supernatural beings, I love the way she has mixed in Greek mythology into the story and her world building really is superb. There are a lot of characters in her books, so at times you do have to work at keeping track, but I've got used to this writing style now. It's on the grittier side of paranormal romance which is why I like it, ok you're never denied that happy ending but at the same time Ms Kenyon is not afraid for bad things, or even to kill off some of her characters in the name of good writing.
This is were-bear Dev Peltier's story, he is one of a quad of identical brothers and works at and part owns supernatural club and safe haven Sanctuary. For some who have read book #18 in the series, Sanctuary was dealt some terrible blows in the last instalment and the characters are still working at recovering from them.
The heroine is Sam, a dark hunter. If you haven't read the series, dark hunters are people who scream for terrible vengeance upon their death and give up their afterlife in service to the Goddess Artemis, to hunt & kill daimons, in exchange for their ultimate moment of revenge. Sam was an Amazon before she died 5000 years ago and is a ferocious warrior, her recent assignment is to watch Nick.
The chemistry between Dev and Sam was great, I loved Dev's quick-witted sense of humour. Sam has a gift, or maybe more of a curse, which means whoever or whatever she touches she can see their past or what has happened in that place, but for some reason that doesn't happen when she touches Dev or any of his things. But when the evil Stryker learns of this gift she suddenly becomes on every daimon's hit list. The action is the books is fast and doesn't leave you bored for a moment. Just the way I like it!
There are some developments on the whole Nick/Ash feud. Up until recent books, Nick has always been one of my favourite characters, but I really am starting to dislike the situation between him and Ash. I want it resolved and for Nick to get his very own happy ending. I'm also not sure I can forgive Sherrilyn Kenyon if she ends up making Nick one of the bad guys.
If you haven't read any books from this series before, you probably could pick this up, but there are lots of characters that we have met before and enjoyed their stories and there are references to past events that may spoil the earlier books for you. So, my recommendation would be to start at book number one, actually while it's not listed below I would start with 'Fantasy Lover' and then work your way through.
This really is a fantastic PNR series, see if you're a paranormal romance fan and you haven't picked it up yet, I would urge you to do so. The action's hot and the romance even hotter! ;-)...more