Took me a while to say I finished this one because I was too busy DYING INSIDE AND WATCHING LEAVES FALL AWAY AND ANIMALS SCREAMING AND THE WORLD WAS E...moreTook me a while to say I finished this one because I was too busy DYING INSIDE AND WATCHING LEAVES FALL AWAY AND ANIMALS SCREAMING AND THE WORLD WAS ENDING FOR A SECOND PEOPLE. (less)
So worth the wait. Waiting for this series to finish first. Waiting to read Destroy Me first. I want so many things to happen in Ignite Me. Things I h...moreSo worth the wait. Waiting for this series to finish first. Waiting to read Destroy Me first. I want so many things to happen in Ignite Me. Things I have to be sure of else I don't think I could read on. But, "Whoa. What a swim!"(less)
So much has changed since I read Shatter Me back in December of 2011. I'm not even really sure if I'd love it with the same blind adoration I held for...moreSo much has changed since I read Shatter Me back in December of 2011. I'm not even really sure if I'd love it with the same blind adoration I held for it three years ago. Has it really been three years? All the characters but Juliette are shadows in the back of my memory, and so maybe that's why it was so easy for me to look upon Warner in a much softer light. His dark deeds and the swoon-worthy elements of Adam have long since left my fickle brain, so that when I read my review of Shatter Me I fail to truly remind myself of all the lovable components of Mafi's story. IT'S BEEN THREE CRAPPING YEARS.
Destroy Me reminded me. Took great pains to remind me. In just a few pages in this new perspective, I remembered the stunning pain of Mafi's words and their ability to render me useless to the outside world...
Endurance is the in-between place you're meant to discover before you go forth to Outpost, the next book in the series. It follows the...moreLoved this, man.
Endurance is the in-between place you're meant to discover before you go forth to Outpost, the next book in the series. It follows the events after Deuce is exiled from the enclave (not a spoiler, I checked, dammit!) cuz #reasons and now all hell is poised to break loose due to internal conflict spurred by the unfair judgement passed against our favorite Huntress. And right in the sights of this ill fate soon to come, are Deuce's two best friends, Stone and Thimble—just how are a Breeder and a Builder going to survive what comes next?
Read the rest of my review here at Mine For the Reading.
"Forgive me, madam, it appears that you and I got off on the wrong foot." "You got off on the wrong foot....moreI really enjoyed this one :) More like a 3.5.
"Forgive me, madam, it appears that you and I got off on the wrong foot." "You got off on the wrong foot. I merely watched you shove it into your mouth."
Insert a fist-pump here because that was a Score! for Lisette Bonnaud, bastard of a duke and spitfire all of her own making. I honestly didn't expect to enjoy What the Duke Desires so bleeding much, but it was such an irresistibly charming read that it proved impossible to shake my head in reproof of all the obvious inaccuracies to the time period. Heck, I'm not a historian so for all I know certain phrasing may have been invented around this time. Anyway, once I finished sniffing, I realized how sensational a time I was having reading as Maximillian Cale, Duke of Lyons, and Lisette warily danced around the intoxicating combination of hard-held secrets and blatant sexual attraction.
In truth, we've all seen this story dance a million different ways to the same tune—a rich and powerful man with heart-rending secrets meets the woman who sees herself lacking in some way but breathes fire nonetheless. And when the two characters meet either really great or really terrible things are written to happen. This, in What the Duke Desires, was the case of really great. Jeffries spent a lot of time fine-tuning both Max and Lisette's personalities, down to the littlest flaw to make sure we saw everything by the end, making their slow pull to each other not only powerfully attractive but impressively convincing. Not to mention sweet.
"You're so pretty," he murmured as she struggled with his boots. He ran his hand over her curls, tangling his fingers in them. "Your hair is like... it's like... I dunno. Something black and shiny." She smothered a smile. Apparently when the duke was jug-bitten, he became somewhat inarticulate. "Like beetles, perhaps?" she joked. "Right, beetles." He blinked, then scowled. "Not beetles. Don't be daft." He'd filled both hands with her hair and was smoothing it and caressing it. "Something prettier."
Too often in such sexy circumstances are the adorable and cute forgotten in the thick of all the tension. Tender moments in between aside, I loved finding Max in particular so damn adorable, and loved it even more when Lisette noticed also. Made me feel truly attuned to her while admiring him. I don't know if I'm making much sense here, but Jeffries won me with her characterization over everything else is my meaning.
He was watching her now, his gaze hooded. "All the same, no one will ever believe that you and I are brother and sister. We sound too different, look too different." His voice dropped to a rough thrum. "And I can assure you, I will never be able to treat you like a sister." That got her dander up again. "Because I'm too far beneath you?" "Because you're too beautiful." When she stiffened, he added ruefully, "I can't pretend I don't notice. And last time I checked, brothers weren't supposed to notice such things about their sisters."
Beyond them, however, was more than enough to keep me entertained, especially when it brought the two tangled together in confusion, awkwardness, and frustrating (for them) situations. It's an adventure of sorts and a mystery that, while not terribly complex, held enough shocking concluding details to bear weight on the characters and, therefore, me. From start to finish, I couldn't bear to be interrupted.
Oh, what a satisfying bout this was. What a Duke Desires contained everything I desire to read—adventure, mystery, well-developed characters, and a downright lovely romance. Gossips, cruel villains and their henchmen, equally overbearing and overprotective brothers, a tinge of political figures and other assorted mentions. What a Duke Desires is delightfully quick to read, causing surprise in how little time it took to finish. A fan of romance blossoming in bizarre situations and fast-paced reading will adore this first book in The Duke's Men series. I can't wait to continue!
"Get this into your head, Meg Corbyn. We don't let humans live in our part of the world because we like you. We let you liv...moreReally more like 4.5 stars.
"Get this into your head, Meg Corbyn. We don't let humans live in our part of the world because we like you. We let you live here because you can be useful, and you've invented things we like having. If it wasn't for that, you'd all be nothing but meat. Which is something you should remember.
Perhaps this day of exasperating consumerism isn't the most suitable day to talk about my time spent with Written In Red but I've been waiting for days to harp on its magnificence, so you'll just have to pardon me.
I started this tale of gripping world-building and heartwarming characters on March 9th... and I just finished it this past Thursday at 2:13am. So you can imagine how creative my frustration-born snarls were this past month at every bold intruder seeking to thwart my slow yet heady race to the elusive finish line. All kinds of distractions crept into my days so that every time I was forced to put the book down, I'd turn a little more of my frustration onto the read instead of blaming my goshdamn life. To the point where I suddenly began to dread re-immersing myself only to have the story remind me how misguided my misery truly was.
You see, in the abstract and technical sense Written In Red shouldn't have appealed to me in the least. I like whimsy and beauty in my writing, less intimidating page length in my book, and a little more obvious romance among my characters because obviously I'm an easily intimidated fanciful hussy like that. So when I was faced with practical, straightforward writing, a whopping 450+ pages, and a smidgen of romance, I expected to find myself printing a return label at the end of this very long, unattractive tunnel.
Instead I'm gazing at it reverently, utterly content with the story I was met with. A story in which I discovered a winding love for a female protagonist who somehow balances kindness, ignorance, and spine without irritating or disenchanting me, for a slew of secondary characters who steadily grew on me in spite of, or maybe because of, their scope, and a world built upon layer after fascinating layer that I got to explore thoroughly. It isn't everyday you can enjoy all those qualities in such a long book and still come out beautifully moved and wholly entertained.
And it all began with the mention of an H.L.D.N.A sign (Human Law Does Not Apply).
"I talked to the members of the Business Association and we all agree that while the woman in the wanted poster bears a strong resemblance to our Liason, they are not the same person." Monty opened his mouth to disagree, then realized there was no point. Wolfgard knew perfectly well that Meg Corbyn was the woman on the wanted poster. "We have, of course, taken precautions. Meg Corbyn is now residing in the Green Complex, where safe access is only possible by prior arrangement. I live there. So does Vladimir Sanguinati and Henry Beargard." Message understood. No one who tried to reach Meg Corbyn when she was asleep or otherwise vulnerable would survive. Then his face took on a feral look that was terrible to see on an otherwise human face. "Human law doesn't apply in the Courtyard, Lieutenant. No matter what anyone else thinks, Meg Corbyn is ours now--and we protect our own. You make sure you send that message back to whoever made the poster."
Now the Grandfather of the Sanguinatti wishes for Meg the sweetblood to be treated with care. She had thought of the evergreens instead of summer green when she gifted a scarf to Winter, who wears it happily. She remembers library requests and old movie deliveries and treats for the ponies who deliver the mail. She both irritates and calms Simon Wolfgard, coaxes his nephew away from his fear and trauma, and gives the Coyote, the Crows, and the Hawks entertainment every morning. Eating Tess's meals and indulging Jenni the Crow who likes the shiny things and enjoying Henry the Bear's music. It's all the things she thoughtfully does for the various inhuman creatures that surround her that bridge the connection between the two coexisting species whom had never fully understood one another before and now had a better chance of doing so.
Meg is the gateway to trust and respect on both sides, and maybe even affection. Witnessing this slow progression of change is entrancing and amazingly inspiring. It's happy, even among all the viciousness that does and must play out to maintain order. Normal and queer, brave and shy, innocent and tough, Meg makes me want to jump straight into Murder of Crows even after this tormenting month. Because she's the heart of this story, and everyone the heart touches comes alive on the page.
And if I hadn't already committed to reading Anne Bishop's Black Jewels this would've sealed the deal. But my commitment was made when I bought the omnibus for the trilogy several months ago, so I'll just settle for saying that reading this made me want to start quicker than anticipated.
Now you may remember me mentioning The Mephisto Covenant series before. In fact, one of my favorites of 2013 turned out to be The Mephisto Ki...more4.5 stars
Now you may remember me mentioning The Mephisto Covenant series before. In fact, one of my favorites of 2013 turned out to be The Mephisto Kiss, the sequel to The Mephisto Covenant. Now just a little disclaimer about me—I'm all about giving books a second chance, specifically books in a series where the potential to grow is always there. That's how it was with my first taste of Faegan's world; it definitely could've been much better, but I saw the possibilities it could pull off should Faegan improve on what I deemed to be flaws. So when I read The Mephisto Kiss, I was incredibly glad that I sat down one random evening to give it a chance and was dazzled by how much more depth Faegan created, and the attachments developed for these agonized sons of the dark angel Mephistopheles.
I just love saying his name. Mephistopheles.
The Good, The Bad, and The Non-Spoilery: If you've never read The Mephisto Covenant, it's about the six remaining sons of Mephistopheles (^^) who, due to questionable parentage to say the least, in order to earn passage into Heaven and gain God's favor must find love in a specific kind of a woman—known as Anabo, these women are descended from the first daughter of Adam and Eve and carry with them the purest of souls despite the darkness of the world around them, and so will be unafraid of being among the enigmatic, dangerous, arguably demonic Mephisto brothers. Should they love they will also know a peace that has eluded them for the thousand years they've already lived.
Now what I've loved about this series to this point is that the love lives of the six brothers are both at the center of the books and not all at once. Despite the fact that each of them have been unknowingly waiting for these promised soulmates, they've got other things going on as the hit squad working for both sides to stop the world from ending. But more than that, they're all carrying around a lot of emotional damage and pressure and old resentments that these could almost be very much character-driven stories, which huzzah!
I love that their romances are as equally hard as the lives they already lead. While the attraction is very much instant, the love takes a while to bloom, and when it comes to the point where they can love beyond themselves, it's cleansing for each brother and pretty damn beautiful. This particular installment focuses on Phoenix and the Anabo he definitely doesn't want to meet called Mariah, whom I loved so very much. You see, Phoenix harbors a horde of guilt for a tragic past where selfishness and many mistakes were at play. His tragic flaw is that selfishness so that even his guilt stems from self-pity no matter how much he thinks otherwise, and so it's no wonder it takes he and Mariah so long to work up to where I was dying to lead them my own self. He has so much growing to do at the beginning and because it's real, because it's true it takes a while for him to get there.
These books are about redemption, forgiveness, and self-growth, and therein lay the beauty, the glimpse of which I caught a couple years ago. And at the core of all those things is a driving need to maintain a family, and each of the brothers, the women they bring in, and the ones who watch over them—see: most BAMF butler, housekeeper, and cook ever—are very much a part of and committed to the family they've managed to salvage in spite of all the tragedies that have befallen them.
It's impossible to remain unaffected by these brothers, each their own person with their own quirks and flaws and jokes and badassery. (I'm sorry but BROMANCE makes the top of my must-have-in-reading list.) And while I was extremely sad that Faegan had a setback with her publisher, she's managed to come through and deliver a fairly phenomenal follow-up to the game-changing Mephisto Kiss and so I'm ANYTHING BUT sad now. I'm actually refreshing the goodreads page for The Mephisto Code and waiting for more info to miraculously appear. Yeah, I expect no judgement.
M came close and bent to gently stroke her hair. I watched in stunned disbelief. Not since our mother died had I seen my father express anything close to affection. Her soul must have recognized who he was because she looked up at him with relief and whispered, "I'm ready to go." "It's not your time," he murmured. She leaned her head into his hand and closed her eyes. "He came back." "No, he's never coming back." "Promise?" "I promise." He moved his hand across her face and she instantly went to sleep, her head falling against my shoulder.
*dies* *sobs* THIS SCENE. Mariah is so wounded that she inspires a shred of warmth in even the most damned of souls. *sobs again*
And there are tons of others but this is the least spoilery, I think, and one of the most moving.