**spoiler alert** Two things attracted me to this book. 1) The gorgeous cover. 2) The fact that I was looking for fairy tale inspired romance novels.
F**spoiler alert** Two things attracted me to this book. 1) The gorgeous cover. 2) The fact that I was looking for fairy tale inspired romance novels.
First, I really loved the idea of the book. A gothic romance with raven shifters woven into the story of Bluebeard. Really loved the idea. Based on the cover and the blurb, I could just picture Lord Ruhk Hayle and his mysterious secret being related to being a raven shifter as opposed to being related to dead wives in the closet.
Unfortunately, what I was hoping for isn't what this book turned out to be. The fact that he is a raven shifter is revealed to his bride on their wedding night, and there actually are dead wives in the closet. The story also lacked the creepy mood that a Bluebeard-inspired tale should have.
It was kind of short, more novella-length than novel-length, and despite the fact that Samhain has it labeled as Historical Romance and Paranormal Romance, the proportion of sex to story was far more than I was hoping or expecting would be there. The majority of the book was steamy as opposed to story-related. Had the story been labeled with Samhain's "Red Hots!" label, I would have expected that, but it wasn't. Granted, for the most part the author does not use crude language and uses more...historical appropriate descriptions, and maybe that's why it wasn't labeled in that way, but come on. When the major plot point is that Lord Hayle's family made a deal with a lusty demon named Bluebeard in order to be immortal and be able to shift into raven form, the price is that the Alpha of the family sacrifice his wife to the demon's lust (so he can basically fuck her to death) once she's conceived an heir, the demon lures the wife into his secret door through lust compulsions, and the only way to keep the demon contained behind his door is for the Alpha of the family to have regular sex in the same room with the door, I don't personally consider that a romance novel because it leaves no time for relationship development or, you know, romance.
Sadly, a disappointment for me, but others who are looking for a more erotic romance may enjoy it. There's a free short story on the author's website that is a follow-up to this story that anyone interested may want to try out first.
Technical notes: I bought the e-book from MyBookStoreAndMore and downloaded the .epub version. The formatting was just fine, and I didn't notice any typos or formatting issues.
Maybe I don't know enough about leprechaun myths, but I can't say I understood why Liam had peeling skin or shamrock-shaped irises, but I liked this sMaybe I don't know enough about leprechaun myths, but I can't say I understood why Liam had peeling skin or shamrock-shaped irises, but I liked this story. Despite the fact that it was short, there was plenty of relationship development. Granted, a lot of that relationship development happened over the course of a few years prior to the beginning of this story, but just knowing the years of being friends happened really made it acceptable to me to jump right into the attraction and romance part of the story. I dislike nothing more in a romance novel than instant love/attraction for no good reason (yes, I hate that even more than TSTL characters).
I think the story part of this could have been expanded a bit more (like almost every romance novella I've read so far...they feel like the story was skimped on a bit), but I liked the characters, and I liked them together, and it was a pleasant little bit of St. Patty's Day reading.
Note: I bought the EPUB from MyBookstoreAndMore back when I first bought my Nook. It was formatted just fine....more
This romance novel is actually two stories in one book. The first story follows the story of Annwyl the Bloody, a human, and Fearghus, a dragon-shifteThis romance novel is actually two stories in one book. The first story follows the story of Annwyl the Bloody, a human, and Fearghus, a dragon-shifter. The second story tells the story of Fearghus's parents, both dragon-shifters.
What I liked: The stories are both at times humorous, and I enjoyed the characters. Quite a bit of snappy dialog in both.
What wasn't for me: Too much lust, not enough romance. In both cases we're supposed to believe the main characters are in love with each other, but all we really get to see is the physical attraction/lust. It's a bit better in Annwyl and Fearghus's story because they interact intellectually a fair bit of the time while Fearghus is in dragon form because Annwyl doesn't realize that dragon-Fearghus is the same person as handsome warrior-Fearghus, but still not quite enough actual relationship development for my taste. Also, a bit more bondage, particularly in the second story, than I have interest in reading about. In both cases, I would have liked more story/plot and less sex.
Something that didn't bother me, but may bother some, the first story particularly has quite a bit of gore and violence; Annwyl the Bloody got her nickname for a reason.
Technical note: This e-book had a lot of weird formatting issues. For instance, there were a lot of paragraph breaks in the middle of a sentence and some cases where sentences ran into each other with no space after the period. I bought the epub format from My Bookstore and More, so not sure if the book would have the same formatting issues if bought elsewhere....more
Eh. Vampire/werewolf arranged marriage meant to bring peace between them. Not quite enough plot/romance for my taste, but not terrible. Kind of cornyEh. Vampire/werewolf arranged marriage meant to bring peace between them. Not quite enough plot/romance for my taste, but not terrible. Kind of corny at times, but...I have yet to read a paranormal romance that wasn't. ...more
**spoiler alert** I picked this up as part of a free promotion at allromance.com. I'll say right off the bat that I didn't really enjoy this book and**spoiler alert** I picked this up as part of a free promotion at allromance.com. I'll say right off the bat that I didn't really enjoy this book and basically forced myself to finish it in case I was wrong about where it was headed. I wasn't. My lack of enjoyment didn't really have anything to do with the writing style or the storyline, so just because I didn't like this book doesn't mean others won't. This book just happened to hit a whole lot of my pet peeves.
As with pretty much every romance of any sort that I've read, paranormal or otherwise, the uh..."steamy" scenes are totally corny with very odd descriptions that are just...not good. I'll let you judge for yourself.
Context for this quote - Nick, the vampire, just stood so close to Jazz that his cotton t-shirt touched her chest. He had also just reminded her of the time on some bridge that he had just lifted her skirt, bent her over, and had his way with her. You can read that description yourself for some more um..whatever you'd call it.
One of my big problems with the book is that Jazz is interested in the wrong guy (in my opinion). Take this excerpt for example. The conversation is between Jazz and one of her friends about Nick (the vampire she's always in an on-again, off-again passionate sexual relationship with...aka. the wrong guy):
Jazz: Nick is more a thorn in my side than anything else. Friend: And yet you always welcome him back into your life, and your bed, no matter how many times he's hurt you in the past. Considering everything that's gone on you've still never hit him over the head with a sledgehammer when he truly deserves it.
So. Jazz keeps going back to vampire Nick time and again despite the fact that he keeps hurting her time and again. She keeps going back to Nick even though she has a perfectly lovely option in Krebs, her current human roommate who designs websites for paranormal businesses. Let's see how Krebs is described:
She liked that her roomie worried about her and was willing to talk when she needed a willing ear. ----- He was cute and funny and he made her laugh. ----- For one brief wine-soaked evening they had even toyed with the idea of becoming lovers, but sanity won out and their friendship had flourished until they were closer than they ever would have been as lovers. She was grateful that he understood her witchy side.
So...he's not gay, he cares about her, is cute and funny, he understands her witchy side, he makes her laugh, and they're actually friends. But supposedly it was sane to NOT become lovers?? Anyone else think it's dumb to pine over a man who keeps hurting you while you've got a perfectly lovely option right under your nose?? What was the point of having this guy in the book at all except to show us that Jazz had a good option for a boyfriend living with her already and she chose the sexy asshole anyway. Do not like.
I know many women find the dark, dangerous man who treats you like crap (but only because it's for our own good) attractive, but I just do not. Not at all. Not even a tiny bit. And though I know that many women do find characters like Nick hot and sexy and yummy, I do not understand it, so I do not enjoy books where that's what the male lead is like. I get that other women love just this kind of relationship though, and that's great. It's just not my cup of tea.
Another issue I had with this book, and really, it was such a minor part of the book that I am probably blowing it out of proportion, but there's a character called The Librarian, and he is depicted as uptight and stuffy and as the stereotypical "gatekeeper" of information, saying who gets access and who doesn't. THIS IS NOT WHAT LIBRARIANS ARE ALL ABOUT!!! We don't hold the gates shut, giving access to only a select few that we deem worthy, we give you the keys and help you open the gates yourselves! Ugh! That being said, he was a small character in only one chapter of the whole book. But still.
Technical notes: This book was only available as PDF, which looks fine on my PC but like crap on my Nook....more
**spoiler alert** I got this book in e-book form as part of a free promotion.
I didn't like it, but I didn't want to throw it across the room either, s**spoiler alert** I got this book in e-book form as part of a free promotion.
I didn't like it, but I didn't want to throw it across the room either, so I guess it has that going for it.
First of all, I will say that although I didn't like it (and that's why I gave it 1-star), that's just my personal opinion, and the story was mostly well written in terms of style, a quick read, and I can see how it might appeal to people other than me. I'm not saying it's a universally bad story, just that it's not for me.
I like the focus of my romance novels to be on the relationship between the two main characters. In this book, the focus was on the relationship between Regina and Zander, but it also wasn't. What I mean by that is, I couldn't tell you what kind of relationship Regina and Zander have other than they are grathia (or however you spell the term for soulmates used in this book). They've only known each other for a few days, but that doesn't matter because part of being soulmates is that they are mentally connected so they just automatically know everything about each other. Except when it's convenient for them to *not* know particular things for the sake of the story. And we as readers don't get to know most of it, so we don't really get to know either character very well.
Also, what story there was, just really didn't make much sense. Regina makes it into the pub that Zander and his brother, Lux, run to seek sanctuary. Zander and Lux are Trueblood vampires (born that way) while Regina is Unborn (someone who was bitten and turned into a vampire). There's some conflict between Truebloods and Unborn, but Zander and Lux conveniently have none of the normal prejudices that Truebloods have in regard to Unborn. Regina was wounded by a Shadow Wolf, which I'm not totally sure what it is other than I guess some wizardly evil kind of werewolf. It turns out that this main Shadow Wolf that injured Regina wanted her as his mate(?), and that makes no sense because it's not even clear how he knew about her in the first place. It also makes no sense what the subplot of him trying to secretly sterilize all the Truebloods by creating a magical elixir to prevent them having babies has to do with anything.
The idea behind this world is intriguing, and I kind of wish the story had focused more on this Trueblood/Unborn animosity or the vampire/werewolf feuding, with the Regina/Zander relationship as just a minor subplot.
Regina kept describing Zander as being "so male," like that was...I don't even know...the hottest thing ever. To me, it seemed like "male" meant he was kind of a controlling butthead most of the time. At any rate, "maleness" in this sense is not something I consider an especially attractive quality, so I didn't really care about either Zander or Regina [she was of course perfectly beautiful and exotic (whatever that's supposed to mean) and also had no personality:].
As for the sex scenes - not my cup of tea. I can totally see how this story might be right up someone else's alley (if you can handle phrases like "her womb ached for him," which to me just sounds like she was having so much lust for Zander that she got cramps), but it definitely wasn't for me. ...more
**spoiler alert** I picked this up as a promotional free download. Um. I guess it's probably pretty standard werewolf paranormal romance, but it was a**spoiler alert** I picked this up as a promotional free download. Um. I guess it's probably pretty standard werewolf paranormal romance, but it was a bit too cheesy for me. There's not much plot beyond Marissa being attacked by her ex-boyfriend who happens to have turned into a vampire in the time between when they broke up and when he attacked her. This somehow (?) makes Neil, a werewolf, know his mate is in trouble...or something. So he saves her, but he thinks it's a dream. But then they really meet and can't keep their hands off each other. And the author makes it a point to have Marissa think about how she knows Neil is a hairy guy, and even though that's a turnoff for most women, Marissa is totally turned on by hairy guys.
Also, I just could not handle the multiple times that the author wrote that Neil was "poised at her entrance." OMG. ...more
**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't really connect with the characters. Cat is, at times, TSTL. Most of her problems in**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't really connect with the characters. Cat is, at times, TSTL. Most of her problems in this book are brought on by herself; she's quick to judge, doesn't think things through, and basically makes all around poor choices. Repeatedly.
The plot was also uneven. When the book begins, the reader is given the impression that this book will be about Cat going through the trials to become her region's Titania, and there might be some romance with Lex, her ex-boyfriend and a guardian sent to protect her until she completes her trials. So, that's how the book starts out, but then she passes all her tests and gets the job of Titania about half-way through the book, and I was left thinking, what? It's not over?
After Cat completes her trials and gets the job of Titania, a completely different second plot starts up about an evil vampire who wants to rule the human world and wants Cat's cooperation as the new Titania to get Faerie involved as well (it turns out is kind of related to some of the first plot, but, in my opinion, there should have had more build-up and the fact that this was the main plot should have been more obvious from the beginning, or the second plot should have been a completely different book in a series). And this evil vampire wants Cat as his girlfriend too, and she keeps letting him bite her and put spells on her (part of the TSTL part).
All in all, I love the cover (adore it), and I really like the idea of story, but it just didn't work for me. Still, I might check out a sequel if there is one just to see if Cat smartens up some....more
This book was OK, but I was hoping for more from it. More relationship development at least. Jo and Wyatt are in lust from the get go, and there's quiThis book was OK, but I was hoping for more from it. More relationship development at least. Jo and Wyatt are in lust from the get go, and there's quite a bit of sexual tension between them in the opposites attract kind of way, and supposedly over the course of the book that lust turns into love, but...we don't get to see enough of that relationship evolution for me to believe it. The plot was fun, and I like the idea of a consulting firm that helps out with supernatural problems. I got really tired of hearing about "The Girls" though (aka. Jo's boobs). ...more
**spoiler alert** This is more of a 3.5 than a solid 3.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. Meg Cabot, if you've read her blog, is**spoiler alert** This is more of a 3.5 than a solid 3.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. Meg Cabot, if you've read her blog, is very anti-vampire, so it was surprising to see that she ended up writing a vampire romance. Despite being about 500 pages, it was actually a very quick read. Anyone hoping that Meena ends up happily ever after with her vampire prince of darkness will be disappointed (but still have hope), and those of you, like me, who much prefer the handsome vampire hunter as a love interest for Meena, well, you might be disappointed (but also still have hope). I haven't read anything about whether there's a sequel planned for this, but the ending definitely makes it seem like there will be. As usual with Cabot's writing, there's humor and chemistry, and although I generally detest love triangles with a fiery passion, this one didn't bother me (maybe because I don't actually think she'll end up with the vampire...wishful thinking??) Anyway, it wasn't the most amazing book ever, but it was entertaining, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for a sequel should there be one....more
**spoiler alert** I liked the premise of this book - a fairy in law enforcement has to solve a murder - but there appear to be three potential romanti**spoiler alert** I liked the premise of this book - a fairy in law enforcement has to solve a murder - but there appear to be three potential romantic possibilities for the main character, Dulcie, and the one that appears to be "winning" at the end of this book is the one I like the least (Knight). In fact, I like him so little, it annoyed me that Dulcie is even slightly interested in him. The one I liked the best (Quillan) turns out to be one of the bad guys (maybe? maybe there's a good reason for what he did that we'll find out about in a future book?), which just stank. There also really wasn't much focus on his relationship with Dulcie, most of that is implied, and that made me sad for much of the book. What I liked is that he seemed to care about Dulcie for who she was, and liked her for who she was. The other two possibilities don't really know her that well, and any chemistry is purely physical, which...I personally just don't enjoy reading about. The third romantic possibility (Bram), I enjoyed as a character, but I definitely didn't "see" any chemistry between him and Dulcie.
All that being said, it was an OK book, and I'm intrigued enough to want to read more, but if the next book doesn't turn the story in a direction that I enjoy more, I probably won't continue to read the series. This isn't the fault the author or anything, the romantic subplot in this just really wasn't my cup of tea, but I can see how people who enjoy more mysterious alpha male types might really get a kick out of this....more
**spoiler alert** I won this e-book in a contest. I was really torn between giving this novella 3 stars or 4. If I could give half stars, this would d**spoiler alert** I won this e-book in a contest. I was really torn between giving this novella 3 stars or 4. If I could give half stars, this would definitely be a 3.5. I liked it, but it had the same problem that a lot of romance novellas have; the relationship development was rushed. I like Char, and I like Jake, but them feeling strongly about each other seemed rushed, and I would have liked to have seen it actually develop rather than just suddenly have them want to be with each other. In fact the first time they have sex, it took me totally off guard because there was no lead up. I can understand why it would happen - they both just escaped death, but it felt awkward reading it. For example: ...Tyler, but he was in great shape. And definitely not engineered. Those were genuine, earned muscles under that tight-fitting hemp shirt.
He swung her chair around and knelt in front of her, removing the straps from her arms and legs. Again without thinking, she reached out and ran her fingers through his hair.
He looked up sharply. She expected anger, but she saw tears. It had all gotten to him too, then. She smoothed the furrow between his eyes. Did she want to comfort him? Or did she want him to comfort her?
He lifted the harness off her chest, and she floated up from the seat. His hands almost surrounded her waist as he pulled her down. She wrapped her legs around his hips, anchoring herself.
He searched her eyes, silently asking permission to keep going. She guided his hand to the single strap on her top. He pulled it down and kissed her neck, moving toward her breasts. In the weightlessness, she moved easily to give him access to anything he wanted.
OK...so we get that he's in shape, but she doesn't think about wanting him or being attracted to him or anything else to indicate that she's even remotely thinking about getting him naked. He unbuckles her, and suddenly she's touching his hair. He's crying, so she decides to have sex with him.
As I said, I don't think it's unbelievable that it happened, but it would have worked better for me personally if she had been thinking about how she needed to feel alive, she needed to feel some human connection and he was there and convenient. She sort of thinks those things after, but, I feel like not having insight into those thoughts before it happens made me think, "Where the heck did that come from??"
On the plus side, I felt all the sex scenes were handled well. They aren't exactly "closed door," but they aren't described as a blow-by-blow either. I like when the focus is more on the connection and the mood rather than "flowery or crude name for tab A" inserted into "ridiculous or crude name for slot B."
The relationship aspect of the story aside, the story line pulled me in. I felt that just the right amount of background was given, and it was worked into the story subtly rather than obvious info dumps. There are definitely more things about this world to learn, but we're given enough to understand what's happening in the immediate story and what we're given was at least enough to whet my appetite for more.
I'm looking forward to Spiderwork, the sequel to this novella, and the rest of the related stories.
Technical notes: I downloaded the .epub version from Smashwords and noticed no formatting issues or typos....more
**spoiler alert** I really liked Pandora Bramble. She's smart, she's got gumption, but she's not perfect. And I love that what attracted Theo to her f**spoiler alert** I really liked Pandora Bramble. She's smart, she's got gumption, but she's not perfect. And I love that what attracted Theo to her first was the fact that she knew about steamship engines.
Although I'm generally disappointed in romance novellas because I feel they gloss over too much relationship development, this one did pretty well in that department. And it made me cry, in a good way, so, it gets an extra star for that. The tears were quite unexpected, but when Pandora found out that she just stole a valve from a steamship for reasons that were based on lies her father had told her for her entire life and Theo is there for her and understanding and tells her he wants to marry her....well, they just came out.
Would I have liked a little bit longer story? Yes. Do I feel the author did the characters and the story justice with the length the story actually was? Yes. I guess I'm just a greedy reader who often wants more.
Technical note: I read the .epub version from MyBookstoreAndMore, and the font by default was super tiny. I had to increase it up to extra extra large on my Nook to be more legible....more
**spoiler alert** First, I had quite a few problems with this book. That being said, I liked it, and I will definitely read the next book in the serie**spoiler alert** First, I had quite a few problems with this book. That being said, I liked it, and I will definitely read the next book in the series.
Lillie St. Clare is a Talent. She can see and exorcise ghosts and may just have some sidhe blood flowing through her veins, but the answer to that question is only hinted at. The story begins shortly after the death of her abusive, jerk husband. A few days after his death, he visits her at home, zombie-style. What follows is fast-paced ride as Lillie tries to solve the mystery of who raised her husband and why. Along for the ride is the mysterious, manly federal psi-crime detective John Thresher.
For those who need a relationship wrapped up by the end of a book, this book definitely isn't for you. At the end of this book, Lillie and Johnny haven't resolved anything relating to their feelings for each other. Johnny kisses Lillie a couple of times throughout the book, but, that's it, and she doesn't like the fact that she enjoys those kisses. This brings us to one of the problems I have with this book. Johnny just seems to randomly kiss her a couple of times, very forcefully, and he doesn't back down easily once she tells him to stop. Not a fan of guys forcing their attentions on unwilling women. He does back down eventually, and it is possible that she has some kind of sidhe-seduction powers that she doesn't know she has (which is hinted at but not outright stated), which could explain his not-nice-guy behavior when he's normally very much a nice guy. It's also hard to know how much of what happens in the book is colored by Lillie's limited POV. She's used to her abusive asshole husband, so maybe she's assuming worse of Johnny at times than he deserves.
Another thing I really didn't like is that Lillie was either constantly jumping to the incorrect conclusion that Johnny was accusing her of being up to no good, which makes her seem willfully stupid, or Johnny was actually constantly accusing Lillie of being up to no good, in which case Johnny is a jerk. I'm not clear which it was or if it was a combination of both. They definitely spend more time fighting than communicating like mature adults.
I didn't guess the answer to the mystery until Lillie did, so the mystery aspect of the book worked well for me and kept me turning the virtual pages. Maybe this is because I don't read a lot of mysteries, but maybe not.
My curiosity about both Lillie and Johnny is piqued, and I do really want to see them get together (assuming the overly forceful, constantly accusatory nature of Johnny is all in Lillie's head or a result of her uncontrolled supernatural seductive powers), so Carina Press better put out a sequel to this because the ending is *not* an ending, and that would just be unfair to leave readers hanging like that.
Technical notes: I bought this e-book directly from the Carina Press website (Harlequin's digital branch). I bought the .epub format. There were a few noticeable typos/mistakes. Mistakes such as using the word "internment" instead of "interment," unintentional repetition, occasional spacing issues in relation to quotation marks, and a couple sentences that just made no sense. This seems to be a problem quite common in e-books regardless of publisher, and I'm not really sure why e-books tend to get less proofreading than paper books, but it's kind of annoying....more