After more than ten books in her Night Huntress world, Jeaniene Frost bravely decided to do something else entirely. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy transi...moreAfter more than ten books in her Night Huntress world, Jeaniene Frost bravely decided to do something else entirely. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy transition for her just like it isn’t easy for us readers to adapt, but was it successful? I’d say the jury’s still out.
The world of Broken Destiny is not an original one. We’ve read about angels and demons battling it out far too many times to count. Yet Jeaniene Frost somehow managed to put a slightly different spin on this never-ending battle which I enjoyed immensely. Her worldbuilding was detailed and gorgeously described, the dark and violent realms depicted in finest detail. Ivy’s world and its many creatures are this book’s biggest strength and I can’t wait to see them developed even further.
The same, however, cannot be said about the romance. Just like the battle of angels and demons, he star-crossed lovers trope has been done one too many times, and there’s nothing to make Ivy and Adrian stand out. The amount of instalove and insta-trust was just creepy and the whole reason for staying apart not convincing at all. To make matters worse, Adrian is the epitome of tortured hero, without a shred of charm to soften the blow.
I’ll continue the series simply because Jeaniene Frost is writing it. If Ivy and Adrian manage to find a sense of humor in time for the next book, all the better. There’s definitely hope for Ivy, but Adrian and humor were never officially introduced.
3.5 stars Fireborn is not my first book by Keri Arthur, but it’s the first one I truly liked. It’s neither paranormal romance nor urban fantasy in thei...more3.5 stars Fireborn is not my first book by Keri Arthur, but it’s the first one I truly liked. It’s neither paranormal romance nor urban fantasy in their purest form, but a successful blend of the two, with strong UF elements and plenty of romantic interests.
Emberly Pearson, our heroine, is a phoenix, which is certainly new and interesting in both these genres. She is basically immortal. She burns once every century and is reborn from the ashes, free to continue her existence any way she pleases. With each new rebirth she is destined to fall in love just once, but never with Rory, another phoenix and her counterpart, who keeps her grounded and alive.
The thing with me, however, is that I’m a one-man-one-woman kinda gal. I don’t do love triangles, squares or any other shapes or forms, I don’t do multiple love interests and I most definitely don’t deal well with jealousy. It is, therefore, too bad that I constantly get jealous on behalf of my characters. So when my heroine has one counterpart she doesn’t love romantically but has to have sex with in order to survive, one lost-but-never-forgotten love who abandoned her because of said counterpart and one hot, practically irresistible silver-tongued fae vying for her attention, I’m bound to get more than a little uncomfortable. But that’s just me.
The urban fantasy elements however, are very well done, and the plot is extremely tight. Keri Arthur is a seasoned author, and her vast experience shines from every page. She never once loses control of her many characters or her plot and she knows exactly how to steer the reader through her rich and complicated world.
And let me tell you, with vampires and werewolves out in the open and plenty other creatures still hidden from the world, Arthur had a lot to keep track of and it’s very fortunate that she was up to the task. I loved seeing this dark side of Melbourne and I’ll enjoy going back to it every single time. I just hope the romance will be more focused in future installments.
It’s been a very long time since I picked up a J.R. Ward book. I stopped reading this series after book 5, not because I didn’t like them (I loved the...moreIt’s been a very long time since I picked up a J.R. Ward book. I stopped reading this series after book 5, not because I didn’t like them (I loved them!), but because I just needed a break and I somehow never went back. But when this gorgeousness arrived on my doorstep, I knew all resistance on my part would be futile.
The King is told from multiple perspectives, which is something Ward didn’t do back when I was following the series. Seeing as I skipped more than a few books along the way (trust me, I regret it now), I had a hard time following the additional storylines. But I remember Beth and Wrath very well and I enjoyed every second I got to spend with the two of them. They’ve come a long way and changed each other so much, but they’ve both kept the most important parts of their personalities. They can be extremely hardheaded, difficult and uncompromising (well, Wrath especially), but once they come to their senses, they are a formidable couple. And so darn adorable too.
As a general rule, I dislike flashbacks in both books and movies, but there was simply no other way to tell the story of Wrath’s parents, and it was one worth telling. Wrath and Anha once ruled the entire vampire race and their beautiful and tragic story is what touched me the most in this book.
As funny as I sometimes find the names of these characters, I appreciate that it’s Ward’s signature of sorts and accept is as such even as she accumulates more and more of them, to the point where I’m finding it hard to keep track. That said, there’s a character named iAm, for heaven’s sake, and a new character named s’Ex, which if you ask me is just pushing things too far.
But we don’t read this for the names, we read it despite them and believe you me, there was plenty to love about The King. So many interesting stories have come together, and even though the details were lost on me, I was able to piece together most of it. This world is so intricate, so very well done, and the characters are simply fabulous (ridiculous names notwithstanding).
The thing I like most about Ward is the thick layer of humor in her writing. The King is full of hilarious pop culture references that have the additional purpose of anchoring the story in our world, connecting the supernatural and the (overly) familiar. There are mentions of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Man of Steel, and that’s just in the first chapter. Admittedly there were times when all the references to products, celebrities and such got to be too much, but all in all, including them was a brave and interesting move on Ward’s part.
I am so very tempted to go back and read what I’ve missed. For those of you who’ve been following the series diligently, The King is the best reward you could possibly get. And those among you who are yet undecided should make the decision to read this. There’s much to look forward to.
By now, those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that I tend to avoid paranormal romance whenever I can. I have friends who are huge fans...moreBy now, those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that I tend to avoid paranormal romance whenever I can. I have friends who are huge fans of the genre and I respect that, but quite frankly, the whole growling-alpha-male-swooning-female combo gives me severe allergies. However, there’s something about this series that appealed to me from the very beginning, and after all the fun I’d had while reading the first book, picking up this one was a very easy decision to make.
The friendships in this book are simply extraordinary, They are so strong and lovely and they easily prevent the romance from taking over. Like Liv before her, our Stacey has magical powers, albeit of a different variety. While Liv brings inanimate objects to life, Stacey makes potions – powerful ones at that – and sells them to help pay the bills. Peach is the only one with no magic whatsoever, but she is special in so many other ways that it doesn’t really matter. These three girls support each other through everything, so when Leo comes back into town and things go terribly wrong for Stacey, Peach and Liv are all the help she could ever really need.
The dreaded growling Alpha male, J.R. Ward-style, is fortunately absent from this book. Instead, we have Leo, a flawed-but-lovable ex-lover, ex-cheater and ex-priest, all rolled into one. Leo and our heroine Stacey have far too much history between them, and even years later, Stacey is still hiding a shattered heart. I have to admit I wasn’t Leo’s biggest fan at first, nor was I meant to be. After all, he cheated on Stacey while in college, broke her heart when he admitted it and then ran off to become a priest. I have no sympathy for cheaters, even nine years later and even when they so obviously still suffer the consequences, but it is a testament to Lucy March’s skill that I did forgive him in the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the villain in this book too, even though I saw him coming from a mile away. I loved how the entire situation was handled and I was (reluctantly) impressed by the obstacles he put in Stacey and Leo's way. There’s nothing I love more than a truly devious villain and fortunately for me, Lucy March really knows how to create one.
Recommended by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie and Darynda Jones, the Nodaway Falls series is a witty, funny treat, with a perfect magic to romance ratio. It is a true comfort read, enjoyable and sweet. I highly recommend it.
Divinity is equally divided between Evie and Daniel’s points of view and each of them brings something different to the story. Evie is 135 years old,...moreDivinity is equally divided between Evie and Daniel’s points of view and each of them brings something different to the story. Evie is 135 years old, she is – first and foremost – a demon hunter, and she’s very inflexible and unwilling to change. Daniel is younger, newly trained and still fairly optimistic. His devilish grin is a powerful weapon, especially when aimed at Evie and her hardened heart.
Unlike Evie, Daniel doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is strong and reliable in a fight, but away from battle, he is a pretty lighthearted guy. He is a perfect match for the all-too-serious woman, but at the same time, he benefits from the much needed calming effect she has on him. The two aren’t just good for each other, they are destined to be together, but Evie is too set in her ways and afraid of letting go.
Leever’s worldbuilding is pretty straightforward and simple: a group of hunters supervised by the archangel Gabriel lives in the same house and hunts demons. They are apparently immortal (or just long-lived, it’s never properly addressed) and they use various incantations when they fight. Each of them is covered with magical tattoos that channel their magic in a way that is also not properly explained.
I loved that it wasn’t all about Daniel and Evie, though. All their friends, hunters and handlers both, were given due attention and I felt that I really got to know them exceptionally well for such a short book. They make this series much stronger and their presence promises strong future installments.
Divinity can be read in no more than a couple of hours and it will leave you with a smile on your face, which is the very definition of a good summer read.
Jeaniene Frost still dances gracefully on that fine line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Her books are a perfect combination of paranorm...moreJeaniene Frost still dances gracefully on that fine line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Her books are a perfect combination of paranormal mystery and steaming romance, and while her Night Huntress series seems to be suffering from a serious decline in quality, the Night Prince trilogy is moving in the other direction.
When Frost decided to promote Vlad from a secondary character in her Night Huntress series to the love interest/main character in a trilogy of his very own, she had to rebuild him almost from scratch, and I strongly suspect he proved somewhat elusive, at least at first. In Once Burned, the Vlad she gave us had very little in common with the Vlad we’ve come to adore through Cat’s eyes, and his deliciously sardonic sense of humor existed as no more than a fond memory.
In Twice Tempted, I think she finally caught him. For the first time, I saw him clearly, as a fully fleshed-out character, his personality consistently built upon known historical facts, a hardened soul breathed into his gorgeous, (in)famous body. Once again I found myself being frustrated by his actions and adoring him at the same time, but more importantly, I finally understood him completely.
And guess what? The cruel, enigmatic vampire with pyrokinetic and telepathic powers has finally met his match. Just like she did with Vlad, Frost worked tirelessly to develop Leila’s character into someone strong enough to handle Vlad the Impaler. It’s not easy to love someone who has a torture chamber in his castle and impales people for sport, especially when that someone adamantly refuses to love you back.
What made me finally like Leila (after disliking her intensely in the first book) was her courage to take the all-or-nothing route and do what any woman with a modicum of self-respect would do – leave him. I didn’t think she had it in her, but she turned her back on his I’ll-sleep-with-you-but-never-love-you attitude and went back to her old life. Honestly, I wanted to cheer.
She has become so strong, a real threat to her enemies, but watching her fight personal battles, both with Vlad and with her father, seeing her stand up for herself and for what she thought was right, that was the true delight. It was probably hard for Frost to find that perfect balance between a kindhearted heroine and a heroine ready to do what’s necessary even when it seems cruel, but both these traits are essential for a woman worthy of Vlad Tepes.
Twice Tempted is more romantic, more exciting and more tightly plotted than its predecessor, but it leaves just enough room for improvement to get me excited about the third and final book in the Night Prince trilogy.
4.5 stars You may or may not know that I avoid paranormal romance like the plague. I’ve stated on several occasions that it gives me severe allergies....more4.5 stars You may or may not know that I avoid paranormal romance like the plague. I’ve stated on several occasions that it gives me severe allergies. But this is Jenn Bennett we’re talking about – I’d read just about anything if it had her name on it. And wow, did I make the right decision here.
As a huge fan of Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series, I went into this book hoping for unique characters and a well-built world. Witty, entertaining and hot as sin, Bitter Spirits was everything I’ve come to expect from Jenn Bennett, and then some. There’s no better place and no better time for two clever, flirtatious characters than San Francisco during the prohibition era, and when one your protagonist is a bootlegger, the danger implied is enough to make your heart beat faster.
Bennett knows how to write romances her readers can invest everything into. Her characters are never archetypal, they’re built to the finest details, and so are their relationships. It was so easy to love these two and want to see them together. Even when they were being difficult and pigheaded, it wasn’t hard to stay on their side and hope for the best.
It helped that they are, individually, very impressive characters. Aida Palmer is a medium, and she’s the real deal. She travels from town to town performing her show in clubs. She can both summon and banish spirits and she is no weakling. She is a modern, independent woman, opinionated and strong. Winter Magnusson is a businessman with a horrible, traumatic past. Having lost his family in an accident, he is determined never to marry again. They are attracted to each other from the start, but neither is in the position to hope for something permanent, at least not at first.
However, Bitter Spirits is not all about the romance. The paranormal mystery Aida and Winter end up investigating is not just something carelessly thrown together as a catalyst for the romance. It is thought through and exciting and it explores Chinese culture to a certain extent. Honestly, what more could one wish for?
In a typical PNR fashion, the second book will focus on Winter’s brother, the archaeologist, and his romantic interest. According to Jenn, there will eventually be a third book featuring Winter’s sister and his most trusted employee and friend. All I can say to that is: yes, please!
Sometimes, a girl just needs some steamy romance in her life, even if it is of the paper (or well, audio) variety. A few days ago, I found myself in d...moreSometimes, a girl just needs some steamy romance in her life, even if it is of the paper (or well, audio) variety. A few days ago, I found myself in desperate need of just that – a hot, romantic steampunk read: part action, part interesting world and three parts swoon-worthy love story. With Kiss of Steel, that’s exactly what I got.
McMaster created a rather impressive world, one strong enough to be the foundation for a lengthy series, if necessary. Although steampunk is not her strong suit, the paranormal elements are strong, fairly original and convincing. The social structure is pretty standard, with blue bloods (not quite vampires, but close enough) pulling all the strings.
Now, Kiss of Steel may be many things, but steampunk it is not. Honestly, one drone does not a steampunk novel make! If I were to determine the genre and be nitpicky about it, I’d say Kiss of Steel is paranormal romance in a historical setting with minor elements of stempunk. Minor elements! As a huge fan of the genre, I dislike being misled in such a way. I don’t mind historical romances or bodice rippers, but I at least like to know what to expect.
Honoria Todd is had the potential to make this a fabulous read, but she, as the protagonist, ended up disappointing me severely. By showing admirable strength and character at certain moments, she gave me hope that she could be more than just an archetypal romance heroines, but each time, she would just slip into the usual patterns, making the disappointment that followed much more bitter.
Unlike Honoria, Blade is the shining star of this novel, a memorable and fascinating character, thought through to the finest detail. He too had more than a few characteristics of your typical paranormal romance hero – an awful reputation, the kindest of hearts and an extremely tortured past – but a few well placed details made him stand out in a way that simply didn’t extend to Honor.
Clever use of a dialect can easily turn a book from good to excellent. McMaster did such a fantastic job with Blade’s speech, telling us so much about his past and present with nothing more than the way he spoke. I admire authors who dare to try this. Admittedly, I’ve seen review complain about the Blade’s Cockney dialect in writing, but since I listened to the book and the narrator did such a fantastic job with it, I can’t really comment on that part, nor do I have a single objection on how it was done.
While the narrator, Alison Larkin, did an excellent job with Blade and Honoria, her secondary characters’ voices were positively dreadful – nasal, all alike and extremely irritating. With them, she gave the impression of not caring in the least, which ruined the final scene when most of them were present.
I will continue the series eventually, but this time I’ll know exactly what I’m getting myself into.
I have the strangest fluctuating relationship with Jennifer Armentrout. It started with me downright despising her for her plagiaristic tendencies, ch...moreI have the strangest fluctuating relationship with Jennifer Armentrout. It started with me downright despising her for her plagiaristic tendencies, changed into a grudging sort of respect for the entertainment her books provide and progressed to open affection for her characters. But even when I admired her the most, (after Deity and Opal, to be precise) that little nagging voice in the back of my head kept screaming “Book thief!” And not the Markus Zusak kind either.
Regardless of how I felt about her at any particular moment, I was always aware that she isn’t the best of writers, technically speaking. She is no Maggie Stiefvater, Ann Aguirre or Elizabeth Wein and most of what she does is pure fan service, but this is something I can’t and won’t ever hold against her. What she does know is how to create characters that crawl right under your skin intent on staying there for all eternity. Oh, and swoon-worthy boys. She definitely knows a thing or two about those.
With Deity, she had me right where she wanted me – in love with Alex and Aidan and hanging on to her every word. She repeated the process with Opal, and just like any other addiction, left me needing larger doses in shorter time intervals.
But with Sentinel and now Origin, she almost lost me again. So I had to sit down and ask myself what went wrong.
A part of it was surely my lingering upset over the cliffhanger Opal left us with. The situation Daemon and Kat found themselves in was not an easy one to resolve and the first part of the book was more dark and hopeless than strictly necessary. It made things torturous and slow, and with Kat’s imprisonment and sense of powerlessness came this overwhelming feeling of claustrophobianthat I just couldn’t get over and it stayed that way for a very long time. It wasn’t until the 40% mark that things started to pick up. After that, I was glued to my seat and to my Kindle like I was supposed to be from the start… and it just went uphill from there.
Secondly, the secondary characters I’ve grown to love were mostly absent from Origin and Kat and Daemon were surrounded by new names and faces, the vast majority of them far too unpleasant. So it was really up to our favorite duo to keep us engaged and entertained, and even poor Katy wasn’t her usual self. So I found myself wanting to go back to the good old days, with Dee and Dawson, and even Ash.
On the other hand, the relationship aspect of Origin was something I enjoyed immensely. This is how I like my romantic couples: together, in sync, and ready to face all outside threats. There are no misunderstandings between Daemon and Kat, no jealousy, no insecurity, no negative feelings whatsoever. What they do, they do together, and they are both well aware of what they have.
So yes, fan service… there’s a lot of that going on. About 20% of Origin was written purely to satisfy the army of Daemon’s screaming fans, but as I stated earlier, this isn’t something I’m willing to hold against Armentrout. I’m one of Daemon’s screaming fans, after all, and I do like to swoon as much as the next girl.
The ending of Origin, while not a nasty cliffhanger, leaves far too many questions and not enough answers. If I’m not mistaken, the next book is also the last, so we have at least one clean ending to look forward to.
Crystal Cove is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Friday Harbor series, the first paranormal series in her rather extensive bibliography. People more f...moreCrystal Cove is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Friday Harbor series, the first paranormal series in her rather extensive bibliography. People more familiar with Kleypas’ work seem to dislike this series, but I enjoyed the first three books. They were just cute, feel-good, forgettable reads, perfect for rainy Sundays.
Justine is a hereditary witch, and a powerful one at that, but she doesn’t want to join her mother’s coven. Instead, she bought a small inn and she’s running it happily with her cousin Zoe. Justine is mostly happy with her life, but she misses the only thing she’s never had – love. Jason Black is a half-Japanese millionaire, an extremely driven and extremely successful businessman. But he needs the one thing money can’t buy –a soul. To get it, he needs to steal a powerful witch’s grimoire, and Justine seems like the perfect choice. Neither of them counts on falling in love, but once they do, another problem arises. Because of something called the witch’s bane, no witch has ever been able to keep the man she loves. They always die within months.
I found it odd that the issue of Jason’s soullessness was never properly addressed. It was an essential part of the story, and yet we never did find out how it came to be. Was he born without a soul or did something happen to him later? In fact, a great many things about Jason weren’t explained and I never understood him, despite the addition of his point of view.
On top of that, I didn’t understand what brought them together in the first place. It makes sense that Justine was drawn to him, but the entire process of falling in love was somehow glazed over. Consequently, I was never really invested in their relationship, nor did I feel anxious about their happily ever after. In fact, when Jason did something he wasn’t supposed to and Justine forgave him, I was disappointed that he didn’t have to work for it at all.
With a half-Japanese character, Kleypas explored shibaru, Japanese rope bondage. Allow me to put this into context: Kleypas’ romances are usually of the hot-and-sweet variety (sweet being the key word here), and she writes characters that fit this type of story. Bondage of any kind simply doesn’t work, and Japanese bondage – more a form of art than anything else – was, to be entirely honest, slightly ridiculous.
The narrator, Tanya Eby, is a perfect choice for this type of book. Her voice has a very pleasant, calming quality. Above all, I enjoyed the Arkansas accent she used for Priscilla – it was well-done and endlessly amusing. Eby saved this book for me – given my lack of connection with Justine and Jason, I probably would have dropped it halfway through, but Eby’s entertaining narration kept me going.
I doubt I’ll even bother picking up Lightning Bay, the next book in this series. Instead, I’ll probably find some of Kleypas’s older contemporary books and hopefully find out why she has so many loyal fans.
After six months of writing for The Nocturnal Library, the time has come for me to review my first adult paranormal romance. It will probably be the l...moreAfter six months of writing for The Nocturnal Library, the time has come for me to review my first adult paranormal romance. It will probably be the last, too, so enjoy it while it lasts – I certainly did.
Divinely Ruined is incredibly sweet, a perfect Sunday afternoon read. I was drawn to it because of the pretty cover, but the content turned out to be just as adorable. I know what you’re thinking: oh, not another angel story, there is one too many out there! and you’re right. But Divinely Ruined is not really an angel story. It’s a story about a lost woman trying to become an angel by saving a very lost and lonely man and ultimately falling in love.
Rebecca Chance is one of the rare few humans who get the opportunity to become angels. She has successfully completed her training and a few missions, and now she is just one assignment away from getting her wings and finally finding her purpose. All she has to do is save Anthony Weis, a single father of a three-year-old daughter, from becoming a murderer. But both Tony and Miranda are proving to be irresistible, just the right cure for the damaged and abused girl Rebecca still is, deep inside.
Tony Weis is bitter and jaded. His wife Jane walked out in him and their baby girl three years ago and he’s been struggling ever since. He loves his daughter so much and he wishes more than anything to be able to give her more than he already has, but he just keeps experiencing one failure after another. When a beautiful, redheaded woman shows up at his doorstep claiming that she’s an angel and that she’s there to save him, he snarls and complains, but he can't help falling for her, not even after discovering that she can read his mind
My only issue with Divinely Ruined is Tony’s daughter Miranda. While I understand that certain liberties can be taken when writing fluff, and that accuracy of any kind isn’t exactly a priority, as a mother of a five-year-old daughter, I have to say this: no child is that perfect.
This book was just what I needed at the time. I can’t remember the last time I felt so good about reading paranormal romance. (Actually, maybe I can: it was Maybe This Time about a year ago.) The best I can say about it is that it made me want to read something similar again very soon.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Entangled Publishing, for review purposes.(less)
Once Burned is a radical improvement over the last few Night Huntress books, but unfortunately, that isn’t saying much. Cat and Bones have been losing...moreOnce Burned is a radical improvement over the last few Night Huntress books, but unfortunately, that isn’t saying much. Cat and Bones have been losing steam, but their world still has so much to give, which in some ways makes this a very smart move. I was a bit skeptical at first (aren’t I always?) about Frost using such a huge historical figure as a protagonist, but she handled that part well: she stayed very close to what the world knows about the real Vlad III Tepes.
However, she didn’t stay true to herself. When I tried to combine what we found out about him in the original series (he appeared in at least two Night Huntress books) with what I know of the real Vlad, this wasn’t what I came up with at all. Obviously she had to offer more than she did when he was just a secondary character, but she still needed to stay close to her previous portrayal of him. A lot of things were missing, most of all the sardonic sense of humor I’ve learned to expect. Frost chose to put emphasis on his other traits like arrogance and ruthlessness – all understandable, of course, he is Vlad the Impaler after all – but he seemed too cold somehow, and I didn’t get the attraction between him and Leila at all.
It didn’t help that Leila seemed seriously underdeveloped. Too much of her character was left unexplored. She carried guilt over causing her mother’s death, and yet the whole thing was barely mentioned. Years of animosity between her and her sister were resolved in one very short conversation. Everything was too abrupt. When I fist found out that she was a circus performer, I was excited and I wanted to learn more, but that too was barely mentioned. I see no point in giving your protagonist such an interesting occupation if you don’t intend to make the most of it.
Most of this book takes place in different parts of Romania. Being who I am (linguist, grammar nerd and lover of all things old and European), I was disappointed by the amount of research Jeaniene Frost invested in this book. Sure, she did her homework on Vlad Tepes himself, but Romanian language, culture and customs were all painfully neglected. Even Vlad’s humans, some of whom didn’t even speak English, all had English names.
Like my friend Missie (you can read her review here), I think it best not to overthink this book. Thinking about it too much only makes you see the barely hidden flaws. But Jeaniene Frost’s books are never boring, and they’re always hot. Sometimes – especially in the middle of the summer – that’s all you can ask.
Even after reading Vlad and Leila's adventure, Mircea II Basarab remains my favorite Wallachian prince and my favorite fictional crush. You can meet him in all his glory in Touch the Dark by Karen Chance.
A Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It remind...moreA Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It reminded me a lot of Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie: a light sense of humor, so many fabulous characters and just a touch of paranormal to make things more interesting. If I had to describe this book with just one word, cute is what I’d say.
Olivia is a small town waitress. She spends her days serving waffles, hanging out with her three best friends and pining after Tobias, the adorable night cook who keeps sending her mixed signals. Just as she decides to leave town forever and books a flight to Europe, a strange old lady helps her discover that she has power she never even dreamed of. It’s nothing earth-shattering, really - she has the ability to make inanimate objects come to life - but it’s enough to draw some pretty powerful enemies. While she’s trying to figure out what these new powers mean for her, where exactly her father is and why Tobias seems so determined to stay away when he obviously has feelings for her, a practitioner determined to steal Liv’s magic is getting closer by the minute. When you have an enemy who makes strong potions and casts vicious spells, the power to turn your phone into a bat suddenly seems even less significant.
This is one of those books you’ll most likely forget as soon as you finish reading the last page, but you’ll probably reread it at some point too. It’s a book that’s supposed to be based mostly on humor, but unfortunately, it fell flat more often than not. These books do have their advantages, though, and they are just what I need from time to time. A Little Night Magic is a perfect choice for when you’re tired an unable to concentrate, and when you just want to relax with a cute, predictable and utterly relaxing read.
This is another fine example of why you should never judge a book by its covers. The cover is beautiful and that’s what got me into trouble...more1.5 stars!
This is another fine example of why you should never judge a book by its covers. The cover is beautiful and that’s what got me into trouble… again!
Of all the terrible and frustrating characters on this planet, Shay McGuire is by far the worst. Sick Girl, as she likes to call herself, is incredibly selfish, self-centered, out of control and plain stupid. I’m not sure if the authors intended for her to be that way, but somehow I doubt it.
Ok, here’s the story: Shay was born with a rare, or rather unique blood disorder. Her stepfather, Martin, is an expert in leukemia who abandoned his work so he could focus all his attention on finding the cure for Shay (or so he says). One day, Martin gave Shay a transfusion that actually made her feel better. After a lifetime of feeling weak and exhausted, Shay suddenly had the strength to do whatever she wanted. So what did she choose? Drinking, acting out and risking her life every chance she gets.
Just so we’re clear here: was I supposed to sympathize with the girl who used her illness to behave like a complete brat? Was I supposed to feel sorry for this girl who kissed her best friend’s boyfriend the first chance she got, a girl who takes everyone for granted and treats people who care about her like trash? Because if I was, it SO did not work out that way. I’m one of those people who can’t like a book unless they can connect to the main character and that didn’t happen here.
And Gabriel is just so old! I’d never before been bothered by the age difference in paranormal YA, maybe because they all at least tried to behave like teenagers and it wasn’t so obvious. But Gabriel keeps pointing out that he’s more than 400 years old and he even acts like it. I kept thinking: b-b-but she is 16 and immature!!! What can you possibly see in her?!
Unfortunately, I have no choice but to read the sequel so you can expect another one of these rants reviews in the near future. (less)
His touch is scorching my skin through the layers of fabric and I inhale so fast my lungs collapse. I’m caught in colliding currents of confusion, so...moreHis touch is scorching my skin through the layers of fabric and I inhale so fast my lungs collapse. I’m caught in colliding currents of confusion, so desperate so desperate so desperate to be close so desperate to be far away. I don’t know how to move away from him. I don’t want to move away from him. I don’t want him to be afraid of me.
Seventeen-year-old Juliette Ferrars has spent the last three years imprisoned. Because of her unique ability to kill a person with a single touch, The Reestablishment has taken her from her non-caring parents and locked her in an asylum where she hasn’t seen another human being or spoken out loud for 264 days. She would know - counting is what she does to stay sane. I’ve been neglected abandoned ostracized and dragged from home. I’ve been poked and prodded tested and thrown in a cell. I’ve been studied. I’ve been starved. I’ve been tempted with friendship only to be left betrayed and trapped into this nightmare I’m expected to be grateful for. One day the door of her cell opens and a boy steps inside, a boy Juliette knows very well. The two of them have trouble trusting each other at first, but just as they manage to form a weak bond, Warner, one of the leaders of The Reestablishment, comes to take Juliette away, determined to turn her into a powerful weapon. Warner’s obsession with Juliette and the fact that she’s literally untouchable are the only things keeping her alive. Forced to choose between dying and killing other people for The Reestablishment, Juliette will do anything to find a third option, one that includes the boy she’s always loved.
I had no trouble picturing the world Tahereh Mafi created. In fact, when I try to think about what’s coming, that’s pretty much what I see. (I’m not exactly an optimist.) Terrifying soldiers in grey uniforms, grey concrete under a grey sky. Food rationing for everyone except for the privileged few. This is where I think she did an excellent job.
Ordinarily, I view decorative writing as something worthy of admiration. People like Maggie Stiefvater open up new worlds for me, or at the very least add colors that my eyes, until that point, refused to see. But there’s a huge step between poetic prose and beautiful-sounding nonsense, and I’m afraid Mafi crossed the line quite a few times. There were sentences that just didn’t make any sense, no matter how lovely they sounded. On the other hand, there were parts that simply took my breath away, and I loved how innovative and bold the writing was as a whole. All the repetition gave it an interesting rhythm, and the striked out text helped us understand Juliette’s inner conflicts.
I can’t wait to find out what these characters will do next.
He’s wrong he’s so wrong he’s more wrong than an upside-down rainbow. But everything he said is right.
Beach books seem to be coming at me from all sides. Blood of the Maple is one of them. It’s a perfect book to read while sunbathing.
I had many, many...moreBeach books seem to be coming at me from all sides. Blood of the Maple is one of them. It’s a perfect book to read while sunbathing.
I had many, many problems with it but I’ll be kind enough not to list all of them.
First of all, I didn’t believe it's possible for a book to have too much paranormal, but apparently it is. I don’t think there’s anything that hasn’t been thrown into the mix. Dryads, vampires, were-this and were-that, witches, Renfields, ghosts, human sensitives and god only knows what else, all living in this small town and getting along just fine – which brings me to my second problem: a single witch succeeded in terrorizing them all for months!
I hated the instalove, insta-marriage, insta-mating for life part. They mated on their second date and never even considered that they made a mistake. Same goes for the other couple, Brian and Greg. That’s one of the things I hate about PNR in general, but it was even worse than usual here.
Parker’s macho crap attitude was hilarious when it really wasn’t supposed to be. I never saw him as a dangerous, strong guy. I think that’s where the author truly failed: he didn’t seem real at all. She wanted him to be too many things at once and I just didn’t buy it. So when he delivered this speech: He pitched his voice so that it could be heard clear across the town, using his vampiric powers to whisper into every home, every dark alley, every corner of Maggie’s Grove. “Know this. Amara is mine. Mine to protect. My sotiei. Anyone who even looks at her wrong will deal with me, and I will not be compassionate. I will make you pay in ways you never dreamed. (…) You won’t be able to hide from me. I will find you in your deepest nightmares. I am your worst fear. And when I finally collect the debt owed, before you die, you’ll know exactly how Amara has felt all these years. You will know what it is to be a true freak. Do we understand each other? …the book was pretty much over for me.
And last, but not least, call me old-fashioned (view spoiler)[because I am (hide spoiler)] but I don’t think it’s cute, attractive or even funny when a woman behaves like a caveman. I’m all for strong, independent women, but there’s a line you just don’t cross. The last scene (oh, come on, it’s not even a spoiler, we all know there’s a HEA) when Amara throws Parker over her shoulder and carries him home almost made me cry in frustration. There’s a natural order of things, and guess what? That’s not it!!!
Read this book when you're tired and just want to relax, when you're at the beach, or both. Otherwise, don't bother. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was drawn to the first book of the Drake Chronicles because of its shiny cover and the intriguing title. Whenever I choose a book based on those two...moreI was drawn to the first book of the Drake Chronicles because of its shiny cover and the intriguing title. Whenever I choose a book based on those two things alone, I end up disappointed. However, My Love Lies Bleeding won me over with its amusing characters, fast pacing, hilarious moments and not a single love triangle in sight. It was a highly entertaining, feel-good story that surprised me and made me laugh and I instantly became a huge fan of the series.
Drake Chronicles revolve around a royal vampire family and their human friends. Every book focuses on a different Drake brother and is told from multiple POVs. These books are essentially young adult paranormal romances, but unlike so many PNRs, they have great plots, lots of action, a large number of well-built secondary characters and an abundance of delightful, accessible humor.
Bleeding Hearts is the fourth book of the series and it focuses on Connor Drake and Lucy’s cousin Christabel who came to live with Lucy and her parents when her mother went into rehab. Ever since Helena Drake became the queen, the family has been under constant attack from their political enemies, and of course, the blue-skinned and vicious Hel-Blar vampires. In addition, Solange is still struggling with the fact that she’s becoming a different kind of vampire, one that has never been seen before and she’s allowing herself to be influenced by some morally impaired royals as a result. Lucy keeps being pushed away for her own protection, but she fights back every single time with Nicholas as her ally. I’d missed Lucy horribly in the last two books and it was great to see things through her eyes once again. Nothing is quite the same without her stubbornness and sense of humor. Connor is not my favorite Drake, but he’s not far behind either, and after a while, even Christabel became likeable, despite her infatuation with Mr. Darcy.
I had every intention of giving this book four stars, but when I reached the last page and saw that it ends with a cliffhanger, I took one star off my rating.