Full review coming at Bookspan, but in the meantime:
The Bourbon Kings offers some of the strongest prose I've read from JR Ward. It has a big dose ofFull review coming at Bookspan, but in the meantime:
The Bourbon Kings offers some of the strongest prose I've read from JR Ward. It has a big dose of southern charm, excellent character development and basically comes off as a bawdier, American Downton.
The only hitch is it doesn't quite feel like a romance. Yes, that's the thread that pulled me through the novel, but much like Ward's latter Black Dagger Brotherhood series, this is more a family saga novel than a romance. That said, when the couples (both main and secondary) interact the chemistry is rapturous. ...more
Day Shift, like so many engaging mysteries, picks up steam as you delve further into its stoThis review was originally published at Vampire Book Club.
Day Shift, like so many engaging mysteries, picks up steam as you delve further into its story. The novel begins at a meander—it took me three chapters before I was hooked back into the world set in Midnight Crossroad. The easy pace at the opening of the novel is a clever deception on Charlaine Harris’s part. She’s such a master of this. She skips from one eccentric Midnight resident to another touching on day-to-day minutiae that give the novel the feeling of a languid character study. Toward the end of the novel, though, you’ll be sprinting to solve mysteries.
The rich ensemble she’s crafted for this series is engaging and curious and Day Shift gives us more. We learn more about each of the characters, what makes so many of them more than human, but questions aren’t easily answered in Midnight. There are far too many secrets for that. And perhaps that’s why I was hooked the second we had chapters from Olivia’s point of view. While Manfred, the key protagonist of the first novel, is again front-and-center, Olivia is equally so this time. She’s engaging and fascinating and has the right amounts of ingenuity and darkness to make me crave every passage with her.
While Day Shift focuses on its characters, the deeper we get into the story, the more the plot winds. More secrets are revealed, and by the end I found myself rushing forward to get the answer of the whodunit instead of simply wanting more time in Olivia’s head.
Without giving any of the clever twists away, I was shocked to discover that the Midnight, Texas world coincides with that of the Sookie Stackhouse one. An ancillary character everyone will recognize makes an appearance in this book, and fit right in with the Midnight crew. It was curveball, and at first I balked a bit, but quickly everything fell in to place and I understood the decision. Plus, it’s like an Easter Egg for the Sookie fans.
Harris continues to be a master at the character-driven story. Day Shift has a cast worthy of your investment and intrigue piled upon intrigue. I’m eager to get back to Midnight, Texas just to unearth more of their secrets....more
Full review to come on Heroes & Heartbreakers closer to release date...
While Asking for It will certainly draw comparisons to Cara McKenna’s WilliFull review to come on Heroes & Heartbreakers closer to release date...
While Asking for It will certainly draw comparisons to Cara McKenna’s Willing Victim, it’s a very different story, and actually handles the subject with such grace that it’s likely to become the new standard. ...more
I'm a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, and this one has it in spades. That said, their issues do repeatedly interrupt them right before sexy acI'm a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, and this one has it in spades. That said, their issues do repeatedly interrupt them right before sexy action. It's purposeful frustration, but I did reach a point of saying "just do it already!" aloud.
That said: BOWEN. So alpha. So tortured. So delicious. ...more
More character driven than the first book in the series, which means there's more alone time. The hero and heroine stay in one place for much of the bMore character driven than the first book in the series, which means there's more alone time. The hero and heroine stay in one place for much of the book, and this seclusion is a delight.
Seriously. Hot. Damn. Killer worldbuilding, a heat level Demonica fans would appreciate, an alpha male who isn’t perfect, and a heroine with some steeSeriously. Hot. Damn. Killer worldbuilding, a heat level Demonica fans would appreciate, an alpha male who isn’t perfect, and a heroine with some steel to her spine. ...more
Tessa Bailey has outdone herself. Risking It All brings together the strongest elements from her earlier works—alpha hotness, bad boys, cops, strong hTessa Bailey has outdone herself. Risking It All brings together the strongest elements from her earlier works—alpha hotness, bad boys, cops, strong heroines, dirty talking and mind-blowing sex scenes—and merges them in a refreshing, consuming take on tropes we love.
Powerful psychic Serra finds herself forced to work for a mysterious high-blood businessman. HeThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
Powerful psychic Serra finds herself forced to work for a mysterious high-blood businessman. He wants her to help find his missing daughter, but there is so much more going on than she expects. Fane can’t be away from Serra. When she disappears, he tracks her. The high-blood might not want his help, but he’s going to get it. Secrets of The Sentinels world are revealed and there are some surprises for Serra as the mystery unravels throughout Blood Assassin.
While the mystery plot is certainly worth your time, the real star of Blood Assassin is the electric energy between its hero and heroine.
The sexual tension between Fane and Serra pops. There’s no question these two have chemistry, and it’s the energy when they’re both on the page that kept me moving through Blood Assassin at a quick pace. I started the book at 2 a.m. one night and read the first 200 pages before my body cried for sleep. There is a hitch, though, to the energy between these two characters. They keep getting in their own way. As a romance readers, it’s something we’ve certainly encountered before, but it’s a big source of frustration. From the beginning of the novel, it’s clear that Fane wants Serra and Serra wants Fane, but they aren’t together. He says he can’t be with her because of obligations. When she finally accepts that, he realizes he can’t live without her. So now she’s keeping him at arm’s length.
Despite the hero and heroine delaying their fated togetherness, it was still super sexy. When they’re together—and not denying their feelings—I was wrapped up in the scene, in their romance, their love. Plus, I love Fane. Just. Gah. He’s a deliciously stubborn alpha who knows how to assess a situation and take control. He can, when required, even let others help. He was my favorite part of Blood Assassin, but I expect no one is surprised by that.
I did not read the first Sentinels book prior to reading Blood Assassin (I’m a rebel), and I never found myself lost or wading through a world I couldn’t comprehend. Alexandra Ivy does a nice job of quickly laying the groundwork and introducing her characters. Tonally, Blood Assassin may remind you of a Guild Hunter novel. Plenty of action and a nice dose of steamy romance. - See more at: http://vampirebookclub.net/?p=9871&am......more
Kit Rocha continues to build out the Beyond world through novellas. However, the latest release Beyond Possession does more than give us a peek into tKit Rocha continues to build out the Beyond world through novellas. However, the latest release Beyond Possession does more than give us a peek into the functions of Sector 4. It instead gives us a glimpse into what the sector may have been like before Dallas O’Kane took over.
The heroine of Beyond Possession is Tatiana, the daughter of the former sector leader. She runs a soap shop and generally keeps her head down. There are plenty of people who remember her father’s ruthless ways. Some want to punish her for it, others want to leverage her (and her sister) as tools in kickstarting a rebellion. She, however, would really prefer to be left alone altogether.
Zan has been keeping an eye on the crafters for some time. He has particular interest in Tatiana, though, and it isn’t about the rebellion. She isn’t in the mood to open up to him, but the closer they get the more she has to fight to keep those walls erected.
While Zan is certainly an alpha, he’s adept at reading what Tatiana needs. If that means she needs space or control, he provides it. If she needs to let go, he’s there for that, too.
Beyond Possession is a quick read with right amount of backstory and dirty to sate O’Kane fans. If you need an alpha hero who can let his lady take the lead, this one is for you. ...more
When I think about Archangel’s Shadows, I can’t help but let out a happy sigh. Janvier and AshwThis review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club.
When I think about Archangel’s Shadows, I can’t help but let out a happy sigh. Janvier and Ashwini’s story was just what I needed from these two. Insight into Ash’s hardened edge. The unyielding support of Janvier. A nice dose of Cajun romance amid the snowy landscape of New York.
One of the reasons I love Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series so much is it brings together my favorite genre elements. I’m an urban fantasy girl. I like mystery and action and heroines taking charge. But, if you read this blog with any frequency, you know I also like a heavy dose of the sweet-and-sexy moments. The Guild Hunter series marries these two elements beautifully. We get to see Ash and Janvier on missions, saving lives, trying to track down a murderer, and when they’re in public they are fierce.
…but alone? It gets hot and steamy and Ash is kind of overwhelmed by it. Touch is such a tricky thing for her, but it’s a non-issue with Janvier. And does that man know how to touch. And bite. (Sexy vampire bite scene included in Archangel’s Shadows, you heard it here first!) Their romance is sweet and supportive and selfless. I really couldn’t get enough of them.
Personally, I like when Singh steps away from Elena and Raphael (as much as I love them) to give us new couples finding their mates—and getting better footing on who they are. It’s probably part of why I loved Archangel’s Blade, too. However, this story gives us more glimpses of the other couples. We get time with the other couples and plenty of teases about who might be next. I know you’re all shouting “Bluebell!” right now, but I found myself very curious about Naasir by the end of Archangel’s Shadows, which kind of shocked me. He says something about relationships and their secrets that is beautiful and intriguing and makes me wonder what’s in store for him a few books down the road.
In the meantime, Archangel’s Shadows delivers. High-stakes mystery, insight into both the Tower and Guild side of things, and make-you-weak-in-the-knees romance merge to make one indulgent read.