When I first began 'Viper's Kiss', I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought that...moreReviewed 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.(less)
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.(less)
I wasn't really a fan of 'Demons Prefer Blondes' there were times when the storyline engag...moreReviewed 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.(less)
'In the Heat of the Bite' is a great book that combines a regency romance with the wonderf...moreReviewed 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! ;-) (less)
This is book three in Ashlyn Chase's series about an apartment block where nearly all the inhabitants coincidentally...moreReviewed 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.(less)
This is a pretty unusual romance, in that the heroine is a prostitute. As with all of Catherine Anderson's books she de...moreReview 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. (less)
Having read quite a few time travel romances, I started this book with a certain set of ex...moreReviewed 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 :-) (less)
This is a paranormal romance with a real difference, in fact it has quite a fantasy feel about it. School teacher Sh...moreReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com
This is a paranormal romance with a real difference, in fact it has quite a fantasy feel about it. School teacher Shannon Parker gets much more than she bargained for when she buys a vase at an antiques sale. Suddenly she finds herself transported to another universe where she is a goddess. A goddess that also happens to be a bit of a b*tch too.
I loved the originality of this book, the new world with goddesses, magical powers and mythical creatures. But also the twist of Shannon being transported into this world and only her handmaiden knowing that she's any different.
Shannon is a fun and determined character, she embraces her new life and all of the responsibilities this includes. The plot takes a little which to take off, the whole antiques buying thing was a little too long, but once it got into its swing I was absolutely hooked. Shannon soon discovers that life as a goddess is not all gorgeous clothes, beautiful jewels and luxuries. With the threat of war and a small pox outbreak, as well as the bizarre need not her to do a topless ceremony every two weeks (I'm not quite sure what that was all about), the story is engaging and the baddies perfectly, hideously creepy.
The other big part of the book is of course the romance. When I first started reading, I was slightly nervous about it. The hero is a centaur - top half man, bottom half horse, and for a while the mind boggled! I'm sure you know what I mean! But thankfully I needn't have worried, it all worked out fine. Actually by the end of the book, I quite fancied a hot centaur of my very own, even if he did have a weird name - ClanFintan.
One thing that slightly annoyed me was Shannon's habit of referring to her friends as 'girlfriend', this may be a culture thing, as it's not really an English turn of phrase.
There were some superb characters in this book, and Shannon's real world friends and family were cleverly written into her new reality, although often with a twist. The impact of Rhiannon's selfishness (the goddess Shannon had swapped place with), often making Shannon's job a difficult one. But they are written so well you become engaged with many of their fates and not just of Shannon and ClanFintan's.
The book is not simply a romance, in fact the impending war with the vile Fomorians, and the reality of their brutality does add a nice horror edge that I very much enjoyed.
A really fantastic book, I loved it and was sad when it finished. I hope to be able to read the next two in quick succession. Shannon was a great, witty heroine and ClanFintan the perfect, chivalrous hero any girl would want."Divine by Mistake" is a fab mix of romance, fantasy, paranormal and horror. (less)
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (8 out of 10 on the blog)
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having picked up 'No Turning Back', book number three in the series, earlier in the year. Each of the books reference the different characters in the other and our two leads for 'Relentless' are Rhys and Nev (Neveah), who were important characters in 'No Turning Back'. But I still think you could pick this up as a stand-alone novel in its own right, although perhaps having read the former would give you a slightly richer reading experience.
Nev is a doctor and in 'No Turning Back' was working to set up a hospital for the poor in Afghanistan, when she and her colleagues were kidnapped by Al Qaeda terrorists. Here she was tortured and suffered a horrendous ordeal until she was rescued by an elite armed forces team. Rhys was one of the soldiers that rescued her, but just as they were trying to escape his vehicle drove over a land mine, setting himself on fire and giving him severe neurological damage. As a doctor on the scene, Nev then saved her rescuer's life.
'Relentless takes off as Rhys is finally released from hospital following on from his injuries. But almost as soon as he's released his his boss calls him to let him know that a terrorist cell has been activated in Vancouver, which also happens to be where Nev is due to give a speech at a medical conference and he knows that he must go to protect her, whether he's physically ready or not.
Both Rhys and Nev are great characters. They have both suffered both physical and psychological ordeals during their time in Afghanistan, but while this makes them vulnerable, they are both very tough and resilient at the same time.
Rhys has been a solider all of his life, and when he's not protecting civilians and his fellow soldiers, he is protecting his twin brother Ben. Additionally Cross's physical description of him, despite his scars, had my mouth watering on several occasions! Rhys believes himself not capable of love and his resolved himself to a single life:
"He'd always known he'd spend his life alone. He wasn't cut out for relationships, let alone one that ended with happily-ever-after."
Which makes the romance all the more sweet, and the romance in this novel really is absolutely captivating, I so wanted Rhys and Nev to come together.
Nev is intelligence, tough and brave. Despite everything that has happened to her she is determined to get on with her life and not let the terrorists win and I couldn't help but admire her for that.
The plot is a perfect mix of suspense and sizzling romance as Nev and Rhys fall for one another and the terrorist plot unfolds around them. I was impressed with the couple of surprising elements Kaylea Cross managed to throw in that I genuinely didn't see coming at the end.
If you're a fan of romantic suspense, then I would definitely recommend you add Kaylea Cross books to your reading list. I enjoyed this book much more than 'No Turning Back' simply because I had some issues with the heroine's decision making in that book! But this really is a fab read.(less)
I read 'Crux' the first book in this series back in January and really enjoyed it, but 'Crossroads' was even better!...moreReviewed for www.BookChickCity.com
I read 'Crux' the first book in this series back in January and really enjoyed it, but 'Crossroads' was even better! Although this book focuses on two new main characters - Nick and Derek, the storyline continues on from 'Crux' with all of the same characters, so I would recommend that you read it first.
Nick is the equivalent of werewolf royalty, daughter to the ruling alpha she is expected to marry for political gain and produce heirs. It is a fate she has spent most of her adult life running from, relocating to New Orleans and running a bar instead.
Derek has watched Nick from afar for years, fighting his physical attraction to her. Since he was bitten by a werewolf two years ago he has struggled to control his wolf and come to terms with his new life. In werewolf society a bitten wolf is viewed as inferior. But just as Derek and Nick are finally ready to admit their feelings for one another, Nick's life gets thrown upside down with the arrival of her twin sister she would do anything to protect, and some shocking news.
This book very much sits on that line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, it is darker, grittier and tougher than a romance which is part of the reason why I think I enjoyed it so much.
The attraction between Nick and Derek is so tangible and so believable that from the start I was fully sucked in and engrossed in their story. About two thirds of the way through I couldn't see how they could possibly end up together and the pages whirled by as I willed the book to give me that happy ending. But that happy ending doesn't come without a price, there are some shocks and sorrows along the way that makes the story all the more engaging and left me with a ball in my throat. Although I did read this book on holiday, I finished it in less than a day.
The romance between Nick and Derek is, well, steamy would perhaps be an understatement! This is fuelled by their mating instincts as two wolves, but it felt right and added to the growing love and wild passion between them that they had both tried to ignore for so long. It also adds to the desperation as the extent of the trouble Nick's sister is in becomes apparent and looks as though it will drive them apart.
This is a fantastic book and a really exciting new paranormal romance series. If this is a genre you love, then I would recommend you pick up both 'Crux' and 'Crossroads' when you next get the chance. I can't wait for 'Deadlock'!(less)
'Ruthless Game' is book nine in Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series. Ghostwalkers are men and women who have been...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
'Ruthless Game' is book nine in Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series. Ghostwalkers are men and women who have been genetically engineered to have their psychic powers enhanced. But the scientist, Witney, who headed up the experiments is cruel and ruthless. Forcing ghostwalkers into breeding programmes in order to create the ultimate soldier and ruthless pursuing them and experimenting on them, even those who have escaped, to see how they will behave and react.
Rose spent years in a laboratory under Witney's care where she was forced to breed with our male hero Kane in order to produce a baby super soldier. Although I've read a lot of the books in this series, I've skipped a few and the actual consummation happened in a book I haven't read. So I can't comment on the start to Rose and Kane's relationship. But as a consequence at the beginning of the book they are both already a little in love with one another. I would have liked these scenes to have been a prequel in this book rather than just referred to, I think it would have helped with the chemistry and suspense of the love story.
'Ruthless Game' will appeal to fans of both paranormal romance and action romance books. It had some fantastic action scenes. Edge of the seat stuff, guns, grenades, knife fights, helicopters, car chases you want it, you've got it in this book! I also enjoyed the fact that Rose was a tough lady, a fighter and warrior in her own right, an equal match to Kane. There is an element of mystery with a traitor in the camp, you've also got more baddies than you can shake a stick at. With Witney's men and also a drug cartel who Rose and Kane managed to upset, all trying to hunt them down. One disappointment is that I did work out who the traitor in the camp was straight away and I knew who it was as soon we met them! But maybe I was supposed to.
The chemistry between Rose and Kane was great and they were a lovely couple. It was also nice to see them as parents, and see that part of the storyline fitted into a paranormal/action romance, which is quite unusual.
I did, however, have a few issues. Our heroine is 8 months pregnant at the start of the novel. Perhaps, the problems in the story were more profound for me as I was heavily pregnant when I was reading it. But despite being 8 month pregnant, she enters into a gun fight, jumps out of a speeding vehicle to avoid going over a ravine and hikes several miles across the desert. The fact she manages to do so without needing to pee is a miracle in itself! ;-)
Then there are the love scenes, because she is breastfeeding, let's just say things get a bit messy! It didn't really strike me as very sexy! And Kane seemed to like it a bit too much.
There were two characters in the book that really intrigued me - Javier and Rhianna. Straight away I wanted to know more about them. I hope they will get their own book soon.
As with a lot of Feehan's more recent books, 'Ruthless Game' was a mixed read for me. Good parts, great parts and then parts that didn't quite work.(less)