Why this book? Hmmm, because it's part of a popular series and there was a lot of buzz for it. I probably shouldn't have t...more**spoiler alert** 2.5/5 (C-)
Why this book? Hmmm, because it's part of a popular series and there was a lot of buzz for it. I probably shouldn't have though considering I didn't love Pia and Dragos in Dragon Bound ^_^;
What did I like? Well, Pia continued to impress me as an heroine in Lord's Fall. The maturity, the way she handled herself and everything that was thrown at her. Her confrontation with Eva at the beginning of the novel was the perfect example. I also appreciate that Pia is different from most heroines, that she's not a predator. It makes the way she's dealing with Dragos even more admirable. I also applaud Ms Harrison for her consistency with Pia's character, that Pia didn't undergo out-of-character changes in personality.
The premises of Lord's Fall had a lot of potential in my opinion and the ending is intriguing, pointing at changes to come.
What didn't work for me? Overall, I think my main issue with Lord's Fall was that it fell flat. As I just mentioned, Lord's Fall had a lot of potential, but Ms Harrison failed exploiting it. I was actually really looking forward to the Sentinel Games - the description for them so grand, but in the end, it wasn't exciting at all. The Sentinel Games turned out to be like background noise, a filler to keep Dragos occupied and justify the separation between Pia and Dragos. Also, the results were totally anti-climatic since Dragos' five sentinels did not meet each other and easily survived. Ms Harrison also had something with the Elven storyline, but I feel she couldn't fully develop that storyline because she was too busy with other elements. And once again, there was no excitement to it, most of the time, Pia was kept waiting or stone-walled...
I know a lot of fans were looking forward to Lord's Fall for the romance, to see Dragos and Pia together again... and I hope they were satisfied. As I was not a huge fan of their romance to begin with, this continuation didn't do much for me. I mean, the two of them are already together, there is no real issue between them and Pia continues doing a good job at managing Dragos' uber-alphaness. So really, their romance was just there to please the fans.
My Grade? I was originally debating between 3 and 3.5, but after writing this review, I realized there wasn't much that worked for me. So final grade is 2.5/5. Lord's Fall wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great either. While I continued enjoying Pia's character, she couldn't make me overlook the fact Lord's Fall definitively lacked omphf. (less)
It was definitively a good buy. Although there are so many paranormal series out there, I liked the world that Ms Cole has...more**spoiler alert** 4.5/5 (B+)
It was definitively a good buy. Although there are so many paranormal series out there, I liked the world that Ms Cole has created and think it is quite unique. Part of its uniqueness is due to the paranormal beings she chose which includes Valkyries (kind of like Amazon), elves and other creatures that we are less accustomed to see and also the fact that they are all immortals. Because of their immortality, many characters seem to not have adapted to the modern world and so, there is a very primitive feel to the books.
So onto Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; the story actually overlaps with the timeline of No Rest for the Wicked, which is something unusual, but interesting. Our two main characters, Bowen MacRieve (a Lykae) and Mariketa (a witch) are participating to the Hie, some kind of supernatural Amazing Race. Bowen covets the final prize: a key that allows to go back in the past twice which he would use to go back in time and save his mate, while Mariketa wants to prove herself… See, Mariketa is the Awaited… Awaited for what, no one really knows, but she has incredible amount of power and is a witch of the 5 castes (kind of like branches such as healing branch, warrior branch, enchantment branch, etc.) which is really rare; however, she doesn’t have control over her magic and 99 out of 100 times she uses her magic, she ends up blowing thing. Thus, she wants to prove herself to her coven and her friends that she is worthy to be the Awaited one… The only problem is that the Hie is extremely dangerous, especially when you’re still mortal. See, Mariketa is only 23 years old and she hasn’t transitioned from mortal to immortal yet, but no one knows. So when Bowen traps her along with two demons and 3 elves in a Mayan temple, she’s in big trouble… especially from the incubi that have been jailed there for centuries.
I’m not going to go into more details about the plot although I want to. All I have to say is that I really enjoyed the book, especially the beginning. The storyline was interesting and clever. I also enjoyed the characters of this book a lot. We’ve already been introduced to Bowen in the previous book… he’s a bitter and violent Lykae, having lost his mate and all. He’s also ruthless, dominating, violent… and it works. I mean, I wouldn’t want him as my mate, but I understand where it comes from. First, he’s lykae… he’s also lost his mate and has lived hundreds of years of celibacy. However, we see him soften up a little throughout the book and I’ve come to like him. As for Mariketa, I really enjoyed her. She’s fun, witty and tough, but not too tough. She’s able to handle herself against Bowen, which, seriously, is admirable. Bowen and Mariketa match well also, even if they are very different, and their relationship is like a roller-coaster. Like Rosie said, seeing the issue of age (1400 y.o. vs. 23 y.o.) being addressed was also interesting... The secondary characters were well developped and recurring characters appeared, all without taking over the books.
My only complaint is when Bowen finally considers that perhaps Mariketa is his mate, he finally gives in and want to have sex with Mariketa... I found that part draggy. Also, I didn't really care for the sexual tension and sex scenes. I don't really like Ms Cole's sex scenes; I think it's because they also somehow feel primitive... not in a bad way, but just not my style. That aside, the beginning and ending of the book were strong with a good plot and characters, so it made up for it. (less)
Why did I get this book? I was looking for something to read/buy. To be frank, I picked up this book, read the back blurb and...more**spoiler alert** 4/5 (B)
Why did I get this book? I was looking for something to read/buy. To be frank, I picked up this book, read the back blurb and went: “not another one!” Especially when this book sounded very similar to another one I read a couple of months ago. I mean, let’s face it, Near-Death-Experience (NDE) coupled with abilities to see ghosts afterwards plots have been done and re-done. But I still bought the book ^^; I guess I wanted something to buy :)
My impressions? This was a light and fast read for me. Yes, the plot is familiar, but the characters are not and I think that’s what saved the book for me. I liked Nicki and I thought Joe was very sweet :D They make a good pair and there are some twists in this plot that makes this book worthy of a try. Also, it turns out that this is the first book in the Nicky Styx series and I think it shows potential.
The Heroine, the Hero and the Romance: Well, let’s start with Nicki, our heroine. She was adopted as a baby by free-spirited parents and after their deaths in a car accident, she bought a store with her best friend, Evan. She’s on the gothic side, very bold and outspoken; however, she’s not too tough either. I think that she’s pretty vulnerable and actually is not as tough as she would like people to believe. She’s a very likeable heroine and reminds me a bit of Stephanie Plum, minus the clumsiness and the crazy family.
You know the next-door girl? Well Joe the doctor would be the next-door guy. In my opinion, he has two things going on for him: 1) he’s not in law enforcement and 2) he’s not an alpha. LOL :) Instead, he’s the more serious, responsible, dependable guy… and definitively sweet.
The romance was nice… Joe was definitively trying and you know, they’re building up something. No soulmate or instant mating… just a healthy dose of attraction and a few dates. I did think that the relationship was evolving a bit too fast, I mean, they didn’t fall in bed together immediately, but still it was a bit fast to my taste, given their situation.
The Story: So once Nicki gets over the fact that she can see dead people and starts to believe it, it gets interesting. She gets the visit of a few unrelated ghosts as well of a supposedly friend who’s been murdered and asked Nicki to prove that her man was not the killer. However, the supposedly friend is not very friendly as a ghost and Nicki stats to suspect that something is wrong when the supposedly friend “hurts” Evan once Nicki refuses the help. Turns out that some voodoo is involved.
Meanwhile, there’s also Joe. Nicki is not sure what to do with him… She knows he is attracted to her and she is to him too; however, he has also asked if she could be a subject in his NDE research. The most interesting twist in the book however, would be the fact that Joe is married… to Nicki’s twin sister, or at least, that’s what he believes.
What I liked: I liked that it was fluff and fast to read. I liked Nicki and Joe and both together. I even liked the best friend, Evan.
What I didn’t like: The voodoo aspect of the book. Never liked voodoo and this book didn’t change that.
Grade: B. This was a good effort from the author and the storyline does have potential to become better. I guess we’ll have to see with the next book; however, the synopsis and excerpt sure are promising.(less)
Review: All in all, I enjoyed this book, mainly because it was funny and because of Satan... the man is so ridiculously funny...more**spoiler alert** 4/5 (B)
Review: All in all, I enjoyed this book, mainly because it was funny and because of Satan... the man is so ridiculously funny. Storyline-wise, it is ridiculous and a bit too much; however, that's the style of this series... so readers know what to expect. All in all, a pretty funny book :D
The Characters - Main characters are Becca and Nick. I thought there would be rivalry between them, after all, Rikva killed Markku, but no. I felt for Becca - she doesn't like her job and Satan can be hard to tolerate, but she cares for him. She understands Satan very well and I think that it's understandable why Satan wants to keep her by his side so much. As for Nick, well he was okay in the overprotective, possessive way. The attraction between Becca and Nick happened really rapidly and actually, I think the timeline of the book was a few days (2 or 3 days)... So what am I saying? That there was a lack of characterization, that the characters were a bit cliche and one-dimensional... but that the storyline and dialogue saved this book.
Oh, and I think one of the most interesting character was Satan :D I wonder how it is for Ms Rowe to have him in her head... must be tiring :D
The Story & Writing Style - Same as in the two previous books. My problem is that everything happens too fast and there's a lot of thing happening... but I was still able to follow. The funniest thing I think is that the one who has evolved the most is actually Satan :D I like how he stood up and decided to "break-up" with Iris... personally, Iris annoys me :P As for writing style, not much to say really.
The Cover - I liked the cover :D Although I have to say, the titles are a bit long ^^;
Review: I like the book and I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, I read the back blurb and wanted to read it for awhile, but that didn't guaran...more3.5/5 (C+)
Review: I like the book and I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, I read the back blurb and wanted to read it for awhile, but that didn't guarantee that I would like the book right? Also, succubus are a bit out of my comfort zone. Another pleasant surprise was the beginning of the book. From reading the black blurb, I thought she was already settled and everything. Instead, we accompany Jezebel on her run and learns about the reasons through flashbacks. All in all, I thought the series had good potential, enjoyed the book which made me want to read more. However, the writing style takes a bit of getting use to and Paul is not developed enough ^^;
The Characters - I like Jezebel and I like how she stood up and decided to take her life in her hands when she was unhappy, even if it put her in danger. She definitively has more depth than you'd think a demon has and she's something :D I'm also happy that she's not entire clueless as how to behave like a human, since as a succubus, she did have to appear human.
Now Paul is yummy :D No wonder Jezebel falls for him so quickly :D He's a cop who has lost his fiancee to a hit-and-run a few years ago. Because he couldn't handle the pressure his soon-to-be-in-laws were putting on him, he moved to New York. There's an instant connection between Jezebel and him and he's determined to pursue it. I have to say, although he's yummy, there was something that bothered me: he was hanging out in a strip-club ^^; Not usually an attractive trait in a hero, but then, at the end it made sense. Also, I liked how he tried to understand and help Jezebel. I know that I did say that he was not developed enough, but I guess that given the fact that Jezebel is the main character, it is understandable that the focus is on her and so, the author did a good job.
Other characters we get to meet are Jezebel's best friend - a fury, Daun - an incubus and also, Jezebel's friend and Lilith - queen of Hell. There's also a few of Jezebel's co-workers, but really, the book mainly focused on Jezebel, which is good :D
The Style & Writing - This is where it started getting tricker. Basically, I didn't have any problem with her writing style, as in how she formulates her sentences, dialogue and so on. What took a bit more of getting used was how Ms Kessler broke down the book. Basically, Hell's Belles is divided into many parts (I think 6) and each part is given the name of a character. First was Jezebel, than the fury friend, Paul and etc. So the story is told, but in each part, there'll be a flashback of Jezebel and whoever is the character of this part. This wasn't a bad idea, but the problem was the transition between the parts. The transition wasn't always smooth, which results in breaking the flow, and it was a bit confusing at first. So it took a little bit getting used to, but still, I was able to enjoy the book.
The Cover - I think the cover is nice :D I guess there's a leg fetish going on in the cover industry, but I don't mind. I think it's better than a man's torso ^^;
Am I keeping this book? Yep, I am. I'm also going to buy the next one when it comes out :D (less)