*3.5 stars* THE CURSE OF GREMDON is a very unique mix of Fantasy and Romance that really captivated me. UsuaOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*3.5 stars* THE CURSE OF GREMDON is a very unique mix of Fantasy and Romance that really captivated me. Usually Fantasy novels will focus less on the romance and more on the wars and conflicts going on in their respective worlds, but TCoG has equal portions of both, and that's what I loved about it. I'm a romance junky, but I'd occasionally also like to pick up a Fantasy novel. There aren't too many of them that have a good romance to back the story up, so I usually steer clear of it. That's why I'd rushed to grab the chance to read TCoG when I read the synopsis and it started going on a tour, and boy, was I glad I did.
Arianna and her brother are orphans. In order to support him, she has to train and fight to be an Elite Warrior. She's one of the best in her field, but there's just one teensy problem - everytime she's near Tardon, she feels a spark between them. Thing is, women are not allowed to have sex, only those that are given as gifts to the male warriors are permitted the pleasure (sexism is so unbecoming of them! Grrr). Arianna controls her urge well, but it is when her brother falls prey to the deadly glutovirus fever, Tardon comes to her aid by providing her a place to stay in his room in the castle, that with both of them alone in the same room, a fire is ignited within them.
But the secret does not stay hidden from the Elders for very long (only a few seconds, actually. They were ripped apart before they did it), and now the two of them are tasked with an impossible mission, one that killed all others who partook it before - to travel beyond the Outer Circle, into the forests of Gremdon and retrieve the sap from the Tree of Life. Without it, the people will die, but to go beyond the walls of the city is to fall to the curse and turn into one of those hideous creatures, like all the others who went before them.
But as they travel futher out, they discover treachery and betrayals, and an ultimate battle to save their city from the ones who are truly evil...
Arianna was a very strong, very resilient woman who would struggle all the way to the end. When an Enforcer (man who are much stronger than warriors but too stupid to be one) caught her in Tardon's bed, he had her neck in his grip, hanging her like nothing but she still continued to fight him. And after the Enforcer dropped her on the ground and she was burning in the inside because of the Elder's magic, she still continued to stay conscious and fight it. She's amazing. Not only that, she is a very sensual woman and she gives voluptuous a whole new meaning, I tell you! Tardon couldn't stop harping on about her overflowing breasts and imagining it burst her vest! Haha, I'm messing with you, but yes, Tardon pointed out that fact a number of times.
As for Tardon, he is the best elite warrior there is in the castle, but he is what the saying calls, "brawn without brains". Not necessarily without brains, just not that much grey matter in that thick skull of his. Lol, but he is a very desirable male. He's strong, he's caring, and um, he's good in bed. 'Nuff said.
The plot wasn't an overly-fantastical one, and I took away that 1.5/5 because it got a little dull sometimes. But there was action (plenty of fightin'), adventure, suspense, and best of all, romance. There wasn't too much emphasis on the last bit. Like I said, it's all about the balance in here. When Arianna and Tardon ventured out into Gremdon, I was so unsure of their fate! But when they saw all those beautiful sceneries, the ones they had before the "curse" descended upon them, it was very heartwarming. Very heartwarming to see them finally acting on their feelings, being happy, and when they finally decided to free the people from the "curse". You'll see the reason for the quotation marks after you've read the book.:)
Overall, I thought this was actually a pretty above average Fantasy novel - the reason for the conflict and conflict itself were a little typical, but I loved the romance and action. It isn't common for a Fantasy book to have that balance, and I read it in two sittings. I'd consider this a very good find! I'd recommend this to any Fantasy fans out there who also wants a little romance.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It couldn't have been more perfect than this. This...this is utter perfection personified! There wasn't muchOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
It couldn't have been more perfect than this. This...this is utter perfection personified! There wasn't much lesser-Brotherhood action in this one, but the romance between Rhage and Mary...That's just what romance is all about! That's how you write and develop a love story, not like those tragic crap that is Romeo and Juliet. I cried for them, worried for them, but the HEA (happy ever after) was totally worth that temporary cesspit of misery. I'm telling you, that was the perfect ending to a brilliant story.
Rhage has been cursed to become a beast, which he has no control over, everytime he's hurt, angry, or too wound-up with energy. The beast doesn't know who's friend and who's foe, it'll just gobble up whoever's in it's path. He's a handsome guy, but he'd do without it to feel normal. He's got to visit those whores at the nearby club to constantly release some tension and energy, and he hates it.
Mary Luce is a psychiatrist for autistic kids, but is now volunteering at the Suicide Prevention Centre to pick up calls and counsel through the phone. She's been diagnosed with cancer - again - and she's working hard to keep herself busy herself from thinking about her detoriating health. But when she meets John, a pre-transition warrior, she and John will be brought to the Brotherhood to explain things to John (Mary to be a translator since John is mute and needs to use ASL). And when she's there, she meets Rhage and sparks fly.
Rhage is temporarily blinded after changing back from being the beast and is still recuperating, but when he stumbles upon Mary and hears her soothing voice, a reaction is triggered within him, and he must find out more about her. But humans are forbidden to be brought into the Brotherhood, and even if she were allowed into the mansion, everytime Rhage is near Mary, the beast also wants to come out to play...
If you've read my summary, then you'd know that LOVER ETERNAL focuses primarily on the relationship development between Rhage and Mary, the Hollywood potential and average brunnette. Mary's self-esteem is beyond low, so when Rhage takes notice of her, she keeps pushing him away, not wanting to be a charity case. I like how Ward did that, I mean, how she slowly lets Rhage into Mary's heart, and how Mary resists at the start.
Rhage is beyond AWESOME! He is such a heartbreaker, and he's very self-sacrificial. He absolutely charmed me, much more than Wrath or Zsadist or any one of the brothers. And it's not his looks either. The way he treated Mary, the way he fought for her right to remain in the Brotherhood's mansion, the way he protected her... Oh man.. I loved him so much! Oh, and you should see Rhage with a cherry. Hahaha, he totally charmed Mary with it. A cherry! And whenever he's with Mary, I swear, they are the cutest, most romantic, most compatible couple I have ever seen.
Even though I am an action-romance-junky, this book will always be my favourite in the BDB series. I think the romance was so good that it trumped the lack of action. I'd gladly not have the action to read more on Rhage and Mary. I wish there was a novella for him and Mary, not Bella and Zsadist..:( There were still fight scenes, and they didn't have sex until way past the middle of the book, but you wouldn't even take notice of it. I loved how Rhage courted Mary and earned her trust. Mary's so smitten she went a little cuckoo when she heard that Rhage has been with another woman (whore) that night that she actually took initiative to, y'know.. And she's really the sweet and soft woman.
Needless to say, I love Ward's writing style and the way she plans a book. To be able to handle so many POVs is not an easy feat to organise, even though I don't like multiple POVs cause they slow down the pace. It serves a purpose, yes I know, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, and I'm only interested in the protagonists. I'm sure I'm not the minority in this.
I loved the humor and sarcasm when the brothers and Butch banter. They. Are. HILARIOUS! And in this book, you can add in Mary's innocence. Rhage teases her for it! But she's very lovable when she's not in her element. You should see this part, they are absolutely so endearing when they're together:
Keeping his back to her, he stood up and stripped. With some finessing, he managed to get himself under the covers without flashing her a glimpse of what the front of him was up to. That monstrous arousal was nothing she needed to know about.
He faced away from her, lying on his side.
"Can I touch it?" she asked.
His erection jerked, as if volunteering to be the "it". "Touch what?"
"The tattoo. I'd like to… touch it."
God, she was so close to him, and that voice of hers—that sweet, beautiful voice—was magic. But the hum in his body made him feel like he had a paint mixer in his belly.
When he stayed quiet, she murmured, "Never mind. I don't—"
"No. It's just…" Shit. He hated the distance in her tone. "Mary, it's okay. Do whatever you like."
If you haven't read DARK LOVER or you've skipped LOVER ETERNAL, I recommend that whatever you do, read Book 2. You may miss out certain events if you've skipped Book 1 (DARK LOVER), but I assure you, you'd want to miss the facts to read this wonderful piece of literature. It's... You won't regret it. 'Nuff said.
You know how we get small glimpses of Bella? I've read the synopsis for LOVER AWAKENED, and I know that Bella's gonna be The One for Zsadist. But she's a little too bold for my liking. She's practically throwing herself at the guy. Aaaand I hate it when a girl keeps staring at a guy. I don't know why, but I think it's, well, not right. A little immoral, rude, and not right. I know that it's the only way to get close to Z, but it's just...a little too bold for my liking.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
LOVER AWAKENED is a very dark, very intense book. Lots of misery and tragedy. Personally I like dark and intOriginally Posted at A Bookalicious Story.
LOVER AWAKENED is a very dark, very intense book. Lots of misery and tragedy. Personally I like dark and intense books, dark means that there will be action, and the hero and maybe heroine will know how to kick some real, tough ass, and intense means that I will like the writing style of the author cause the novel can incite deep emotions in me. But this is the first time that I say there's a limit to all these. Not that I didn't enjoy LA, I liked the romance, the action and the Brotherhood plenty, but I couldn't stomach how miserable it made me feel at the end. Lol, yes, it is that intense.
Zsadist is the odd ball in the Brotherhood who has deep, permanent emotional - and physical - scars from an abusive, horrifying past. Z doesn't like to get close to people, the proximity scares him, and he doesn't drink from a female vamp's vein but from a human's. That would normally not be enough to sustain a male vamp, moreover a warrior, a Brother, but that's how strong Z is, even without proper nourisment. (Imagine feeding from tofu once ever alternate day or something and fighting street thugs. Yeah, I think that's a good analogy.) So Z would never have thought that his life would actually have a hint of romance in it.
Bella is part of the aristocrat in the vampire society, a sheltered female with a protective brother and 2 doggens to wait on her and her family (brother and mother only). She's only ever been in one relationship before, but that guy proved to be a coward and they went their separate ways. Who would've thought she has a thing for dangerous males, and when she sees Z, all she can think is to get close to him, to know him. But what she discovers is a man in need, a man who has been hurt but has never been healed. And she still wants him.
But a terrifying lesser, if you'd remember Mr. O from the previous instalments, has become obsessed with Bella ever since he set eyes on her, cause when he sees her, he sees his deceased wife. Well, he's majorly screwed up upstairs, violent, one-track minded, very smart, and the Omega seems to really like him. A very dangerous combination. And when he gets his hands on Bella...
I loved to watch how Z started warming up to Bella. Like Rhage with Mary, and Wrath with Beth, Bella started to change Z for the better. I liked those parts. Haha, esepcially when Bella went into her needing period where the male has to "serve" the woman by having sex with her or the woman goes into intense pain. Hahahah, and after that Z was SPENT!XD And when Z became protective of Bella, it was very heartwarming even if he's methods aren't always conventional.
Anyway, other than Z's parts, I wasn't very taken by Bella. I've mentioned this in my review of the previous book, LOVER ETERNAL, that Bella's a little too bold for me. It's not that apparent in AWAKENED, but well, it's still there, and I thought it bordered on pesky. But that's what got through to Z cause he kept pushing her away, and if she took the hint, their thing together would never have happened, so yeah, I guess it's good for their relationship.
As always, I immersed myself into the world of the Brotherhood, and I loved it. I loved them dark and mysterious, and I read LOVER AWAKENED in one sitting. I wasn't wow-ed by the book, but I'm just somehow addicted to them, the Brotherhood. I loved the way the brothers bantered with each other like carefree boys, and how Butch is totally integrated into the Brotherhood's fold. Butch is so full of bullshit! Hahhaha, his sarcasm and wit is hilarious! He brightens up every scene he's in.
Similar to the previous two books, I don't really agree with Ward's writing style the way she alternated POVs between multiple characters. It serves a purpose, but I don't like the way I'm cut off when something interesting or major is happening with a particular character. Especially when the something happening involves Z and/or Bella.
The reason why I took that one star away from the five was because I really don't see the necessity of that death at the end. IT WAS TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR AND STUPID! &*(^&%^$^%#$%$^&*%(&! I don't want her to die.... That was the too dark and intense part. Z's and Phury's past was indeed very heartbreaking and traumatic, but I was preparing myself for the worst, seeing as how broken Z was. But that death at the end....
Anyway, I thought that until the ending, LOVER AWAKENED was a fantastic read that contains everything a Paranormal Romance fan will want - action, suspense, thrill, romance, gore, and heartbreak. I loved Z and Bella when they're together, especially when Z's not being an idiot thinking he's too filthy for Bella to touch and to be close with. Ok he's not being an idiot, I know it wouldn't have been convincing if he let Bella into his life that easily, but I really like the times when they're, well, intimate physically.
A very recommendable read, just like its prequels.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed with BIND ME. Looking at that gorgeous, very suggestive cover andOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed with BIND ME. Looking at that gorgeous, very suggestive cover and unique synopsis, my expectations were pretty high. But I think the main reason why I didn't like it that much stems from me recently reading a mighty awesome Erotica-Contemp-Romance-light BDSM book that I highly recommend it to all romanceaholics (FIFTY SHADES series!!), I absolutely loved it so much so that I'll probably compare all the other Eroticas I'm going to be reading from here on out. So this book didn't quite make the cut for me.
A Brief Summary
Marley and her three other friends are bored with their lives, thinking it was time to fulfil their innermost sexual desires, no matter how sinfully wrong it was. Each of them took turns to 'fess up, they picked lots, and Marley had the "good fortune" to have at it first. And as it turns out, being a teacher always in command has made her want to relinquish that control to someone else, and thus, she opted for a BDSM one-nighter.
Reed's just handed his recent Sub who clearly has higher tolerance for pain than what he's comfortable with meting out to his friend, and is looking for a new one. He check through the club's forum for candidates and chances upon Marley. He's turned-on at the sight of her exquisite beauty, and accepts her request immediately.
Little did he know that this naturally submissive woman with dark hair and pale skin would cause the barriers around his broken heart to come crumbling down, and little does she expect to actually want something more than a one-night stand...
BIND ME was a short novel, more like a novella that I thought was a little rushed. There was some hot sex, but you don't just heal a man with a ravaged heart through lust and orgasms. That was the crux of why I didn't like BIND ME. There was no development in the romance between Reed and Marley, and no effort on Marley's part whatsoever in trying to overcome Reed's emotional barriers other than act the role of the submissive - which is pretty much lying on some surface that's probably not the bed bound up nice and tight. Conclusion's a little cheesy as well.
I liked Marley. She's cool, pretty, and when not being a Sub, she does stand up for herself. Reed is.....odd. Haha, not to say that he's not a good Dom, he's plenty good - his methods are erotic as hell (BDSM style) - but the contrast between his broken self and Dom is a little too intense. His Dom self is confident and self-assured, but the other side... He's all insecurities and jitters.
I can't say much about the plot, cause there really isn't much to go on about. If you take my above summary, add in a few sex scenes, that's pretty much it. The sex scenes were plenty hot - yes, that I can assure you - but the rest were mediocre. It kinda made me feel dirty after reading it. :/
Oh well, if you're looking for a quick, erotic read, BIND ME's the one for you. It wasn't bad, but I guess I won't be delving too fast back into this series....more
Once again, I love the FIFTY SHADES series. DARKER is as stunning as its predecessor, if not more. It was moOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Once again, I love the FIFTY SHADES series. DARKER is as stunning as its predecessor, if not more. It was more intense, more emotional, more heartaches and drama, and of course, there were more beautiful, heartwarming Ana-Christian moments.
Ana's miserable after leaving Christian - er, who wouldn't be? But not the point - and when Christian offers to take her to Jose's Photo Show, she accepts it immediately. Well, even if she can't have him, one more look's good too, true?
But when they meet again, Christian's determined to keep Ana this time, no matter what he has to change, in their agreement, or the way he treats her. Or not treat her...y'know, in their playroom?
Ana moves back into Escala, but she is still not safe. One of Christian's ex-subs, the one who also wanted more, Leila, is back with a vengeance. She's demented (like really gone batshit crazy), and she's stalking Ana and Christian. She even got the certificate to legalize carrying a weapon with her. That was when Christian had bodyguards patrolling around Ana, her workplace, and such. Ana's not happy, but who can go against Fifty when he's in his you-listen-to-me-or-suffer-the-consequence mode?
But their problems don't stop at an ex-sub gone mad, Ana's also got to deal with Mrs. Robinson, the woman whom Ana thinks is a child molester who screwed Christian up when he was fifteen, being a close confidant and business associate to her Fifty. And when she sees Christian going all tender towards his ex-subs, she can't help dam all her insecurities from rushing in and think that she will never be enough to satisfy all of Christian's needs. So, how will this end? Will Ana up and leave Christian again? How far will Christian go to keep Ana by his side?
Ok, I'm not doing the synopsis any justice. There was a lot happening, and I can't spill all the goodies in one shot, right? So the above minefield is only a simplified times 10 gist of the story. Anyway, AHHH! I loved DARKER so much! I thought I wouldn't like it as much as Book 1 initially, but as I continued reading, it became so emotionally intense I actually cried, not teared, cried...thrice! First time was because it was very saddening, then it became tears of joy. I tell you, James is one hell of a writer.
I said that I didn't like the front that much (well, not really "didn't like", more of a 4 stars than 5 stars didn't like) because Ana was getting bolder. I liked her meek yet quietly-strong character in Book 1, so her being bold was a little unnerving, and frankly, I'm not used to it. But then it was because of her newfound inner-strength that saved her relationship with Christian at the end of the book, so I'm lovin' her boldness now.
Another part that I liked a little less - I still like it even tho it's less likable cause I cannot not like any part of this series (Am I making sense? As my friends say, if you don't make sense, make dollars! Ok lame, moving on) - was Ana being overly obstinate when Christian does something extreme to protect her. There's a freaking killer after her, of course he's going ballistic, and rightfully so. And at the same time, there was this minor crisis going on in his company, so Ana, trying too hard to be independent, going against Christian didn't help the situation or Christian at all. But that's the only part where she was annoying, so I do still really like her. Especially when she's with Christian.:D
About Christian.... Have I ever told you how hot Christian becomes when he's jealous? Being rich has its perks, but there's something about him that makes him so......panties-combusting. Even in such a dark mood.
I like the secondary characters too, especially Taylor. He's cute. In a bodyguardy-fatherly sort of way.
DARKER focused less on BDSM this time and more of the changing scenery, though there was this one scene that was pretty intense. (See, this book is all about intensity.) Christian's willing to accomodate Ana and have more vanillas than BDSM sex, if you get what I mean, but Ana still has that naughty bone in her, and she does want a little BDSM to make things interesting. But that one scene...WOW, real hot. As for the changing scenery... Christian was telling Ana how he wanted to take her on all surfaces of his house so they went at it in the yacht that Christian owned, on the piano, billiard table, lobby table, elevator WITH people inside, you name it.
James' writing style is, once again, a stunner. She writes so beautifully! And very emotionally; Everything very vivid, very intense (again with the word), and her diction is fantastic (very unlike mine. I keep using the word "intense", and I can't seem to find a suitable word to replace it..>:|).
I like how the covers of the FIFTY SHADES series are simple yet sophisticated. It brings out the sleek, elegance but dark world of Christian Grey.
I cannot stress how much I love this book, and how much I recommend this series to any romace lovers out there. I was a little reluctant to start reading Book 1 before because I don't read Contemporary-Romance or anything Contemporary for that matter, other than Urban-Fantasy, but I did, and hell if I regretted it. The characters were amazing, the plot was intense, the writing was fantastic, especially her diction and the way James' could make you cry with the characters...This is really my favourite series of the year. Stunning. Brilliant. GAH! It was so good, so much so that I felt so emotionally bereft when the The End popped out on me..:(
I find it funny how Ana has this thing for gays. Everytime she sees one, she's like,"I like him already." Lol!
FIFTY SHADES FREED is only going to be out one month from now...NOOOOO!!:((
P.S. This review is considerably shorter cause my sentiments for DARKER is the same as Book 1's, and I don't want to repeat myself overly much.
P.P.S. This review is long overdue already, I know. But it's just so hard to write a five-star review cause I feel like I'm not doing it enough justice.:/["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
*3.5 stars* First things first: I love the cover. Seriously, I mean, look at it! It has that very soft feelOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*3.5 stars* First things first: I love the cover. Seriously, I mean, look at it! It has that very soft feel with that white and purple color combination, and the cushions.. And of course the model's absolutely beautiful. That cover is a real winner, I tell you. It was what caught my attention, then came the synopsis mentioning Greek mythology and I knew at that moment that I was a goner; I had to read DESTINED.
**Major spoiler ahead**
Psyche is the most beautiful girl of all Greece, and after having her portrait painted, she shot to stardom. Her beauty caught the attention of Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Aphrodite named Psyche her daughter, and in exchange for wealth and fame, she wanted Psyche to marry her immortal son, Eros (a.k.a. Cupid).
Eros, having been in love with a mortal girl once and brutally ditched, was furious when his mother proposed the idea in front of him and Psyche, who could be the very shadow of the girl he once loved. Psyche was adamant about opposing the idea of getting married so soon, and especially to a self-absorbed jerk like Eros. Since both of them disobeyed her so forthrightly, Aphrodite got mad and secretly commanded Eros to make Psyche fall in love with a hideous man who treated his woman badly. Eros would've done the deed gladly, thinking that beautiful women shouldn't be allowed to roam scot-free breaking men's hearts, but when he found Psyche crying in her garden (read the book to find out why she's crying), that gave him pause. He lowered his arrow of love/cupid arrow but accidentally nicked himself, and that made him fall in love with her with an all-consuming passion. HAH, all that historical Greek drama.
Anyway, since Eros can't let Psyche fall for another, he had to try his hand at meddling with Fate, and to circumvent his mother's orders and make Psyche fall in love with him. Kinda hard since her first impression of him is worse than bad and that she hates him already. But he did, and because of her listening to the advice of a petty, jealous kin, Psyche ruined Eros' plan and they had to go their separate ways. But Psyche can't let him go now, not when she has already lost her heart to him, so she embarks on a crazy adventure to win back Eros' trust, and to win the right to be by his side. Forever.
**End of spoiler zone**
Apart from a few flaws of the book (and they are pretty major), I did like DESTINED. It was a very beautiful narration of the historical fairytale of Cupid and Psyche.
I'll talk about the flaws first before I gush about the good. The biggest and most obvious flaw I spotted was the too-modern way of writing. I mean, you don't call someone a "twit" in Ancient Greece. The word hasn't even been invented in Ancient America! Lol, if there was such a thing. And you don't celebrate birthdays with cheesecakes. I mean, what? It's 2 generations after the epic Trojan War and you're bringing out cheesecakes? That's like 1900 B.C. we're talking about. And the way Psyche acted, she was practically a modern day American teenager. She was EIGHTEEN and she wasn't even married! Heck, her older sister wasn't even married. Girls in those days were eligible when they turn fifteen (or was that Ancient Egypt? But it shouldn't be far off)! The interactions were off and, well, just too modernised. If not for the modern language, I'd have gladly given this book a 4 or 4.5. I really liked it. A lot. But I do understand the dilemma that Harrell had because DESTINED is a YA novel, and to go with that genre, she couldn't use olden English.
Another thing I noticed, though significantly less important, is that Harrell switched from using the Greek gods and goddesses Roman and Greek names. For example, she used the name Aphrodite, which is the Greek counterpart to Venus, but she used the name Ceres, which was the Roman counterpart of Demeter. Really minor, but I saw it, so, just saying.
Thirdly, Helios wasn't the sun god anymore when Apollo was born. The titans were overthrown when the Olympians took over. In some texts, people believed that Apollo and Helios were one and the same, but in others, they believed that they were two separate entities. But even if they were two distinct gods, Apollo took over as sun god, so there couldn't be a Helios and an Apollo together in the book at the same time, and Apollo couldn't not be the sun god if he was in the story, which was what Harrell wrote.
Fourthly, even though the cover is gorgeous, it doesn't match the Ancient Greece setting. It was very misleading.
Anyway, now on to the things I did like. THE CHARACTERS!! I loved Eros and Psyche! Eros more because he was absolutely flawless, Psyche a little lesser because I'm not into pretty princesses. Much. Eros was, of course, drop-dead gorgeous and an impossible charmer, but under all that, he's just a guy suffering from a lost love and a really nice, kind, and loving romantic. Psyche, even though she indulges herself in crying when trouble comes along, she always stands up again, show the shit who's boss, always gets the job done and the problems solved. She's amazing, and she demonstrated great strength on her journey to find Eros after he left her. And when both of them are together, they are just one of the sweetest couples I have ever seen.
The first time I saw that our male protagonist would be Eros, I was thinking "isn't Cupid small, gay and so inconsequential"? And I saw reviewers gushing about him and his swoon-worthiness. I was so cynical about it all, but after I read DESTINED, I realised I was so wrong. Harrell made him sound so cheeky and so, well, sexy! And the way he wielded his arrows weren't gay at all. Trust me on this.
Other than their personalities, most of them had very human feelings. Like, for example, Chara, Psyche's older sister, felt jealousy and resentment towards Psyche when Chara was forced to marry an old king in the neighbouring, powerful country of Mycenae and Psyche got to have a handsome and charming god as her fiance. It made them seem more real and believable... More relatable.
The plot was fantastic. Harrell managed to balance romance, action, suspense, and all the other dynamics really well. I loved how she used the legend of Heracles' (or more commonly known as Hercules) 12 Labours and made a very clever imitation of it. The way Heracles was tricked into doing 12 instead of the original 10 labours because the person who ordered the labours done, who is King Eurystheus of Mycenae, managed to find loopholes. Harrell managed to do that. That, in itself, is a truly amazing feat. Subtle loopholes are difficult to create, and she actually incorporated her version of the 12 Labours (though Psyche's one was only 2) into DESTINED. Amazing, really amazing.
I have always harbored a deep interest in Greek mythology, and I loved how Harrell included some of the other gods and goddess as secondary characters. Hermes and Eros joked about stuff like brothers, Eros making Zeus fall for mortal women, and others. The only thing I was miffed about was that Hera wasn't such a philanthropist as Harrell depicted her to be. In all the history texts, Hera was, simply put, a B(itch). Nicely put, unkind. But well, her being a saint at heart worked in the protagonists' favor so I was actually feeling thankful that Hera was nice.
DESTINED is a beautiful debut novel about love, strength, and familial ties, cleverly using Greek mythology to portray these values. Other than the overly-mordernised language that bugged me a lot, I loved the cover, I loved the story, and I loved the characters... What more can a bibliophile ask for? I'd recommend this to YA Lit and Greek mythology fans.
P.S. I REALLY want a sequel!!!!! Sigh, but Harrell has just replied my tweet saying that she's planning a companion novel featuring a new couple! Well, at least now I still have something to look forward to.:D...more
*2.5 stars* An Urban Fantasy-Paranormal Romance Erotica that includes explicit m/m scenes, it has the actionOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*2.5 stars* An Urban Fantasy-Paranormal Romance Erotica that includes explicit m/m scenes, it has the action that I loved both on the battlefield and between the sheets, if you get what I mean.
I wouldn't lie and say I loved CHAINS OF SILVER, in fact, the reading process was rather laborious. But I wasn't lying about the action. I loved how the characters always had to fight for their lives and even navigate emotional minefields since the couples haven't been living long together and are still getting to really know each other.
Silver is an orphan, adopted into the family of a preacher, his wife, two sons and one daughter. She never was fully accepted into the family, and living in their home always felt temporary. Only Jude, her oldest foster brother ever made her feel welcomed. Enter Jude's best bud, Nick. Nick works as part-time vamp slayer and part-time waitor at the local Club Blood. (Not a very creative name, but let's not dwell on the inconsequential.)
Nick has always viewed Silver as a younger sister, sensing in her the girl that was his biological deceased one, but Silver's always had a crush on Nick, and it has been blossoming throughout the years, just like how she blossomed into the beautiful woman with silver hair she now is. And when a gorgeous, determined young woman set her sights on something, how can that something have the strength to reject her? When being with her's so natural, has been for years?
But now that Silver's come of age, she's been granted the right to open the envelope at the adopting agency that contains the only message from her biological family, and in that envelope is a way to contact her brother who was indeed alive. And mated to a female and another male. And that guy happens to be Trevor from Book 1. Now Trev's got the duty of breaking the news that Silver's actually a Were and she'll have her first change after she loses her virginity. Also, Nick's found a nest of vamps to clear, and this time, his "little" extermination escapade could very well kill him and Silver if they aren't too careful...
I thought that the plot was a little dull and boring, to be honest. Nothing ever seemed to be happening and when it does get interesting, it tends to get solved conveniently. Though after the three quarters mark it did get a hell lot more interesting, the last battle was also a little anti-climatic. It consisted more of dialogues, getting to know each other, and sex. Yes, Silver was incessantly thinking about doing the deed, even when Nick and her were going into a closed down amusement park which was most probably the location of the group of vamps they were hunting. Talk about being horny..
However, I did like Bacio's writing style; The humor and unique phrasings were almost enough to cover the dull plot. Example:
"One drink, and she already acted tipsy. The head between his legs definitely wanted to take advantage of her. But the more elevated one on his shoulders knew that playing with Silver was dangerous business."
Head between his legs? LOL.
This book is written in a selective third person point of view where it changes from mainly Silver (heroine), to Lily (protagonist of Book 1, New Orleans Threesome), to Nick (hero), to Trev and Law (heroes of Book 1), then back to Silver. It's good in a way that the shifting perspectives only got confusing a few times, justifiable considering the multiple characters that had to be included, and we got to know what all of them were thinking. Bad in a way that the second-guessing and suspense factors were hence sorely lacking.
One thing I really couldn't tolerate at the beginning was Nick's insensitivity to Silver's feelings, but he slowly became more understanding and gentle towards her, so all's comin' along just fine by me. Silver's a little childish and gay initially, but you could see her mature as she went through some real tough adversities. She was an independent girl who knew how to keep her wits about her when the shit hits the fan, and I really liked that about her. Just the part I mentioned above where she kept wanting to get laid by Nick ticked me off a little, other than that, she's totally cool.
And another thing is how the focus of the book is a little scattered. Yes, I do want to know the goings-on with the Threesome (meaning Lily, Trevor and Lawrence), but shouldn't the focal point be fixated on Silver and Nick? This should be more of their story, but a big portion of the time it reverted back to Lily, Trev and Law's POV and them having sex. I'm fine with sex scenes, it's just I really can't appreciate m/m Eroticas, y'know what I mean?
A teeeensy weensy flaw I spotted. There was one part where Silver saw a ghost in her room in the Threesome's house (and I have no idea why Bacio wrote this scene because she didn't mention anything about the apparition nor the scene anymore in the book), she was asleep in bed with Nick and she jerked up and shrieked. Here's how the scene played out:
"Someone else had joined them, and someone else watched them. Fearful of what she might see, Silver opened her eyes slowly. A small girl, about five years old, stood in a the corner of the room watching her, and Nick.
Silver startled. How the hell did that child get in here, and in the building itself? Lily had mentioned something about ghosts, but Silver thought it was just to keep her from moving in. The lights of a passing car shone in the window, passing through the little girl, and illuminating her transparency.
With a shriek, Silver sat upright, without disrupting Nick’s sleep."
Right, cause if you shriek in the middle of the night and the person sleeping beside you doesn't wake up, that's totally normal, right?
It wasn't that I didn't enjoy CHAINS OF SILVER, it was probably more of I had higher expectations and CoS didn't quite meet them. But otherwise, I thought that it was a pretty cool read, though a little lukewarm, but still fun and enjoyable.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
*2.5 stars* Let's get one thing straight - I didn't like this book. It's not that I relish in writing a badOriginally posted on A Bookalicious Story.
*2.5 stars* Let's get one thing straight - I didn't like this book. It's not that I relish in writing a bad review, but I have to keep to my code of honesty, so here goes.
Liliana "Lily" Anima has been moved from foster home to group home to foster home, and back again. She hope to find her parents one day, and dreams of the happy reunion over and over again. Even though her numerous foster parents discard her because of weird happenings that seem to revolve around Lily and the diners are all happy to see her go because of too many broken glasses, Lily has always harbored a tiny little flame of hope.
Trevor was getting his furry ass kicked by a group of newly-Turned vamps when one Lawrence Justice happened by and, philanthropist that he is, saved Trev's life. Lawrence is a 180 year old vampire who has seen much and experienced tons of heartache, but when Trev enters his life, they both feel a bond between them, a pull and lust develops.
As Lily nears her thirtieth birthday, her strange powers are making themselves more patent that she can no longer attribute all the strange occurences to coincidence. She needs to find out who she is, and how to control her powers, and who better to help her than 2 hunky Others who co-own a bookstore? But what if the truth that she finds out isn't all happiness and daisies? What if, on this journey to find her true self, she finds out that her mother is held captive by one of the most feared demon? Will she risk her two mates (yeah, the twosome became a threesome, as the title suggests) to save a mother that abandoned her at birth?
I'll name the two things that kept me reading this book: 1) This book's sequel is for a blog tour. 2) I liked Bacio's humor, some quotes that stuck, and the occasional bursts of French from Lawrence the 180 year-old vamp.
Humor example: "Something looked different about Law. It was difficult to discern, and Trev tilted his head, evaluating the vampire. He appeared harder, edgier, darker. Coming back from the verge of death could probably do that to a person, especially one who was already mostly dead."
Quote that stood out: "All she knew was that her body hurt, her throat felt raw and she desperately wanted to be back above-ground, feeling the sun’s warm rays upon her cold skin and basking in the attention of her two paranormal boys."
I liked the way Bacio phrased things; It seemed a little poetic, a little romantic, but in a modern way. And about the random bursts of French from our dear Lawrence the oldie vampire, I don't know why authors like to have them have this attribute that is to have a French background. The first few times where they go,"Mon amour" or "Ma cherie", I'll swoon and oooh-ahhh a little, but more than that it'll pass off as a cliche and it becomes, well, an unintended comedy.
Now, let's move on to the things that I didn't like about ANOT.
At the beginning, there was too much and too fast. Lily visited Trev and Law in their bookshop, and oh, they are so handsome and she feel a deep gut-level pull toward them that made warmth pool in her abdomen. Yeah, cause you get high everytime you see a handsome guy, is that it?
There were SO MANY flashbacks in between the CONVERSATION between Lily, Trev and Law when they FIRST met each other. Ok, I'll explain why I capitalized those three words. "First met each other", means that nothing much has happened yet, and I am still not convinced that this book is going to be a good one. "Conversation", means that they are talking, and still no action, which equates to boring. "So many flashbacks", not only was there no action and was boring, Bacio made the book's pace even slower by adding Lily, Trev AND Law do flashbacks by the dozens.
Apart from the exponential development of their relationship and slow pace, Bacio took it upon herself to repeat things that she has already mentioned.
On to the middle and ending portion of the book. Through this, I have learnt that all voodoo witches and fortune tellers and psychics have only 2 welcome greetings: "I have been expecting you..." and "Bout time you three showed up!" First time, oh cool, she's so good at what she does! Next few times, yeah yeah, I know. If you've watched Disney's adaptation of Hercules, you would be familiar with this scene:
If you haven't watched it, then nevermind. Oh wait, scratch that. If you haven't watched it, go watch it. So, I KNOW IT ALREADY! Move on!
Anyway, back to the story. So, give me something new, something cool and mysterious but it has to be original to stand out. The plot and pace was very steady throughout, which is slow, and which means no climax. No suspense. This was one of the most deterring aspect of this book that made me seriously consider not finishing it. And when it reached the part that seemed most like the supposed climax, Lily just scraped through fast and easy, no fight, no major obstacles, no nothing!
Usually one thing that strikes me the most are the alpha heroes or protagonist that exudes this definite aura that screams "male". I'll go hubba-hubba and all, but Trev and Law wasn't that typical males that I like. Law was a vamp who strived to help others and who preached about history and reminisced about his past love after he had sex with Lily and Trev. Wow really? So don't fault me for not believing Lily when she says,"Not only had she finally lost her virginity to two men who were sexier than hell and attentive lovers...". And Lily was all understanding and compassion that he lost his previous lover. Ok, that's totally normal. And I like my book boys bad; They're way cooler and mysterious that way.
And Trev. He was the one who had more potential, and he turned out to be the Sub in bed! Sub's a BDSM term, by the way. He was the Dom one with Lily, but Sub with Law. So no, he didn't make the cut for me.
There were a few minor loopholes here and there. Like after she up and left for New Orleans to find Trev and Law, she still had her "fuzzy pink slippers" to wear. So it's either the slippers magically teleported from her house to Trev&Law's or she brought it along with her in her luggage, which is stupid. Another one is that Lily trekked through New Orleans in a nightgown that hung in tatters, barefoot and dirty. I get that New Orleans is a city where anything is possible, but think about it. A pretty girl in little clothing in the cold, dark streets, what do you think will happen to her? NOTHING! No hypothermia, no rapist/kidnappers, no one who gawked and said,"Lady, you look like hell", and no one who was kind enough to help. She didn't cause an uproar, or spark any episode.
Lily's a nice, kind girl who became sarcastic in the face of danger. Weird, don't you think? She's normally so understanding and gentle, then when she was kidnapped, trapped, and bound in a cave, she started going all sarcastic in her own head. Hm..
Ultimately, this book didn't do it for me. The pace was slow, the characters were mediocre (tho I did kinda like Lily. She's pretty, cool, and powerful) and this one turned out to be an m/m Erotica too, so that was the big no-no for me. I prefer the usual m/f, or m/f/m, but strictly no m/m....more
DO NOT judge a book by its cover. Seriously, this book may seem middle-gradey and younger, but there are sexual innuendoes in here. I know I've got yoDO NOT judge a book by its cover. Seriously, this book may seem middle-gradey and younger, but there are sexual innuendoes in here. I know I've got you at the sexual part, so read on, folks!
Ingenious! At first when I received the ebook from the author, well, being the Paranormal Geekfan that I am, I was thinking I wouldn't like the book, but was in a very What-the-Heck mood so I accepted it. I would never have expected myself capable of ever reading a book written in verse form (I would just faint from boredom), and then enjoy it as much as I had. It was way cool; A really modern and humorous way of retelling one of the world's most famous fairytales.
You see, there once lived 8 dwarfs in the little cottage, but the 8th one was a little different, and a little weird, so the others termed him "Creepy", and the name has stuck ever since. Creepy lived up to his name, eating insects and shaving his hair, till one day the others could stand him no more, and threw him into the cellar. Poor Creepy had a kind heart, just a little dirty, if you get what I mean. And in came Snow White one day, when his brother dwarfs were out at work, and when the old lady at the door starts coming everyday to do her wicked deeds, it's up to Creepy to save the day. But will he get accepted by the others in the end?
There really isn't a main point to the story, so my summary's a little all over the place, plus the book's only 7 pages on the Adobe Digital Edition, so I couldn't divulge all the juicy contents now, could I?
Imagine creating a poem that has 2,200 words give or take... Yeah, daunting task, doesn't it seem so? But Mullin did it. Wow, I can't even conjure a 5 paragragh worth of a half-assed poem in my Literature class, and he wrote this... Lol, that is some talent there. Not only that, he incorporated wit, humor, and he even managed to address a very controversial societal subject - the message to "not judge a book by its cover" and to not ostracize anyone just because they're different or ugly came across quite clearly in a fun and engaging way.
There was humor and a subtle sexual innuendo in the book, and a child-like quality that kept it true to its origins. There was this particular part that I really, really liked:
[This is where Snow White enters the cottage of the supposedly seven dwarfs'.] "While he sat there in silence beneath the wood floor, An unwelcome creature came in the front door. “Hello?” it called out in a voice scared and thin.
A reply was not needed. She just let herself in.
“How rude!” thought Creepy in sheer disbelief, “Unless she’s a criminal. Some kind of thief. If that is the case then it serves those dopes right, The front door unlatched, yet mine is locked tight!”
He quietly moved to the place in his tomb Where he got the best view of the ground-level room. She walked overhead, and he opened his jaw, Surprised and transfixed by the sight that he saw. Her bare feet were covered with cuts and scrapes, But beyond that were far more intriguing shapes. A layer of wrinkled-up cotton and lace Covered gentle curves in the negative space. His mind raced with thoughts not entirely clean Seeing that which was clearly not meant to be seen. He thought that perhaps he should look well away ..."
Uh huh, y'think? Lol, that's about 1 and a half pages out of the 7 that I mentioned. I'm telling you, it was 7 pages worth of smiles and surprises. Little Creepy even knew sarcasm! I got a kick reading that part of the prose, it was absolutely hilarious. And unexpected.
8 was a really "hip" way of retelling the alternate history (or in this case, alternate fairytale) of Snow White, where one neglected dwarf tells his neglected story, and it also serves as a reminder to society to stop looking at what's on the outside and start looking on the inside. Oh, and to stop being biased to the good-looking, and harbouring prejudices against the uglies.
You see, there's just too much moral values that Mullin teaches inside this little book of 7 pages. So, what's stopping you from picking this book up?...more
*3.5 stars* I thought that KEEPING KAITLYN was a very average Paranormal-Erotica read with slight hints of FOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*3.5 stars* I thought that KEEPING KAITLYN was a very average Paranormal-Erotica read with slight hints of Fantasy and BDSM. It was a short novella that included your usual self-sacrificial, super hot, super caring and romantic lycans, and gorgeous, thoughtful human heroine. It's not bad, just not that original.
Kaitlyn is a computer engineer drowning herself in her work in hopes that busying herself would allow her to forget her failed marriage. She's coping just fine, but now, she's getting weird dreams of two very hot and sexy males and she thinks she's going crazy.
One night while she was still hard at work, she decided she couldn't focus on her work anymore with those dreams bugging her more than usual, she figured she should just go home or visit her sister who lived nearby. She steps into the station and waits for her train when all of a sudden, she feels all woozy and blacks out for a few seconds, and wakes up in the arms of one of the men in her dreams. Well, she didn't take self-defense classes after her violent divorce for nuthin'. She takes out her pepper spray and fries his eyes. Oooh, that's gotta hurt, especially when this is the first time Lucas ever heard of pepper sprays.
Anyway, Lucas tells her that she's been pulled across the veil into an alternate reality where people could shapeshift, into wolves, bears and even birds, by the mating bond that ties her to him and Rafian, her other mate, who happens to be that other guy from her dreams, and that she couldn't return to the mortal realm until two weeks are up. Lucas and Rafian do love her a lot, and are willing to do anything to convince her to stay and go through the mating ritual (it's really just a wedding but saying vows that are infused with magick), but Kaitlyn can't bear the thought of losing her sisters and letting them think that her disappearance means that she's met with any tragic mishaps.
But in that two short weeks that Kaitlyn was stuck in the house Lucas and Rafian built for her in the secluded woods covered with a fine layer of snow that seemed like a fairytale, Lucas and Rafian seduced her mind, body and soul, and made her believe that soul mates do exist. So now that she's reached a deadlock, will the two lycaons' seduction efforts be enough to make her choose to stay with them, or is her loyalty to her sister the more omnipresent force?
It's always the heroine having to choose between love and something else, usually either destiny or for duty. Which would almost always end up being tied with love. Convenient, but that's how HEAs (happily ever after) works, right? But that's where KEEPING KAITLYN is slightly different. Kaitlyn did get a happy ending, but she didn't get to keep the other option. She did have to pick an option in the end, but the other one got its own resolution too, so it was technically still a HEA. It's just not the way I expected. So there was a surprise element in here too. Lol, and that's where the .5 of my rating came from. I did like it, but didn't love it. Lukewarm feelings doesn't really call for a long review, so I'll stop here.
Just one little thing. The "light BDSM" that the synopsis talked about was really light, but the only part of BDSM that Bast kept and used was the part that I thought was weird and disliked the most. Lol, but well, readers may like it so...:/
KEEPING KAITLYN: Short, sweet Paranormal-Erotica with your usual touches of cliche. But ultimately an enjoyable read.
*4.5 stars* The first thing that came to me after I read the The End was: Perfect. Actually no, scratch thaOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*4.5 stars* The first thing that came to me after I read the The End was: Perfect. Actually no, scratch that. The first thing that came were actually incoherent "WOWOWOWOWOWOW" then came the finality of "Perfect". I think that this book is definitely well-deserving of that adjective. And shortly after that came the shoutings (still in my head, of course) demanding the sequel for FRACTURED LIGHT.
Llona Reese has been an orphan since she was ten - her mother died when she was but a toddler by a Vyken, a demon who can walk in sunlight only if it drank the blood of an Aura, and her dad when she was ten hunting down the Vyken who killed his Aura wife. She's been on the move with her uncle, Jake, who was more of an older brother, trying not to stay in one place for too long and not making any friends who would just become a burden in her heart. But this time, Llona doesn't feel like moving. She's found a friend in May, and was saved from a painful fall by Christian, who quickly won her trust and subsequently, her heart.
People are dying one-by-one in Bountiful, and they all somehow has a connection to Llona - the high heel of the victim ends up on her lawn, the victim's body left in her car and blood splattered onto her car. And with her guard slipping, her luck doesn't hold up for too long, cause now that she's settled down in Bountiful, Utah, it makes her easy prey, and the Vyken that made her an orphan all those years back isn't going to let her slip through his fingers quite so easily this time..
Let me just say this again cause I can hardly contain the excitement within me: I loved, absolutely adored FRACTURED LIGHT. Even though it took some time to immerse myself into the scenes, it was still an attention-grabber and after the initial few pages, I was honestly hooked! It is a magnificent story with very realistic and relatable characters, and a fantastic yet believable plot that was simply filled with action, suspense, thrill, romance, and surprises. And a little fear added into the mix along with the aforementioned thrill. The best thing I liked about the plot was that I couldn't guess what was about to happen next! Y'know usually (and almost always for YA novels) readers would be able to predict or have an idea of how a story will play out and who would end up how, but I couldn't, at all, for FL. That was how good it was, and it literally kept me glued to its pages, turning it as fast as my brain could read. It was amazing, really.
I loved McClellan's writing style, I really do. It was mature, humorous, witty, and really entertaining. An example:
[Christian (male protagonist) is speaking to Llona]
“I never told you, but the first time I saw you, I thought I was looking at an angel. You were walking to school wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. You’d taken off your hat when you thought no one was looking and your hair fell down your back like wings unfolding. I think this was one of the rare times I saw you as your true self.”
If I could talk, I would’ve been speechless.
A little cheesy at the start, but I was stunned for a few minutes then I started cracking up. Hah! The irony is epic. You have to be in the moment to have found as much humor in it like I did. Ohoh, and another one (but this one's a little more somber):
" That night I focused more on my light bullets, and with the moon’s cycle no longer affecting my strength, thanks to Christian’s very dangerous, yet highly effective training on the mountain, it came much easier. In a matter of days, I had them piercing through just about anything. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, because I couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was coming. The tick tock of death’s clock was growing louder. "
I loved the way she phrased things, it gave it a very sophisticated feel, and I had such an enjoyable time reading it. Unlike those YA, and sometimes Adult Fiction novels, who employs a more informal (and a little childish) writing style.
I loved the cast. As I've mentioned before, the entire cast is made up of very realistic and relatable characters. Which means that I would probably have acted and chosen the things that they chose to do at any specific circumstance. I'm not explaining this right. Y'know how sometimes authors make heroines (or heroes) choose an option which is obviously the wrong, and most of the time the stupid one, just so that there can be a plot to elaborate on where there was now an obstacle to be overcomed by the protagonists? But FL wasn't like that. Even though Llona (properly pronounced as E-o-na, by the way) was mature and always picked the sensible option, shit just somehow manages to find a fan to hit, and trouble always ends up at her door. It made it all the more engrossing to read.
Oh, and don't let me get started on Christian. He is one hot Guardian. Yes, he is Llona's guardian! AHHH, haha! Every Aura out in the world is assigned a guardian, and Christian's Llona's!! Lol, Christian's Llona's. Sounds funny. (Random musing: Why are all the Christians I'm reading about so hot? The book I'm reading now, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, is about one Christian Grey, whom I feel obliged to say, is a goddamned alpha male. Trust me on it; I can hardly keep my attention away from the book - and him - for more than a few minutes! But I'm digressing) Because of his enhanced genetic makeup, Christian moves faster than normal human beings, and is stronger. Please don't compare him with a vamp cause that's totally de-cooling him. He's so much more awesome than them. And way, waaaay, more awesome.
The only thing I found odd was the cover. It's beautiful, yes that it is, but it misled me to think that this was going to be a Fantasy novel, but it turned out to be URBAN-Fantasy. Lol, not that I minded, not at all actually, just... It was misleading. This may be a for me only, but just saying.
I'd love for all of you good readers to be able to read FRACTURED LIGHT also, but it's only going to be released approximately 2 months from now..:( Haha, do I sound like I'm gloating?XP Anyway, since you're reading this review (past all my verbosity before), I assume that you and I have similar tastes in books, so I humbly beseech you to get your hand on a copy of FL when it's out. I assure you it's totally worth your money, time, effort, living space, and brain space.
I went on to read the bio on the author, and was pleasntly shocked! LOL! I have to quote this since I know most readers won't go on back to read the acknowledgements:
" Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four small children. Her love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it is . . . "
It's so unique..and cool! And the picture she posted was very ghost-like, mind you. I freaked out a little when I flipped the page and a big, half the page, ghost-Rachel was staring out at me. *shudder*
Oh and Rachel replied to my email saying that there will be a sequel!!!!! SQUEAALLLL! But it's only going to be out Feb, 2013. *sobs uncontrollably* Lol, my rep is totally tarnished with the sobs.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I ditched the book. Couldn't stand the male protagonist and the heroine. I don't even want to rate it.
The heroine was a bad friend and an even worseI ditched the book. Couldn't stand the male protagonist and the heroine. I don't even want to rate it.
The heroine was a bad friend and an even worse daughter who lies to her only kin - her mother. Her mother who only wanted another chance at love, which her daughter pretended to approve, but secretly backstabs her and her dates, and tries at every turn to ruin what her mother tries so hard achieve. It's nauseating. And when her two friends finally acts on their feelings for each other and are obviously way head over heels for each other, she says she's fine and wishes them luck, but inside she bitches about it, saying her friend is naggy (your friend just wanted to gush about her feelings, and you can't even listen?), and later on starts to develop a tinge of jealousy.
The hero? No better. He uses his influence over heroine to convince her to ditch school, play truant, and steal the school's letter to her mother informing mother about her recent rebellious behaviours. He is overly haughty, arrogant, and full of himself. I really couldn't stomach it any further.
And are all jocks really IQ-challenged? Cause there's that stereotype heavily enphasized here.
But there were a few redeemable qualities that I've noticed. For example is Lowe's phrasings.
"It was Sunday afternoon. The next day. We were seated at the food court in the Glendale mall, digesting my problem along with a double order of curly fries."
It was cool. And there was this one part that was super awesome. I loved how Guy could recite poetic lines but didn't come off as cheesy. Example:
"There can only be one hero,” he crooned softly, and he touched my hand.
Another jolt. No, bigger. Because of Guy’s touch, an electrical storm was raging inside me.
“Yeah.” The word fell from my lips, a soft tremor. Get a grip, Megan! This is what you’ve been waiting for.
“And to the victor goes the spoils. Right?”
Huh? What does that mean? He leaned in.
“Right?” he repeated, his breath on my face.
I guess he could be romantic if he wanted to. And badass. Sexy, smart. Just from a little poetry. Haha, yep, so there were good stuff, but the bad overrode the good, so.:/
I am in awe; In pure and undiluted awe and shock over FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. This is seriously some heady stuff; I'm addicted! FSoG is the very first novel where I would be more than willing to give a rating higher than 5/5. It really is beyond perfection, and I was utterly ensnared by its characters, plot, and James' writing throughout the reading process that I felt so sorry when it ended. In a freaking cliffhanger, no less!!! But we will come to that later.
Anastasia "Ana" Steele is in her last year doing her degree in WSU, Vancouver. Her best friend, Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh - or the Kathering Kavanagh Inquisition, as Ana calls her when she gets into her interviewer-reporter mode - managed to snag a time slot to interview Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, one of the richest, most eligible bachelor in the country, but she fell prey to the flu bug, and so Ana has to take Kate's place as interviewer.
Ana is a jeans and T-shirt person, so when she dresses in a casual-formal skirt and shirt to the gleaming glass fortress that was Grey's office, she feels a little intimidated. What's worse is that the moment she steps into his office, she falls flat on her face. She feels arms around her, and when Grey helps her up and she takes her first real look at him, oh you know she's a definite goner. He was absolutely gorgeous, but with a cold and distant demeanor. She's intimidated, and as the interview went on, she embarrasses herself multiple times, and so she flees as soon as she's done with Kate's list of interview questions, trying her best to put him out of her mind. Well, she's probably not going to be seeing such a high profile person again, right?
Wrong. Grey turns up at the hardware store where she works, and he expresses his wish to see her again. Who is she to refuse? Anyway, Grey tells her explicitly what he wants in a relationship in her - a BDSM one no less. Ana is intrigued with him and his lifestyle, being a complete innocent when it comes to anything sexual. But as they got to know each other better, she finds out that Grey is actually a man with many dark secrets, is haunted by a terrible, abusive past, and is fifty shades of fucked-up. She falls for him, but can she pull him back into the light? Will she be enough for him as she is?
Once again I feel obliged to reiterate: I LOVED this book. This series, actually, since I couldn't concentrate enough to do up this review and gone ahead to devour Book 2 immediately after Book 1. (That cliffhanger is to be blamed!!) I wanted to do a quickie review, combining both FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and FIFTY SHADES DARKER (book 2, and also one of my absolute favourites) initially, but thought better of it cause I am probably going to be gushing about my love for both books. So, the gushing commences.
The plot. There was actually a plot! I shall endeavor to explain why I am in shock. Usually, Eroticas exist as standalones because they consist of insubstantial plots and storylines, harping on about panties-melting, sadistic males, timid as hell pushover heroines, mindless sex and orgasms repeated throughout the whole book, probably on every alternate page, and pseudo-loves. But when I saw that FIFTY SHADES OF GREY belonged to a series, trilogy in fact, I was intrigued. And now that I've read it, my whole view on Erotica-Romances has changed. I wasn't that into Eroticas before, nor Contemporary-Romances (this is the first contemp romance I've read so far, honest), but this story really just makes me want to delve further into this two sub-genres while I wait for their sequel-brother, FIFTY SHADES FREED, to be released. Christian was a little domineering, but he doesn't overstep boundaries. Ok, maybe in a few occasions, but they're done so as to protect Ana, and they're really, heartwrenchingly sweet. So I did like his overbearingness, surprisingly. And Ana stands up for herself. But I will be gushing about the characters in a later paragraph(s).
The writing. I LOVED E.L. James' writing style! She's funny, witty, and her diction is fantastic. I loved how the words are complex, but not overly so, but it actually became a little educational. Haha, I had to unearth my dictionary a few times to check up on a few difficult words, and I did like it. Other than the parts where it gets so exciting and I stop checking the dic. She could express very subtle details in the story, and even in one-sided conversations like when Christian is on the phone and only uses a few words to respond to the caller, I could actually understand who he was talking to, how he felt about the conversation, and most importantly, what he was talking about. I know it may sound like simple matters, but I'm telling you, it's not. James' is really a talented author. She even employed a very special way of communication between the protagonists - via emails! Haha, you must be thinking, "Whaaat?" right? But which other books have you read where the people communicates through emails? It has always been dialogues, isn't it so? Admit it! Haha, and those emails between Ana and Christian are HEE-larious! Wonderfully entertaining and unique and special and...sigh, they are so childish and endearing when they're being cute together.
From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Verbose? Date: May 31 2011 19:08 EST To: Christian Grey
Sir, you are quite the loquacious writer. I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just so you know, I am rolling my eyes at the thought. But you and your twitchy palm are a long way from me so my behind is safe, for now. I loved your email. Will respond when I can. I miss you already. Enjoy your afternoon.
From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:10 To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Miss Steele
I am distracted by the title of this email. Needless to say it is safe – for now.
Enjoy your dinner, and I miss you too, especially your behind and your smart mouth.
My afternoon will be dull, brightened only by thoughts of you and your eye rolling. I think it was you who so judiciously pointed out to me that I too suffer from that nasty habit.
Christian Grey CEO & Eye Roller, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
You should see the continuation, it's gets funnier. But I can't quote the back without the front cause then it wouldn't have made much sense, and I can't quote the entire thing because then it'll be too long, so oh well. But he's very different in real life compared to when he's emailing Ana. Haha, and it really is heartwarming when you see him relax and let the depraved little boy come out.
And then there's the other funny parts:
" How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He’s got right under my skin… literally. "
Hahaha, yeah, literally.
The characters. Oh my hell, they were so hot together. I really cannot stress it enough. I am intoxicated by both of them, Ana and Christian/Fifty/Grey. I loved how Ana was a meek yet brave yet obstinate yet compassionate yet intelligent yet witty girl. She is the perfect heroine. I've kind of grown tired of reading the typical snarky and badass heroines nowadays, or the overtly timid pushovers that seem to dominate most of the Erotica genre. I said Ana was witty, not snarky. There's a fine line between those two, but I prefer witty instead of snarky. Snarky just sounds immature and childish. And then there's our dear, aloof, tortured, brilliant male protagonist, Christian who is actually a sweet closet romantic. I adored him. He was showing Ana all these impossibly beautiful sceneries, whispering impossibly tender, sweet nothings to Ana yet it doesn't come off as cheesy. And when they're together, they practically just made my book combust into ashes. Spontaneous combustion, that's how they affected me. Loved, loved, loved them.
Oh, and incidentally, Ana has already described her Fifty Shades quite perfectly in the book:
"I know he’s moody, difficult, funny, cold, warm… jeez, the man is a walking mass of contradictions."
Yep, that pretty much sums him up. He is such an enigma that I love. But not the love love kind of thing, cause I'm not Ana, and I think Ana really is like his other halve, the only other person who can compliment him. They're perfect together, in every sense of that word.
Only one eetsy beetsy thing that I noticed. Christian has well-manicured hands! Or was it nails..? But "well-manicured" sounded so gay to me. Oh well, but after some time I was thinking would you rather go for well-manicured or chipped and caked with black dirt, and I chose well-manicured. And why does he have condoms everywhere he goes?!?! They're at a boathouse, he sinks his hand into his pocket, and OUT comes a condom; They're in a lift, and OUT comes a condom; They're god-knows where, he sinks his hand into a pocket and OUT comes a condom! I mean, really? You might say he's just being an always-ready kind of person..but really?
I loved FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with all my heart; So much so that even before I finished the book, I already wanted to rate this book a rating higher than 5/5, and that's saying something. It has all I ever wanted in a romance book, even though I thought that I was a hopeless Paranormal-Romance-Urban-Fantasy geekfan, FSoG helped changed my perception. Even though one of the things I hate the most is a cliffhanger to sour my mood, I thought that this cliffhanger was the best cliffhanger I've ever encountered (and the fact that the second book was already out lightened my mood considerably!:D). No doubt my favourite book - and maybe series - of 2011. I'd really, strongly encourage ALL romanceaholics out there to give this a try if you haven't done so already.
Random Musings (which you will not understand if you haven't read the book):
(view spoiler)[If you're reading the ebook like me, can you search the words,"Heart failure" into the search box? I LOVED that scene! Haha, it made me laugh so hard, especially at the heart failure in italics part. That was one epic moment. My heart literally stopped together with Ana's. Ohh, Fifty is really such an unpredictable male.
Oh, and the other part where I couldn't stop laughing was:
“Good. Until tomorrow perhaps.” He turns to leave, then pauses. “Oh – and Anastasia, I’m glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.” He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones. I spend several minutes staring at the closed door through which he’s just left before I return to planet Earth.
Somehow, I found the phrase "quivering mass" very funny and suggestive.XD (hide spoiler)]
And I love the pun "Fifty Shades of Grey". Haha, think about it. It's really mindfuckingly cool. (Sorry for the language, but this book incites very strong emotions in me.)
Oh, and thanks Midsummer for the recommendation! I really loved it.:)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
My very first BDSM book! And well, I had the guilty pleasure of really enjoying this. HAH, ok, my mom must nOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
My very first BDSM book! And well, I had the guilty pleasure of really enjoying this. HAH, ok, my mom must never find out about this review.
Club Shadowlands is a night club that on every Saturday, caters to BDSM club members who do not have an outlet in normal society. You see, people frown upon these things, so Master Z came up with this club that has all the facilities and settings and equipments to suit everybody's needs.
Jessica Randall, or "pet", as Master Z likes to call her, is a simple, innocent, and conservative accountant. And accountants do like their hard, solid facts and having control. So imagine her surprise when she stumbles into Club Shadowlands after her car crashed into a swamp in a storm, requests for shelter and this handsome dude led her to a bathroom, stood there and watched her shower, and after that easily ordered her to stand still while he wiped her dry. I wondered about that - if a stranger stands in the bathroom and doesn't look like he's going to avert his eyes or move away, would you even start showering? Huh, Conservative Jess did.
Zachary is a Dom. As in BDSM Dominant, that Dom, and he sure likes his Sub women. He's experienced, he's coveted and the object of lust for so many other women; He's always in control. But never before have he come across such an innocent, brave and curiously sweet woman like Jessica who hides a fiery passion underneath that poise and proper facade. He intended to lure her into his little BDSM world and have her writhing underneath him for a night or maybe 2, but what he DID NOT intended to do, was fall for this one woman, who is compassionate and oddly aroused at being the submissive one in bed...
I loved the, well, steamy-hot sex parts, which is basically the whole book. Really, this is all about the sex - Jess looks at the dance floor and everyone's just short of an orgasm with their hands fondling things that are not supposed to be fondled in public, then looks to the equipments in the far side of the room and sees a woman in her birthday suit pinned to a Saint Andrew's cross (please don't Google it. Not a very nice sight..Not that I did, it's just...The thought is inconceivable..) with a man ready to whip her, and people whippin' people on another side of the room, people having orals here and there. Well, yep, there's the introduction to the main setting of the book - Club Shadowlands.
Next part of the book is where she meets the darkly seductive Master Z, whom she has to address as Sir, and where he will start to seduce her into realising her inner submissiveness in bed, and dominate her.
That's practically it actually, but I didn't expect there to be any substantial romance development in this book initially, so I wasn't disappointed. But Sinclair did try to add the love that was fostered between them, and it felt tangible enough, just... not believable. I mean, you don't go falling for a man you had sex twice with - not really twice actually, but a lot of times in the span of 2 nights - and know shit about. Lol, crude but the truth.
But it was a good book. Haha, a quick fast read for some guilty pleasure. If you asked me to descibe this book, it would most probaby be "guilty pleasure". Cause the visual descriptions left nothing to the imagination. Everything vivid and everything hot.
There was this loophole that Sinclair didn't tie up - it was how Z had this mind reading talent which is not explained, and how Ben, the receptionist, is a troll. Or was that a figure of speech? I don't think so tho, cause Ben is a sweetheart. He prefers vanilla sex and all, not the crazy intense BDSM stuff inside the club.
I would recommend this book, cause even tho I'm not that into Eroticas, I was hooked for this one, and I can tell that this is one of those that we call, "cream of its crops". It is one of the better Eroticas I've come across, and I do have my fair share of Eroticas. Lol, some seriously good stuff.
Y'know how Master Z describes Jess's physique as "round, soft, and abundant", and sometimes call her hips "lush"? Um, isn't that like putting "FAT" euphemistically? Jess did grieve about that point frequently, but I thought it was just a psychological illness, like anorexia, but from those descriptions, I can really imagine her like some bulging hippo. But apparently she's pretty too cause the other Club Shadowlands' patrons ogle at her. But if she is fat, I don't see how a hot Dom like Z would fall for her.. NOT that I am being mean or anything, it's just the way of life. Like how sorority chicks don't fall for the nerdy geeks, it's all the same principle. Morbid, I guess, but the truth nonetheless....more
*3.75 stars* A darkly beautiful, unexpected psychological thriller On A Dark Wing turned out to be. It did sOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*3.75 stars* A darkly beautiful, unexpected psychological thriller On A Dark Wing turned out to be. It did shock me, but in a good way.
Abbey and her mom got into a car crash when she was ten, and after the eighteen-wheeler crashed into them and silence descended, a glowing apparition-like boy made up of the sky and animal clouds adrift walked up to her. She felt warmth envelope her as he came closer, and when he stretched out his hand, Abbey almost took it, but then she heard her mother's broken voice call her name. Abbey pulled back, but Death was there to collect one soul, and thus when her mom died and she lived, Abbey took all the blame unto herself.
Now that Abbey's in high school and falling for her school's superstar, Nate Holden, her situation isn't much better. She prefers to keep a low profile, and she's a sort of outcast, what with her dad being a mortician and her living room and basement housing the newly-departed. Her only friend came in the form of the wheelchair-bound boy who was once a sportstar now turned outcast, Tanner Lange.
Abbey's been OBSESSED with Nate Holden for the past forever, and with his big climb up Denali coming up, she can't wait to stalk his progress up the mountain that could rival Everest herself. Tanner is a sort of a computer genius which he termed cyber-banditto, and he managed to snag this radio which could tune into the same frequency as Nate's team's. But Abbey forgot that the time has come for her and her dad to go to this cabin in Healy again to celebrate her mom's birthday and remember her. Well, Abbey throws a tantrum, but she went along in the end.
Strange things are happening aound Abbey and Nate, more so at the cabin in Healy. Ravens are appearing outside their houses, and whenever Abbey's out of her house or the cabin, she feels eyes on her. Usually when time comes for her father and Abbey to go to that cabin, she'll try to spend some alone time at this ridge near the cabin where she and her mother used to go, trying to remember the times before when her mother's smile would warm the peaceful, snow-filled setting. But this time, something's different. This time, when she looks up, dozens of ravens fills the trees surrounding her, and when she looks back, Nate Holden stands there. Why was Nate there? Isn't Nate climbing up Denali right now? Even though she's confused and a little unsure, she befriends him and lets Nate kiss her. But then she finds out that Nate did go climb Denali. But if Nate's in Denali, who's the one that she's spent hours talking to?
And when up on Denali, Nate and his friend gets caught in an avalanche, he's got a real chance at making it back alive, but Death has a funny way of working. And since Abbey's been on his shortlist since years ago and Nate has a special place in Abbey's heart, he has crossed paths with Nate already half-dead in the crevasse where he'd fallen, and Death may not want to let him off his hook that easily...
This review is so long already! Haha, ok, I'll try to keep it as short as I can.
I loved listening to Abbey's voice as she narrates her story. It switches occasionally to Nate's, Tanner's and Nate's mom's POV sometimes, but the majority is still in Abbey's. I loved the way that she was a little sarcastic, but not overly so, a little childish sometimes, but mature in others. Her train of thought and emotions were easily relatable and understandable, being a teenager myself. It was very realistic - her natural defiance/rebellious spirit towards her dad, her obsession over a boy (though I don't have one, but it's still relatable), her sarcasm and witty jokes. Her sarcasm really kicked a punch - it was SO funny! Haha, it made reading OaDW so very enjoyable. Example:
Earlier in the year, [Mrs. Akkerman a.k.a Teacher a.k.a. Akk the Yak] assigned a project to keep a daily journal of everything we learned in her class. I know, sounds lame, right? Well, it was crazy lame. I bought a notebook just for her class and started that journal, but on day one, I got drool on the first page from where I’d fallen asleep. After it dried, I wrote one line.
Fell asleep today. Will try again tomorrow.
By the time I turned in the assignment, every page had the same entry and enough dried spit to keep a CSI team busy for weeks. When she saw my journal, my teacher called my dad in for “a talk.”
......but Mrs. Akkerman ended up giving me a B+ anyway— for doing nothing. I knew other kids had gotten worse grades, despite filling their journals with enough excrement to fertilize the Matanuska valley.
She's not afraid of using a little cuss words here and there, but none too major, and never sounding uncouth or coarse. However there was one part that got a little too sardonic and emo, and her obsession with Nate got a little overboard (dreaming about him talking to and kissing you's fine, but don't do it so incessantly!). But it was just a tiny portion that I thought is negligible in the whole scheme of things.
Furthermore, I loved Dane's writing style, phrasings and diction. It was beautiful and mature in a way I find sorely lacking in many YA and some Adult Fiction novels.
The. Plot. Was. Amazing. And that's probably an understatement, but it was very well-thought of, very detailed, and it flowed like a movie. I can practically see the story playing out in my head! As she switched from Abbey's POV, to Nate's to Tanner's to Abbey's again, it never got confusing and it never dulled the suspense even though we knew things from both ends. It's really weird how she does it; It's like I know who's the "killer/criminal", but I still got so afraid and I still had to second-guess eveything! I thought that I've seen all types of YA, and normally I can pretty much guess the storyline and ending of a book, at least roughly, but I couldn't for On A Dark Wing. At all. It's extraordinary, I tell you. Really amazing.
The only negative point about OaDW is its slow pace at the start and middle portion, and since I'm not a fan of mystery and thrillers, I wasn't enjoying it all that much or overly-excited about it initally. It was only the humor and sarcastic wit of Abbey pushing me on. But I didn't need the push when it neared the three quarters mark. From there, it's heart-pounding action and cool revelation after the other. I LOVED the ending. One of the best I've ever seen. There was closure between the father and daughter, between old friends and new ones, and a beautiful new relationship forms. It was beautiful. Bravo Dane, bravo.
I was expecting a typical YA talking about Angels (suggested by the cover) and human heroine falling in love, lol I really did, but it turned out to be a mix between YA psychological thriller and mystery with tiny hints of paranormal romance (just a teeeensy tiny bit). Dane even addressed a very controversial topic about Death. What happens After? What happens WHEN you're about to make the transition? Other than the slow start On A Dark Wing will keep you glued to its pages and it will induce lots of emotions in you - an example would be fear (yes, I did feel fear. I read it at night and I literally got scared), and another is sadness, then contentment). It is a great book, and one that I will recommend to my friends.
*Egalley courtesy of Netgalley and Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.*...more
2MOS was a pleasantly quick, light, and sweet read. It got off to a slow start, describing the little cave iOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
2MOS was a pleasantly quick, light, and sweet read. It got off to a slow start, describing the little cave in which Sera and her Sualwet mother lived in, their daily routines and stuff like that. And since Sera's world is confined to a cave, it wasn't very exciting. But her mother has her reasons to restrict Sera from wandering out into the world - Erdlanders are barbaric beings who experiment on the hairless, underwater creatures called Sualwet. A.k.a. Sera's mother.
Sera was a mistake. A half-Sualwet-half-Erdlander who was never meant to be, and it made her an outsider on both the Sualwet's and Erdlander's front. But amidst all this discriminations, Sera remained a happy and carefree half-fish.
Her desire to explore the world beyond the cave has been suppressed long ago, up until the day an Erdlander (or so she thinks) steals some papers from her. Now, that desire has been rekindled; And the more she spends time with that thief with his towering stature and intensely blue eyes, the more she longs to see the world. She remained faithfully by her mother's side, but when the Erdlanders' and Sualwets' war encroaches onto the beach where her cave is situated, Sera would have to leave her home and escape with her thief. Can she survive in a world where she's never stepped foot in before? And who, or what, is Tor?
Well, I can't get any more spoiler-y than that, because the book is only a portion of the whole story, which would be released in a serial format. I was excited to start reading 2MOS, and it didn't fail me. There was action, and a teeeensy weensy bit of a hint of romance (or at least I'm hoping that it is), and a little bit of magic thrown into the mix. I've never really been a fan of Sci-fi/Fantasy, but I think I'll make an exception for 2MOS.
Tyler's words and phrasings are very unique and, to me, very cool. An example would be:
"But don't let that fool you; they don't possess the wisdom of the sea, only the cruelty of the sun."
Doesn't that just scream poetry/philosophy? It's just so freaking cool.
Just a little kink that bugged me. Sera's attraction to her thief, Torkek, or Tor for short, was a little too quick off the mark. I mean, he stole something that her mother gave her which was quite precious, but along with the "Oh no, give it back" feeling, she was also a little intrigued and attracted to him. Intrigued, yeah I guess I understand that that's what isolation will do to you, but attracted? Hm, that's debatable, I guess. But other than that, the friendship between the two was very pure and innocent.
I'd recommend this one to the lower age range of the YA genre....more
*4.5 stars* TANGLED TIDES is a beautiful and enchanting story that swept me up in its currents, immersed meOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*4.5 stars* TANGLED TIDES is a beautiful and enchanting story that swept me up in its currents, immersed me in a magical world filled with mythical creatures, and at the end left me gasping for more. It is truly every girl's childhood dream come true. Lol, at least for me it was. The Little Mermaid has always been my favourite Disney movie (I still watch it now and then), and to say that I am addicted to TT now is a gross understatement.
Yara Jones lives in Eden's Hammock, and recently, there were lots of freak storms happening there. She was having a hard time lifting, heaving and dragging one of her Uncle Lloyd's mermaid statues outside to board up her window so as to protect it from the crazy winds when one of the most handsome guys she's ever seen walks up to her front door and offers his help. Topless. Lol, just had to add that.
After Yara invited Hot Topless Guy, Treygan, into her house to weather the storm, Treygan told her to trust him and wish for him to bring her to some place safe. She feels this dreamy sort of lull, and did as she was told. After some time, Yara wakes up and finds herself underwater, breathing, and has grown a tail in place of where her legs used to be. All of a sudden, her wish for a safe place doesn't sound so good anymore.
The story now will be mostly about Yara discovering a whole new world that she was now, and had always been, a part of, a mystical place where everything seemed like magic. But all is not flowers, daisies and gayness - Yara's found out that her "human" boyfriend, Rownan, back at Eden's Hammock wasn't human at all, in fact, he was very much a part of her new fishy life, and that she actually has a destiny to fulfil, one that involves her dying at the end. Turns out that Yara's birth was never meant to be, but through some unwonted means, she was, but because her parents committed a grave mistake, almost half of the mermaids' and selkies' population have been thrust out of their paradise home, out into the modern world where they can only survive by smoking a special type of weed that was very limited in supply, and Yara must be the one to right that wrong.
Big destiny for a seemingly small mermaid to handle, huh, especially when Yara was just getting comfy with the idea of being one of the "monsters" herself, and of course, to a cobalt-eyed, sexy mermaid that had introduced himself in a storm and welcomed her into her new life, with new friends, and new love. A life that she will want to help save even if it means sacrificing her newly-found beloved fishy existence...
I seriously can't do this book any justice, it was so good! So good that I was hooked throughout the 3 days of reading it (I took so long because of my exams). And how did Edward Cullen phrase it again? Right, "you are my personal brand of heroine". Yep, that sounds about right. That was Tangled Tides to me.
One thing that stood out was Hooper's writing style. It was so smooth and flawless, so... appropriate! One example:
“Gentlemen.” I nodded.
Pango spit a mouthful of water at me and flicked me with his tail. “Don’t gentle man me. You two sped ahead so you could discuss our newest Goldilocks. You better share some juicy porridge with Papa Bear.”
“Pango, there isn’t that much to tell.”
Merrick rolled his eyes. “Even I’m declaring sharkshit on that one.”
Sharkshit? Lol, while I was reading it, her writing was so fluent that I didn't notice that oddity at first. And another one was, "She's tough as a seawall. She'll be fine." Loved the language; It matched the world that they were living in and made it all the more believable.
Yara was a very inquisitive and stubborn hero. Even though she was new to the Greek-myth world, she showed no fear and kept asking questions and learning the mermaids' way of life. Treygan, her beau-to-be, and whose team I am very much in, was fiercely protective of Yara even though he refuses to admit it. He was so cool, those brooding guys with a mission in life, and who happens to be the fastest swimming merman alive. Yeah, he's so mine. HAH. Movin on.
What's even cooler is that not only is the male protagonist very macho-man and testosterone-y, even the side characters displayed similar traits! I don't want to quote it cause that part I'm thinking about is filled with surprises and humor, and of course that macho-man-ly goodness.
The plot was in no way simple or convenient. It was filled, absolutely jam-packed with suspense and action, and betrayals and such. I loved the second-guessing that everyone had to do. It was just that Hooper wrote TT in an alternating first-person/POV way, which switched from Yara's point of view, to Rownan's, to Treygan's, then back to Yara's. It wasn't confusing, not at all actually, but it took away some of thrill. For example if we didn't know what Treygan and Rownan were thinking, wouldn't you think it'd have made them all the more mysterious and, well, cool? I like that the male protagonists are usually an unknown element, someone who only the female protagonist had the ability to unlock. But the story's still cool, and I thought that Hooper's take on the gorgons and Medusa part of Greek myth is very different from the norm, and the input itself is awesome enough. And the ending! When all hope seemed lost and I had no inkling at all whatsoever of how the protagonists are going to save their sorry asses out of all that trouble and chaos, Hooper somehow made it work. And I loved it so much.
I have always, always loved mermaid novels, but have never been able to find the perfect story. Recently I've discovered THE MERMAID'S KNIGHT by Jill Myles, loved it to bits but I thought that I wouldn't be able to find any that would be able to hold a candle to it. But here I am, being proven wrong.
I absolutely adored the entire cast of TANGLED TIDES, and I think any YA fan would too. Try it out when it releases on November 25th, 2011.:)...more
At times, this book made me want to throttle it, and at times devour it. Such conflicting emotions! But oh weOrginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
At times, this book made me want to throttle it, and at times devour it. Such conflicting emotions! But oh well, it is the truth. Know why? Cause the first half of the book was dominated by sex-crazed, dumb blondes with a fetish for being disloyal to their supposed allies and hot guys who fall for fat, nerdy girls, but the back was totally jam-packed with surprises, action, betrayal, and some very hot romance (hubba hubba...HEH)!
Let me just give you a quick rundown of the whole deal first. Jackie Brighton is a fat museum docent with a bad boss and bad sex life. She wakes up one day to find herself in a dumpster and vague memories of a wonderful night of sex with an impossibly handsome man. After several encounters and weird conversations, she finds out that 1) She died and was left to come back to life in the dumpster, and 2) She is now a succubus who has an "Itch" that needs to be "scratched" once every two days. And that "Itch" happens to be this urge to have sex. Well, that's what being a succubus entails.
In case you're wondering what a succubus is, it is a female sex demon who is said to look like every men's dream, and who feed on those lusty desires. So now, Jackie is a crazy-beautiful woman with a huge rack. Lol, just had to add the last part. (My feeble definition. If you don't believe it, check the dic)
Anyway, Jackie gets turned but since she's new to the whole supernatural world, she goes and commits this grave error that started a whole string of catastrophes. At least for herself. She went and let an angel kiss her - which is a very bad thing, cause even tho the kiss suppresses her "Itch", it doesn't come without a catch. The angel, Uriel, told her about his suspiscions about how the vamps are acting suspiciously and since the angels and vamps are enemies, he asked her to fraternise with the vamps to get an idea of what the vamps are up to. And yeah, she failed, got caught by the Vamp Queen herself and was asked to do some other crazier shits.
Ok, back to the very unsatisfactory beginning. Jackie is supposed to be smart! She's a docent, so she must be really qualified (oh, by the way, docent is like a museum tour guide) to actually secure her job, so I thought she would be another kickass, headstrong heroine who stood up for what she believed (a little cliched with the whole kickass heroine thing, but well, there's a reason why it's cliche). But oh nooo, she turned into a gorgeous woman and totally succumbed to the pretty-snob syndrome. She was disloyal to her friend, and she let her sex-drive take control. Not only that, she cowered behind either her boyfriend or girlfriend whenever trouble arises, which pissed me off royally. I mean, ok, don't be a kickass heroine, but don't go whimpering behind your friends when the shit hits the fan; And may I remind you that three quarters of the time, you shitted out those shit that hits the fan, so man up to it.
One incident that I have to dedicate a whole para to: Jackie's friend was being held hostage and was probably being tortured and raped because of Jackie herself, and guess what she goes home to do? You guessed it - she went to get her "Itch" scratched. And you know what that means: sex.
Wow, really Jackie? And she had the audacity to feel hurt when her man thought to go save said hostage friend after her orgy, thinking that maybe her man was insincere and was thinking about another woman while they had their thing going on. Err, right.
Ok, scathing remarks are over, now to the good! (I know it's so ironic. Trust me, I know.)
I was giving thought to chucking this book into my Did-Not-Finish book pile, but then I was stranded in my school with no books to read, so I picked it up again. Imagine my surprise when Jackie morphed into the totally headstrong, loyal, courageous, and loving woman that I initially expected. I almost fell in love with her myself. Lol, kidding there. But yes, the story also picked up its pace, and Myles threw in so much more challenges, deception, romance, action, double entendres....wow! It was such a pivotal moment when I flipped the book open again. Drama, I know.
The boys, Zane and Noah. You can guess who's the vamp baddy and angel hotness already, can't you? Zane is the sexy vamp dude that stole my heart the moment he appeared in this dark room adjoining the vamp club space and the human club space. Sort of like a second layer bouncer system beside the human one out front. He requested Jackie and her friend to raise up their hands so that he could check for unauthorized gadgets, but instead started to feel Jackie up her rack. Pervy I guess, but the way Myles put it... That was sheer cheekiness and sexy. Noah is the calm, cool angel who was always the solid pillar for Jackie. But he chose to sacrifice himself for Jackie when the vamp queen was about to take Jackie away for god knows what, and became the torture-thing for the queen. So he went a little MIA after that, but oh well, I do still like him. But Zane's the man, man. Oh and I forgot to mention, not only is he a cheeky badboy, he actually had a bad past and is a tortured soul, and when he fell for Jackie (I'm sorry I'm spoilering so much)... Oh man, I'm a lost cause.
I loved the second half of the book, I really did. I would've rated this a 4.5, but the beginning's just not good enough.
Anyway, I can't wait to read this book's sequel, Succubi Like it Hot! Oh, and I just found out there's a prequel too, so I can't wait to read it too! Hehe.
P.S. I am not a fan of the book titles, by the way. Just saying.:)
P.P.S. If you're one of those who checked the dic for the definition, feel my flying fist! You doubt my credibility, you? Lol, kidding. But seriously, if you don't trust me, why are you reading this?
P.P.P.S. Sorry my review's so all over the place, I just let whatever comes out of my head flow into my fingers....more
LOL. That's the only word that can describe this book, cause seriously, Langlais is one hell of a joker. She is HEE-larious.
Satana Muriel Something (oLOL. That's the only word that can describe this book, cause seriously, Langlais is one hell of a joker. She is HEE-larious.
Satana Muriel Something (oops, forgot) is the daughter of the devil himself. One of many actually, and so naturally, she has some serious magical powers stored inside her. Oh, and naturally, she likes pink. Ugh, gayness.
Anyway, she didn't want daddy dearest, or anyone else, running her life, so she exitted hell and opened up a pub - a pub that supernaturals frequented. So therein brings our male protagonist, Auric, into the picture.
Muriel meets Auric and 2 of his hot buddies in her pub and when she first set her eyes on him, her body reacted in ways that she is unfamiliar with. See, she wants her very first time to be with someone special, someone whom she loves, so she was shocked, apprehensive, and a little high all at the same time. But of course daddy doesn't like that much. He'd much rather prefer to see her get laid before her marriage, do some dirty sinnings to up her reputation as his daughter. But that is not the point.
Back to the main story, Auric meets Muriel at her pub, and starts asking questions about the owner of the pub, who was rumored to be the devil's own daughter. Muriel is wary of this, as she should be, but her body just loves to betray her when this hot man comes near. Auric is a kind of mystery at this point; He's not a man of many words, and whenever Muriel tries to ask him about him, he kisses her and that makes her lose her train of thought. (ok.....)
However, things are not looking so good in hell. Daddy's facing a rebellion that actually looks like it does stand a chance of facing Satan off, and betrayals within his kingdom starts to reveal themselves. Muriel wants to help, but 1) Daddy says he doesn't need her help, and made her promise to not interfere, stay at home, and be good. 2) Auric's been captured because of her, and she has to find a way to get to him, before her captors rip her beloved from her even before they have a chance to pursue their happiness together.
END of summary.
To be honest, the story was only so-so, nothing amazing or attention-grabbing. Sure, there were the surprises, hardship, steamy sex, happy moments, stuff like that, but...well, it's not very original, is it? Muriel can fight well, is very gay with her pink outfits and furry boots; Auric also fights well with his wicked blade (which Muriel uses, or should I say, Langlais uses often to make sexual innuendos) and is dropdead gorgeous - according to Muriel. And together, they sure do make for a formidable pair. But how many times have I seen that already? Oh riiiight, in every PNR-UF book that I've read.
Muriel, on top of the gayness that I didn't particularly like, was a lot of talk and little action. We only got to see snippets of her fighting. Only at the end was there any real action. It was cool, so it kinda made up for the front. Auric was a little too feisty in the beginning for my taste. I like my boys broody and reclusive. Typical, but well, DEAL WITH IT. He talked a lot, so I didn't like him. LOL. Ok, I sound shallow. But hey, book boyfriends are supposed to be perfect.XP Aaand, he always kiss Muriel to stop her from questioning him. First few times, uhh ok. Many time later, just fucking let your girl talk, man! Sorry for the language.
They got together after day three. Like really the "He is the one for me" together. That kinda bugged me. So just saying.
Now to my favourite part. THE HUMOR. ROMUH. Ok, now, I'm just going to spam quotes. They are hilarious, but if you want to experience the full impact of the those one-of-a-kind, ultra memorable L.O.L. moments, then DO NOT read any further.
One of my personal faves:“Bloody damn nervy of them to take you like that,” blustered my father. “When I got to the bar, your man here begged for help to go back and save you. Of course, he looked like shit, so initially I said ‘no’.
Auric rolled his eyes. “Actually, what you said was, ‘Boy, right now you’re more useless than a third fucking tit."
If you don't like PNR-UF books to start off with (which is weird, cause you are reading this review), then you should actually try this one out just for the sake of the humor. It's totally worth it.
Random musing (which you will not get if you haven't read the book):
At the last part where Muriel tried to call Bambi to get her to open a portal to hell, Bambi's message specifically told her to not go to hell to help out in quelling the rebellion. But Lucifer said that she was the first one he would call cause she was one of his best fighters. So...is Bambi acting on her own accord, or is daddy lying? LOOPHOLE!
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought ofOriginally posted on A Bookalicious Story.
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought of as "Cliche", "Childish", and "Totally not worth the time". Well, ok I have to admit that: Cliche? Yes. Childish? A liiiittle bit. Totally not worth the time? Utter bullshit. Cause this book had my completely under its thrall throughout the reading process. It was, and is, THAT good. Hence, I was shellshocked.
Just a brief summary before I continue with my shellshocked ramblings - Leah died. It was a rather wronged way to go - drunk driver crashed into her, she died, he didn't. So while she was floating in the alternate dimension, her fairy godmother appeared.
Muffin is a plump, jovial woman. A little eccentric, but still possesses a genial disposition. She admitted that the accident was all her fault for not paying enough attention, and so grants her a second chance at life. Catch is (there will always be a catch. NO FREE LUNCH IN THIS WORLD!): She has to make a guy in another time and place fall in love with her - Fairytale-style.
So Muffin decides that Leah would take after Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Leah will be turned into a mermaid, and while she's on land as a human, she won't be able to talk. What's worse is that her intended target, one Lord Royce Northcliffe, is a weather-bitten, war-hardened warrior who doesn't indulge in things such as love. So how, oh how, will poor, mute-when-human Leah seduce old Royce's granite heart?
Well, I'm still reeling from the shock of having fallen in love with this book.. For one, I'm not big on the whole happy-gayness novels with an easy plot which I can breeze thru in no time. Nuh uh, no can do. But the thing is, this book, tho cliche in general, do have the elements of surprise that kept my eyeballs freaking glued to its pages. I assumed that this book would be very predictable, but Myles just kept the surprises rolling in, and I really liked that a lot.
Leah and Royce together, were just simply adorable. The suspicious nature of our dear warrior definitely did hinder their relationaship from progressing much, but well, it did liven up the atmosphere sometimes. For example when Leah was first found naked on shore (and subsequent times too), Royce was totally unamused to find, at that time he assumed to be, his enemy's leman or wench, or simpy, his prostitute, on his shore. So he immediately thought her a spy and was all macho-man, "What the hell are you doing here, girl?" Ok, not direct quote, but you get the point. And she fainted. LOL. So he threw her over his shoulder and carried her to camp. Wrapped in a cloak like a burrito.
The, um, I can't really say banters since Leah can't talk, but their exchanges are hilarious. I absolutely enjoyed them. Y'know, the fact that Myles could make it so engaging is phenomenal in itself. One party of the conversation can't freaking talk, for god's sake! But she did it. Oh, and I think she kinda made up for it by showing us what Leah was thinking in place of any verbal responses, so yep, it was still like a conversation. But whenever Royce said something Leah thought was ridiculous, Leah would stamp on his feet. It was real sweet. Haha. Albeit a little gay, but sweet all the same.
This book...is it under adult fiction or Young Adult? Um, it is childish in a YA way, but the sexuality of it is definitely adult fiction. Tho a LITTLE bit more childish than YA at the beginning (the rest was fine!), and a LITTLE bit less porny than adult fiction, so... To each his own.:)
To sum it all up, I am still shocked. Shocked that such a cliche fairytale story can be twisted and rewritten so well where all others have failed (and it wasn't because of the lack of attempts); Shocked that, well, I fell badly for such a gay story - but not the point; Shocked that the plot and storyline could be handled so well even when so much other problems were brewing in the background - made it all the more exciting that it's so eventful; Shocked that Myles could've made a mute's conversation so entertaining. List goes on. But all in all, I loved the story.
P.S. It kinda reminds me of The River of Times series because of the travelling back in time and falling for a lord of some castle, and Kathryn Lasky's Daughter of the Sea series which features women who can turn into mermaids when they come into any bodily contact with water. So, if you're a fan of either one, why not try this one?...more
Let's be clear about one thing - I am not a fan of menage or m/m eroticas, so I didn't really enjoy the sexOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Let's be clear about one thing - I am not a fan of menage or m/m eroticas, so I didn't really enjoy the sex scenes in SYNDELLE'S POSSESSION. And since the sex scenes are a major part of the book, I didn't like the book all that much. Yes, yes, I know the synopsis clearly stated that there will be "graphic male/male sexual interactions", but I didn't really read the synopsis in detail, so I missed that out. Sigh.
Syndelle's parents lost one of their daughters long ago, so they have been overprotective of Syndelle since she was a kid. They've tried giving her the blood of her vamp father's, and that, incidentally, made her The Masada - some person that will be invaluable to any vamp that has her in their possession. Which made them even more protective of her. So Syndelle has led a sheltered life, tho trained in the ways of combat, she isn't a hunter like the rest of her Angelini brothers. That is, until she met Rafael at Bangers, some strip club in LA, and subsequently, Rafe's vamp master, Brann.
Rafe is an unwilling human companion to Brann, and if you're wondering, a vamp companion is sort of like a mate for life. Yeah, they're a couple of bi's.... Anyway, Rafe has been feeling very bitter about being the companion to a vamp, and that same vamp has placed a curse on him that stops him from ever coming again only if it's with Brann. So Rafe's eternal life has been tragic, and when he first met Sydnelle at Bangers, he hid all this under this mask of sardonism, which Syndelle eventually helped erode away.
But all is not well in LA, many prositutes have turned up either mutilated or dead - the females are severly disfigured and raped, the males raped and killed - and Syndelle decides to join arms with Skye (from book 1) and shove this mission up its own ass. But they're not alone in this dangerous endeavour, their mates are getting protective, and well, they are all along for the ride.
I liked the plot and Strong's writing style. Always have, and that's what made me go excavate all her other works. It's not only that she writes hot, steamy sexual scenes, but she can also interweave a wonderful, action-filled storyline with it, which I find sorely lacking in other Eroticas. That's why I only read a select few of 'em. And her plots are never those sub-standard, convenient cheap thrillers that are just there to make a story or back the romance up, but very well-thought of and detailed.
I liked that we got to see some of Skye and what her and her mates are up to, and I kinda liked Syndelle a lot more than Skye from SKYE'S TRAIL. Not that I disliked Skye or anything, but Syndelle was a very sweet and understanding girl that hid such courage. Skye was a little disappointed to see that her sis (ok, big spoiler. Skye was the long lost daughter of Syndelle's family) was such a soft, non-kickass girl, but her impression totally changed as she got to know her more.
Rafe was a jerk to Syndelle at the beginning, plus the fact that he's bi didn't endear him to me (No offense to any bi's reading this. I just feel a little uncomfortable when I read about a bi's sex life in detail). He insulted Syndelle's pride and all, but as I've said, it's all the sardonic facade he keeps on to protect himself from a horrific past, so when the mask is removed and he starts to get tender toward Syndelle, you'd just want to sit there and," Awwwwww."
Lol, but well, as I've said, I'm not a fan of m/m's, so when Brann and Rafe ahem, I just get turned-off.
One good thing came out of being sarcastic (talking about Rafe). He is so witty! I loved all his snark remarks and sarcastic comebacks, they're genius! And hilarious. Lol.
Example: "This is a residence hotel?" Syndelle asked, taking in the despair-coated walls, and the sunken, hopeless nature of the people she saw sitting on their small porches, smoking, or drinking, or simply staring into space.
"Residence hotel. Shithole," Rafe said. "Take your pick." (For some reason, I found this really funny. Might be the exam stress frying my brain.)
Other than the fact that Strong delved too fast into the lust and romance between the trio, I thought that the book was good. Slightly above average. A quick, fast read that menage/ m-m-f lovers will enjoy a lot....more
Wow, what an experience! This book sure is a refreshing take on the whole PNR-UF-angelic novel genre. I thouOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Wow, what an experience! This book sure is a refreshing take on the whole PNR-UF-angelic novel genre. I thought the whole "she's my soul mate and I wouldn't let her go now that I've found her again" was very YA-ish, and a little cliched, so I took a little time to get past my prejudices and finally picked up the book. I have to say, I was - am - not disappointed.
Lindsay Gibson's mom was killed and sucked dry of blood right in front of her innocent, toddler eyes when she was five, and has been harboring this vengeance ever since. She wants to help people like her, so she trains and hunts paranormals which she can sense when the wind speaks to her. (And if you're wondering, no, she's not crazy. They really do speak to her. Lol, I thought of that too..)
Anyway, she was on her way to resettling in Anaheim for a wonderful new job when she looks up and catches sight of the most gorgeous man she has ever seen in her life - surprise! - and thus tries to catch his attention. Like every other girl/lady/woman in the airport. Thing is, he looked up and when their gazes met, she felt this sense of deja vu, familiarity, and a tingling of arousal. Lol, aroused in an airport.
Adrian Mitchell, head of Mitchell Aeronautics and Captain of the Sentinels, brings Lindsay to his house for dinner, but on the way, things happened and they were both forced to reveal who they were to each other. One an angel Sentinel, the other a mortal who hunts evil paranormals.
But things aren't all carnal sins and happy reunion, Lindsay actually has 2 souls in her - one of Shadoe, and the other is her own mortal one. Shadoe has been reincarnated many times over the past centuries, and she was Adrian's lover in every one of them. Turns out that she was originally the daughter of Syre - antagonist and head of the Fallen (fallen angels a.k.a. vamps). Syre has, for all the past lives Shadoe had, tried to "retrieve" her from Adrian and turn her into a vamp so that they can be reunited and live as a happy family.
Thing is, Adrian would give up his wings before he lets Lindsay be Turned into a bloodsucking fiend...
I'm not sure how to summarise this as this book presents a special case. You see, I pegged Syre as the antagonist, when there isn't really an antagonist in this book. Complicated, right? But let me enlighten you.
*You might not want to continue cause I may reveal some epic spoilers*
Syre is actually a great, loving father who justs wants his daughter back, not the usual bad guy crazies. No ulterior motives, no greed for power, no shit reasons other than to have his family back. And he is a Fallen only because he fell in love with a mortal woman and fornicated with her.
See my dilemma for word choice now? But then you'd be asking, if there isn't a true antagonist, how can there be a story? Well, leave it to Day to come up with such an engrossing, steamy-hot romance that'll leave you with wet dreams and swoon-faced aftershock symptoms, cause I am telling you, this book is good.
Adrian was HOT. H.O.T, hot! He doesn't reveal any sort of emotions, but Lindsay can tell from the howling winds and stormy weathers that seem to be affected by the Captain's reaction (remember the wind talking thing? Yeah, that's the one) what is actually going on inside that hot male husk of an angel. He is possessive of Lindsay, so the lycans know better than to get overtly friendly with her. He takes care of the people Lindsay calls friend, cause he knows that if they get hurt, Lindsay will get hurt, so he goes out of his way to protect them without her knowing. Oh, and the way he leads Lindsay to sin, WOW. Lol, sounds so wrong but I don't care! He's so... wow...
Lindsay's a cool heroine. I adore her. She is the epitome of self-sacrificing selflessness. She loves Adrian with her whole heart, but pushes him away because to bed him would be to cause him his wings, soul and life(a.k.a. forbidden romance). But above all those feminine traits, she's as tough as any Sentinel warrior. She trains under so much pressure and pushes herself to her limit without a single utterance of complaint, and oh god, I just love how she kicks ass.
However, I am giving it a four because it took some time to get into rhythm with this book. It may be because of my lingering prejudices, I don't know, but it may also be because the book wasn't as interesting at the start because of the instant connection thing that annoyed me. But I LOVED the ending. The ending is a total 6 out of 5 stars. I seriously gobbled up the ending (which is the last one-third of the book) in a span of half an hour. Which is record-breaking since I read at a toddler's pace. (I like to savor every word, thank you very much.)
This is a story of true, unconditional love between lovers and a father and his daughter (ok, not much on the familial love, but it's still there), and how they had to overcome obstacles thrown at them from their past. I would say I'm looking forward to the sequel, A HUNGER SO WILD, but it's going to be about Elijah, whom I sorry to say, am not really interested in. Come on, bring us more Lindsay-Adrian love, pretty please?:(
And anyway, Elijah's a wolf. Shouldn't he be in a Renegade Wolfs series, not Renegade Angels series??
P.S. This book reminded me infinitely of the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh, tho not as great. But if you're a fan of GH, you may want to try this.
P.P.S. Adrian's not a very manly name, in my opinion. Just saying. :)
Random Musing (which you will not understand if you haven't read the book):
Y'know, when Lindsay noticed and pointed out that Adrian doesn't only have 1 pair of wings, but three pairs, I kinda burst out giggling. "You kidding me? He's like a freaking mutated butterfly!"...more
It's a sin to be such a sexy and talented writer like Strong...
Skye is an Angelini, tho she doesn't know it as of yet, but she knows how to control and utilize her powers to survive and hunt criminals down; Rico is a cop, a hot, sexy, competent and very-aroused-whenever-he-looks-at-or-even-thinks-of-Skye cop; Gian is an age-old vamp who is crazy powerful, and sexually very active. Lol. Yep, that's the 3 protagonists laid out for you.
Goth girls are disappearing around the city, and one of 'em turned up dead and it didn't look like she met with a swift, clean end. The police are working day and night with the case, but when they're still coming up blank, Rico took matters into his own hands and requested the aid of our dear Skye since she has hunting abilities sharper than a hound. And this case brings Skye to the night club, Fangs, which Gian co-owns. And therein brings our three protagonists together.
It's a relatively short story, but NONE of the thrill, erotic, romance and mystery factors are compromised. It's amazing how intricate the crime case is, everything somehow linked up together even when they seemed so unconnected at the beginning. There were many details to consider, but Strong handled them all perfectly, and she left nothing dangling or unanswered in the end, which is amazing.
Even tho Eroticas usually would not have a very developed relationship between the protagonists, I thought that Skye's Trail kinda did have. I felt the affections between Skye, Gian, and Rico grow, and well, of course their lusts for each other did too, but that only made it all the more hot, sweaty and sexy. Ew, gross visuals. Lol, but yes, what was missing in other Eroticas that made me not like them was very much looked into here, that's what made me fall in love with Strong's world all over again.
I loved Skye. Not only is she powerful in her own right, she has this very playful and sexy inner nature that I really liked. She can be very devil-may-care sometimes, but inside, she did care very much about how her mates (Rico and Gian) felt.
Gian and Rico were...Lol, kinda weird sometimes. Not bad weird.. Just weird. You would expect the millenia-old (ok I'm exaggerating) vamp to be the more dominant one right? All "you are my minions, bow before me"? But surprisingly, I found Rico to be the more domineering one. And he is, I stress, a very human cop. Huh, at the start, Skye somehow got the upperhand when they were doing the S, and sort of reduced Gian to begging for release. Ok, that made him sound weak, which he isn't, but it came close to that.
Still, I loved all of them.
Anyway, I don't really have much to say about Eroticas, so 'nuff said for now. But bottomline: I thought that Skye's Trail is a steamy hot Erotica that, if before this you do not like Eroticas, you should try this out first before you condemn this genre....more
I feel like going up to my rooftop and shout "FUCK" at the bloody top of my voice. Sorry for the language, bOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
I feel like going up to my rooftop and shout "FUCK" at the bloody top of my voice. Sorry for the language, but my actions are absolutely justifiable. Know why? Cause the story ended perfectly, but then I went on to read the small excerpt of ISLE OF NIGHT's sequel, VAMPIRE'S KISS, and it effing ended in an effing major cliffhanger. And the book will not be out till the effing middle of next year. EFF.
Wow, that... nah it still didn't cool my hackles. But as the saying goes, life gotta move on.
Ok, so. Annelise's, who prefers to be called Drew, life has been a cesspit full of shit and tragedy - father's an alcoholic dickhead, stepmom's evil as hell, constantly spurned by classmates, etc. Fortunately for her, she's got a brilliant mind. Perfect SAT scores, and is practically Einstein's reincarnation (she hangs a poster of him in her room and even gave him a pet name - Al). Drew can't wait to graduate out of high school so that she'll be free of the non-home she lived in all this years to go to one of the top colleges as one of their youngest and brightest scholarship holder.
She enters the registrar's office and sees the world's most gorgeous boy she has ever seen, but well, things just had to spiral down at that moment - the registrar's office doesn't register her name as an official high school graduate (which means she can't enrol into college and gotta return to that non-home), her rusty old Honda will not even start up when she went back to it - all said and done in front of Ronan, said most gorgeous boy. Ronan comes over then and convinces her to get in his sleek sports car and then into this private airplane where he ferries her and 2 other beautiful but crazy evil girls to this remote island far removed from civilisation. Once there, she was ushered into a world filled with horrific nightmares in the form of vampires, and her purpose there was to train to be a Watcher, a vamp "ambassador". And to be one of the exclusive Watchers, you had to be one of the top, which means to eliminate all other competitors. But the thing is, there are 100 odd girls there, and only 5 can ascend to Watcher status...
This book is sorta like a mix between The Hunger Games and Half-blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It has the cruel, sadistic and gloomy atmosphere of HG, but the hot guy teaching smart-ass and unique girl aspect of Half-blood. The romance is very like Half-blood too. The rules and regulations too. Lol. Basically, they are very similar.
When I say romance, it was more of the subtle mutual attraction, but there's definitely much less acting upon feelings in ISLE OF NIGHT. It focuses more on the mysterious and dark aspects of the island and its otherworldly inhabitants. So if you're looking for romance, I urge you to turn back now.
The sadistic nature of the girls there, wow! It's even worse than HG. Much, much more action and killing. The darkness and jealousy in the girls' hearts bordered on insanity, and they were just so evil! Lol, I feel so inadequate to describe the whole thing now, but it was so BADASSSSSS! When Drew made her first kill, this cold, unfeeling calm settled over her, and she stabbed at this beast over and over, then dumped him live into a fire. After which she retreated into this numb stupor, trance-like state. But don't worry, Ronan helped pull her out of it.:) Then came her subsequent second kill. It was an accident, but it was also bloody damn cool.
There was this tournament thing going on in the back part of the book which was the ultimately focus of the book. Tournament rule is that you will be pitted against a single opponent, one on one. And let me tell you, IT WAS WICKED! 25 out of the hundred took part (because it really is a scary game, considering that you will be pitted against another girl who will probably be crazy and out for blood), and since you either knocked a person out or kill your opponent to win and the crazy peeps there preferred the former, 13 girls died in the end. I'm sorry I spoilered, but I'm just bursting to tell all this! It was so cool!!
I thought that the character development and world building were superb. I got to know the snarky, smart-ass heroine very well (even tho her sacarsm gets to me sometimes..You don't have to be SO sarcastic all the time, right? And this coming from me is saying a lot, mind you..). Yasuo and Emma, the supporting characters had such varing personalities, but they were perfectly delivered. The island was plain scary. There were "things" hidden in corners all around the looming buildings-mansions, and you wouldn't want to break a rule, lest be eviscerated by any of your teachers or the headmaster like that girl on the first day of school.
Oh one additional point I want to make about Drew is that she is so skepitcal and cynical about everything that it kinda irks me. And the fact that she KNOWS she's smart and sometimes tend to be a little snobby in her thinkings.
Random Musing (which you will not understand if you haven't yet read the book):
Y'know when Ronan told Drew that she will have one private study every day, and that hers will be swimming, and that he will be her tutor, my heart just about burst with laughter and happiness for both of them. Haha. See, thing is, Drew absolutely abhors and is terrified of swimming. So to get the boy that she is falling hard for as her private tutor, how cool is that watch?? Well, in this case it's read... But, how cool is that??
Oh yeah, and am I the only one who finds Alcantara hot? :X...more
I have never really been taken by the whole Fantasy genre with their olden kingdom politics and magicians running amok, bonding together, rebel againsI have never really been taken by the whole Fantasy genre with their olden kingdom politics and magicians running amok, bonding together, rebel against some crazy, evil king, then The End. But this, this book has changed my perception of it.
I loved it how Snyder didn't rush thru with the romance. (Sorry I kinda always start off with the romance part of the books I review. What can I say? I'm a romantic person. Lol, pfft. Yeah right, coming from a person who have never had a bf. Heh. Confessions of a nun, huh.XP No offense meant to any nuns out there) Lover boy and Avry started out hating each other, but we all know that they were going to end up together, so it was fun watching them piss each other off. She dragged out the tension between them, Lover Boy only softening towards her about a little more than halfway thru the novel, but when they finally admitted their feelings for each other.. Wow, you'll be thinking how worth the wait was. It was amazing, magical, and one of the sweetest love scenes I've seen in a long while.
The antagonist - Tohon. Very evil, very crazy, very greedy, and very powerful. A very dangerous combination. What's worse is that he isn't all old, wrinkly and gnarled, clawed hands. Instead, he was so very handsome, and his charming personality a terrifying arsenal that he uses with ease. He even convinced me at some points that he was one of the good guys! So handsome and smart.. Too bad he's got a black heart..
I liked Avry a lot. She was smart, very smart actually, very brave, very righteous, just, compassionate, witty, and self-sacrificing.
I thought that the plot and storyline were very convincing and believable for a Fantasy novel. Very political and there were the usual amounts of skirmishes between the countries, bounty hunters, merceneries, etc.
I loved Snyder's humor and wit in TOUCH OF POWER. It's so........fantasy-like. Lol, um duh, yes I know. But well, it's such a cute way of putting things. Cute, yes, that's the word I was searching for. A cute, witty humor.
One little thing that I noticed. Even tho we're constantly in Avry's head, Snyder doesn't reveal everything that she's thinking nor about everything that had happened in the past. It's effective in building up the suspense and adding in the thrill factor. It's cool. Just a little thing that I picked out that other novels seem to not be able to duplicate. Nothing major.
I've told you that I don't usually like Fantasy novels, right? I'll tell you why I loved this book: Snyder can WRITE. Even tho the plot wasn't all that different to any other Fantasy novels, it never, never got boring. Her description of the lush forests, the adrenaline-pumping actions scenes, and romantic scenes... They were absolutely, wonderfully delivered, and her words carried me to the end. Will definitely try her other series (I think it is called Poison series) soon!
Anyway, I loved it, and would recommend this to all Fantasy fans. Maybe if you would like to tone down on the gore and eroticism factor, you can try this YA Fantasy one! :)
*This eARC was provided by Netgalley and from Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.*
I was expecting so much more from DARK LOVER due to all the raves and publicity it's having. Having that saiOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
I was expecting so much more from DARK LOVER due to all the raves and publicity it's having. Having that said, I did like it, but am also a little disappointed. There was a slow start, the shifting point-of-views weren't helping at all, and the romance wasn't really developed. But the ending was intense which saved it all, and that's why it didn't end up with a 2.5 or less rating from me.
Wrath is the reluctant leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He's the only purebred vampire left in the world, biggest and one of the mightiest. One of his Brothers, Darius, has asked him to be the one who will take care of and offer his blood to his half-breed daughter, Elizabeth, as she goes through her inevitable transition to become a vamp. Wrath's her best bet for survival cause no one's blood is gonna get any purer than his, but Wrath doesn't want the extra baggage and intimacy. But fate has it that he meets Beth, and when he does, he's all but willing to be her caretaker.
But trouble is stirring not far from home, and the lessers, people who traded their soul with the Omega to become immortal zombies, are now becoming a united front, and with them in their game, the Brotherhood is facing a much larger threat. It is Wrath's duty to protect his race, and to step up to his role as King of the vamps and lead them towards a safer future.
First things first, the description of Wrath was downright hilarious. I mean, yeah he's big and fearsome, but I thought that the exaggeration went too far. He has long, dark hair, shoulders as broad as an I-beam, arms and legs the size of a grown woman's torso... He sounds like Hagrid. I mean, come on, even vamps, whom I remind you, are humanoid creatures, have to obey the realm of realism. Imagine if your boyfriend is twice your height, so your eye-level will be at the height of his dick. Now that's just disturbing.
The romance wasn't developed; It was more of lust-at-first-sight they've got going on, and they did the deed when they met the second time. I like the relationship between the protagonists to develop, so this aspect of the book didn't quite go along with me.
Two things that I found rather annoying about Ward's writing style were: 1) The shifting point of views (POV), and 2) her assumption that I know what the hell her abbreviations stand for. The pace of the book at the start wasn't very fast to begin with, and the way she alternated the POV between so many other characters was very irritating. I mean, I'm sort of only interested in Beth and Wrath, but she just kept switching to this lesser's POV and I'm like,"Shit, I don't give a damn!" Especially when there's something major happening around Beth and Wrath. And about the abbreviations. What, in the name of English, is SOP? I know SOB, POS, and all, but SOP? Not everyone lives in the same country and speak the same language (as in slangs and such) as you do. At least list it in the Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns at the front of the book.
Not to say that I didn't like the book, cause there was plenty of action, and I loved the idea of this secret band of brothers who were rather exclusive. Each of the brothers, Wrath, Torhment, Vishous, Phury, Zsadist and Rhage, each had their own curses, but they're really like boys when they're together. Example:
"Yo, cop, what time is it?" Vishous asked, groggy.
Butch reached for the bedside table. Next to his watch was a Red Sox hat, a gold lighter, and a black driving glove.
"Cool." The vampire rolled away. "Don't crack the drapes for another two hours. Or I'm up in flames and my brothers will leave you shitting in a bag."
Butch smiled. Vampires or not, he understood these guys. They spoke his language. Related to the world like he did. He felt comfortable around them.
It was damn eerie.
"You're smiling," Vishous said.
"How'd you know?"
"I'm damn handy with emotions. You one of those annoying, cheerful-in-the-moming types?"
"Hell, no. And this isn't morning."
The way they banter with each other is hilarious, and tension may arise sometimes due to the amount of testerone-filled, arrogant males in the same room, but they all really do treat each other like blood brothers. They're a tight group, and when they engage in battle with those lessers, let me tell you, they were hot. The way they fought, the way they moved! Cool.
I loved the characters, even the secondary ones. For example is Darius' doggen (who is something like a butler but more dedicated), Fritz, he is such a darling! He's so cute! Everytime someone rejects his offer to help, he'll seem like a crestfallen puppy. Hahaha, that's probably not very nice, but he really is very endearing. As for the main characters, I love all the brothers. And Beth. Even though Beth is the type of beautiful-but-I'm-absolutely-ignorant-of-that-fact girl, she's still strong, and she loves Wrath, so I like her. But it's a little ironic that Beth is drop-dead gorgeous but Wrath is partially blind so he can't really see her, don't you think?
One thing I found out after reading Book 3 in the series, Lover Awakened (yes, I've read Book 3 already cause I couldn't stand to be away from the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood), is that Ward can be brutal. I was feeling a little sad for Marissa in DARK LOVER. She was so callously used and, well, discarded. She didn't die, but the way she's been used and ignored after was heartbreaking. But I know that she will find her happy ever after, so I'm not overly upset.
DARK LOVER was a pretty above average read for me - I loved the Brotherhood's dark world, and I love the suspense, action, mystery and romance - and as I've read the next few books in the series, I can safely assure you that it gets better. Waaaay better, so I do recommend this book to readers, and highly encourage them to follow up with the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book comprises of two novellas - DRAGON ACTUALLY and CHAINS AND FLAMES (both are connecThis review was originally posted on A Bookalicious Story.
This book comprises of two novellas - DRAGON ACTUALLY and CHAINS AND FLAMES (both are connected).
To describe what I felt immediately after I got to the The End, I would probably put it as "Lukewarm".
Annwyl the Bloody and Fearghus the Destroyer have both earned their reputation, and they mighty well deserve it.
Both have a great destiny upon them, and both destinies are rather intimately intertwined, if you know what I mean. Lol.
Annwyl leads a fearsome rebellion which has garnered the support from the neighboring kingdoms against her cruel brother. Both hates each other, and wants to see the other's head on a pike. The last one standing gets to rule Dark Plains.
Fearghus is a prince, but an emotionless and unfeeling one at that. All he wanted was to live peacefully and alone in his cave in the Dark Glen, but all that serenity and tranquility was shattered when Annwyl and her adversaries stumbled in fighting to the death.
Annwyl was losing the fight and was bleeding heavily when Fearghus emerged from his cave in his dragon form. The other soldiers tried to run but were burnt to cinders mere seconds later. Annwyl just stood in front of the dragon, talked some crap, and fainted (from the wound at her side). Fearghus was intrigued by this woman who didn't cower or grovel at his feet upon meeting him, so he, with the aid of his sister, healed her.
Therein begins a great love story between dragon and woman. But their lives in peace were not to be, and soon, Annwyl has to lead her loyal troops to battle against her brother, who has managed to procure Hefaidd-Hen as an ally, one of the most powerful and feared wizards of all time...
I thought it rather cliche, actually. And Fearghus's attraction to her was close to instantaneous, which, I think, lacked proper development. It was all too soon when Fearghus started being afraid that Annwyl would have to leave him one day. However, Annwyl took some time to warm up to him, prompting Fearghus to court her (in their totally bizarro ways. Well, one is The Bloody and the other The Destroyer. What did you expect? Tulips and daisies?). Looking at them slowly get past the denial that they're in love and start to warm up to each other was sweet, and that saved my impression of the book.
The final battle which I was led to think was supposed to be an epic finale, but lol, it wasn't. It was actually all said and done in the middle of the book. Know why, cause Fearghus and Annwyl still had a lot to settle amongst themselves. So the back part of the book was mainly dedicated to the romance department more than the fantasy sector.
It wasn't bad, not all that amazing neither was it downright boring. Lukewarm, really.
1) The names in here are downright bizzaro.
Example: Briec the Mighty - it sounds like Brick. Lol, Mighty Brick. Gwenvael. Can you guess little Gwen's sex? He's a man. Gasp. Morfyd - It reminds me of morphine.. Fearghus - Fear girls. Really? Annwyl - It just sounds funny to me.
2) When Fearghus piss Annwyl off in one of their snarky banters and arguments that is a love-hate thing for me, Annwyl growls. She's a human, how can she growl? I can't growl, would love to, but... How?
3)Oh, and can I just say that I don't like the cover? Lol.
Chains and Flames
In a way, CHAINS AND FLAMES is very much similar to DRAGON ACTUALLY. CHAINS AND FLAMES is the story of how Berclek, Fearghus's father, met and courted Fearghus's mom, Rhiannon. And as the saying goes, like father, like son.
Rhiannon and her mom, the Queen of all dragons, hadn't had a very good mother and daughter relationship, and her mother, fearing her daughter's immense powers, sealed Rhiannon's magic and betrothed her to one of her most loyal commanders, Bercelek.
Hearing this, Bercelek needed no encouragement to Claim her, since he had already set his sights on her way back when they were merely 50 winters old (yes, back when they were younger, around 50 years of age. Lol)the very first time he laid eyes on her. But y'know, like Fearghus, Bercelek only likes those girls with a fearsome, strong-willed, and mighty obstinate attitude.
So that actually says a lot about our dear Rhiannon already, actually. She was very opposed to marrying the low born, loyal to her archenemy (her mom) Bercelek, but she hadn't any choice since her mom took the liberty to seal away her powers almost completely, rendering her unable to shift back to her humongous, beautiful, strong, white dragon form. All that and leaving her at the mouth of Bercelek's cave high up in the mountains, which means the only way out, is down.
Thus begin the slow seduction of the handsome dragon warrior to the girl of his dream, all kicking and scratching and ordering him around whenever he got near. That plus the traps and plots Rhiannon's evil mom have set in place for the couple...
I liked C&F more than DRAGON ACTUALLY. I'm not really sure why, with Rhiannon's masochistic love for being bound when Bercelek does his things to her (in bed, I might add), I found them more endearing.
The romance segment in here was developed much better; Rhiannon did not immediately take to being forced unto just another male by her overbearing and obnoxious mother. And although Bercelek kind of fell for her the instant he saw her, there was a good reason for that. It was an accident, really. Bercelek accidentally stepped on her tail when he was entering the throne room one day, and she turned around and almost killed him. And that turned him on. Weird, but it's a reason nonetheless.
Tho the romance did improve, the plot sure didn't. Lol, a little ridiculous and fantastic, if you ask me. Petty love affairs and family discord because of paranoia and frayed nerves. Very insubstantial.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banters between our protagonist couple and with Bercelek's family. I loved the sarcastic humor and those humor borne out of Rhiannon's innocence and Bercelek's possessiveness of her that Aiken imparted within.
Example 1: "He turned her to look at him, both hands gripping her upper arms. "Could you have been more obvious?"
She blinked in confusion. "Obvious about what?"
"Your blatant admiration of my father."
"Well even you have to admit he's bloody gorgeous!"
He didn't have to admit a damn thing.
She winced. "Oooh. Well that came out terribly wrong..."
Oh, speaking about being gorgeous, one thing I'm kinda miffed about is everyong, and I mean EVERYONE in their realm is beautiful. I mean, what the hell?
Example 2: [Something was happening to Rhiannon when she was in Bercelek's home and was surrounded by his parents and his many siblings.]
Then... she dropped. As if one of the gods slammed her with his mighty claws. But the force behind it was so great, Rhiannon’s body slammed through the floor of the Great Hall, disappearing from their sight.
“The dungeon! She’s gone to the dungeon!”
“We have a dungeon?”
Oh, and I loved some of her descriptions. HEE-larious.
Example: With a groaned sigh of resignation, he released her wrists and rolled onto his back. Still, she had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing at the sight of his erection creating a nice tent with the bedding.
Nice tent with the bedding...Like, WHAAT?
Haha, yep, other than that are the many sweet moments that Rhiannon and Bercelek had nearer to the end. But at the start, it's more of Bercelek's hot wooing. He was very confident and very alpha. Very dangerous combination, indeed. Yum. LOL.
It was a relaxing read, not too fast-paced or adrenaline pumping.
Anyway, yep, I would give this book a 4 gladly, or maybe a 4.5.:)...more
This book epitomizes "epic-ness at its pinnacle"; It is an electrifying, stunning debut.
I don't know what to say about this book, cause frankly, it was perfect, in every sense of that word. The suspenseful, action-packed, complicated but wholesome plot to the professional characterization, they were all wonderfully delivered. The thrill of the chase, hide-and-seek and having to second-guessing everyone's motives, the pain and heartache the characters felt and went thru permeated out of the pages and boy, was it nice to soak up all that lovely Paranormal YA goodness.
Deznee "Dez" Cross is your typical adrenaline-junkie teenager who loves to bungee jump off buildings and to surf trains. Ok, maybe not that typical. But she does have the normal dosage of rebellious-ness blazing within her. She drinks the coffee her dad said was a strict "no"; Dated guys whom her dad said was a strict "no"; Earned a tramp's reputation (not really by action. She spreaded the rumor herself) which - I hope - all dads would say is a strict "no". Pretty much everything her dad said "no" to, she did them. And when fate comes to play, things get real messy and everyone's innermost secrets would be laid in the dirt for all to witness...
And must I elaborate? It came in the form of Kale no-last-name. Kale who didn't know how to put on and remove his sneakers, Kale with the intense gaze, and Kale who seemed like he didn't want to touch anyone. Ok, the last was a dead giveaway, but oh well, now, the leap is yours to make.;)
No one's not without a secret, and when all secrets are out, all hell breaks loose. At least for Deznee.
Well, all I can say is: This is how you write YA. This is how you write Paranormal.
The first thing that I feel obligated to highlight, is the complexity and entirety of the plot. It was so detailed, so well-thought of and planned..it was just amazing, really. All that, and it never got confusing. Mind you, "confusing" and "complicated" are 2 very separate entities. It actually made it all the more believable.
The second most important thing - Kale. The ultimate girl-killer. That tortured, strong, fiercely-protective, strangely innocent soul that was our male protagonist. I've been emailing Stacey (Accardo's publicist at Entangled Publishing), and even she admitted she loved him. @Stacey, ADMIT IT!! Ratting you out. Haha.
Anyway, yes, I loved Kale. He had been kidnapped, tortured, and coerced to kill for the "law" firm, Denazen, but he came out stronger and quicker than ever. Even tho he doesn't know much about the outside world (yeah, Dez gotta teach him what is a kiss by demonstrating the different types of it to him. Loved that scene), he still knew how to survive, kick-butt, and develop some healthy level of looove for Dez, all in good time too. By the way, the cover Kale is perfect. That mysterious, dangerous aura about him suits him perfectly, and well, that's exactly how I pictured him to be - maybe even more accurate than what I imagined him to be in the beginning!
Initially, I wasn't very taken by the whole adrenaline-junkie, all punk-girl attitude that was Dez , but she became mature and she knew how to take matters into her own hands. I liked that about her. Her inner strength and resilience, add to that a funky and funny personality, it all just made her such a likable character.
This series is a very refreshing take on the whole YA Paranormal front, a very impressive debut. A nice little blend between the cool-ness of Xmen and his buddies, a little mix with the big, evil organization of the MINDER series by Kate Kaynak (click to see my review), and add in the fray Dan Brown's awesome mystery skills and you have TOUCH. This book, in its own right, is in a league all on its own.
THIS BOOK ENDED WITH A CLIFFHANGER!!! NOOOO. Imagine being sucked up into this wonderful wonderful world and being ripped out of it all of a sudden..*pants pants*. Lol, ok a little exaggerated there, but...:( It wasn't really a cliffhanger, not like Aprilynne Pike's Illusion (and definitely not as poorly written), but the sort of thing that will leave you with a little nugget of information that'll leave you thinking and speculating about it..SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL BE DYING TO KNOW ABOUT...*pants pants*. Lol. But yes, I am dying to continue reading and seeing for myself where it'll lead Kale and Dez.
P.S. I want the next book nooowww, yesterday. Whatever. Pronto!!...more
This review was originally posted on abookaliciousstory.blogspot.com .
I have no idea how to comment on this book, because really, there isn't much toThis review was originally posted on abookaliciousstory.blogspot.com .
I have no idea how to comment on this book, because really, there isn't much to go on about! I've just finished the book and I'm already writing the review! Which is a first. Usually I would be reeling from the emotional maelstrom (lol, a little exaggerating, but I have always felt a lot for books:D) after a novel, no matter my opinion of it. This one is more of a summer beach read where you'll lie on shore and breeze thru it, and once you're done, you'll place the book on your chest, sigh in contentment, then forget about it the next day.
Lol, lame, but true.
Elena Knightsbridge has been adopted into her uncle, aunt and cousin's not-very-loving fold since her parents died when she was just a kid. After her aunt died, her uncle has become increasingly bold in his perverted advances toward her and her cousin (whom I feel inclined to emphasize, is his daughter). Everything took a turn for the worse when her cousin chose to elope with a boy from the neighboring town.
I have to name an example so you can truly feel the revulsion that churned my guts as I read. Elena actually woke up one night to find her uncle standing over her bed just staring at her with those lusty eyes, and ugh.
Anyway now, being stuck with her uncle and having come of age has spurred her uncle to propose to her (not in a very, um, gentlemanly way). She then decided to up and seek refuge at the nearby castle atop the hill. Well that's totally not cliche.
So, lo and behold, therein lives handsome, tall, and dark Lord Drake of Wolfram Castle.
Let me just cut the crap and sum everything up from here on out: They fell in love (mm, surprise surprise. yay.). But their love was not meant to be because mortals and vamps are forbidden to fall in love. Furthermore, Drake's daddy dearest has already betrothed him to another vamp woman from another Coven. Political reasons, which are all the more stringent and binding.
Yep, that's all out for you in a nutshell. Not a nutshell, more like a cockroach capsule, in my opinion.
The plot was simple, not as eventful as one would normally expect, and slow-going. And their love started off with their attraction to the other's outer beauty. Lol, now you would expect me to say that I didn't like the book, huh? But no, surprisingly. Even tho the suspense and thrill factor in vamp romance novels was lacking and sorely inadequate, I actually kind of liked it. It made for a rather relaxing, pleasant, and as I've said, a summer beach read.
Elena..is...well, pretty (but as male protagonist Drake's incessant reminder, beautiful), loving, sweet (but I would actually call it gay and weak), and um.. Weepy. Yep, she is a weepy girl. That's all about her, really.
Drake..is... Tall, dark, and handsome. Did you expect anything less? I didn't. Utter perfection which will never exist in this world, warm, romantic, protective (yes, this one I appppprrroooovvveeee). He was tortured and imprisoned in a dungeon, but he still bargained for her safety and comfort at his expense. Hubba hubba.
Elena was the only character whom Ashley deemed fit to develop. I still don't know much of Drake's past, or anyone else's for that matter. Side characters were just that, on the sidelines, periphery, y'know what I mean?
But there was humor in this, albeit a little scarce and far between. The only one I can remember came in the form of Elena's innocence. Example: [Elena wanted to swim in the lake behind the Wolfram Castle where they live, but the water was too cold when she tested it. Drake came up to her then and said to trust him and go in.]
Surprisingly, as she waded out closer toward him, the water grew warmer. “Why is it warmer out here?” she asked suspiciously. “You didn’t pee in the pool, did you?” Drake threw back his head and laughed. “No, my love. I merely infused a little preternatural power into the water to warm it for you.” Elena sighed with amazement. Truly, there was nothing this man couldn’t do.
Lol, and there were a few times where I thought her descriptions became an unintended comedy.
Example: He had an arousal that would have done a stallion proud.
Lastly, I thought that this book should be classified under the Young Adult genre. (It isn't, right?) There weren't any sexual scenes in here, zero, nada. The closest it ever came to being rated was that stallion arousal thing up there. All it ever said was them undressing then oh, they climaxed, murmurred sweet nothings, then sleep.
That's it really. Nothing overly fanciful and exciting, but pleasant and relaxing. Didn't regret picking it up, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.
1) Did the author choose Wolfram as the castle's name because there really is a castle in Transylvania called Wolfram, or is she just trying to be lame and use "wolf" because of the reknown fact that lycans and vamps are sworn enemies? That's like the weirdest sense of humor. Ever.
2) When Drake was summoned in front of his father, the Master Vampire of wherever he is head of, Elena went with him. And over there, there are humans kept there as "nourishment" for the vamps ensconced there, and they are called Sheeps. Elena was wondering whether the vamp captors take good care of the Sheeps, and when she saw that they were, she thought: Of course, it only made sense that the vampires would take good care of their food supply.
***So I would like to take this chance to tell everyone out there reading this review to tell all those mother f-ers who abuse the animals that are bred to be our food source: STOP ABUSING THEM FOR NO GOOD REASON OTHER THAN FOR YOUR OWN SICK, PERVERSE PLEASURES. It's common sense to treat them well, douchebags. They are already sacrificing their lives unwillingly to sustain your own, be grateful.***...more