An interspecies conflict is brewing with a ghoul zealot using Cat’s existence to incite his race to war with the vampires...moreThis Side of the Grave 4 Stars
An interspecies conflict is brewing with a ghoul zealot using Cat’s existence to incite his race to war with the vampires. Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from an unlikely ally, but the price she demands may be too high for them to pay...
Cat & Bones have gotten over their childish angst from the past book and make a good team in this installment. While they will never be my favorite UF couple, it is great to see them find a way to reconcile their individual egos, and the sex scene in Chapter 21 is finally in possession of the emotional connection missing from the infamous chapter 32.
The increasing tensions between the supernatural races makes for a good plot and Marie’s machinations leads to some intense and gripping scenes. Nevertheless, Apollyon is not much of a villain and the final showdown, while action packed, is not as satisfying as it could have been.
Once again it is the secondary cast that truly make this book worth reading. The enigmatic Vlad is officially my favorite and I am so looking forward to his spin-off series. Fabian reveals his inner warrior and there hopefully be more about the ghosts and their abilities in the future. Mencheres and Kira are adorable together and the twist at the end with (view spoiler)[Don becoming a ghost (hide spoiler)] left me with a smile on my face, which is always a good way to end a book. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Charlotte Court goes on the run after being set up for her father’s murder. While in hiding in a picturesque town in Mexico, Charlotte m...morePursuit 4 Stars
Charlotte Court goes on the run after being set up for her father’s murder. While in hiding in a picturesque town in Mexico, Charlotte meets former Navy SEAL, Matt Sanders who is recuperating from his own trauma. The two grow closer as the threats from Charlotte’s past loom nearer and nearer.
Charlotte is an intelligent and resourceful heroine and Matt is a scarred and sexy SEAL. Their chemistry is excellent, and the development of their relationship is intense and often breathtaking. That said, Matt can be quite overbearing, and the actual consummation of his and Charlotte’s sexual relationship is rather tepid.
Both the hero and the villain are built up as intense warriors and brilliant strategists, but the final confrontation between them is lackluster. Nevertheless, the bad guy’s demise is quite satisfactory, particularly due to the fact that it is (view spoiler)[Charlotte who gets the better of Barrett and blows him away (hide spoiler)].
The writing style is straightforward and minimalistic at times, but the pacing flows smoothly and keeps the reader engaged. There are two gruesome scenes that some readers might find disturbing. The first is completely unnecessary as it adds nothing to the developing storyline or to the main villain’s characterization while the second is central to the plot and doesn’t actually come close to similarly gritty scenes in books by Karen Rose or Karin Slaughter.
All in all, an entertaining read with a solid suspense tale and a truly touching romance. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
After being left at the alter, Faith Holland escapes to San Francisco. Now, after years away, she returns home to Manningsport wher...moreThe Best Man 5 Stars
After being left at the alter, Faith Holland escapes to San Francisco. Now, after years away, she returns home to Manningsport where little has changed except for the fact that the man who ruined her wedding is now the police chief, and she doesn’t know whether to strangle him or kiss him senseless.
Higgins's characters come to life on the pages and by the time the book ends, you feel as if you know them all personally. No one in the small town is shy of expressing their opinions and the shenanigans of Levi and Faith’s family and friends lead to much hilarity.
Faith and Levi’s romance builds slowly from animosity to attraction to love, and the flashback scenes play an important role in the development of their characters. My one small nitpick is that the physical relationship occurs mainly off page, which is disappointing given Faith and Levi’s intense chemistry and the steamy buildup.
Nevertheless, The Best Man is a fantastic read with delightful characters and a captivating romance. This book will make you laugh till you cry and cry till you laugh. Pick it up ASAP!(less)
Returning home to Belmont Abbey, Lady Julia Grey finds her ancestral home inundated with friends and family including th...moreSilent in the Sanctuary 4 Stars
Returning home to Belmont Abbey, Lady Julia Grey finds her ancestral home inundated with friends and family including the one man she thought never to see again, the inscrutable Nicholas Brisbane. Amid Christmas preparations and parlor games, a killer lurks and when one of the guests is found bludgeoned in the sanctuary, Julia and Nicholas resume their unlikely partnership in order to uncover the truth before the murderer strikes again...
Raybourn’s writing style is very engaging and the details of Victorian society merge smoothly into the storyline. Nevertheless, the pacing is problematic with an excess of exposition and the actual mystery only beginning halfway through the book.
The murder plot develops slowly with several intriguing twists and turns. Unfortunately, the climax is rather tepid and the resolution somewhat unsatisfying - (view spoiler)[Emma and Lucy not only get away with their crimes but benefit from them as well (hide spoiler)].
Julia and Nicholas’s attraction continues to smolder and there are one or two passionate embraces, but once again their romance is lacking in detail. Although Nicholas and Julia are both appealing characters, his tendency toward condescension blinds him to her insights while she has a unfortunate habit of jumping to conclusions, usually the wrong ones, which inevitable leads her into trouble.
The majority of the secondary cast is comprised of Julia’s charmingly eccentric family members, loyal yet opinionated servants and a number of intriguing house-guests. Each and every character from Julia's overindulgent father, curmudgeonly aunt and appallingly dressed brother to the shy and awkward cousin, insolent maid, and less than pious country curate contributes to the warm and intimate yet also somewhat insidious atmosphere of the story.
On a final note, the change in narrators took some getting used to, especially since I’d recently listened to Jennifer Van Dyck’s narration of Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series, which is in a completely different genre. That said, the narration is well-done overall and Van Dyck's male voices are exceptional although her female voices are too snooty for my tastes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)