In a Flutter: Exciting & entertaining! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The awesomeOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Nov 6 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Exciting & entertaining! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The awesome world of the Dragon Kings, with all its magic and fab scenery, meets Edinburgh, and I loved every setting of it! Characters: Lexi was a charmingly stubborn and gutsy heroine to read about. I loved her attitude, her strengths, her vulnerabilities, her approach to things. We just clicked and I loved her pretty much from page 1. Thorn was nothing short of smexacular, all hot and broody and knight in shining armor, alpha male deliciousness, brave yet a bit scared when it came to feelings…and I loved the dude xD They had great chemistry and were a charismatic couple, and their one on one time was really hot too, though not overly played upon, I’ll say. The perv in me could have gone for soooo much more, lol! I gotta say I particularly love lots of characters in these novels, and I’m dying to find out all these things about Rhis and Con and…sigh. I need the next novel, like right now, lol! Plot: The romance arc was full of delicious tension and it made for exciting reading. The action outside of the romance was pretty cool too, you can always count on a good bunch of fights to take place, magic, dark forces and evil plans…awesomesauce stuff, in short. Very entertaining and exciting. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, his/her POV – mostly Lexi/Thorn, but with a some from a few other characters’ perspective as well. I love the style, exciting and fast and fun! Curb Appeal: Hot cover, hooking blurb, and right now for sure auto-buy author name when it comes to my dragon-romance needs xD
I totally recommend Passion Ignites to lovers of dragon PNR, and also to fans of paranormal action and kickass confrontation, scheming and plotting and complex conflicts, because this series has it all: dragons, magic, fae (light and dark!), hot romance, exciting action…big, big like!...more
In a Flutter: Kickass anthology! Review I loved this anthology so, so much! The stories wOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Sept 29 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Kickass anthology! Review I loved this anthology so, so much! The stories were diverse both in tone, paranormal/fantasy elements, and sorts of HEA they presented. They were all romantic, some sweet, some somewhat tragic but ending with togetherness, if you know what I mean. Some of the authors were new to me, though they are popular names. I’m glad I got to know their writing in this anthology, because I loved all of their works enough to really want to read more by them now.
MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine It’s no secret I love detective stories, investigators of all sorts are probably my fav characters. I loved Val and Tilde, their connection in a time when it wasn’t as natural as it seems today. This story pulled at my heart strings the most, because despite the togetherness at the end of the story, it’s more of a tragic love story than a straightforward happy ending. I loved it all the more because of that.
FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden Mick and Savannah made a seriously hot couple, with stellar chemistry and a delectable vampire romance with a bit of a twist. Mick, a PI, Savannah an awesome vampire temptress looking for company – they made for hot, exciting, and romantic reading.
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart This was among my favorites from the anthology. I am partial, I know; Kathleen is an accomplished author, and a fantastic character if you ask me. Jake was interesting too, but I won’t lie, the clear star for me was Kathleen, and I loved the role the Devil played, lol. Which sounds ominous, and it partially is. The story had me wondering and pondering until the very end, which I loved so, so much. I felt Kathleen and Jake were a touching, charismatic pair.
THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson I love the world of the Sentinels of New Orleans, and I’ve read stories set in this world and enjoyed them. This one didn’t take my heart fully, for some reason. Sweet romance, surely one of the reasons, characters not as tortured as I tend to like them. I’m an openly evil reader, and sweet generally doesn’t do it for me. That’s a matter of personal taste, though, and the story had everything right, if you ask me, just not what it takes to make me personally swoon. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t totally in love, you know?
HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy Again a world I’m familiar with, the most familiar with comparing with the rest of the authors/worlds of this anthology. The Twelve Kingdoms world is an exquisite fantasy world, full of tension, intrigue, and all sorts of love stories. I enjoyed this one, Nix was great and noble, and Cavan was interesting. I wanted their HEA and was thrilled when it happened. Also, big love for poor Falada – I kind of felt like crying there, sigh. I wanted to kick the hell out of that horrible woman pretending to be Princess Natilde. Jeffe Kennedy has the awesome ability to build very realistic characters, and that includes villains, antagonists. You feel the burning desire to choke them to death, lol. I surely felt it :D
THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan I really loved this baby too! Dahlia and Ash were both charming characters, very charismatic, interesting, easy to relate to. They had great chemistry and, I won’t lie, I loved the presence of a certain cat sidekick too :D I always love sidekicks, what can I say?
All in all, this was an amazing anthology. I think some are reticent about anthologies, as I am sometimes, because they mean short stories. These ones were pretty good lengths though, if I may say so :D Novellas, not short stories. So read this baby. It’s totally worth your time!...more
In a Flutter: Delightful & diverse Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: If you love EurOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Oct 11 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Delightful & diverse Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: If you love European settings, Vienna is the novel for you. The adventures of our MCs take us through a few very interesting European countries, and the glamorous world of a very successful model meets the even more exciting world of potentially royal intrigue & conspiracy. Characters: Vienna and Justine were so very interesting. Vienna is a Sherlock/Watson reinterpretation, and as you guys know I’m a rabid Sherlock fan. William S. Kirby reinterprets the awesomesauce duo and does one better, setting them up as a couple – and the power figure is the Watson-ian one. Vienna’s brilliant eidetic memory and savant connections between apparently unrelated things is a step beyond Sherlock, or perhaps the view from inside Sherlock’s mind while it’s functioning, in a way. For someone as fascinated with the concept of brilliant minds as I am, this novel is a godsend. You could hardly have me more interested than this, pretty much. Vienna’s Asperger-ian and her eidetic memory make her even more hardcore than Sherlock, in all things. Everything seen through her eyes, processed by her mind, was incredibly interesting and utterly fascinating for me. Justine, the Watson-ian figure in our case, was a stronger presence than I might have expected, actually grounding Vienna, protecting her, loving her and caring for her at every step. I found Justine to be immeasurably interesting on her own, the ravishing beauty, the killer smarts coupled with a healthy sense of adventure and thirst for diversity made her into a highly charismatic character. Coupled with Vienna’s magnetism (and with Vienna herself :D ), she was simply irresistible. The complex dynamics between then, their couple, their love story and the passion between then, all the doubts and questions and angst that came with the pack, made this story a roller-coaster of a mystery. I loved them together as a couple, they had this deep, complex chemistry that simply swept you off your feet. Delightful, to say the least. Plot: The romantic arc, a very gusty and interesting endeavor all on its own, was completed by a provocative mystery, complete with royal intrigues, conspiracies, and historical facts to further the effect. The tempo of the story was alert, but not rabid, and the happy ending was delightful. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative from Vienna and Justine’s POV. I can’t say how much I loved their voices, especially Vienna’s. I also loved descriptions and the general style of the novel, the sophistication of it. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, but the blurb had me instantly sold. I’m a Sherlock sucker forever, and this novel delivers on the fantasy all of us Sherlocked fans foster, the Sherlock/Watson affair. Hurrah!
All in all, I highly recommend Vienna to lovers of mystery with a spice of royal intrigue/conspiracies, to lovers of diversity and Sherlock-concept enthusiasts such as I am. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel like crying, you’ll cringe and get angry and smile at the end of the ride. And you won’t forget it anytime soon. Quality reading experience, big like!...more
In a Flutter: Awesome end to the series! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: I have raved about the world of Sang when I read the first beauty of the series, Wicked Ever After. All my points still hold now, wow, 3 years later. Creative, well-done, exciting worldbuilding of doom, hurrah! Characters: While I very much enjoyed the whole cast of characters in the Blud series, I must admit I always had a special spot for Tish and Crim, both on their own, and as a couple. I was very curious to see how the story arc will end for them, what Tish would choose to do with her life, which world she’d go for. In the end, she chose to save her grandma, and despite how that went (and lol on that!) she ended up in her rightful place, by Crim’s side. I must admit I found Ruby a very interesting character, perhaps the likely heroine of a UF series all of her own – she was that kickass, imho. Plot: The romance between finally reaches the actual HEA, complete with kids and the quick peeks into the futures of other couples we’ve met throughout the series. I really enjoyed that. But there was some excitement in Wicked Ever After too, cool action, interesting confrontations, so it was a thrilling ride. Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Tish’s POV. Effortlessly charming style. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – total impulsive buy material.
All in all, I really loved Wicked Ever After and do recommend the whole Blud series if you’re into original vampire worlds, charismatic characters and awesomesauce writing. Big like!...more
In a Flutter: Spectacularly fun! Review Meet my 4th Bomy Award of Excellence of the year,Originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Oct 13 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Spectacularly fun! Review Meet my 4th Bomy Award of Excellence of the year, The Deathsniffer’s Assistant by Kate McIntyre. This is obviously my Mystery/Thriller year, because all of my Bomy Awards of Excellence have been from that area :D
What could be better than an Edwardian fantasy world, where all kinds of fantastic creatures – salamanders, elementals & such – are bound into objects, people communicate via magic mirrors as if they’re telephones, and everyone in the city is categorized as one or another kind of magic user? What, I ask you, could be better? I’ll answer it too: a sassy, irreverent, uber-fun female character and a beta male side-kick who allows us to enjoy her from an outside-perspective!
While the fantasy world was delicious, what I loved all the more about The Deathsniffer’s Assistant were the characters. I know it’s not gonna be fair to our MC, Chris, who is a lovely and loyal boy, but for me the absolute star was Olivia :D To be fair though, let’s talk about Chris first. I’m thrilled to see more and more beta male characters in my reads. Don’t get me wrong, alpha males are really hot and exciting to read about, but I find beta males to interesting more often than not – they’re complex characters, multi-dimensional, and they make the person they’re beside shine at full value. Chris was all of that, and more. He was entirely loyal and dedicated to his little sister, Rose, to their family home. A cultured, educated, uber-polite young man, a little superficial when it came to judging people by their shoes, but what would you expect – the boy is 19 after all :) There are bound to be some immature personality traits at that age. Him getting a job, finding ways to take care of his little sister, starting life as a parent though he’s the big brother actually made this a New Adult novel, imo. Olivia was entirely fascinating, though. Irreverent, independent, intelligent, utterly amusing and charming – you get my point. She’s the Sherlock-ian figure of the duo, the detective, the mystery solver, while Chris is the assistant. Olivia was an utter and irrevocable delight, snarky, no-BS, slightly erratic in places – because when your mind and truthsniffing are working overtime, it’s tough to be chilled-out -. I loved her a terrible lot, and found the fact she wasn’t the actual MC a stroke of genius. These are the kinds of characters that are charismatic, interesting, fascinating in fact enough to experience from their own POV, but even more so from another’s – like say their assistant, sidekick by large. So while Olivia was the star for me, she wasn’t the actual MC, and that was a brilliant move. Kudos Kate McIntyre!
The murder mystery was very interesting, very well paced imo and not predictable – which says a lot, coming from a murder mystery rabid fan such as I am. I loved everything about it, the suspects, the red herrings, their motivations, the investigative procedure – all of it! Loved, loved, loved! Aside the mystery, I sense a slightly romantic tone surrounding Chris, and I think further along in the series we will see him fall for someone. He’s at the right age, lol! I’m sadistically looking forward to that moment, because his obsession with propriety and what’s not so say while you do feel it is bound to make for some delicious romantic tension, mwahahaha. I R unabashed evil reader of doom xD
The third person, past tense narrative, from Chris’s POV was so very awesome! His almost obsessive polite behavior, but his slightly judgmental real voice, made Olivia stand out all the more as gutsy, irreverent, snary – it brought delicious contrast and tension into every scene they were both in. Loved, loved, loved the writing!
The cover is really, really cool, and the blurb was entirely hooking too. This is absolute impulsive buy material for me.
I fully, wholeheartedly recommend The Deathsniffer’s Assistant to all fantasy and mystery fans out there. It’s a smart, creative, well-written and well-thought murder mystery, with fascinating characters, good writing with the due amount of humor to lighten the literally bloody atmosphere – lol. A series I will undoubtedly follow in the future, as I will Kate McIntyre’s future work. Big, big like!...more
Worldbuilding: Awesome BDB paranormal world, Caldwell mixed up with vampires, sympaths, angels, afterlife elements…yum! Characters: Tohr and No’One (laWorldbuilding: Awesome BDB paranormal world, Caldwell mixed up with vampires, sympaths, angels, afterlife elements…yum! Characters: Tohr and No’One (later in the book, she’s called Autumn) were brilliant. I always liked Tohr and was heartbroken about his shellan’s death. I kept liking him and understanding where he came from in this novel too. He had to let go, and everyone who ever loved somebody knows that letting go is the hardest thing. It’s torture, no matter if your love has died or simply left you – letting go is brutal. I empathized with his struggles and loved him all the more. Autumn was a magnificent character. With a tormented past and a difficult present, she intrigued since her first appearance. I was glad to get to know her better, and I liked how she and Xhex interacted. And that ending…man, Autumn just broke my heart. Good thing Lassiter was there to save the day :D Fav of the novel: Lassiter. He rules :D Plot: This novel felt a little different because of the stories it told. I felt like there was a lot more emphasis on the emotional goings on between Tohr and Autumn, or between Xhex and John. Even between Quinn and Blay. Yes, there was action, but it felt to me like there was also more emotion, and I’m always going to pick that over fighting – of which there’s enough, never fear. Writing: As usual, third person narrative from more than one POV. I felt more emotion than usual and the writing evoked more emotion than usual, so it seemed to me the writing in Lover Reborn was even better than in previous novels in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Curb Appeal: Pffft. Kickass cover, hooking blurb, epic author – instant buy material.
All in all, I highly enjoyed this novel and felt a more personal connection with the characters than in previous ones. I also am an official Lassiter fan xD If you like PNR, definitely read it....more
In a Flutter: Entirely delectable! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: As generally tendOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Sept 19 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Entirely delectable! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: As generally tend to do, I loved the Victorian setting, all the more for the defying attitude the MC had toward the set-in-stone role women played in it. But more on that a tinsy bit later. Considering the story, a lot of the story was set in indoorsy eccentric types of settings, including collections of specimens, taxidermy, the likes. I loved the peculiarity of all these settings, the quirkiness of the whole thing. Characters: If I were to award the Perfect MC Award to a novel, it would be to A Curious Beginning for Veronica Speedwell. I don’t have a separate blow by blow section for each Flutter point, so A Curious Beginning will have to settle for my Bomy Award of Excellence. It’s the third one awarded this year. Veronica was the most intelligent, logical, witty, full of classy humor, daring, feminist, ambitious and enterprising female MC I’ve read about lately, if not this whole year and maybe including previous one too. Her resilience, love of adventure, solid opinions that she refused to be swayed from and approach to life in general made me love her so, so terribly much. This was a free, independent woman in a time when women were mostly expected to produce children and be obedient daughters and then wives. It was a particularly tasty point to me that she was equally as free sexually, not considering her sexuality a sin, a taboo, or a terrible character fault. Her scientific mind and methodical pursuit of truth only served to make me love her that much more. Veronica Speedwell is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. And I will follow her splendid adventures till their very end :) Also loved Stoker, and there’s a to-follow-romance air about them which I loved. He was a fabulous supporting character, a stellar sidekick, beta hero if you will. I’ve read a somewhat like-minded setting in another Bomy Award of Excellence of 2015, and I’m starting to think I’m a closet fan of beta male heroes, lol :D Plot: The mystery arc was very interesting, eventful, active, and I loved the intrigue that was involved. It was not only well put together, well timed, and thoroughly exciting, but also highly plausible historically :D Much win. Writing: First person, past tense narrative. Superb style, witty, elegant, clear but somewhat quirky and, of course, English-flavored. Yummy! Curb Appeal: Awesome cover, hooking blurb, instant buy era/genre for me. Impulsive buy material.
I fully, wholeheartedly recommend A Curious Beginning, and I’m sure whatever Deanna Raybourn writes is well worth the read. I’m gonna read this series, and will most likely go for her other one too, the Julia Grey one....more
In a Flutter: Interesting Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The Kingsessing, PhiladelphiaOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Nov 3 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Interesting Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The Kingsessing, Philadelphia setting was interesting, certainly tense in terms of cultural clashes and general tension. Characters: The MC, Nora, was an interesting character, but one I didn’t really get all the way. I admired her efforts, considering she had to overcome some cultural obstacles in order to do what she was doing (and wanted to do), but I didn’t get why those same cultural obstacles still represented an impediment when it came to going all the way with what she wanted. This aspect of Nora didn’t click all the way for me. She obviously went against her father’s notion of what she should be doing on the professional front, but somehow needed an excuse to do so on a more personal level. I simply didn’t get that. Hurrah for finally deciding to be her own person, in whatever way she chose to, in the end. I don’t see the actual choices as important, I must say, but the fact that you’re making them based on your own thinking, feelings, desires, values, and so on. Anyway, she was a mix of vulnerable and kickass-ish agent, and I rooted for her to settle into her life, I guess. It felt like a New Adult type of novel because of that. I’ve been looking through the novel, but can’t seem to find Nora’a age though I seem to recall she mentions it somewhere. It might actually be a New Adult if she’s 25ish or under. I found her interesting, bottom line, but I must say not overly likable and not at all exciting. I tend to love loud and proud rebels though, keep in mind. She was a subtler kind of character, not so much a rebel as a slowly developing independent nature, I guess, the do-good type rather than kick-ass, I think. It’s a nuanced and interesting kind of character, but not overly exciting for me on a personal level. Plot: The mystery / suspense part was good; I liked how the different characters came together and the way different crimes were pieced together to solve the final puzzle – pretty complex but smooth, somehow. There was quite a bit of tension, and enough action to keep the excitement going. I loved the whole cultural thing, the diversity, which is always an interesting area to explore. There was a subtle trace of romance going on too, and I enjoyed that aspect as well. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, Nora’s POV (with a couple inserts from a victim in her case). I liked the writing, but somehow made me look at Nora from the outside, not empathize with her much. Third person often does that for me, for some reason. It must be said that the general style wasn’t exactly my favorite, meaning I tend to love snarky, irreverent characters, who tend to express themselves and think in that same note. Nora’s tone wasn’t at all in that vein. So good writing, but not necessarily my fav flavor. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb. Very good impulsive buy candidate.
All in all, I enjoyed Quicksand and recommend it to lovers of mystery/suspense, especially if you enjoy following different cultures and how they interact, and main characters who aren’t really out to kick ass but more to do the right thing....more
In a Flutter: Not bad, but not for me Review Yeaah…as you guys know, I’m always looking toOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Oct 2 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Not bad, but not for me Review Yeaah…as you guys know, I’m always looking to try new things, or give things a second (and n-th) chance. So I wanted to give high fantasy another chance. I was really optimistic about The Sleeping King, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
I stopped reading about the 25% point, and this is a good length novel, so it was more than my first-30-pages rule. The story felt slow to start, and when it did it still felt slow to me, though I’m not generally a rabid action fan. But the story felt just too slow to me, for some reason. Maybe it was the writing style. The third person, past tense, multiple POV had that epic fantasy style flair, which is obviously adequate and fitting. But it didn’t do it for me, despite not having anything wrong with it. To be fair, third person multiple POV tends to have that effect on me, detachment from all characters rather than connecting with more than one MC.
The characters were kind of interesting, but not exciting for me personally; and with great appeal to young adults (or even middle graders) imo – another note I tend not to resonate with. Maybe further along the novel (or series!) the tone becomes more adult-oriented, though I honestly doubt it. I feel confident it’s gonna be a YA-ish sort of read, all in all. But if any of you read it and feel it’s better described as addressed to an adult audience, do let me know, so I can re-categorize it properly.
The fantasy world was diverse, with lots of elements – prophecies, wizards and mages, fantastic creatures, but without a connection with the characters or a particular crush on the writing style, it didn’t have the chance to shine for me.
All in all, The Sleeping King will most likely provide a very different reading experience for epic/high fantasy bildungsroman kind of fans. It was a bad fit for me, though....more
In a Flutter: Lovely read Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: Awesome worldbuilding, I lovOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Aug 28 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Lovely read Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: Awesome worldbuilding, I love, love, love Juliette Cross’s Morgon concept, the dragon-like nature of these winged amazeballs creatures, their fierceness, strength, devotion… yummy world! Characters: Ella was a character I got and felt for, but didn’t identify with. She felt a bit like an uptight prude at times, I dunno. Plus she’s a virgin. I don’t generally see the appeal of that trope, the whole “waiting for that special guy” thing, especially the “my and only” thing…meh. Those tropes tend to imply sweet romance stories, which I personally don’t find that appealing, I confess. It’s tortured, convoluted, angsty romance I like, lol. Evil reader here, always bear in mind. That being said, I was invested in her HEA, and I was glad for her when she finally stood up for herself and made her decisions based on her own wants, needs, desires. Paxon was the alpha goodness one would expect from a Morgon, charismatic, deliciously hot… the whole package for sure. I loved how tender and sweet he was with Ella, how careful he was with her at every step of the way. They had good chemistry, and I loved them together, though I can’t say there was that much hotness involved since the MC telling the story is a bit of a prude, if you ask me, lol. But they were good together. Plot: The romance arc was lovely, virgin trope, good girl / bad boy flavor, sweet romance, and there wasn’t much else going on story-wise. In that regard, I like her Vale of Stars series, if the first is telling about the whole series, since there seem to be other story elements aside the romance. I mean romance is good, but by itself, it’s not so much my thing maybe. Combined with other elements, say suspense, or mystery, or thriller, now that works wonders for me. Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Ella’s POV. To me, it was an interesting experience because Ella is such a different personality to mine, so I enjoyed experiencing this world from her eyes. Definitely fun. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, but the Morgon concept had me sold on this already, so it’s impulsive buy material for sure.
It was more of a 3.5 butterflies than a full 4, I think. Mainly because I so loved the dynamics of the couple and I would have loved more of them as a pair, somehow. That’s the problem with readers who love your concept and characters, lol! They won’t ever have enough of them, basically. But it was a satifying and entertaining read, and I recommend the Nightwing series, and the Vale of Stars series as well, from which I’ve read the first a while back. So if you’re a romance lover, read the Nightwing series, it’s totally worth your time because it has awesome worldbuilding and good writing that will have you enjoy the story even when you don’t necessarily love the main couple. If you want more than romance, I totally recommend Vale of Stars from which I read Waking the Dragon. Whatever your thing is, Juliette Cross is for sure an author worth your time!...more
In a Flutter: Witty & charming Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The Regency London sOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Sep 1 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Witty & charming Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The Regency London setting was what you’d expect from it: glamorous, glittering, impressive, and full of obnoxious and squirrelly nobles. And I loved the commentary on the ton of the time, regarding “outsiders”, their inflated sense of self and worth, and so on. Other settings were also fun, but the star was London. The fantasy elements were absolutely adorable, fey, magic, familiars, spells, curses… yummy! Characters: Zacharias and Prunella were a charming team, and a surprising one. Both ton outsiders, people that stood out rather than blend in, and who dealt with that in two very different ways: one doing his best to become as “invisible” as possible, being overly civil and accommodating even when he shouldn’t have been, the other being a constant rebel, and doing everything with a charming disregard for norm or so-called propriety or morals outside of her own. I loved the two of them as a team, I felt they balanced each other, like two sides of a coin. Their romance was rather unromantic, in a way, which made it make incredible sense for me. I loved how they made a path for themselves, how they chose what path to take, each of them. I’m calling this a New Adult and not a Young Adult precisely because of that, their ages, the moment in their lives we get to witness, the nature of their choices (no mature language or situations, mind you!). Plot: The adventure of Society intrigue, plotting and scheming, was so dynamic and exciting for me. While it was an active story, I wouldn’t say it was too agitated in terms of action, though where there was action, it was very exciting. I loved the pace of events, though to some it might feel a tad slow maybe. The romance arc was a slow burn and discreet side of the overall story, but one I enjoyed nonetheless. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, mostly from Zacharias and Prunella’s POVs, though with omniscient-like views at times. What stands out is the style of writing, rather era-appropriate, with a complex structure and a less than accessible feel to it. While I personally enjoyed it, I think it might alienate other readers, since it demands a lot more concentration on actual text than some might like. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my historical urban fantasy moods.
I really enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown, and I recommend it to lovers of Regency reads with a fantasy twist, to lovers of intrigue and plotting and scheming and ton-related stories. The romantic element was subtle, so I wouldn’t say I recommend it particularly to romance lovers per se, unless they’re into adventure as well. A good, solid, delectable read, and I can’t wait to read more about these characters!...more
In a Flutter: Overcoming personal issues and trusting love
Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: I’m new to Katie MacAlister’s dragon world, this being my first read by her, but I’ve fallen irremediably in love with it already. I think it was my favorite part of Dragon Fall, in fact. The fantasy elements – dragons, witches, Guardians – and social order were entirely engrossing and had my full, rapt attention. Characters: There was a lot about Aoife that I loved. She was something of an eccentric character, very strong and accustomed to dealing with bigotry and the world unjust, yet vulnerable and in need of support when it came to family or love. I would have liked her better, I think, had her manner been somewhat different when it came to plot-relevant happenings. She just had this way of blundering into situations and unleashing things by not knowing things, despite constantly asking those around. I felt in a way she was boycotted in a sense, forever not getting the info to help her make sense of what was going on. I found it easy to empathize with her. Kostya was every bit the alpha male (Dragon to boot! Yey!) you’d expect or wish for. He was stubborn, at times obtuse, protective, loyal passionate, dedicated to his love interest and always coming to the rescue when the situation required it. Though he was very reluctant to actually communicate or share relevant info. So again, very alpha male, lol. I liked them together, they had good chemistry, and their one on one, while not explicit or terribly exciting for me, was well integrated in their romance arc. I loved how tortured they both were, mwahahaha. Evil reader pleasures satisfied, lol I loved other characters as well, especially Jim who got the better part of the comic relief role. Always love that Plot: The romance arc was nicely paced and quite sweet, and while sweet isn’t my thing generally, I enjoyed it. The mating trope had a slow romance feel, and I felt it rounded the story very well. Outside of the romance arc, there was quite a lot of action and it kept very much so engaged and entertained. I can’t wait to see how things go from here on with the series-plot. In no way does that mean there’s any kind of cliffy here, let me be clear. But there’s a larger story that I guess will encompass the novels in the series. Writing: First person, past tense narrative from Aoife’s POV. I enjoyed her perspective and humor. If there’s one thing I found mildly irritating, it was the avoid-potty-mouth quality the whole novel. There are times when that’s cute, like when swearing for instance, and times when it seems childish and ruins the mood – for me! – like during sex scenes. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my dragon-craving PNR moods.
All in all, I recommend Dragon Fall to lovers of dragon lore PNR and to lovers of adult sweet-like romance that isn’t actually graphic in nature. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series....more
Review I was part of a tour for this title a while back. To be honest, I never was a rabid fOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Jul 22 2015:
Review I was part of a tour for this title a while back. To be honest, I never was a rabid fan of contemporary romance that’s all about the couple thing. I’m more of a romantic suspense kind of contemporary reader, to be honest – and not a rabid fan at that, either.
This is one of those reads that focuses on the couple and what they’re doing, that’s the meat of the plot, if you will. It’s generally not enough to keep me that interested, unless I develop a crush on one or both of the characters involved, or their chemistry. I didn’t develop said crush on either Monique, Alessandro, or their chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun characters, they had hot sex with some I guess one would call it kink (light stuff, up until where I read – further than middle of the read; keep in mind I’ve read lots of hardcore, and I mean hardcore kink and BDSM, so kink in itself doesn’t shock or impress me much anymore, tbh).
I think this could have gone on to be a 2-3 butterflies read, probably, had it not been for the Italian in the book. Now, I’m not sure if the review copy was the final-final format or not, but the Italian in my review copy was wonky. It kept annoying me, particularly when the wonky Italian was used not by say non-Italian tourists (which would be understandable), but by supposedly Italian natives. I’m quite sure Italians with a respectable job would know how to use their own language, lol. Maybe these issues were solved by the time the title went out on the market, I’m not sure. But I just couldn’t go on with the wonky Italian, that did stubbornly appear quite often up until the point I stopped reading. It’s a pet peeve of mine to use words in other languages and use them wrong, especially if it’s a repeat performance. Used once or twice could be funny, if that’s the effect you’re going for, but other than that, it’s a total pet peeve of mine. But if you don’t speak Italian, it won’t bother you, lol. I would have made more of an effort (a huge one, actually, because pet peeve, sigh) to ignore it, but all things considered, I just didn’t feel motivated enough to.
So if you’re into erotic contemporary romance, especially the undercover billionaire kind of trope flavor, with a bit of kink thrown in, some international settings and hot chemistry, do give this a try. It’s probably going to be a really fun read, if you’re into that. The romance had a sweet flavor to it too, which again isn’t my kind of thing. I just didn’t feel it....more
In a Flutter: Yummy start to a new series! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The world of tOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Aug 4 2015:
In a Flutter: Yummy start to a new series! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The world of the Devil’s Isle series promises to be super rich in paranormal elements – angels, fey-like folk, sensitives (original concept), wraiths, etc -, an abundance that is in no way suffocating or oppressive. Rather the dystopia-flavored world presents its copious elements gradually, gently almost, introducing us to a world of tension, strife, intrigue and love. I wouldn’t say this is a groundbreaking approach, except the sensitives concept there wasn’t anything particularly now about the fantastical world, except the Veil concept which I enjoyed. Characters: Claire was a really fun and interesting MC. I liked a lot about her, her personality, her motivations, her actions. Another readhead, you’ll say, lol, and she is indeed, with green eyes to boot – I hate these creatures, lol! I so wish I had green eyes, lol. Moving on. I didn’t outright love her for some odd reason, and I’m not sure what exactly kept me from going that one step further. But I loved reading about her, and the way she saw the world was very fun and interesting, without a doubt. I really liked Liam too, and the possibilities of this duo :D Other characters were interesting as well, and I really enjoyed the sense of togetherness that I got from Claire’s friends, and also from Liam’s side. Plus I felt the characters were quite diverse, which is always a big plus for me. Plot: The post-war, ruined world trope was very well used in The Veil, without overdoing or omitting anything significant. The pressure and friction of the post-war world was very well presented too, with a lot of tension, enough conflict and action to keep me hooked all through. The romantic tangent was probably my fav, and I’m looking forward to following how things go from here on. Writing: First person, past tense narrative from Claire’s POV. Great amount of details without going overboard with them, ie becoming too descriptive. Everything felt just right. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – and a highly attractive author name to boot :D
This was my first Chloe Neill read (shocking, I know. Shut up :p ), and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit too dystopia-like for my personal tastes maybe, I mean the whole post-war setting is really not one of my favorites, but Chloe Neill made it work for me as much as it could’ve worked. I really liked the characters, the relationships, the story. And I’m looking forward to more of the Devil’s Isle! ...more
Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The world of Under Contract was fun, a bit of the super-rich lifestyle vibe mixed in with worries and struggles of the regular working person. I liked how the differences between the two worlds augmented tension :D You can never have enough tension, mwahahaha. Characters: Tina was a tough character to fully get, for me, on a personal level. I admired her loyalty toward her family, her loving nature, but at the same time she often seemed erratic, unpredictable, and insecure. That last part there makes her a very believable character, of course, we’re not talking about that. She was very believable. Perhaps too believable, lol. Anyway, while she was fun to read about, I didn’t fall for her. Didn’t dislike her either, don’t get me wrong. Ryan was every bit the alpha male, self-made tycoon, business hotshot you’d hope for. I liked how his insecurities were a bit subtler in manifestation but so clearly there, how determined he was, how clumsy he was when it came to feelings. Actually Tine and Ryan were the pair matched in hell, because they both dealt with feels in weird ways. Made for a lot of frustration, lol, but also tension and some fun slow burn kind of romance. They also had great chemistry and had very hot one on one time, BDSM-style. Not too hardcore, I mean nothing shocking, but still not for the faint of heart, lol. I also loved the twins :D Plot: The romance was the “hook up to get out of debt” trope, with a healthy portion of tension of all possible kinds. It was intense, frustrating, a quick read and a fun ride. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, his and her POV. It was very interesting to read from two so different and yet so alike perspectives (because insecurities, failure to communicate properly, on both sides). Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, instant buy author name.
All in all, I recommend Under Contract to lovers of BDSM contemporary romance of the very hot kind, alpha males in tycoon positions, and to fans of bumpy road romances involving stubborn but fun creatures :D...more
In a Flutter: Interesting & chilling read Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The NY setting was a good contemporary scene, and I loved the atmosphere of the novel. Characters: The multi-POV helped me get to know more about not only Eve, the foundation stone of her team, but also her team members. A diverse and quirky team, to be sure, and interesting to follow both in action, and outside of it. While I found them all interesting, their stories and actions too, I wasn’t emotionally invested in any of their stories – an unfortunate effect of third person narrative with multi-POV in my case. But the cast of characters was certainly interesting. I would have liked the villain to have a little more depth, maybe, but there’s only so much you can hope for from a “hero novel”, where the focus are the good guys saving the day rather than the bad guys who get caught. Because I’m an evil reader, while I enjoy both, I tend to like the “villain novel” more, mwahahaha, where the focus is the bad guy rather than those who defeat it. Plot: The story was very intriguing from a psychological perspective, because as hostage taking procedural it presented a good and yummy dose of profiling and framing issues and such. While it wasn’t rabid action – the focus being analyzing rather than bursting in guns blazing and all – it was very tense and an exhilarating ride, all in all. I liked the plot twist near the end, and when you get there you’ll see what I mean. I also enjoyed the mystery involved in what connected the witnesses, and the little hints of mysteries to be solved in future about the team members too – like the story of Eve’s dad, for instance. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, multiple POVs. I’m not a fan of multiple POVs, though in team-based procedurals it works to give the reader a more personal view of team members, villains, so on. I liked the approach, but I can’t say I was emotionally invested in either of the characters’ stories. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – definite impulsive buy material for my procedural thriller cravings.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the series progresses, I find the concept really smart and interesting. If you’re into profiler type of stories, Hostage Taker will be a really fun read for you. It’s a good, solid read, exciting, intriguing, fast-paced enough to keep the adrenaline pumping but analytical enough to keep the grey cells engaged as well, all-through. I recommend it to profiler procedural fans, and fans of crime-solving official teams (like myself)....more
Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The urban (though historical) fantasy world of Maradaine was beyond delicious. We’ve got it all, social stratification, unrest, magic, poverty…you name it, it’s there. It made for an incredibly vivid setting, and a fascinating journey I am looking forward to take again as soon as possible. Characters: Rainey and Welling were, simply put, amazing. Rainey, devoted wife caring for her incapacitated husband, devoted mother, uber-awesome ex-Intelligence, smart and witty. Welling, brilliant deductive mind, terribly proper and polite, and I won’t lie, reminiscent of Sherlock in some brilliant/detached yet marvelously charismatic way. Where Rainey gets under skin with her care, devotion and resourcefulness, as well as kickass skills, Welling wins you over via his super-analytical mind and determination. Plus, Uncircled – so a rebel, a non-joiner by nature which I always but always love. Long story short, the characters were very well built, authentic, they had depth, they were fun and witty, and a pleasure to follow. Big like! Plot: The mystery was very intriguing and I didn’t see the solution coming, always a big plus. There’s a serial killer, which is always interesting to read about, and while the means of committing the crimes involve magic aspects, the actual motive was disturbingly regular-human with a nutjob twist, of course. I loved the pace of the novel, alert but not overlooking the investigative process procedure. Love. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, from Rainey’s and Welling’s POV. Really enjoyed the writing, Welling’s voice has a somewhat proper-English charm to it and it’s a plus for me. ...more
In a Flutter: A lovely meeting with our fav couples Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: TheOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Aug 22 2015:
In a Flutter: A lovely meeting with our fav couples Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The World of Nightwalkers has a rich, delicious world, full of all kinds of fun elements – bodywalkers, djinns, lycans, vampires, witches, shadowdellers, pheonixes aaaand so on, that’s how rich it is! – that now come together to fight with the imp god Apep. It was a delight. Characters: This is the love story of Kamen, the templar doing his best to undo the harm he has caused (unwittingly or intentionally), and a sweet little half-wraith, Vieve. Both were interesting characters, dealing with big issues of self-worth, and the way they supported each other and helped each other through some of those issues was touching and made them a great pair. I loved their chemistry and their one on one was passionate, hot and awesome. And we encounter the virgin trope in this romance, though it’s not heavily played upon. That made the whole romance even sweeter; I don’t normally respond well to sweet for some reason, but here it really worked for me. The appearances of other characters we already know was great, and the villain, Apep, got some page-time too. Enough to make you want him dead, on a couple of tangents, if you didn’t already after reading the rest of the series. Plot: The romance arc was of the slow-burn kind, virgin trope, alpha male of course, sweet and tender and awesome. The story outside of the romance involved all the couples we’ve met so far, some from other tangents too – in all, representatives of all the 12 Nightwalkers – coming together to fight against the nutjob god Apep. The read had a fast pace, but not the agitated action as much as preparing for a final showdown kind of vibe. I enjoyed that, and enjoyed the getting together of the Nightwalkers for this purpose. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, mostly Kamen and Vieve’s POV, with a few inserts from other characters where they were due. I liked the writing, and both Kamen and Vieve’s voices. Curb Appeal: Okay-ish cover, hooking blurb – all in all a good presentation, though the fact I’ve read the rest of the series was the actual “selling point”, I’ll admit.
It was a good read, it brought a good sense of closure to the Apep story and I liked the fact that the Nightwalkers had to unite in order to get things done. While I wouldn’t have missed out on reading Nightwalker, I was invested in the read and really enjoyed the romance story, I admit I wasn’t as taken with this novel as I was with others in the series. I loved the first one the most, Forbidden. The World of Nightwalkers presents a very richly-built world, good romance stories and some great fighting too. I recommend the series as a whole, and I’m quite edified that whatever Jacquelyn Frank writes is most definitely worth the read :)...more
In a Flutter: Clever concept, but not too exciting for me Fluttering Thoughts: WorldbuildingOriginally posted on May 27 2015 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books:
In a Flutter: Clever concept, but not too exciting for me Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: I liked the contemporary setting, the whole lawyers world tangent was interesting. Characters: Laura was interesting, I liked the concept of her very much. She was accomplished, smart, ambitious, independent yet not evil (divorce lawyer… yeah, evil vibes can easily make it in there, lol!). Awesome concept, but I didn’t feel anything for or about her. Not even toward the end there, when she’s attacked. Other characters were less developed though almost as present, like Anna – I would have loved more from her, a strong antagonist makes these reads shine for me -, or Joe, or Henry. Plot: The story was interesting, and it kept me guessing for a good while there. I never would have suspected who the nutjob was. Kudos for that! Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, multiple POVs – and here is where things didn’t work out for me. I don’t much like third person, and the more POVs, the worse it gets for me. The somewhat rigid, factual writing style killed my feels entirely, I’m sad to say. Personal preference, of course. One of my pet peeves also made an appearance – flashbacks. Not many, but even a few kill my enthusiasm. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – good presentation.
This was more of a 2.5 butterflies read, I think. It had a lot of potential to be a way more exciting read, but the writing style simply couldn’t have done it for me. I had no emotional response whatsoever to any of it, despite liking the concept and finding it clever. If you lean more toward a more classic, more traditional tone of writing, more facts, few thrills, it will probably do more for you. So I do recommend it if you’re into multi-POV thrillers and like a more factual writing style. Give the first chapter a read to get a proper feel for it(it’s on the CATHERINE HUNT’s website, for instance). The story was entertaining and I didn’t see the plot twist coming until it hit, something I really love in crime fiction....more
In a Flutter: McGarry charm & good girl/biker combo Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding:Originally posted on May 19 2015 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books:
In a Flutter: McGarry charm & good girl/biker combo Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: Snowflake, Kentucky was a pleasant setting and an interesting choice for Reign of Terror’s home base. I liked the whole gang versus club(family) thing going on, too, even though I’m not a rabid fan of biker stories, especially when they involve groups (call them whatever you’d like/feel appropriate). I’m not a joiner by nature, lol, so while I appreciate the value of groups/communities and loyalty, affection and all, I will admit I’m not a fan of what one might call “boys club”. That’s a subjective thing, of course. Katie McGarry presents the Terrors beautifully and makes good distinctions between a community based on integrity and loyalty and a gang, and I liked that aspect of the novel very much. Characters: Emily was lovely, though I didn’t really “feel” her all the way. I never do “feel” the utter good girl type, probably because I was a rebel by nature since infancy from I’m told, haha. I appreciated Emily’s love for her father, her gratitude, even her reverence, her manners, values and so on – she was a sweetheart. I liked her, but I wouldn’t say I loved her. Again, subjective. Oz was the bikers kid equivalent of Emily, in a way. A good kid, a biker, a bit of a dog here and there, a hottie; very devoted to his loved ones, good values, all good. Again, liked, not actually loved. I think my fav character was Olivia. I cried my eyes out, because… you’ll see when you read the novel. But I loved Olivia to bits, probably because she reminded me of my grandma quite a bit. Minus the MILF outfits vibe, lol :)) Plot: The YA romance was angsty, no triangles. Well built, good tension and pace of events. The story outside of that was interesting as well, all kinds of nuances on the good vs bad theme, and it gives you quite a bit to think about, like do you condone Meg’ actions? Do you support Olivia’s view? Do you wish you’d get a sneak view of Oz ten years from this story, lounging half-naked on his bike? Okay, maybe that last one might not be on your mind, lol, but other than that… good topics to ponder on. Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Emily’s and Oz’s POV. I liked their voices, but I can’t say I was in love with either. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, awesomesauce author name – impulsive buy material.
All in all, this was more of a 3.5 kind of read for me. But that’s because I’m not that into YA as a general rule, bikers is not necessarily a turn-on for me (at least in organized groups and in this age group). I enjoyed the Pushing The Limits series concept more, I think. More badass-ism by large, loners rather than joiners… more my kind of thing. But if bikers, YA contemporary romance and good girl meets presumably bad boy that’s actually a knight in shining armor is your thing, then most definitely jump in on this train, because Katie McGarry delivers an entertaining ride, no matter what’s your thing!...more
In a Flutter: Awesome food for thought Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The historicalOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Aug 29 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Awesome food for thought Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The historical world of Macedonia, the geopolitical context, setting, atmosphere read very authentic and well put together. It was a journey back in time, and I really enjoyed it. And I’m calling this a historical paranormal, and not a fantasy, since a lot of the basis of the world is actual history and feels very realistic even when it’s not. Characters: We have a few MCs in this novel, fact that wasn’t a thrill for me. I generally don’t respond well to more than one MC or a main couple, and for some it might make for a tougher time reading the novel, since you have to follow more than one or two story arcs. That being said, I enjoyed all the characters, Kat, Alex in particular, Zo, Jacob, Heph, even Cyn and Olympias, but I really enjoyed the rest of the significant ones too. All of them felt sturdily built, authentic, and their personalities, beliefs, choices, goals and fears all felt solid, believable, and in tune with the world of their times. Kudos on character building, in short! Plot: Each character’s arc was a story of adventure, ambition, love, getting to know themselves, mastering their abilities and flaws – the quest was different for each of them, but the journey there was exciting, super tense, and full of action. I’m looking forward to reading what happens next for each and all of them, really! Writing: Third person, present tense narrative, multiple POVs. For me, personally, that took away part of the charm of the story, but it’s a subjective thing. The writing felt era-appropriate, meaning it had that historical flair to it, and I enjoyed it. There wasn’t much humor though, which was fitting for the stories and characters, but not my personal taste :) Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking description for historical fans – Alexander the Great is a massive historical figure and a super-interesting character to study or speculate upon. So impulsive buy material for my historical cravings!
I do fully recommend it to lovers of historical fiction, also to fans of YA since there’s so much yummy to read about through the characters of the novel. I wouldn’t say I’d particularly recommend it to lovers or paranormal or fantasy since to me it felt like a very realistic read, paranormal elements being the strongest in Kat’s arc. I mean, the paranormal element was cool, but not overpowering here. All in all, I really enjoyed Legacy of Kings....more
In a Flutter: Interesting & entertaining Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: I loved tOriginally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Oct 16 , 2015:
In a Flutter: Interesting & entertaining Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: I loved the post-WWII Brighton setting, especially experiencing the environment through the eyes of these ex-special-ops. And I also really enjoyed the blend of actual historical data with fiction, I felt it was very cleverly done. Characters: Ed and Max were very interesting, but then again a few of the characters were. I must say I loved Ed for his sense of civic duty and his all-around good boy vibe, but Max, effortlessly charming, charismatic, and entirely fun was my favorite. I loved the two of them working together, because I felt they complemented each other very well and were more fun than on their own, in fact. I also enjoyed Diablo, and Ruby wasn’t bad at all, either. In short, a fun and interesting cast of magic characters – they are magicians after all, lol, and it was a twist I really enjoyed. I really loved reading about how these ex-special-ops settled back into civilian life after the war was over, though I usually dislike reading about such things (they tend to be more traumatic than dramatic for me emotionally), but in this case it was utterly fascinating due to the peculiar nature of the Magic Men and the nature of action they saw during their ops. In other words, they weren’t as traumatized as others were, due to their truly special kind of ops. Plot: The murder mystery tangent was quite interesting and thought-provoking, though as things went on I think I was pretty sure who the real killer was about half-way into the novel. Don’t let that ruin your mood to give The Zig Zag Girl a try, though! I’ve read zounds of mysteries and seen almost all the detective shows and movies I could possibly have seen. The Zig Zag Girl was entertaining and had me guessing for a good while, and that’s actually tough to pull off. I have these plot-instincts of doom and usually predict what’s going to happen based on the setting/info that precedes the actual plot twist. In short, I’m saying it was a satisfying mystery, with a pretty exciting end. In fact, the last part of the novel was the most exciting, as it’s to be expected with the mystery-solving rush. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, from Ed and Max’s POV. I liked the style, it went well with the time in history the story was set in, and there was some dry humor here and there (more surrounding Max, though Ed wasn’t without either, to be fair) that I really enjoyed. I might have enjoyed even more of it, but that’s a subjective view on things, ofc – I love good humor, in all reads. Curb Appeal: Interesting cover, hooking blurb. It’s impulsive buy material for my historical mystery cravings (of which I have plenty xD).
All in all, I do recommend you give The Zig Zag Girl a try if you’re into post-WWII mysteries and settings somewhat in the vein of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories but with a modern nature of crimes & investigative twist....more
In a Flutter: Fun read! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The London setting was nice, diveOriginally posted on Jun 5 2015 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books:
In a Flutter: Fun read! Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The London setting was nice, diverse (as one would expect), and the paranormal elements (ghosts, spirit guides) were fun but not overpowering. I’d say the main element was the contemporary one, not the paranormal. Characters: The cast of characters was fun and interesting. I liked Tony, Maya and Jade. I can’t say I fell in love with either of them, but that might be due to the more-than-one POV thing – it usually has the unfortunate effect of making me feel detached from each of the characters rather than making me feel more emotionally invested in more than the one or two. Each one of them was interesting in her own way, different types of people, had their issues in their past and each one dealt with them in their own way. I enjoyed that part very much, the personal issues & solving them part, but I felt each of them might have generated a stronger character were it the sole focus. Subjective opinion, of course. I also enjoyed the Tony/Maya relationship, it felt very authentic, again with realistic issues and ways of trying to get over them, and surprisingly enough I enjoyed this tangent even though I generally only enjoy the “honeymoon” part of a romance (yes, I know, very telling of my own issues, haha, shut up! :P ). There was very little one on one time, so if you’re looking for the smex-licious kind of read, this isn’t it. I’m not saying it should have been, mind you, just pointing out the romance tangent is secondary and it doesn’t focus on sex (though it does happen, it’s mostly not on the page) but on issue-solving. Something I personally enjoyed a lot was how some characters were snarky, irreverent and sometimes down right rude – say Deirdre, for instance -, without them being “reformed” at any point. I like that in my reads. All-polite, all-proper, all-PC isn’t realistic, so it bugs me if/when I encounter it in reads. I love nuanced characters, and he occasional asshole/SOB has to make an appearance, as they do in real life, lol. Plot: The mystery part was interesting, I liked the cases Tony & co investigated, the way the stories came together – that includes the romantic tangents for Tony & Maya, and also Jade’s. There was enough action to keep me excited and enough twists and turns to keep me wondering, though the final thrill (the Suni related part near the ending, I won’t give details so I won’t spoil your read) didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat for some reason, though it should have. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, mostly from two POVs (Tony and Maya) but also including a few other POV inserts (like Jade, for instance). I liked the voices of the main characters. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my mystery/suspense/thriller cravings.
I’d love to read the first Supernatural Detective novel that gave the series its name. (For some weird reason, one novel appears on a nicely filled out Crin Claxton profile, while the second doesn’t, and they don’t show as part of a series either. It’s confusing if you like to get your book info from Goodreads, like I do, and like lots of others do as well. But meh, it happens. I do hope it will be resolved to show the series properly and assigned to the informative author profile up there.) That’s where Tony is introduced and her private investigator career involving ghosts begins, but I read Death’s Doorway without reading the first and had no trouble, so I say you can safely read it as a standalone too. But I do recommend trying to read them in order, it generally helps with series involving the same main characters :D
All in all, this was a fun read, with interesting characters and an intriguing story. It was more of a 3.5 butterflies read, for subjective reasons. I recommend it to lovers of diversity, paranormal mysteries that involve ghosts and private investigators, and romantic stories with realistic issues....more
In a Flutter: Interesting start of a new series Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The worlOriginally posted on June 2 2015 at Butterfly-o-Meter Books:
In a Flutter: Interesting start of a new series Fluttering Thoughts: Worldbuilding: The world of the Last True Vampire series is interesting, with a blend of cool paranormal elements – vampires, dhampires, berserkers, original being (Vessel) – that come together in an interesting way (for instance the vampires – dhampires link). I really love new takes on paranormal worlds, and this series shows a lot of promise in that regard. Characters: I didn’t respond to Mikhail at all, I’m afraid. He’s the old world kind of vampire, a bit pedantic in tone and with little to no sense of humor coming through. Alpha as he may be, that makes him kind of boring to me, if I have to be entirely honest. He was king material, but not the fun, interesting kind of material as far as I’m concerned. But he was alpha to the core, uber-protective, entirely taken with his love interest and devoted. Claire was the kind of heroine I love to read about in paranormal romances, independent, nimble on her own feet, daring, with a healthy sense of humor. However, I felt it slowly dwindled to a halt being beside Mikhail. Because I didn’t feel Mikhail, I didn’t feel their chemistry or their romance. But maybe that’s just me. And I am quite picky when it comes to these things, and evil. There is something kind of sweet and a bit rushed as far as the romance went, and when you don’t feel the physical attraction tangent between the characters, it kind of leaves you wanting. As you know, I’m all for insta-lust and passion, and I do feel that attracts rushed romance, but I just didn’t feel it here. I loved other characters though, like Ronan (funny, strong, charming – and par of the main couple of story #2 in the series xDDD). It must be said I really found the antagonists interesting, the Sortiari which are Berserkers (or some of them are, at least). Strong antagonists will make for a really cool series, imho. Plot: The romance arc wasn’t too exciting for me, and seemed somewhat downplayed and a bit insta-flavored in the romance department – I didn’t respond to it much. The action tangent felt downplayed for the first part of the novel, but I really enjoyed it in the second part though. It wasn’t a terribly exciting read for me, not too alert and not exhilarating, but still interesting. I think if you’ll respond to the hero and heroine of the romance, everything else will be exciting. Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, his and her POV (mostly). I didn’t respond to his voice at all, but I did respond to hers. Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, plus vampire trope – oldies but goldies, if you know what I mean.
All in all, this wasn’t as exciting as it might have been for me, but I totally recommend it to lovers of the Anne Rice style of writing (over more current, snarky, irreverent styles, for instance), to lovers of the old vampires coming back to life trope and more classic vampire fiction fans in general. It’s definitely an interesting start to a new series, the world of the series shows great, great potential and I am looking forward to reading Ronan’s story because him I really liked in this novel :D...more