Julian is one of the sexiest characters in the whole of literature, seriously. Even if the story hadn't been a wonderful and gripping adventure with a...moreJulian is one of the sexiest characters in the whole of literature, seriously. Even if the story hadn't been a wonderful and gripping adventure with an array of colourful and interesting characters, it would still have been worth the read for Julian. But that aside, the book was wonderful, as soon as I finished it I instantly picked up the sequal. What a great and original story, a bit scary in parts but always entertaining - I couldn't put it down.(less)
Well, as a self-confessed stalker and worshipper of Tatiana's reviews, I had serious reservations about this book. In fact, I had serious reservations...more Well, as a self-confessed stalker and worshipper of Tatiana's reviews, I had serious reservations about this book. In fact, I had serious reservations about the whole series. Yeah, yeah, we all have different tastes but I can't help it, in my opinion Tatiana has got it completely right every time. However...
I liked this one. It was never ever going to get 5 stars, simply because it was always inevitably going to be compared to the Fever series with it being in the paranormal romance genre, but I did enjoy the read. Wrath was no Jericho Barrons (aka immortal sex on legs) but I liked that he had a back story rather than being another typical two-dimensional vampire to add to the ever-growing pile. And I loved the Brothers, their inter-chemistry with each other and Butch was what can only be described as cute - for serious want of a better word.
I just don't know why so many authors think that a romance must be all "Oh, my love, you are everything to me..." and "Their eyes met and suddenly there was no one else in the world but the two of them". Sorry to bring it up again, but I absolutely loved how there was none of that crap in the Fever books, it was deliciously sexy and they obviously loved each other in a way that Karen Marie Moning didn't have to point out in every single sentence... because it was so wonderfully obvious! One of my favourite parts is when Mac discovers who was really behind her sister's death and Barrons comes in all grumpy and cynical until she says his name. And that whole wonderful part where he just talks to her and understands... he never says "you are the only reason I want to live" but you know how deep he feels for her. Now that's literary romance for you.
Okay, so before this review is completely taken over with my obsession love for the Fever series, back to the BDB. Beth is a so-so heroine, I'm hoping she improves. She's gutsy and not a pushover, which I like, but she's also a bit lame. The author needs to give her more of a personality (like someone whose name begins with 'M' in a series whose name begins with 'F'), so far I don't dislike her but I'm going to need to care if I'm hoping to continue with this series. Which I am. It's not a bad start at all and I'm looking forward to exploring the other brothers, especially Zsadist - what is that guy's story?? He intrigues me most of all. He isn't pretentious, he isn't a hero, finally something gritty to get my teeth into. Let's see where it goes from here.(less)
And I thought the first one was good... but this...more Plot: 4 star Characters: 4.5 stars Writing: 4 stars Sexiness: 4.5 stars Ending: 4 stars
Overall: 4.2 stars
And I thought the first one was good... but this one was so much better! I almost upped it to 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much. I think the only thing that kept it at 4 stars was that I compared it to other books that I'd rated as a '5' and they were all books that shocked me, moved me in new and unexpected ways and just generally gave me that bit of something extra to make them stand out from other reads. But don't get me wrong, this book kept me on the edge of my seat from the off and Rhage was a much more likeable and interesting character than Wrath; I'm just about to start the third book and I'm dying to find out more about Zsadist - it's always the dark, dangerous and rather disturbing characters that I become addicted to.(less)
I'm more than a little embarassed to say that it took four whole 500+ page books of this series to get me to see them for what they really are. It was...moreI'm more than a little embarassed to say that it took four whole 500+ page books of this series to get me to see them for what they really are. It was mr sweet, troubled loner (Zsadist) that screwed with my head and had me hoping this series would blow my mind in a similar way to the Fever series (I know how surprised you must be seeing as I rarely mention Mac Lane, Barrons or Karen Marie Moning ¬_¬ ).
I'll just explain what I mean by the Zsadist thingy. So I read Dark Lover and really liked it, the novel had all the necessary components of good urban fantasy and paranormal romance: strong heroine, hot supernatural guy (even if he was called Wrath and liked to wear biker leathers) and just generally dark paranormal mystery goodness. So, naturally, I then read Lover Eternal and got a whole lot of the same... in exactly the same way... with a guy (Rhage) who's character was nothing but a pretty, blond version of Wrath. But, hey, Ward is a good writer and the series is so popular that I was blinded into thinking that either a) Lover Eternal is an excusable one-off, or b) The problem was my own for not 'getting' the awesomeness. And, of course, Ward held my attention with some slight hints at Zsadist's past. Now, this is what I mean about Zsadist screwing with my mind... he is the one character of the Brotherhood who is completely different, unique and interesting. I gave Lover Awakened 5 stars because of him and I rarely give 5 stars. I stand by it too, because I still think he is J.R.Ward's greatest achievement of this series.
So... my point? Zsadist threw me off-guard and gave me false hope, twice as much false hope as the unbelievably high ratings gave me. Books 1 + 2 = written well but practically the same plot, hot male, mystery story, etc, etc. Book 3 = blew my mind. Then *sigh* book 4 = written well but practically the same plot, hot male, mystery story, etc, etc. as the first two. Damn you, Ward, for making me read so far and keeping my hopes up. Damn you for managing to convince me that your novels were more than just carbon copies of one another (with the obvious exception of Lover Awakened).
Why are all your characters and storylines just clones of one another? You are obviously a talented writer, surely you could come up with something better? And, even more troubling a question, why the hell does everyone rave so much about this series? Hasn't something like number 9 just been released, god I couldn't imagine reading another 5 versions of the same book. Is it just me? Is this another Lord of the Rings scenario where I feel like I'm reading something different from everyone else? It's not as if I didn't want to like it, I really honestly did, but I couldn't - They. Are. All. The. Same.
I'll tell you what else seems to be the same: the romance story. All this stupid denial and obsession-at-first-sight (god, do I hate that!), why the hell can't two people actually build up a romance/love/relationship like they do in other books instead of having to take one look at each other and know it's meant to be - sorry, I'm not buying it.
I know I'm part of a ridculously small minority that doesn't like this series and I'm not blind to the many reasons why others might like it: hot men, smut, vamps in general... and so on. But I'm not taking it any further, I've had enough of this tiresome jumping from brother to brother and playing matchmaker, that isn't what I come to get out of urban fantasy. I'll leave my ratings for the others as they are because I can't be bothered editing the reviews to explain but I'm definitely done here.(less)
I just cannot take it any longer! Maybe it was unfair that I gave the ending 1 star but I wouldn't know because I never made it there. This book just...more
I just cannot take it any longer! Maybe it was unfair that I gave the ending 1 star but I wouldn't know because I never made it there. This book just bugged me so much in every way. I love the paranormal romance genre, that and dystopias are what get me going book-wise; so I was thinking this would be another to add to the list: Fever Series, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lords Of The Underworld, etc, etc. I even ignored the terrible Mills & Boon style cover and pretended it didn't offend my eyes because some great books have effin' lousy covers.
Warning bells should probably have started ringing about the time I realised the (so-called) heroine was named none other than Bella, and the (so-called) dark and sexy Jacob (yes, that's right... now where's Edward?) had a bloody ponytail - I mean, what? You can count on one hand how many men can get away with that look. Like Josh Holloway in Lost *sigh* And then, of course, the first time they meet he's swooping in to save her. Oh damn that cliche! I hate damsels in distress, especially seeing as her 'distress' was falling out of a window head first - is this woman a complete idiot?
The characters were less than engaging, to put it mildly. I found myself not giving a damn whether they lived, died or slept together. But, yes, I was anxiously anticipating that last part, surely the worst book can be pulled up to 2 stars with some decent smut. However, just like a Mills and Boon novel, she was your typical virginal (and seriously annoying) heroine and he was the big bad demon trying to resist temptation because of her sweet, innocent, pure... give it a rest, I was sick of hearing how Bella was the next Virgin Mary - get it on, already! Jacob's endless patronisation of her was aggravating as well, why did he have to call her "little flower" every time they spoke, it wasn't cute it was just cringy.
If you haven't worked it out yet... I didn't like this book. Will not bother with the rest of the series. Thank you.
EDIT: I'm adding a honorary star to the first two books in this series, just because Frost has been consistently awesome throughout.
If you know me at...moreEDIT: I'm adding a honorary star to the first two books in this series, just because Frost has been consistently awesome throughout.
If you know me at all, you'll know about my teeny tiny obsession with a certain TV show, and one certain character in particular... even if you don't know me, anyone who's read this book has probably guessed it, right?
So, let's see:
Platinum blonde hair... check.
Killer cheekbones... check.
English accent... check.
Eloquently employed British slang ("sodding, blimey, shagging & bollocks")... check.
For a book that is supposedly urban fantasy but is actually just a kind of paranormal erotica, I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would....moreFor a book that is supposedly urban fantasy but is actually just a kind of paranormal erotica, I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. And, sure, I'm not a complete idiot and I understood beforehand that any book, urban fantasy or not, that is called 'Pleasure Unbound' will have more than it's fair share of smut and/or romance. But... is it really so difficult to get a good UF mystery going in the background before the main couple get it on. I'm slightly disappointed but no longer surprised. It seems that recently every book I read from the UF/PNR pile is very little of the former with a whole lot of smutty emphasis on the latter.
I read erotica, I have a lot of respect and adoration for authors who can build up sexual tension; but if you're going to write a book that is little more than entirely erotically based, why even bother getting the reader's hopes up by calling it something it isn't. For the most part I enjoyed this novel. I liked him a lot better than I liked her, which isn't particularly good when I'm trying to relate to the female protagonist. Their sex scenes were scorching and some of the darker aspects of the novel were in equal parts disturbing and gripping - like a car crash.
If you compare it to Storm Born, which is another novel that is more sex than it is plot, then it's far more enjoyable and far better written. I'm of the minority opinion that Storm Born was probably Mead's greatest failure (that I have read so far anyway) mostly because I, as a Richelle Mead fan, went into it expecting something like her Succubus series and got hastily (and poorly) put-together random monsters, mythology and a general mish-mash of nonsense.
And now that I'm done ripping apart Richelle Mead, I'll get back to my point: I liked Pleasure Unbound. It had the potential to be a great book if Larissa Ione had worked more on the general plot instead of going on and on about a demon with semen to rival that stuff you get in pots on the back shelves of Ann Summers (you think I'm joking? I'm not). At the moment I'm not rushing out to read more of this series because I have so many other books awaiting my attention, but I won't say that I'll never return to it.(less)
If anyone tells you that this book is urban fantasy and/or paranormal romance - take it with a pinch a salt, I mean it: this book is really just chick...moreIf anyone tells you that this book is urban fantasy and/or paranormal romance - take it with a pinch a salt, I mean it: this book is really just chick lit with some background folklore/mythology thrown in there. But I'm not complaining. I really liked this novel, a lot more than I thought I would seeing as I inevitably made comparisons to Richelle Mead's Succubus series, and they did actually share a lot in common. Both series have likeable, witty and strong-willed heroines, they both have smut and they're both written in a fun, easy-to-read style. This is far from the darker side of UF novels, most of the book is about friendships, hot men, sex, insecurities and suffering through everyday life (but this time as a succubus) - like I said before, basically chick lit.
It starts off in a dumpster (which I believe is the American word for some kind of large bin/skip) with our protagonist pulling noodles out of her hair, she has little recollection of the night before except that she remembers at some point being with a really hot, well-endowed (of course) man (Noah). Well, her life just gets crazier from there. The light-heartedness of the novel was actually a relief, it's not an angst-ridden serious book and the background mythology only served to complement the story. If you're a hardcore UF fan, maybe this isn't for you, I'm not sure... so many of the popular UF/PR series got lost on me after a while: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lords of the Underworld, Chicagoland Vampires, etc. This book immediately struck me as different and I've finally found myself really wanting to read book 2, Succubi Like It Hot.
And I liked the men of this novel. True, we can see the cliched love triangle on it's way with our heroine stuck between mr good guy and mr bad boy, but I'm kind of looking forward to it for a change. I thought Noah was hot for the first part of the novel... and then we met Zane. Zane is dangerous, arrogant, conceited and selfish... so naturally, I find him attractive (why, yes, I am the perfect example of the stereotypical can't-resist-a-bad-boy). I hope the author doesn't work to redeem him, I quite like the way he his.
So yeah, this book had pretty much most things I want in a novel, I'm looking forward to book 2.(less)
This book sounded so promising, it was my first read by Sherrilyn Kenyon and I'd heard many people raving on about how great her Dark Hunter novels we...moreThis book sounded so promising, it was my first read by Sherrilyn Kenyon and I'd heard many people raving on about how great her Dark Hunter novels were; and as a fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I couldn't wait to find another sexy, dark series to get into, complete with the usual array of vampires and mythology.
The problem with the paranormal romance genre, and even more so the urban fantasy genre, is that after you've read a few of them they all start to form a similar pattern with characters you begin to recognise from other books plus the same old storylines and ancient mythology (I'm getting so good at remembering greek gods). So, the trick is to give the reader what they came to get but put a unique twist on it, don't write the same story a thousand writers have churned out and surprise them with different characters (note: broody men aren't even that hot - sexy Spike always did so much more for me than sulky Angel). This story, unfortunately, had nothing new or exciting, it's hard to pick the plot and characters out of masses that I've read that are chasing each other round my brain. I couldn't get into the story or take much interest in either Amanda or Kyrian, their dialogue wasn't the cute, sarcastic banter that I love in good PR and UF but rather it was cliched and annoying - who actually says the words "made hot, sweet love" without laughing afterwards?
I also had so many problems with Kyrian (the dark hunter guy), I really don't care to be told a hundred times how gorgeous he is, when an author does that it makes me think that's all there is to the character and I immediately lose interest. He's so beautiful, so well-muscled, so this, that and the other. Shallow. The author seemed to care far more about his "cute butt" than the rushed-out back story of his wife's betrayal and his weeks of torture at the hands of her new lover. It was almost as if Kenyon decided at the last minute that Mr Perfect sounded very two-dimensional (which he did) and she came up with some weak pity story that just didn't work. And, as for the brooding I mentioned, please stop feeling sorry for yourself - it's been 2000 years, nobody realistically pities themselves that long.
I thought about giving it one star but decided that it wasn't that bad. It just didn't stand out from any other, and I know I'll find it easy to forget about. For that reason, I'm not going to bother with the rest of the series. But, I will say, I loved the Buffy references; if I met a vampire that didn't drink from humans, I'd say something like "oh, so you're like Angel!"
On the surface, this book is everything you would expect from a good urban fantasy / paranormal romance novel. It has a quirky heroine, good and evil...more On the surface, this book is everything you would expect from a good urban fantasy / paranormal romance novel. It has a quirky heroine, good and evil vampires, and quite a lot of smut. But again I feel like this book is nothing but the combined works of J.R.Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kresley Cole. It wasn't bad but I got nothing out of it, the story wasn't particularly different or clever and the characters were reincarnations of a thousand others that have graced the urban fantasy scene.
Also, as much as I am intrigued by characters with dark pasts of abuse and whatever else, I find that paranormal romance and/or urban fantasy books are much better suited with a spunky, sarcastic heroine like Georgina Kincaid from Succubus Blues, Mac from Darkfever and Cat Crawfield from Halfway to the Grave. The whole history of Gabrielle cutting herself took away the quirky, fun sense that I love about your typical PR and UF. That doesn't mean I'm against darker aspects of the two, in fact much of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is quite dark but it still has a lot of fun-loving banter between the characters. This novel focused on two things: vampires and abuse, and neither were told in a particularly original way. I didn't hate it but I must admit that I'm really surprised how popular this book is.
As the dark hero of a PR/UF, Lucan had a lot to live up to - and he failed. I came away from reading this with a few memories of a largely forgettable character who is gorgeous and strong and gorgeous and horny and gorgeous... damn, does this guy have any kind of personality? He reminds me a lot of the dull and boring Dark Hunter (funnily enough I can't remember is name) from Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. I'm reading so many failures lately where the sexy guy of the novel just has nothing memorable about him... why can't the authors produce something resembling Barrons or Bones? Give me something that I want to read on for because right now I have no intention of reading Kiss of Crimson. Another thing that's bugging me is why can't the majority of authors just pick their characters and carry on their series with the ones we know and love instead of having each book focus on one character or couple in particular. Books that do it the way I like: Darkfever, Halfway to the Grave and Succubus Blues. Books that feel the need to start again with a new characters' individual story in every book: The Darkest Night, Dark Lover and this one. Yes, those books are not necessarily bad (I actually like the first two) but surely the whole point of having a series is for them to continue on because the author has not finished with those characters. If every book in a series is a different story with the focus on different characters you might as well just write standalone novels.
And I must say that I'm tired of the annoyingly cheesy petnames for the women in PR and UF and I'm so glad KMM didn't ruin Barrons by having him call Mac something like "beauty" or "flower". Yes, Bones calls Cat "kitten" but that's because of her name and we can forgive him because he's really hot ;) (less)
This book receives so many rave reviews that I guess I was just expecting a bit of something more. In fact, I was fully convinced before I started tha...moreThis book receives so many rave reviews that I guess I was just expecting a bit of something more. In fact, I was fully convinced before I started that I would probably give this book a 4 star rating, it just shows that I should stop making predictions - I'm usually wrong. I will say that I liked it enough to take a curious look into the rest of the series, it's not as if they're particularly difficult to read so I don't mind as much suffering through them.
The thing about this novel was that I found the first half to be at complete odds with the second half. I thought the story focus shifted, the strong heroine became weak and whiny, and the male love interest who I had previously thought was sexy to death became a misogynistic control freak. Yeah, he did somewhat recover what I'd liked about him towards the end... but I felt that he could never be the character I originally thought he was after he pushed Sascha (the aforementioned heroine) around for trying to decide something for herself. What is with romance novels today? Particularly paranormal romance novels, it seems as if they all contain a relationship where the man completely controls the woman and her lifestyle. Please say it's not just me who thinks these kind of relationships are stomach-turning?
I get the alpha-male attraction. I get the bad boy attraction. But that's all a sex issue... a guy playing mr dominant in the bedroom is one thing, but it's something else entirely when he thinks he can say who the woman is allowed to speak to, where she goes, what she wears. It makes me cringe. The point is that Lucas (mr hero guy) started off as sexy-in-a-suit, he identified Sascha as a powerful woman from a powerful and dangerous race that should not be taken lightly. They start off as equals and their flirtations and attraction to each other is hot to the point where I was on edge all the time and wondering where we would go next. But...
The exact minute that Lucas discovers that the attraction is mutual, he has sex with her and, from then on, attempts to completely take over her life. That's what I hated. They went to bed together (admittedly - very hot!) and the next morning he woke up an entirely different character. And not only him, but her too. She is from the Psy, a race of creatures that are just as powerful, if not more so, than the Changelings but as soon as he takes her virginity she turns into a dithering mass of patheticness. Aside from being annoying, it also didn't flow or make any sense at all.
The story that formed the bigger picture was fairly good. You can sort of imagine a future where a superior race has been developed, each member completely immune to the ultimate weakness: emotion. They are programmed to be this way and let only facts and logic rule their minds... then, of course, amongst the ranks of this new race is one with the unforgivable defect - Sascha, who is starting to feel. This is a good idea and I was loving it until everything turned upside down halfway through. It's bad enough to be let down by any book that you were expecting to be good, but it's even worse to be let down in the middle of said book when the first half had been so promising. Ah well, I'll still see what the other books in this series bring and I hope they don't all fall into the same pattern.(less)
Wow, well, this is the first book in the Night Huntress World (spin-offs from the Night Huntress series) and focused on two characters that Frost's ot...moreWow, well, this is the first book in the Night Huntress World (spin-offs from the Night Huntress series) and focused on two characters that Frost's other novels have only touched upon briefly: Spade and Denise. Spade is your centuries-old, English (and, of course, sexy) vampire and Denise is the recent widow of Randy, a man killed by forces of the dark and supernatural world. Needless to say, vampires aren't often dinner guests at her home.
What I found most apparent about this book is that Frost had again returned back to the heavy on the sexy/naughty/kinky and light on the plot development. In my opinion, the story was weak. Some demon wanted revenge on one of Denise's long-lost relatives and was taking it out on various members of her family. But, Frost writes banter and lust in a way that can somehow override the need for a brilliant story - she is one of the few writers I know who does that well. She creates characters that you love and feel like you know, so despite whatever stupid demon-whatever-thingy is going on I always find myself interested because the characters are all important to me - even these two which had previously remained on the sidelines.
Frost has a gift for the small and funny but memorable moments. To compare, I would say look at the MacHalo scene in Faefever by Karen Marie Moning, you can't help but remember that moment. I felt the same when Ian, normally rather sly and cunning, came home 'pissed'[drunk] and singing Gilbert and Sullivan's 'I'm the Very Model of a Modern Major General' from 'Pirates of Penzance'. Hilarious.
And Spade, well, he was a lot sexier than I thought he'd be. Especially seeing as he had Bones to compete with. Granted, he will never be Bones in my eyes but the shower scene was fun! Denise was likeable but less impressive because I'm used to the spunky and brave Cat. She did improve throughout the novel, shedding a lot of her timidity that I suppose can be excused after her husband got ripped apart by a zombie.