Soulbound is Kristen Callihan’s 6th Darkest London book. It’s also, unfortunately, the second to last book in the series.
Adam, the GIM King, has spenSoulbound is Kristen Callihan’s 6th Darkest London book. It’s also, unfortunately, the second to last book in the series.
Adam, the GIM King, has spent centuries searching for his soul mate. When he’s called to make Eliza May into one of his GIM, he knows he’s finally found her. Eliza is the one person who could lift the curse Queen Mab placed on him all those years ago. Panicked at the thought of losing her, Adam makes the mistake of chaining Eliza to his side. After months locked in a silent battle Eliza manages to escape, only to run straight into Mab’s clutches. Now they must work together in order to defeat Mab once and for all.
After seeing the way Adam treated Eliza throughout Evernight, I was a bit skeptical about how Callihan would deal with their relationship dynamic. There was an immense power imbalance between the two established that had me worried. Luckily, Callihan did an excellent job of leveling the playing field and making it understandable that Eliza would slowly forgive Adam for what he had done.
One of the best things about Soulbound was seeing how the events going on with Adam and Eliza were causing a ripple effect throughout the supernatural community. It gave what they were doing a great sense of urgency by showing how it was negatively impacting main characters from previous books in the series.
I would only advise people going into this book that there are several scenes that made me fidget uncomfortably. Primarily, they dealt with torture and rape. However, I will say that if you read Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books (especially Acheron) you probably won’t bat an eye at these scenes in Soulbound.
All in all, this was a great addition to the Darkest London series and has made me anxious to see what Callihan will do for the final installment.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Innocent in Death is number 24 of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series and my introduction to the books.
It’s the year 2060 and lieutenant Eve Dallas has takeInnocent in Death is number 24 of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series and my introduction to the books.
It’s the year 2060 and lieutenant Eve Dallas has taken a case involving a young teacher’s murder. The case seems like a standard poisoning, but Eve is having trouble building a good list of possible suspects. The young teacher seemed honestly well liked in the community with no real enemies. On the home front, Eve is battling her own insecurities as an old flame from her husband’s, path has suddenly returned.
I devoured this book in less than 24 hours, it was pretty spectacular. I loved the futuristic and gritty world. It gave everything a great almost film noir tone to the story. The hard edge really complimented the eclectic cast of characters.
Eve was the highlight of this for me. She’s a spectacular heroine who has a slightly skewed perspective of the world compared to everyone around her. I liked that in this installment we saw a vulnerability in Eve that offered a balance to the tough and highly competent homicide detective.
While I loved this as an introduction to Eve Dallas and her world, I’m not sure if I would’ve enjoyed this story as much if I had already been familiar with everything. I really enjoyed how all the drama between Eve and Roarke played out. However, the main mystery lost my interest toward the end. Call me cynical, but when the villain was unveiled I couldn’t drum-up the expected horror over it. So, the drawn out ending centered around the murderer bored me.
Despite this, I really enjoyed Innocent in Death and can’t wait to pick-up another book in the series....more
Unbearable Desire is the fourth book in Vivi Andrews Lone Pine Pride series. After reading and enjoying Andrews' Serengeti Shifters series, I was pretUnbearable Desire is the fourth book in Vivi Andrews Lone Pine Pride series. After reading and enjoying Andrews' Serengeti Shifters series, I was pretty excited to dive into this one.
Over a decade ago, Moira had a brief fling with Hugo, a fellow bear shifter. When he invited her to join the Lone Pine Pride, she had believed that he was inviting her to share his life. Her hopes were dashed when she arrived on his doorstep a week later. Hugo hadn't meant to give Moira the impression that they would be together, because his heart already belonged to another. Despite the rejection and humiliation, Moira decided to stay with the pride and to build a life for herself. Over ten years later, Hugo is starting to regret his decision but isn't sure how to go about mending fences.
Unbearable Desire is about crushed expectations, which is one of my favorite tropes. When Moira first met Hugo, she had dreamt of a happy future with him and quickly found that she had put the cart before the horse. Hugo, for his part, let the idea of a grand forbidden love blind him to any other relationship. I liked that both parties were, essentially, in the wrong and that Moira didn't spend all the intervening years pining away for Hugo. While she's still attracted to him, she has ruled out the possibility of them having a relationship. So, she's a little baffled and pretty bitter when Hugo suddenly seems to change his mind after all these years.
I only wish this had been a little longer to give Moira and Hugo more time to work things out and ease into the relationship. Things were pretty rushed once Hugo decided to pursue Moira, with a lot of things happening in quick succession. The pacing made the catalyst at the end feel like a rash decision for Moira, rather than one she came to naturally and would stick to. While I felt Moira may regret her decision, I was positive that Hugo wouldn't. Andrews did an excellent job of showing Hugo get closure with his long term obsession.
All in all, Unbearable Desire was a great quick read. If you like Vivian Arend or Dana Marie Bell, you'll find something to enjoy here.
***ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***...more
A cute series of comics centered on the author's various experiences with the dating scene and people's perceptions of her single status. The style reA cute series of comics centered on the author's various experiences with the dating scene and people's perceptions of her single status. The style reminded me a little of Kate Beaton. I would recommend this to people looking for a quick read and a few good laughs. ...more
Dead Heat is the long awaited fourth book in Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series. While this series can be read without reading the Mercy ThompsonDead Heat is the long awaited fourth book in Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series. While this series can be read without reading the Mercy Thompson books (to which it has strong ties), I would highly recommend reading the Alpha and Omega stories in order, due to the world's politics.
Taking a trip down to Arizona to buy a horse and see an old friend should’ve been a simple journey for mated werewolves, Anna and Charles Cornick. Unfortunately, things rarely go as planned for the pair, as they quickly find themselves in the middle of an investigation. Something has been hunting children in town and has made the mistake of attacking a family considered Pack. All signs are pointing to the Fae, even though they’ve all quarantined themselves away. Anna and Charles will have to step lightly as they look into the attack to avoid tipping the scales on the cold war between the Fae and humans.
At this point in the series, most of the dust between Anna and Charles has settled. They seem to have reached a point in their relationship where they’re both feeling secure and that shows here. There’s some mild tension between them about the possibility of a baby, but that takes an extreme backseat compared to the other things happening. I’m a huge fan of internal conflict between protagonists, so I definitely missed the tension in Charles and Anna’s relationship throughout Dead Heat.
I will say that the main plot featuring a hunt for the Fae abducting children was great and made-up for the lack of conflict between Charles and Anna. However, this side of the story was extremely slow to get going, for which I blame the horses. There were a lot of horses in this book. If the actual animal wasn’t in the scene, there was a good chance that someone was probably talking about one. It was clear that Briggs did a lot of research into the subject, but all the horse talk really bogged the book down in places. I also would’ve liked to have spent more time with Joseph, the old friend that Anna and Charles went to see in Arizona. His character played a major plot in the story, but had very little actual page time. This was disappointing since Joseph had the potential to carry a lot more emotional weight by giving him more face to face interaction with the other characters rather than just talking about him.
All in all, Dead Heat was a fairly good installment to the Alpha and Omega series. I’ll be curious to see if Briggs has any plans to write another book featuring Charles and Anna though. Throughout the book it felt like their story had basically wound down.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Radiance by Grace Draven is the first book in her new Wraith Kings series. The book had first been published in short installments on her blog beforeRadiance by Grace Draven is the first book in her new Wraith Kings series. The book had first been published in short installments on her blog before getting released as an ebook.
Ildiko and Brishen, are the royal spares in their respective families. Each only important enough for a marriage of convenience to strengthen the relationship between the Kai and humans. Issue is that humans tend to flee in terror at the sight of Kai, who are armed with sharp teeth and claws. The Kai are equally off-put by human features, believing the way their eyes roll around in their sockets creepy. Despite their misgivings, Ildiko and Brishen are determined to be allies against a brewing battle over trade routes and the poisonous atmosphere of court.
It’s hard not to gush about this book because there was just so much that I adored about it. The slow build-up of a relationship between Ildiko and Brishen was wonderful. I loved how honesty between them was often painted in a courageous light and was the foundation they built their relationship on. Watching them overcome their knee-jerk reactions to each other’s appearance was also a delight. It’s hard to find a romance where both parties think the sight of each other is disturbing and rather hideous. The funny thing is that Draven did a great job of making the things the Kai found creepy about humans believable. Quite a few times in the story I sat there going “huh, I guess that would be a little odd.”
Aside from the relationship, there was also an intriguing political plot occurring in the background. From the epilogue (which acts as more of a teaser for the second book) it seems this will be more of the focus for the next book. It’s the political machinations at work that often had me thinking that things will never be smooth sailing for Brishen or Ildiko. Too much is at play and working against them in ways neither expected. So, I’m on the edge of my seat to discover how they’ll manage to continue forward and remain happy.
I can tell that this is going to be a book that I continually try to force people to read. If you like high fantasy with a strong romance, then I suggest you check this out. I’m already stalking Draven’s website to see when the next novel will be released....more
First Drop of Crimson is the first spin-off novel set in Jeanine Frost’s popular Night Huntress universe. It's a standalone that focuses on Denise andFirst Drop of Crimson is the first spin-off novel set in Jeanine Frost’s popular Night Huntress universe. It's a standalone that focuses on Denise and Spade, who are two reoccurring side characters from the main series.
A demon has slowly been killing off members of Denise’s family. After she witnesses the demon murder her cousin, he makes her a deal. Find the relative who skipped out on a bargain with him and she won’t meet the same fate. With Cat and Bones out of country, Denise enlists the assistance of the only other vampires she knows, Spade. With Spade’s help, Denise has to track down her errant relative, who is hidden in the vampire community, before the demon runs out of patience.
It’s been a couple of years since I read a book set in the Night Huntress world. While I adored the early books in the main series and loved Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I can’t say that I felt as strongly about First Drop of Crimson. It fell firmly in the “it was ok” category for me.
The main reason for this is that Spade and Denise were pretty plain characters. They had very little to make them standout when surrounded by memorable characters, like Ian and Mencheres. It didn’t help that the snarky vampire, Ian, was given the best lines or that Bones' appearance breathed some life into a plot that had started to feel meandering. It got to the point where I was reading more to catch glimpses of the other characters than to find out what would happen to Denise or Spade.
All in all, First Drop of Crimson wasn't bad, just nothing really stood out about it. This works as a nice side story for fans of the series. However, I wouldn't recommend it to people who are looking to get into the Night Huntress books. If you're contemplating starting the series, I would suggest to just take the plunge and begin with the first book, Halfway to the Grave. ...more
Dreaming Spies is the 13th Mary Russell book by Laurie R. King. It’s a frame narrative, where the beginning and end of the novel act as a bookends toDreaming Spies is the 13th Mary Russell book by Laurie R. King. It’s a frame narrative, where the beginning and end of the novel act as a bookends to a flashback story.
Mary Russell returns home one evening to find Sato, an old friend from Japan, bleeding in her kitchen. As Sato describes the circumstances that brought her to England, Mary discovers that the blackmail case she worked on with Holmes in Japan may not be entirely closed. Now, they must work to unravel what happened in Japan before a public figure is forced to comply with the extortioner's demands.
One of the things I really love about the Mary Russell series is how often the stories are set outside of England. It’s always a lot of fun to see both Mary and Holmes stumble their way across an unfamiliar country while trying not to stick out like sore thumbs. However, I sometimes miss the cozy atmosphere England tends to have in these novels. So, I was pretty thrilled to find that this book had a good mix of both worlds. The beginning and end take place in England with Mary firmly in her comfort zone as she investigates, while the middle of the story is set in Japan.
As always, Mary is a wonderful character and I love seeing the quiet relationship she has with Holmes. However, Mary's first person perspective didn't work well for this book. Dreaming Spies is primarily the character Sato's story. It’s that character who drives the majority of the action and influences the outcomes of the mystery. Mary and Holmes's actions, unfortunately, do very little to influence the plot. I think they both could've been removed from the story entirely and the whole affair would've ended the same way. This was incredibly frustrating as Mary was regulated to pressing her face against the glass as she watched the main action of the flashback and present day stories unfold.
Despite this, I still enjoyed following Mary and Holmes on another of their adventures and in a new setting. I only wish Mary had more influence on the plot as the story often dragged since she was regulated to the role of mere observer. If you're a fan of the series, I strongly recommend picking this one up. If you're wanting to try a Mary Russell book, then I suggest you start with A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
Advance Reading Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review...more
Fox shifter, Chloe, has been pining after Jim Woods for four years. AfterFigure of Speech is the 4th book in Dana Marie Bell’s Halle Shifter’s series.
Fox shifter, Chloe, has been pining after Jim Woods for four years. After nothing but constant rejection, Jim is finally ready to admit to the bond he shares with Chloe. There's nothing standing in their way now, except a barrage of hunters and mercenaries targeting Chloe.
Dana Marie Bell is great at getting you invested in the side characters who populate her stories. So, after seeing all of Jim and Chloe’s angst in the previous books, I was pretty excited about reading their story. Unfortunately, I was a little let down by the direction their book took.
Prior to this, Jim had been adamantly against a relationship with Chloe, due to their age difference. This created a lot of drama between the two given their “fated mate” connection. At the very start of Figure of Speech, this is resolved, via Jim now being a wolf shifter and recognizing the bond. I was a little uncomfortable with this solution. It seemed too easy and convenient of a way to solve a conflict that had been built-up over the course of several novels. I had a hard time believing that Jim would just dive into the relationship because he's now a shifter. On top of this, Jim's past actions were excused away as misunderstandings or given noble explanations. It all added up to me feeling a little cheated. I wish that Bell had given the same weight to Jim’s reluctance and past deeds that she had in previous novels, instead of pushing it aside to concentrate on action plot.
Other than that, I thought this was a fairly good installment to the series. I’ll be curious to read about several side characters in the future (especially Barney). If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll find something to enjoy here.
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review....more
Cruel Beauty is the first book in a new fairytale retelling series by Rosamond Hodge.
Before she was born, Nyx’s father made a deal with the Gentle LoCruel Beauty is the first book in a new fairytale retelling series by Rosamond Hodge.
Before she was born, Nyx’s father made a deal with the Gentle Lord that on her seventeenth birthday she would marry him. Long ago, the Gentle Lord (aka Ignifex) cursed their village to be separate from the rest of the world and let his demons run rampant. The only way to break the curse is to kill him. So, for all her life Nyx has been training to one day murder her husband. When the day finally arrives, she finds that life as his wife is not exactly what she has expected. It is both more horrifying and better than she had been raised to expect. Now Nyx must balance her conflicting feelings about her husband with her sense of loyalty towards the village.
Cruel Beauty mixes elements from Beauty and the Beast with Blue Beard to create a really dynamic story. Hodge has a dark and lyrical writing style that really helped build-up the slightly skewed atmosphere of the book. I also loved her characterization of Nyx. She was not a perfect flower who gladly took-up the mantle as her village’s savior. It’s something that Nyx is clearly, and understandably, bitter about. Her bitterness offered a nice balance to her deep sense of loyalty to those around her. Her demeanor also made it more understandable that both her and Ignifex would enjoy each other’s company.
My only complaint about the book was the direction it took towards the end with the curse. I had hoped for a more complicated ending rather than the typical Beauty and the Beast final result.
All in all, a great read that I would recommend to fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles or Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series. ...more
A one shot manga set in the Country of Clover centered on Alice’s relationship with assassin turned personal assistant, Gray Ringmarc. The stand-aloneA one shot manga set in the Country of Clover centered on Alice’s relationship with assassin turned personal assistant, Gray Ringmarc. The stand-alones for this series haven’t worked very well for me. This one was the worst of the bunch. Aside from feeling rushed it was also extremely disjointed. Still, I enjoyed seeing familiar characters and going back to the mafia version of Wonderland....more
Lord's Fall is book 5 in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series. Originally, I had no intention of reading this, but after enjoying Pia Saves the Day, I dLord's Fall is book 5 in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series. Originally, I had no intention of reading this, but after enjoying Pia Saves the Day, I decided to give it a shot.
Newly mated couple, Pia and Dragos must divide and conquer if they hope to make amends with the elves and find two replacement sentinels for the Wyr demesne. Since Dragos is the reason for the elves hostility, it's Pia who takes on the peace mission. Issues arise when someone gets their hands on a god machine and goes on an elf murdering/possessing spree.
Honestly, this was boring. Harrison is at her best when she concentrates primarily on relationship conflicts between people. When she focuses too much on political conflict, or tries to build-up to a war, it doesn’t work for me. Things always seem too easy for the protagonists when she goes for the political/war plot. This was the case here since the minute Dragos reconnects with Pia , I knew how the rest of the story was going to play out. There were no real surprises and the characters barely had any struggles.
What kept me reading were the brief flashes of conflict between the characters. I liked seeing Pia and Dragos struggle for balance in their relationship and Pia shakily begin to trust her guards. However, it wasn’t enough to make me interested in reading about the couple any further than this.
Unless you really adored Pia and Dragos in Dragon Bound, I wouldn’t recommend Lord’s Fall. ...more
Pia Saves the Day is a novella in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races, series, which takes place between books 6 and 7. It features Pia and Dragos from DragonPia Saves the Day is a novella in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races, series, which takes place between books 6 and 7. It features Pia and Dragos from Dragon Bound as they deal with the aftermath of an accident.
Essentially, this is your basic amnesia plot. Dragos is left without his memories after a construction site collapses on him. Without any knowledge of who he is, Dragos is dangerous and highly volatile. So, Pia takes it upon herself to help her husband regain his memories (or at least come down from the mountain where he’s taken refuge).
Harrison has featured Pia and Dragos a lot in the series, with several novellas and 2 full length novels dedicated to them. They're not my favorite Elder Races couple, but I enjoyed them here. Pia has enough angst around the situation to keep the story interesting and I liked that the resolution to the story wasn't entirely cut and dry.
All in all, This would be a good read for fans of the series looking for something quick to read. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone novella. It’s very short (clocking in around 100-ish pages) and a lot of the emotional impact relied on references/knowledge of past events in the series. However, if you read and enjoyed Dragon Bound you’ll probably find something to like here. ...more