Yummy cover alert, yet again! This is the second Kayden McLeod title I read and it's the second with a gorgeous cover, I'm seeing a pattern here :D Ne...moreYummy cover alert, yet again! This is the second Kayden McLeod title I read and it's the second with a gorgeous cover, I'm seeing a pattern here :D Need to stalk the website and see if all are as gorgeous or it's just these ones.
The story in this novella has a rapid pace of events. We've got some glamorous lifestyle, vampire covens, werewolves packs, some politics going on, the loner theme, the epic legend thought to be dead who returns theme, some possessive claiming of mates, zombie fight scene, black magic, the works! For such a short read it brings a lot of punch, you know? And if you think all these elements might just be too much for anything less lengthy then a novel, I'll let you know it just works out in this case, though it may not in others of the same length. It just does. There's enough action to keep you hooked, some really interesting character development going on though I'll admit it's a bit in the back seat compared to the action (depending on what you like, this is either a plus or not so much, but for both points of view it works great in my opinion), but we basically have a mix of so many elements that could go wrong in a combination - and they don't, they mix awesomely.
As far as characters go, I felt plenty of them were mysterious, intriguing and charismatic. I was intrigued by Abigail and Cyrus, of course, but also by Ada for instance, and Dina, you get the point here I'm sure. Would I want to read more about these characters? Definitely.
The writing was lovely, great imagery and focus, especially on the fight scenes. I mean, zombies popping out of their graves, magic, werewolves, werewolf-vampire combos, it could easily get out of hand, you know? It doesn't. The panoramic view is put together really well, the zoom in fighting is great.
All in all, I totally say give this a try if you're into some paranormal romance with kickass fighting, give this novella a shot. I had fun reading it, and I think you'll do too.
Let me begin by saying that cover is pretty gorgeous. Yes, I always feel the need to say these things. It hints at this darkish yummy vibe, I just lov...moreLet me begin by saying that cover is pretty gorgeous. Yes, I always feel the need to say these things. It hints at this darkish yummy vibe, I just loved it as soon as I laid eyes on.
Now, as you all know by now, I'm all for some hot and steamy reading. This was hot and steamy, without a doubt. It was also a first for me, my first time giving the 3some layout (so to speak, lol) a chance. I tend to shy away from it, somehow they seem less...intimate?, then a regular couple. I associate the real steam with couple dynamics, those hardcore deep emotions of belonging and possessing and such, you know? So this was a really new reading situation for me.
That being said, I was surprised by how much I was with it. Of course, it helps that this is a quickie, the pace of events is alert and steamy through and through, sort of like this rush from word one to the last. I enjoyed it, I was curious about the characters and I liked how in a rather short span of events the author managed to give each character a distinctively personal feel, a sort of unique vibe if you will. My favorite, of course, was Adrian. He felt more like the possessive sort of vampire, the really charismatic sort that appeals to me. Of them all, he was my favorite, and I'd love to read a book or two about him, staring him, containing him. He was that cool and delicious :D
The writing flowed well, it was accessible, direct without becoming too graphic. I'm not a big fan of that graphic sort of writing steamy, believe it or not, lol, I like my hot reads to be real active in content but classy in writing :D. So I liked this one.
All in all, I say if you're curious about some paranormal hot stuff and want to experiment with reading a 3some scenario, this would be a very valid option, it's quick, it's alert, it's hot.
World Building: The world is built slightly twisting the actual historical facts a bit. I didn't mind, really, I don't read histor...moreFluttering Thoughts:
World Building: The world is built slightly twisting the actual historical facts a bit. I didn't mind, really, I don't read historical for the history, never was such a fan of it per se, I read these for the stories. The atmosphere and the world felt right for the time frame. Characters: Lucius was interesting, but something about him didn't really reach me. Varick on the other hand reached me a lot more, the two of them were interesting together, though I wouldn't say they had a lot of chemistry, it was this odd sort of chemistry where they're always on different sides of things or something, you know? Plot: Nice to go with considering the novella length of the read. I felt it focused more on their interaction and relationship, which was fine by me. Short reads can be tricky to pull off, this one was nice. Writing: Ok, though the tone of the narrative just didn't connect with me all the way. Curb Appeal: I saw the cover on a list of titles and wanted to read this, so yeah, smexeh.
All in all, nice short read, though I wouldn't say I was swept off my feet it was entertaining. This is more of 2,5 rating then a full 3. (less)
World Building: Fantasy world, not overly done or stressed upon. We have magic, dragons, and such. Characters: Despite the traumati...moreFluttering Thoughts:
World Building: Fantasy world, not overly done or stressed upon. We have magic, dragons, and such. Characters: Despite the traumatic events both went through, neither of the main pair reached me. Their interaction didn't either, for some reason it didn't feel lively, you know? Plot: Fairytale like sort of story, where Prince Charming makes a dubious entrance in the story, so to speak. It could have worked for me, if I'd made a connection with the characters, though it wouldn't have swept me off my feet. Writing: Sort of epic-style, and I'm not a fan of epic, as you know. Curb Appeal: The cover got me curious, the blurb did too.(less)
World Building: Cool, as with the other 2 titles in the series. The settings change, we're on a battle field in campaign for the b...moreFluttering Thoughts:
World Building: Cool, as with the other 2 titles in the series. The settings change, we're on a battle field in campaign for the better part of the story, and we get to see some Finnarian world too. Characters: Awesome, both of them. Graitaan was irresistible, and so was Sadan. Their chemistry was pretty much explosive and I loved their interactions. They both developed during the read and their relationship developed. Plot: Perhaps less complicated then in the first 2, but this is can be read as a stand alone basically because of it. It had a more dynamic feel to it. Writing: Spectacular! Though some of the high fantasy tone is kept, there's a radical change in style, as the MC is changed. First person narrative from Graitaan's POV, and the dude is hilarious. I laughed like crazy, had endless fun reading this. I would re-read it anytime, it was just that much fun. Curb Appeal: Great cover, liked it better then the others I think. (less)
World Building: Interesting, it made even more sense and felt more natural to me since the first book in the series had already la...moreFluttering Thoughts:
World Building: Interesting, it made even more sense and felt more natural to me since the first book in the series had already laid the ground work, so to speak. Characters: Liked Gaven more, perhaps because he made a lot of sense to me and I felt he developed more here, he became more of an active player in his life. Loved that. Loved Vlar, again, though he shined less then in the first book for me. Loved the development of both Gaven and Vlar and of their romance. Better chemistry between them, and liked to get to know more about other characters. Plot: As other elements, it felt more developed compared to the first. I liked the developments, though there was this slightly different pace of events from one part of it to another. That difference was a bit odd. Writing: It engaged me less then #1 for some reason. The author has a good sense of starting off strong each title, they both start with a bang, so to speak, but the style here felt a bit too high fantasy-ish to me, and high fantasy writing isn't exactly my cup of tea. Same first person narrative, Gaven is still the MC. Curb Appeal: Sexy cover, maaaaybe a bit too fleshy. This may be a bit misleading, as the read isn't quite as hot as the cover led me to believe. (less)
I went through 2 boxes of tissues reading this novel. 2 boxes. I don't cry that much when seeing Meet Joe Black, and that's pretty high up on my cryin...moreI went through 2 boxes of tissues reading this novel. 2 boxes. I don't cry that much when seeing Meet Joe Black, and that's pretty high up on my crying list... *sigh*
Beautiful read, but certainly not easy to go through.(less)
Wow. That cover is just...epic! Really loved that cover, I gotta say. Now on to the rest of the book, lol.
I don't usually read stories about military/...moreWow. That cover is just...epic! Really loved that cover, I gotta say. Now on to the rest of the book, lol.
I don't usually read stories about military/ex-military and PTSD, I don't have the strength to go through it with them. But this being a Harlequin, I was betting on that part of the story being more like a setting then a significant matter - I was wrong. Sort of. The ex-military and PTSD does come into play, but since we have other elements like mythology, old Egyptian gods, Aztec goddesses, a sphinx, a Minotaur, you see why I could deal with it. Plus, obviously, the smutty awesomeness that's expected and always delivered.
The plot was sort of awesome, actually, minus the whole Syrian dungeon and torture thing, that I didn't like at all. But other then that, wow, great plotting! It was also a very original mix, in my opinion, I mean I totally didn't see the next events coming, I was wondering and getting surprised all over the place. I did get the sense of what the main couple will be pretty early on, but it wasn't one of those lover lost/lover found or childhood crush turned lover sort of scenarios, this one was a bit darker and slightly twisted and man, I'm a sucker for that!
The characters were really interesting and original, Ray had a lot of magnetism and Layla's evolution was very well rendered, I could actually feel her turn from something of a machine into a woman. The Ray/Layla couple had a special kind of chemistry, a sort of love/hate to begin with, that developed into intense chemistry and ended up becoming love. I was with it all the way, I believed every second of it. I also got my personal flavor of fun with Seth, though there wasn't nearly enough focus on him. Well, there was, he wasn't a main character, but he was the villain of all villains so I wanted more, lol. I'm hoping for more, to be clearer, because Seth needs to unleash his inner beast, go on rampage and make that Aztec goddess shake from roots to tips of her branches, fu~fu.
Good writing, interesting plot, charismatic characters and originality - to sum it all up, if smutty is for you, you should totally give this a try.(less)
This must be the hardest I have tried to read a book I wasn't feeling much. I tried on 3 o...moreOriginally posted on Jul 14 2012 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books:
This must be the hardest I have tried to read a book I wasn't feeling much. I tried on 3 or 4 separate occasions to advance in the read, it just didn't work out at all. The first time I did something like 25 pages, then re-read those and did some 40, and then on a third try I re-read those first pages and got to 50. And finally gave up.
I really didn't connect with the MC, though I was sympathetic to her situation. Plus the story in itself didn't really get me all that curious about what's going to happen, I suspect this might have to do with the fairies, faeries, whatever you want to call them. I'll admit that vampires, demons, witches, dragons, etc get me more into any story then fairies by default, I'm not sure why. If they would have been trolls, or orcs, or ogres, my response might have been the same. Though trolls would have had a lot of entertainment potential, right? lol. It's just how my reading tastes have evolved. These high fantasy sort of worlds need to really get me hooked on plot or charm me with the MC to get me interested, I'm not curious by default, you know what I mean? And here neither the MC nor the story as it evolved to the point I stopped reading it got me hooked.
So I'm not saying that there's a particular thing that turned me off the read exactly, there just wasn't something to keep me in it. I have learned to embrace my gut feeling and if by page 50 or say 15% of the read I'm not feeling it, I'm most likely going to just move on to other titles. So much to read out there, I don't really see why make a big effort to read something I'm not enjoying when thousands of other books are waiting for me. (less)
Absolutely loved this! Awesome writing, love love love the setting of the novel and the plot was intriguing. I was hooked from the first page and I'm...moreAbsolutely loved this! Awesome writing, love love love the setting of the novel and the plot was intriguing. I was hooked from the first page and I'm a fan of Natalie! xD If 1880's is your kind of setting, you should totally read this, that's my opinion.
This is my second reading experience with Bradford Morrow, and it proved to be yet another memorable one. After reading Fall of the Birds, the chance...moreThis is my second reading experience with Bradford Morrow, and it proved to be yet another memorable one. After reading Fall of the Birds, the chance of reading some gothic, some yummy noir by the same author was extremely tempting. I'm glad I fell pray to the temptation.
The 12 stories range from the troubling and touching to the disconcerting and unnerving, all in beautiful writing and emotionally gripping imagery. Some I've personally liked more then others, some are a tad too disturbing while others I fully and wholeheartedly loved. Together though, they form an interesting, exciting and scary journey into the human mind, an exploration into dusty nooks of the human soul.
The Hoarder, the first story of the collection, starts out deceivingly tame. Touching, beautiful, and deceitfully tame; as it progresses, the degree of troubling slowly ascends to bring the reader a shock, then slowly subsides only to flare up again at the end. After that adventure, I was edified in respect to the type of read this collection would be: bold, fearless, subtle here and brutal there - in fewer words, a delight.
Amazing Grace and The Road to Nadeja were my personal favorites of the collection because the light they shine on the characters involved shows more then devious urges or pathologic needs; they show the simple but crushing darkness of solitude and the value of hope (pun intended regarding the second title). While dark and certainly troubling, they also have a bit of that inherent human shimmer of light.
Some of the stories, like Whom no hate stirs none dances, The Uninnocent or Tsunami, were on the disturbing side, some a lot disturbing in fact. I would have a hard time saying I enjoyed reading them, but I found it to be a truly interesting experience, and despite their somber and/or chilling quality they had a fascinating tone, so fascinating in fact that despite the fact I was cringing nearer the end I wouldn't have been able to stop reading them. In fact, I will confess to having read some of the stories twice, or even three times before writing down these words. And I believe I will reread them again after I'll be done writing these words, they're so well written and so charismatic that I can't really move on. They're clinging to my thoughts with these shadowy tentacles, it's really strange but darkishly beautiful.
All things considered, I say if you like noir and you have the stomach to cringe at the multiple facets of the human soul without being horrified, you should definitely read this. But it's not a beginners dish, in my humble opinion, it's more like a treat for the connoisseur.(less)
Oh, what a beautiful world! Well, I mean, beautifully built more then beautiful in itself, it's sort of a depressing and yet fascinating world. I'm ra...moreOh, what a beautiful world! Well, I mean, beautifully built more then beautiful in itself, it's sort of a depressing and yet fascinating world. I'm rambling, sorry. Ok, so let's be methodical.
This is book #2 in a series called Gray Zone, and I haven't read book #1 (ofc, I seem to do this a lot...), but I didn't really feel like I was denied any relevant info because of that. I really appreciated the glossary of terms and short presentation of the world at the beginning of the novel, to me that made this read as much a stand alone as it is a part of a series; of course, it's that type of series that tells us about different characters within the same world or universe or whatever you'd like to call it. And what a wonderfully imaginative world! I'm a great fan of dragons myself, so these beautiful creatures the author has created, this whole social order (or lack thereof in some areas) is totally fascinating to me.
Liam, Chris and Kevin took my heart by storm, I ached for them. One thing that's clear though is this is a very mature read, and not just because there's some one on one action going on, but because of the brutal life these characters lead, because of the nature of the world they inhabit. And Liam gets to sample all the brutality of it, all the ugliness of it; and yet he keeps a beautifully loving heart, he's a mother hen for his younger brothers and he's willing to bear whatever in order to keep them safe, in order to protect them and offer them as much of a good life as he can manage. It was almost emotionally draining to witness Liam's life, I couldn't read this book all in one go, I felt the need to take breathers now and then, it just got to feel like too much at times. At the same time, fiction as it may be, I kept thinking about these cases I've learned of, real-life stories that resembled so much his story that it sent me reeling. I find it interesting that when met in fiction-clad form, the brutality of the human being is shocking, and yet we learn of all these real cases and we just cruise by them on a day to day basis. Funny how ours minds work, huh? Anyways, back to the book.
The characters were, in my opinion, amazing, and here's why: there was nothing like posing about them, they didn't feel built or put together as it sometimes happens with characters going through dramatic situations, they felt so incredibly real and natural, truly vivid. Their reactions, their feelings, everything - absolutely natural, real. Of course that seems to work for and against the reading experience, in the fact that it always seems easier to go through dramatic happenings with a character that feels a bit made up, you know? It's like an intense but not uncomfortable exercise of the imagination, whereas a really good character doesn't feel like a character at all but like one of your friends, so going through really bad stuff with them isn't quite as easy.
The plot was interesting and eventful without becoming actually overwhelming until nearer the end, where there was this really intense scene that made me hold my breath, I was like "Oh nooooooo!!!", but thankfully for my heart it got resolved in a reasonably short time :D If you'll approach this as a smutty read, you'll be very surprised and I mean very. I will confess it turned out to have substantially more punch to it then I expected as well, and I was extremely pleased with that. Of course, it's a predictable reaction on my part, all my favorite reads revolve around really dramatic situations and stories.
So to sum it all up, if you're not iffy about dramatic stories with violent content, I say give this a try, it's somewhat brutal but beautiful as well, because it's about human nature, true human nature in all it's raw glory.(less)