The latest novella in the Sin City Collectors series is out today. ANTE UP by Amanda Carlson features Diesel and Sofia, two characters we met in ACES...moreThe latest novella in the Sin City Collectors series is out today. ANTE UP by Amanda Carlson features Diesel and Sofia, two characters we met in ACES WILD.
I really liked ACES, but this one I loved even more. Amanda has definitely "upped the ante," laying the foundation for more action and enemies, as well as more couples and fleshes out the world and various supernatural factions a little more.
Diesel is a werewolf who has trouble keeping control around the full moon. Sofia is a witch who first worked for the bad guy in ACES, but now wants to make a home for herself in supernatural-friendly Vegas. Sofia is definitely attracted to Diesel and vice versa ever since they met in book 1. They are still in the getting to know each other stage when Diesel gets a trial run job for the Collectors. Meanwhile, Sofia has been getting cryptic messages from an old friend, and then suddenly, someone is trying to break into her mind. It will take all of them working together to get out of this one.
I liked that this was no insta-love relationship. They've been getting to know each other and then when they are thrown together in a dangerous situation, they learn they make a great team, in a fight as well as in the bedroom. The romance totally worked.
Great action. Diesel's condition made him even more sympathetic. I loved Sofia's confidence. She is at the top of her game and knows it. I really liked how magic was used here. It made sense and was well thought out.
Looking for a quick, action-packed paranormal romance? Definitely visit the Sin City Collectors.
Supernatural bounty hunters, magical con artists, killers, and a shadowy enforcement agency with a Boss you don't cross, this is the world our heroes...moreSupernatural bounty hunters, magical con artists, killers, and a shadowy enforcement agency with a Boss you don't cross, this is the world our heroes call home. Nevada had a messed up childhood. Not only is she half-vampire, but her mother is an addict and Neve learned fast that she could only rely on herself. Jake is pretty grounded, except when it comes to Neve...
Yep, sparks fly, banter is high, and there is plenty of steam in this Romance. I did like that when certain evidence came to light, that Neve didn't dig in her heels and refuse to see the truth. She still stands her ground and is fiercely independent, and I'm always a fan of that.
It's a novella, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on plot points. We get a quick intro to the supernatural community and a bit of the workings of the Collectors. My one drawback was there isn't a lot of room to get to know many side characters, but they are introduced and I'm sure we'll see some of them again. The main story comes to a conclusion, and I liked where the relationship stands at the end. The last section was really sweet.
Yes, Romance fans, you will like Jake very much.
As always with Amanda's books, I had so much fun reading this story. Kickass action combined with interesting characters, and I liked the mythology of this supernatural Vegas. If I was a supe and needed to blend, Sin City would be a good choice.
We've only scratched the surface of the Collectors. There is a lot to explore in this world. I'll be checking out QUEEN OF HEARTS by Kristen Painter in July.
Again, SeRine delivers a very fun, romantic, action-packed romp full of fairytale, nursery rhyme and l...more4.5 Stars, might be my fav of the series so far.
Again, SeRine delivers a very fun, romantic, action-packed romp full of fairytale, nursery rhyme and literary characters. Our couple is wonderful. As the FMA's medical examiner, Trish has her own way of reading the final thoughts of the dead. Nicky was one of my favs from Red, and I was so happy for him to have his chance at Happily Ever After. These two came into the Ordinary world at the same time, but while Nicky pursued a life of crime, Trish used her talents to serve in the FMA. I loved watching them together. Nicky is charming and Trish is a lot tougher than she first appears. They work so very well.
The action was good and there is a furthering of the dangers of living side by side with an unknowing Ordinary world. It seems as though some ends are tied up, but we'll see. There is so much that can happen in this world. It will be interesting to discover where this goes in future stories.
We get to see Red and Nate as well as Lavender and Seth. Gideon also plays a part, and I can't wait for his story in book 4. SeRine knows how to craft a fantastic romantic hero - just the right amount of charm, swagger and power without going full neanderthal. I love the heroines too - smart, capable, imperfect, and very easy to root for.
Jovan, a magician, is called home to his dying father's bedside. His father is the head of The League of Illusion, a governing body of magic users. Jo...moreJovan, a magician, is called home to his dying father's bedside. His father is the head of The League of Illusion, a governing body of magic users. Jovan is the black sheep of the family. He and his brother Rhys have A HISTORY with much bad blood. His father tasks them with teaming up to find their older brother Sebastian who has been missing for several years. They bring in a Druid tracker who happens to be Jovan's former flame, Skylar.
Cue some angst and some action.
I liked the world with its mix of magic and a touch of steampunk gadgetry. The romance was all right. I felt the inevitableness of it all, but the coupling just sort of happened in the end. And the end was really quick.
Also, the main issue of the book is still ongoing, although the relationship issues have been settled. So romance wise, you're good, but story wise, you're kind of in the middle of things.
I have to say that I didn't think that Skylar and Jovan's issues were dealt with so much as they were done away with. There was a step or two missing there. It was a really quick read.
I felt like we got a good start to something. Like I mentioned before, I kind of dig the world and we haven't seen that much of it yet. I actually think that Rhys is more my type of hero, and his book is next.
I really liked SeRine's Red. Where that one felt more UF with a heavy dose of romance, this second installment had the romance aspect front and center...moreI really liked SeRine's Red. Where that one felt more UF with a heavy dose of romance, this second installment had the romance aspect front and center. It is still first person, as we see everything from Lavender's POV. We just get into the romance faster than in book 1. It surprised me at first, until we find out why everything happened so fast. I liked Lavender's dilemma, and it showed how far her character has progressed.
When I first heard about book 2, I wasn't surprised that Seth was going to be the male lead. However, the choice of Lavender as the heroine did surprise me at first. Lavender is one half of the reason that the Tales are stuck in the Ordinary World. She made a lot of mistakes in the past, and in book 1 we see her as an alcoholic mess. At the start of book 2, a year has passed, Lavender is now friends with Tess, and she is trying to turn her life around. She also pisses off some powerful people and so Tess sends her to the Refuge to get away from the heat.
Being the reason the Tales are stuck in the real world doesn't endear her to many, but I like how she sticks it out and owns her part.
Lavender is not a grandmotherly "bippity boppity boo" type. She's a little hottie and in the end I was very happy with how the romance came together. Both she and Seth have a lot of skeletons in their respective closets. They need someone who will accept them for who they are.
Having a hell of a lot of chemistry doesn't hurt, either.
And Seth? Seth was really endearing once we got to meet him in book 1. His life has been so tragic. I just wanted him to be happy. He can cook too. If you really dig romantic heroes, I think you will be quite satisfied with Mr. Wolf.
The overall conspiracy first unearthed in book 1 is still a big part of the problem in book 2. I was glad to see some parts solved, although there is still plenty left to explore. We also get to see a bit more of Trish Muffet, the heroine of book 3. That one involves Nicky Blue and I cannot wait to read it.
For those who really loved the world of the Transplanted Tales, this book fleshes it out more and gives us a peek into how the Tales who don't get along so well with the Ordinary World live. We also get to see one of my favorite literary characters: Puck.
This is more like a 3.5/3.75 stars. Light & fun diversion.
I did something with this book that I really rarely do - I read book 4 without reading a...moreThis is more like a 3.5/3.75 stars. Light & fun diversion.
I did something with this book that I really rarely do - I read book 4 without reading any of the preceding books in the series. To be fair, it is a romance and generally you can get away with reading out of order for most romance series (of course, there are exceptions). I didn't realize it was a book 4 when I first requested it, but I really had no trouble getting into the world, so it all works out. I plan on reading the other books too, so that works out better.
This is a paranormal romance with an infusion of gadgets and alt-Victoriana.
Winifred, better known as Wink, is a brilliant scientist and inventor who used to be a street urchin before she was adopted. Liam is a werewolf who works for Scotland Yard. She's been in love with him for years. He has feelings for her, but fears his werewolf self is too dangerous to be around. He has many issues stemming from his parents abusive union.
Both are involved with the Order of the Round Table, who use magic and gadgets for queen and country.
One of the Knights of the Order, a dear family friend, has asked Wink to marry him. She doesn't love him, but seeing as Liam has professed his plans to remain a bachelor, she considers the offer. In the meantime, people have been disappearing from Winks old neighborhood, there is a possible conspiracy afoot to derail an upcoming royal event, and our two romantic leads are pushed together to solve the mystery.
I liked both leads. Wink is my kind of heroine - strong, smart, and practical. I felt for Liam and I could understand why he thought he shouldn't get involved with Wink. Luckily, this is a pretty quick read so the angst is not drawn out for long.
There was a bit of action, mostly at the end.
It was so fast, especially the conclusion, that we didn't have much time to veer off into other relationships. I think if I read the other books, those relationships would have been clearer, but at no point was it confusing. I thought that this was a fun quick romance that still remained fairly light.
Mr. Real is a paranormal-romance-superspy-mashup that defies a strict category and was just so much fun to read. When Carolyn's characters me...more4.5 stars
Mr. Real is a paranormal-romance-superspy-mashup that defies a strict category and was just so much fun to read. When Carolyn's characters mess up, they do not do it half-assed. In fact, the first lesson I gleaned from this book was to never screw with an occult computer program after the 5th beer. Definitely want the beer goggles off for that kind of decision.
I did like Alix. She of course did stupid things, but she tried so hard to do right and build herself up after years of feeling inferior. Paul, yeah, good stuff right there. He is tormented but he tries to work through it and I liked him a lot. And Sir Kendall was exactly how all of my Bond fantasies play out. Sure he's a suave, charismatic figure, but get involved with him and you'll be screwed over (and not in a happy-fun-times-way). I really liked that we got to get into all 3 of their heads. Especially Sir Kendall. Also really happy with how Paul & Alix balance each other. I do like when the couple have a prior history.
This is just book 1 and I can't wait to see what Crane cooks up for us next.
The world in this one is really, really cool. It's a steampunkish paranormal with a different take on vampires. If we had spent more time exploring th...moreThe world in this one is really, really cool. It's a steampunkish paranormal with a different take on vampires. If we had spent more time exploring the world I would have been happier.
The big bad was good too; I also wished we had spent more time exploring that issues. More confrontation, etc.
My main problem was that it's a romance and I was meh about the whole relationship. Criminy Stain - the "Bludman" (vampire) is a pretty intriguing character and makes a nice romantic hero, but I still feel we only know him superficially. Letitia/Tish is prickly (she has good reason for not wanting to jump into a new one, her ex-fiance was controlling and abusive), but I wasn't sold that she was "the one" for Criminy.
There's also very little chase here. Leticia shows up in Criminy's world and he's already in love with her. There's also another love "possibility" for Leticia, but that felt forced too. I just could never completely buy into the fact that they should be together.
That said, I really like the world, and maybe I'll like the next couple better. I'll keep an eye on the series.(less)
The Edge series ends with another exciting installment. We've travelled the Edge world - from the Edge to the Broken, back to the Edge and now into th...moreThe Edge series ends with another exciting installment. We've travelled the Edge world - from the Edge to the Broken, back to the Edge and now into the Weird. We've also had very different heroes and heroines in each story - something I have come to appreciate in romance series.
This go-round we have Charlotte and Richard, both trained from an early age in the mannerisms of the blueblood Weird elite. Charlotte is The Healer, very powerful and living in the Edge with Rose's grandmother because she is afraid of using the darker side of her ability. I love stories that focus on the destructive possibilities of a healing power. We first met Richard in Bayou Moon. Cerise's cousin, Kaldar's brother, and a father-figure to Lark/Sophie, Richard hunts slavers, the people who nearly destroyed Sophie when she was very young.
Richard and Charlotte team up to go after the head of the slavery ring, falling in love along the way. They are very evenly matched and fit well together. This isn't an angsty romance. It is more their mission than any insecurity that gets in their way. I liked that a lot.
Lots of action, some heartbreak for fans of the series, and lots of George, Jack and Sophie. We also get more of Spider and get to see what happened to some family members from previous books. The bits where Charlotte takes Sophie under her wing were really well done. Bayou Moon is still my fav book of the Edge, but as a whole I have really enjoyed this romance series.
I thought Steel's Edge was a good end to the series, although I hope some day the Andrews team will come back with the future adventures of an all growed up George, Jack and Sophie. (less)
Akira sees ghosts. She tries not to interact with them because it never goes well. She also needs a new job s...moreThis is a fast-paced paranormal romance.
Akira sees ghosts. She tries not to interact with them because it never goes well. She also needs a new job since she's made a mess of her previous one. However her new job is nothing like she expected. First there is the very strange company town. Then, there are all of the ghosts she starts encountering. Her very handsome and charming boss wasn't part of the plan either.
I had a lot of fun reading this one. I liked how Akira and Zane played off each other. I enjoyed the other characters too, especially Dillon.
I liked the way the ghosts work in this world - there are opportunities for both good experiences and also dangerous ones. While the book was fun, it does come with some dark and bittersweet scenes.
One thing I would have wanted was more interaction with the quirky townsfolk. We just get a tiny touch of this.