A Low Down Dirty Shane is set in the same, wild world of Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series. M...moreThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
A Low Down Dirty Shane is set in the same, wild world of Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series. Main character Shane works for the namesake of the urban fantasy series. While fans of Secret will get a kick out of it, you do not need to have read those books in order to enjoy this novella.
You read that right. A Low Down Dirty Shane is a standalone urban fantasy novella. Snappy, snarky and sexy—it completes the trifecta of what makes a shorter story work for me. If you regularly read this blog, you know I’m picky. Or maybe greedy is a better word. When it comes to novellas, I typically find myself wanting more. With A Low Down Dirty Shane, sure, I want more of Shane because nom, but the plot left me sated. I flew through the pages and reached the end content. I love when that happens.
The novella features Dean’s signature no-holds gross monsters and fight scenes (yay!) and the kind of steamy scene you expect from her. The story focuses on druids and fae in the forefront and the “holy crap, I actually like you” romance of Shane and Siobhan right alongside.
Sexytimes and ass-kicking, people. What more do you want?
With its gothic tone and lush feel, Ironskin had me wrapped up in the story by the 50-page mark...moreThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
With its gothic tone and lush feel, Ironskin had me wrapped up in the story by the 50-page mark.
The novel merges and reworks two classics: Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. There’s no question the base of the story is inspired by the Bronte work. In Tina Connolly’s version, Jane is scarred from the fae war. While her sister is able to seek a husband to care for her, Jane must work. She takes on a governess role under the employment of a reclusive and charming man. His daughter Dorie has fae skills—the kind that have scared off many of the staff—and he needs Jane to help the girl learn to do things the human way.
In the Beauty and the Beast element of the novel, both Jane and her Mr. Rochart are cursed, though in different ways. Not only is Jane’s face marked in a way that would scare of suitors, but within the injured flesh lies a fae curse. Rochart’s limitations are slowly revealed and part of the real enjoyment of this book comes in the last third when Jane begins to know him better and things switch from longing for an ideal into something tangible.
One of the quotes on the dustjacket suggests Ironskin is a steampunk tale. I don’t buy that. While heroine Jane uses bits of iron to block her fae curse from affecting those around her, it’s not exactly a cogs-and-steam element. Not to say those are the only defining traits of steampunk, but more that avid steampunk fans will not find it on a grand scale here.
That said, who wouldn’t want to read Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast with wicked fae?
If you love an angst-y read, Blood Before Sunrise is for you.
Get wrapped up in yelling at the heroine making infuriating and dangerous decisions? You’ll love Blood Before Sunrise.
Enjoy seeing a heroine handing big tough men their asses in fights? Oh, you need Blood Before Sunrise.
In the Shaedes of Gray, heroine Darian discovered she wasn’t the only one of her kind. She started to learn not only who she is but also what she is. Just as she began to understand her new role as a Shaede — she can fade into shadow, nothingness in the dark — an ancient prophecy changed things.
Now Darian is something else, more. She can disappear in the light and the dark, feel the passage of time. And she’s powerful. She still trains with Raif, but he can’t keep up with her. She’s powerful and gets accustomed to the idea she’s the biggest, baddest thing on the block.
Not only does her ego put her in danger when trying to find Raif’s daughter and while she tries to determine what her new-found obsession with the passage of time means, but it wreaks havoc on her relationship with Tyler. He isn’t just her boyfriend, remember. Tyler is a jinn, and his job is to protect Darian. The only hitch is he has to obey her wishes. She’s worried about protecting him, and though she doesn’t recognize it, she behaves in a way that illustrates she doesn’t need his protection or want it. Expect big relationship drama on this front.
I love books that are an emotional challenge. Ones where by the end of the book the main character has truly grown. There’s no question we get that with Blood Before Sunrise. There are moments when you’ll grip your book and pretend to be shaking some sense into Darian. Don’t expect easy answers in this novel, but I can promise one hell of a journey with lush descriptions. Even when Darian is making poor decisions, I want to be her friend.
I have to give it up to Michelle Rowen; she can make waiting for a single kiss the hottest thin...moreThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
I have to give it up to Michelle Rowen; she can make waiting for a single kiss the hottest thing ever.
The majority of the novel has protagonist Samantha doing everything she can to keep from kissing people. It is the desire and the danger that lies with a potential kiss that will keep you turning the pages of Dark Kiss.
Samantha has been turned into a gray. She has no idea what this means, because the boy she’s crushed on forever didn’t explain a thing before he gave her the hottest kiss of her life and took her soul at the same time. Now she has an unyielding hunger to kiss others, and it just doesn’t make sense. Other grays may be giving in, but somehow she can resist it.
When she meets Bishop, she just thinks he’s a slightly crazy hottie. He knows more about her than she does, and the angel’s mission on earth means he might be her enemy.
Rowen’s characters are well developed, and I truly liked Samantha. She makes a handful of not-so-smart decisions, but they feel right for her. Bishop is delicious and tortured and complicated and … well… there is no way you will not want to kiss Bishop. Really.
Some of the elements of this one — angels, demons, souls on the line — reminded me of Lisa Desrocher’s Personal Demons, but better done. If you enjoyed that book, you will love this one.
If you like the long tease and heroines fighting against what they may become, Dark Kiss will be a win for you. I liked it and will be game to read book two.
Vampire trouble. Werewolf problems. Fairy plotting. Relationship woes. A murder. It must be May...moreThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
Vampire trouble. Werewolf problems. Fairy plotting. Relationship woes. A murder. It must be May, because we only get that mix when it’s time for a new Sookie Stackhouse book.
And, yes, the waitress from Bon Temps is caught in the thick of it again.
The main plot in Deadlocked focused on someone making trouble for Eric and Sookie — not in a romantic way. The vampire King of Nevada comes to chat with them about Victor’s death (the epic part of Dead Reckoning), and that means party at Eric’s house with humans for snacking. Through a few mixed signals, Sookie arrives late to find Eric indulging in a snack. A two-ey laced with fairy blood. Meaning she’s got a drunk boyfriend to deal with in addition to the emotional slap. But it all gets put on hold when the girl he drank from is found dead in the front lawn. Someone’s determined to make trouble for him on all fronts and make things more complicated for Sookie.
Charlaine Harris did the mystery in Deadlocked justice. I never would have guessed who was orchestrating the drama here or that person’s reasons. The murder mystery plot was twist-y and roped in more players than I expected. I’d been let down in the last couple novels on the main plot elements, especially the whodunit, and this time she delivered.
On the downside, it took a bit before the book kicked into gear. The first half is more a meandering through Bon Temps. The book checks in with just about everyone you know from the series — including phone call from Quinn, email from Amelia and even quality time with Jane Bodehouse. I love being in Sookie’s world, but it was a bit tedious at times. I kept thinking, aren’t we ever going to talk about that stupid Queen of Louisiana and her silly claim on our Viking, Sookie? Finally, a little over halfway through, that plot thread is picked up. I won’t say it was satisfying, but it moved forward.
If you’re into Sookie for the romance, you’ll be disappointed. Eric is rarely on the page, and when he is Sookie is being too stubborn to talk to him. She’s choosing not to tell him information out of spite. She hates him keeping secrets, but refuses to share her own. She recognizes the backwards nature there, but it’s hard to see Sookie so closed off. She used to be much more direct. Mostly her love life end of things frustrated me.
That said, the ending brought the “no way!” surprise and I finished Deadlocked with a smile. Is it as good as Dead to the World? No. Is it better than the last two books? Yes. If you’ve stuck with Sookie this long, keep with it.