For the past two installments I've always questioned whether my anxiety for each 1 half years of waiting was justified. I really liked how quirky CleaFor the past two installments I've always questioned whether my anxiety for each 1 half years of waiting was justified. I really liked how quirky Clean Sweep was (I mean, how many innkeeper books in mainstream urban fantasy are there out there, right??); Sweep in Peace was surprisingly even more enjoyable than Clean Sweep; and now One Fell Sweep has sealed my obsession for this series. I LOVED IT SO MUCH it hurts.
It's funny that I've never been a fan of the Andrews' Kate Daniels series, but OFS is easily my best read this year. There's something really simple and matter-of-fact to the author duo's writing style, but it's just so addictive. I mean, I just want to keep reading about Caldenia's serene Mello Yello-sipping, and Orro's adorable gruffness. Even reading about Dina decorating a Christmas tree MAKES ME SO CONFUSINGLY HAPPY.
We really got to explore more of the ginormous cosmos of the Innkeeper Chronicles, and usually the problems Dina faces is within the compound of Gertrude's Hunt, but now a whole new species is bringing their conflict to her doorstep. So much action, we learn so much more about innkeepers and Dina's crazy lovely connection with her inn, more characters are introduced WHO ARE JUST AWESOME BTW. And Sean. Yes. Mmhmm. Wow. Yum. Luvin' the progress there, thank you Andrews.
And I really love that I can't really categorize this book?? It's an amazing blend of every genre I love (PNR, UF, a little sci-fi, fantasy). It's just a corn soup of brilliance....more
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that maOrginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that made CLEAN SWEEP a refreshing and exciting read. Judging from the cover I was expecting Fantasy, but it turned out to be URBAN fantasy. I was in the mood for some fantasy, but this turned out to be an unexpectedly-fortunate mistake.
Dina is an innkeeper, and that means she has magical abilities and she's strongest when she's within the boundaries of her inn. Innkeepers have a sort of connection to their inns that allows the inn to respond to commands and comments from their keepers. They're sort of like a really loveable pet dog - the inns, I mean. Inns thrive with the flow of customers and guests, so with good business, the inn becomes stronger; Too little or no guests will cause an inn to go into hibernation.
Dina's parents were innkeepers that run a thriving inn, with a booming business and top ratings, a whopping five-stars. A highly-rated inn will be reflected in the directory and that tells customers that it is safe and guarantees quality. Dina's learnt the ropes and is pretty familiar with the codes and etiquettes that comes with being an innkeeper. However, about three years ago, her parents and their inn vanished without a trace and her brother and her had spent a few years attempting to find clues to their disappearance but to no avail. She decided to settle down and The Innkeeper Assembly allocated to her Gertrude Hunt, an inn that went into hibernation years ago.
With time, patience and lots of TLC, she slowly coaxes Gertrude Hunt out of its slumber and even have a permanent guest, the eccentric but elegant Her Grace Caldenia who has a thing for Funyuns and Mello Yello...and who's cannibal too. Anyway, it's all peaceful until her neighbor's dogs start to turn up at public places grotesquely mauled that Dina starts to investigate. Innkeepers are neutral ground, and that means staying out of anything that does not directly threaten their inns and their customers. But Dina can't just stand by and let this...whoever it is start killing and threatening the lives of the people in her town.
In walks Sean Evans, ex-military and resident werewolf who just moved into town a few months back. When their town is threatened, werewolves usually feel the need to protect it and establish their claim on the town. Then the Marshal of vampire house Krar, Arland, from some other planet drops by too claiming that the one responsible was a wanted criminal from their planet. And so Dina will have to work with two very big, bad, infinitely stubborn and protective dudes to save their little town.
I want to be an innkeeper too, dammit! This writing-duo made Clean Sweep such an adorable and fun read that I just want to be a part of their imaginary world for just awhile.
Dina is a very relatable character. She might not be kickass, but she has a broom that can change shape when she sends her magic into it, a Shih Tzu that isn't really a Shih Tzu but is still plenty cute and an inn that can send out roots to hold down attackers and wield guns to help defend itself and Dina. Then there's the cool, calm and gorgeous werewolf, Sean, and reserved, mysterious and muscular vampire, Arland. I wouldn't say that they were terribly unique love interests in the UF genre, buuuut they do provide comic relief that's for sure. (Watch out for Arland with coffee, hahaha. Vamps have this funny reaction when they ingest caffeine)
CLEAN SWEEP is a short, light and fun novella with just the right amount of humor, action and good ol' UF mystery. The ending provided enough closure, but I sense so much more adventure coming our way. CLEAN SWEEP was originally published free at this website, chapter by chapter each week, and it's been announced that they're doing it again for the sequel starting early 2014. I'll probably wait for the final copy of the book cause I prefer to read my books in one shot. I'll definitely be checking out the Andrews' other works in the mean time though!...more
*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly,Quickie Review
*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly, there was more focus on the development in the romance department between the commanding, enigmatic Vlad and Leila in TWICE TEMPTED, but that didn't take away from the overall story or pace.
I'm not sure how to describe Leila, other than that she's loyal to the people she loves to a fault, she's stubborn, but oddly vulnerable to her feelings for Vlad and her family. She's such a beautifully flawed yet amazing woman, y'know wha' I mean? After acclimatizing to the harsher, more brutal (and oddly medieval) world of vampires, she's starting to stand on her own again, and she's gotten more badass! I liked that she faces her problems, that she tries to help Vlad any way she can while also thinking for her family, she doesn't make the same mistake of doubting Vlad again when people whisper poison in her ears, and have I mentioned she's definitely become more badass?
A determined new love interest, a vengeful ex-lover, and a stubbornly sexy man unwilling to open his heart. What is an electricity-wielding woman to do when life keeps throwing excretion in her fan? (Ok I tried to be less crude about it, but wasn't very successful I can tell. And sorry I butcher the English language. Whoops.)
Anyway, I couldn't ask for a better sequel, and I am dying to get my hands on book three. (Which still doesn't have any information released yet other than it's the last in the series. *sobs hysterically*) If you enjoyed ONCE BURNED, you'll definitely like TWICE TEMPTED. Maybe even more so! RECOMMENDED. :)
P.S. (view spoiler)[I have some questions about the book as I was reading ONCE BURNED and TWICE TEMPTED... Like when Vlad and Leila were hunting for the mastermind behind Leila's kidnap in OB, why couldn't Vlad just see Szilagyi's face in Leila's mind after she did her essence-tracing thing? Couldn't she just think of Szilagyi so Vlad can pick it out of her mind? And in TT, why Vlad couldn't read Leila's mind after she turned into a vampire? Vlad could read Maximus' mind before, so being a vampire shouldn't have given her extra neuro-protection... I'll email Jeaniene to see what she says. ;) (hide spoiler)]...more
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ONQuickie Review
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ONCE BURNED!
The plot was simple yet superbly enjoyable, and there were the action, the gore, the romance, so ONCE BURNED is far from a mindless good read, it's an amazing read. I loved the entire cast of characters - Leila, Vlad (though he does take high-handed to a whole new level), Maximus, Marty, everyone. Each character had their own distinct voice and (very endearing) personality.
Frost's version of vampires (and Vlad, the Dracula of old, the source of inspiration Bram Stoker drew from) was the classic, fly-superhuman-speed-and-strength, kind. If my memory doesn't fail me and Dracula could fly. Well, at least they don't sparkle in daylight (thank you, Jeaniene!). But in addition to the original vamp model, Vlad had an affinity for fire, able to summon and wield it. Others have other powers they inherit from their sires but it will only manifest after some time. The only thing that didn't really sit well with me was Leila's abilities to sense a person's essence - to see said person's defining moment in life, be it their darkest sin or life-changing tragedy, trace the essence to the person's present location and glimpse his/her possible future - and being a walking electricity generator after touching (and almost dying) a downed power line during a storm. I mean, come on, this might be an urban fantasy, but still. And the lack of world-building.
However, even with the minimal world building, ONCE BURNED had all the thrills and fuzzies that reminded me why I fell in love with this genre a long time ago, and it kept me glued to it's pages so much so that I didn't bother to update my reading status on Goodreads and grab the second installment, TWICE TEMPTED, right off my shelf once I was done with it. I don't know why I haven't ventured into Frost's Night Huntress world earlier, but I'd definitely check out Cat and Bones' story. I'd say ONCE BURNED is a pretty classic UF read, but there's just this something I can't put my finger on that makes it so addictive; Strongly recommend this to any UF/PNR readers and vampire lovers out there!...more
“For a moment she almost relaxed. Then the mutton stew appeared. Blade spread his arms across the back of the seat and watched her stare at it as th
“For a moment she almost relaxed. Then the mutton stew appeared. Blade spread his arms across the back of the seat and watched her stare at it as though she’d never eaten in her life…and had suddenly found a dead fly in her bowl.
“Try the fork,” he recommended. “It’s much easier than mentally consumin’ the meal.”
KISS OF STEEL was an impulse read for me, considering it's only 5 days till my exams start! That, and I've never really been a fan of steampunk romances - I've DNFed my first venture into this genre and the other one, Wicked as They Come, I did like, but I wasn't that sold on this genre yet. I came across a review of KOS and it sounded like a "my" kind of book - come on, innocent but strong-willed heroine fallen on hard times and an infamous cutthroat hero who's earned his reputation through his own sweat and blood...classic! Who can resist that? - so I went in search of it, devoured it, and am giving it a 4.5-star rating.
I think one of the main reasons I was so taken with KOS was because McMaster focused mainly on character, plot and romance development, with just a little steampunk atmosphere, so I'm thinking hardcore steampunk fans ain't going to click that well with this one! The only steampunk elements in this book was the dark and gritty atmosphere, gas lamps, robots called metaljackets that has rocketlauncher hands, corset-wearing wenches and a darkly sexy rookery boss called Blade swooping in to sweep his lady off her feet. Just had to add that last part, haha. But other than that, it's really just about Honoria and her siblings falling on hard times, how she pulls through it for her family, hiding her inner demons and raising enough money for food and medicine for her brother.
That said, I LOVED the cast of characters and how the storyline developed! Lets talk about my favorite character first...Blade!! I mean, look how awesome his name is! He's not just another Lucas or Peter or Mark, he's Blade. Haha, he's the Devil of Whitechapel, protector of the people there but he's also feared and respected. His past is bloody and a mystery, he's also a man with a vengeance, but inside he's so sweet and charming! When he saw how Honoria was starving and struggling for her family, he helps her in a way that didn't hurt her pride. One thing I didn't understand was how fast Blade warmed up to Honoria though, the first time he saw her he was already attracted, and this is allegedly the Devil of 'Chapel that we're talkin' bout here, mind 'ya! (Yep, he has an accent! ;)
Honoria is a loyal, self-sacrificial, and strong woman who teaches gentlemen and women how to speak and act like proper gentlemen and women. When she brought her family to Whitechapel to hide from the clutches of her enemy in the Echelon, the pristine city behind walls with electricity-lasers (hmm, do I sense a little Dystopian here?), she had to pay the head honcho a little something to live in his territory and for his protection, but she has little money and she will not be his thrall (servants who are well looked-after but in turn has to provide blood for their Blue Blood master). Her pride will not allow it, and anyway, she's not that desperate. Yet. So she made a deal to teach him to speak and read in exchange for his protection.
Then there's stoic, quiet Will and Rip, his second-in-commands, O'Shay and his other loyal family he's adopted over the years. There's Honor's hotheaded sister and brother infected by the Blue Blood virus, bloodlust slowly clouding his vision. And then there's this really side character, Jasper Lynch, head of the Nighthawks guild, the Blue Blood outcasts who hunt targets for the Echelon. Even though he didn't play a big role in KOS, I thought he was almost as compelling as Blade!! He's this tall, imposing, straight-to-the-point man-of-few-words! He's going to get his own book in book 3, LADY QUICKSILVER, and I'm so excited to get my hands on it!
Anyway, it was a joy to see how Blade chipped away the icy fortress of Honoria's distrust, how she fought her attraction and charm of Blade. And how Blade protects her from the vampire terrorizing Whitechapel every night after the sun set. He's afraid he'll become a vampire one day, it's inevitable for every Blue Blood infected by the virus, once the virus level exceeds a certain level, the bloodlust will take over completely and turn them into slowly-rotting monsters. Even if he manages to convince Honoria to accept his care and feelings, how is he supposed to fight against the virus? And what about that vampire that is faster, stronger and more bloodthirsty than him who seemed to have a vested interest in Honor? And then there's the enemy from the Echelon and Honor's past.
I LOVED the ending! There was action, it was fast-paced and the plot was unfolding so quickly that the pages were just sweeping past me! The closure in the end was unexpected and heartwarming. Loved it!
There's humor, there's mystery, romance, heartbreak, family and loyalty. KISS OF STEEL was strangely addictive! I'd recommend this to paranormal romance, maybe historical and mild steampunk lovers!
“...I see a man who clawed his way out of the gutters and took control of his life. I see a man who made a family of his own. Who loved. And is loved. I see a man I want to kiss.” Her hand stroked down his back. “I see a man I want to…to give myself to.”
The cover doesn't do this book any justice! In fact, I don't think anything will! I think this will probably be one of my 2013 favourite among my favoThe cover doesn't do this book any justice! In fact, I don't think anything will! I think this will probably be one of my 2013 favourite among my favourites!! For a book with so little romance... I think I love this book more than many other romance novels out there. For a romance junky like me that didn't create a romance tag because I'll just tag every book I read... Wow. WRITTEN IN RED is da bomb. Anne Bishop is DA BOMB.
*3.5 stars* A fast, enjoyable read with a little mystery, romance, and the typical band of powerful, deadly, badass brothers trying to keep a world on*3.5 stars* A fast, enjoyable read with a little mystery, romance, and the typical band of powerful, deadly, badass brothers trying to keep a world on the brink of war on all sides with the witches, demons, and shifters.
**spoiler alert** This fourth instalment didn't quite make the cut for me. It basically revolved around 3 main focal points - Rose going to Russia to**spoiler alert** This fourth instalment didn't quite make the cut for me. It basically revolved around 3 main focal points - Rose going to Russia to find her newly-dead-undead-Strigoi lover, one sexy Dmitri Belikov, meeting him and being his captive, then escaping and returning to her best friend, Vasilissa Dragomir, at the St. Vladimir's Academy.
It wasn't so much of her going to Russia because the story started out with her already being there for a few days, going to places that Moroi and dhamphirs will go to where she tries to find out the location of Dmitri's hometown, Omsk, Siberia (or something). She has this hunch that tells her she'll find Dmitri at his old home. There, she meets an assortment of people - Dmitri's simple, loving family, including his eccentric, all-too-knowing, future-dreaming grandma (who was unexpectedly endearing), and Abe, a Moroi mobster leader.
To me, it was rather dull and uneventful for the most part of the book. The only kick I got out of the entire 503 pages was the ending where Rose got into this epic showdown with Dmitri. That one was SWEETE action! It didn't happen at just one scene. There was the initial attack, then the chase and another fight, and in between those were the heartbreaking dialogues that they had. Even though Rose was being the usual mean, haughty, arrogant bitch to Adrian throughout the book whenever he visited her in her dreams - after which, I feel obliged to add, she so lowly used her non-existent feminine charms to extort money from him to fund her mini escapade into the land of the mafias - my heart really went out to her at the end. It was heartwrenching, to say the least, to look at how far gone Dmitri was. How cold, calculating and menacing he became.
There was this scene where after everything Adrian's done to Rose, she still called him "silly, shallow, party-boy Adrian" and I just about exploded. Seriously? I mean, seriously?? He's done all he can to help her and that's all she has to say? And it's not like she doesn't know why he partakes in such vices! His reasons are as legitimate as they come! IMO, that is. And only after Adrian started showing some interests in this new girl at campus (through Lissa's eyes as Rose is AWOL in mafia land) that she started to realise just how much she's come to like him. Talk about missing something when it's gone...
I have rooted for Dmitri all this while, and while I do still support him as love interest, being a cold, dead being would sort of debilitate that passion, y'get what I mean? I do like Adrian, and the more he gets the spotlight, the more depth you see in him, the more I think I'm swaying over to Team Adrian. Furthermore, he isn't without his charms, too. So, yeah, hard as it seems, I think I'm swaying over to Team Adrian. I'm still clear on Team Dimka, just not so far into that territory anymore. ;P
I felt that Mead dragged this one out too much this time, and I was wishing quite fervently for the end to come. Really, I think the first three-quarters or thereabout was spent dedicated to Rose's agonizingly slow search for Dmitri; A.k.a? This book didn't warrant a whopping 503 pages. Not to say that Blood Promise wasn't good, it just wasn't as gripping a novel as its 3 predecessors. I'm still very interested in finding out what happens next though, so yes, I'm still quite mad about this series, but hoping that the pace will increase in the final two novels of this oddly addictive YA vamp romance series!...more
*3.5 stars* Frostbite didn't fail to deliver! Vampire Academy was quite a good start to a series, and Frostbite had the same amount of danger and acti*3.5 stars* Frostbite didn't fail to deliver! Vampire Academy was quite a good start to a series, and Frostbite had the same amount of danger and action that VA had, more intense emotions, heartbreaks and heartaches, more secondary characters and love rivals and interests come into play! I won't peg this as one of my favourite series, but there's just this something that makes it so addictive. I'm literally gobbling this series up one book per day! Which is seriously jeopardizing my exams tomorrow, but that's just it! It's too, goddamned addictive. (Sorry for the language.)
Might be Dmitri, might be the new hot guy in town, Adrian, might be how Rose knows how to kick some serious ass, might be how Rose's mom is THE coolest female dhamphir guardian in this era and she's now in the picture, might be...... As you can see, this book is packed with SO MANY awesome factors, so yes, it was a thrilling and gripping novel. In this cliched, vampire-novel kind of way. You might think this is a good thing, or bad, depends on how you see it. But now, there's no time to lose; I'm off to reading the next book, Shadow Kiss! ;)
P.S. For those who read my reviews regularly, I'm not going to be writing any full length reviews for quite some time cause Junior College life in Singapore is hardcore to the max. No time to do anything but MUG. Means studying and cramming over here, by the way....more
This series just keeps getting better and better! Shadow Kiss started off with a BAM, literally, and it only gets dull once in awhile. But most of theThis series just keeps getting better and better! Shadow Kiss started off with a BAM, literally, and it only gets dull once in awhile. But most of the time, it's action after mystery after thrilling romance after action. Rose is facing more problems with her bond with Lissa, more problems then she'd at first anticipated, and her relationship with Dmitri isn't getting any better. With Adrian thrown into the mix and a ghost Mason appearing, distracting her during her field experience where she and the other dhamphir novices are assigned a Moroi to protect and their teacher guardians will act as Strigoi, attack them and grade them according to their responses for six months? Ross's life at St. Vladimir's Academy isn't what she'd call smooth.
Outside of the Academy, things are stirring awake, and the Strigoi are banding together. This has never happened before, and their planning something big this time. Something that may change the Moroi world forever. And zooming in closer to home, something that may alter Rose's world forever. Can Rose and Dmitri survive the onslaught of problems being thrown at them? Can they survive the looming Strigoi army that is banding together?
You know, usually in this type of cases, the answer will be yes, they will be able to survive. But this is where Shadow Kiss is different. I'm just going to be upfront with all this and say that no, they didn't. Not totally unscathed at least. I wasn't caught totally off-guard though, since I'm a spoiler fan (don't flame me. It's just who I am. :P) and ran off to read spoiler reviews before I even started on the book, but still.
As per VA and Frostbite, the side characters, mainly Eddie, Alberta, and Rose's other friends (and enemies), took on more proactive roles this time; Eddie especially. He was loyal, dedicated, and he matured into such a badass guardian! But when Lissa asked if he would like to date Rose, he actually blushed a little shyly and said no. It was mainly because Mason, Eddie's best friend who had a major crush on Rose and the one who died only recently because of their little misadventure and run-in with some Strigoi, was Rose's boyfriend.
If there wasn't a continuation, I would've been flaming this book and giving it an altogether different kind of rating, but seeing as it isn't, well, I'm going off to read some spoiler reviews for Blood Promise and reading it soon. But before that, I'd like to point out one really promising thing about Mead: Mead doesn't employ cliffhangers in her novels. Not a major one, at least. She does tie things up nicely, but there's just this one small tidbit that keeps you clinging on to this series desperately, like an addict (I think it's safe to say that I am currently addicted to VA), just wanting a little more of VA, inside anxious to find out what's going to happen next. I think that some authors end their novels with cliffhangers is to ensure that their readers will continue patronising the series most of the time. It's frustrating and unnecessary. I mean, why the insecurity? That's why I liked Shadow Kiss. The end is where Rose is all set to leave the Academy for good cause it's her eighteenth bithday. But as I've said, it's won't be a happy eighteenth birthday. It's such a tease! But it doesn't frustrate because it's not really a cliffhanger!
A great read! The stakes just keeps rising and you're going to want to have book 4, Blood Promise, on hand before you read Shadow Kiss!
P.S. I kept thinking about what the Moroi Queen, Tatiana, told Rose at the end of Frostbite, and the more I think about it, the more angry I get for Rose! Tatiana's CRAZY! Haha, ok, end of random rant....more
Wolff is one talented and imaginatively sadistic author; BLOOD FEVER had so much more bloodshed, action and, not surprisingly, romance! (Carden!! GAH!Wolff is one talented and imaginatively sadistic author; BLOOD FEVER had so much more bloodshed, action and, not surprisingly, romance! (Carden!! GAH!) Everything was back more intense, and the storyline was a little more complex with a confuddling riddle at the end!
Drew is back at the Isle of Night after her hard-won mission with Alcantara, at which one mysteriously attractive Carden McCloud was rescued. Drew's having a tough time dealing with the bond that she unknowingly forged with McCloud, craving for him and his blood and all, plus the newest assignment that the vampires dumped onto her - to ensure the safety of her new roommate, Mei-Ling. There's something a little off with Mei, not in the psychopathic-pyromaniac way that her previous roommate Lilac was, but Mei didn't come to the Isle of Night willingly. Not like Drew or the rest of the Acaris that were outcasts in society. Thing is, Mei isn't even an outcast in society with a family that wouldn't miss her even if she were gone. She had a loving family and a loyal boyfriend. Mei was abducted. But why? The only thing that Mei have in common with the she-wolves at the Isle of Night is that she has a gift, a very peculiar and dangerous gift that the vampires are interested about. Mei's good at playing musical instruments, and Drew's going to find that out what's so special about it.
Also going on at the Isle of Night are strange killings that are happening around the island. Random people are turning up exsanguinated and nobody knows the how and why. And the Directorate seems to think that Carden's the culprit.
So, on top of finding out why the vampires are so interested in Mei, Drew's got to protect her from Masha, the other Guidons and Acaris AND protect her own hide from her hate club at the island (which surprisingly has a huge fan base) AND figure out the nitty gritty of her bond with Carden AND clear his name to save him from a possible public staking.
I love all those private moments between her and Carden. They're reaaaally sweet together. But what makes this book different from its predecessors is the amount of bloodshed! I'm still reeling from all the fights that Drew had been pitted through in BLOOD FEVER! Especially at the end. It was one fight after another after another traumatic accident. More, much, much more people are going to die and when they do, a new mystery pops up and Drew's in deep enough that she's going to figure it all out.
This series gets more and more interesting and intense that once you pick ISLE OF NIGHT up, you know you're a goner till the series ends. This Watchers series is similar to The Hunger Games series, but in my opinion, better and much more intriguing. Gripping till the end! Can't wait till next June for the next and fourth instalment in the series, THE KEEP (which, very aptly, is the new mystery that Drew has to solve. (view spoiler)[Is it where all the dead girls are brought?? OH MAN, I can't wait to read it!!! (hide spoiler)])....more
Kitty Thomas' books are always so psychologically thrilling and disturbing, and after reading other readers' reviews, I feel so disturbed. But can youKitty Thomas' books are always so psychologically thrilling and disturbing, and after reading other readers' reviews, I feel so disturbed. But can you fault me for wanting to read The Last Girl? Hmm, a girl do need her secret, guilty pleasures once in awhile. :P
*3.5 stars* What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the cover? My first thoughts were: Surreally mysterious and darkly sensual. I'm a girl who likes a dark erotica once in awhile and am entitled to my occassional guilty pleasures, and I think my erotica side was more dominating at the time, so after reading the synopsis, I was hell-bent on getting a copy of THE LAST GIRL. I went straight to Thomas' website, found her contact list and requested a copy. She generously gave one to me, and after that, I signed up for THE LAST GIRL's tour when the sign ups were up.
THE LAST GIRL holds a certain similarity to COMFORT FOOD, Thomas' very first novella and another dark erotica. Both were deeply disturbing and highly, well, stimulating, but I have to say that THE LAST GIRL captivated me more.
My Summary (a.k.a. SPOILERS!) The story's almost exactly as the synopsis portrays it to be - Julia was thirteen years old when her house was broken into. Her parents were out, and Julia was home alone. She hid in her cupboard and hoped that the burglars would steal what they would and just leave her alone. Unharmed. Unscathed. Unseen. But what she didn't expect was for those very burglars be able to smell and sense her out. The cupboard door opens but she doesn't open her eyes. She pleads for her life, saying that she hadn't seen them, and she wouldn't rat them out if they would just let her live. One of them, a male, spares her. Something about him calms her. And after some time, they left.
Julia has been living with the same nightmare where the male burglar would somehow come back for her six years after the incident. And of course come back he did.
Christian has been alive since before the 14th century. He's taken many women as pets, but he ends up killing all of them in the process. Or they end up killing themselves. Either way. He's been abstaining from getting another one, but this one's too hard to resist. Since the time he saw her, eyes shut tight and compliant, he couldn't stop thinking about taking her. But the time is not right yet. He will bid his time until the moment she is ripe and for the reaping to come to make his presence in front of her again.
He's determined to keep this one alive, but how can he? When he is the lion and she the lamb? When his blood lust keeps trying to take control?
My Thoughts I thought that the romance and plot of the book moved a little too fast that it bordered on impracticality sometimes, but most of the other times, I thought it was good and comfortable. It got confusing sometimes too, but Thomas seemed to have address those few points in the book. For example, Christian was lost in his blood lust once and was killing Julia when all of a sudden, he snapped out of it and says, "I think I love you." And I went, "okayyyy". Julia went on to reminisce about the time when she read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, feeling cynical about the possibilities of true love developing over only a short time, and that now she finally gets it. Only those who went through the torturous yet wonderful process will understand its magic and complexity. Well, that's one way to solve the problem. Even though it wasn't as much of an explanation, she did tie up all the loose ends in this book, and for that I thought that it was a job well done.
Also because TLG is a novella, the originally goody-two-shoes Julia had her inhibitions about "public displays" stripped away rather quickly. It happened in this club that catered to patrons with more extreme sexual needs (think BDSM), where hypnotic, erotic electronica plays in the background that soothes away your fears and throbs and "envelopes [her] like a primal scream as [they, meaning Julia and Christian] step into manufactured fog". I've never heard of music that could turn people horny, but I'll keep a lookout for that and give Julia the benefit of the doubt in the mean time. But anyway, the other patrons there are enough to give the sexually-charged atmosphere, so it was pretty, well, lascivious.
I loved the vivid descriptions that Thomas wrote. She has this way of writing that can paint a clear scene in my head.
Christian was a damn fine hero-villain to the story, mostly. He was the dark, mysterious, powerful, ancient, handsome, commanding (maybe a little too commanding sometimes) vampire that I prefer, it was just sometimes he wasn't as brooding and person-of-little-words as was my personal ideal. But still, I still liked the way he was with Julia - caring and tender at times, and domineering and sexy in others.
I think that all of Thomas' books have their own specialty and unique feature about them. In COMFORT FOOD it was the psychological play that she did on the readers and heroine's mind, in this it was the haunting past that connected her to a vampire obsessed with her. Someone who had so much power over her, and someone who stalked her and knew everything about her for years. Someone who was as much looking out for her as preventing her from being touched by other males.
It did get boring at one part where I almost stopped reading the book, but after that the pace picked up, and I couldn't stop reading it. I'd recommend this to fans of dark erotica and BDSM....more
FIRE BAPTIZED was an unexpectedly captivating novel! I haven't been enjoying the books that are provided forOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
FIRE BAPTIZED was an unexpectedly captivating novel! I haven't been enjoying the books that are provided for the blog tours that I've signed up for for the past few months, so I wasn't expecting much from FB initially and was even a little prejudiced toward it at the start, somehow convincing myself at page 2 that I will not like the book. But imagine my shock when, as I continued flipping its pages, the flippin' got faster and faster, and I just had to finish it in one sitting (I did it in two, actually, because I still need my beauty sleeps at night:P).
Lanore Simone Vesta is a Mixie, a mixbreed with both Fairy and Demon blood within her, who can create and manipulate fire with any part of her body. She lives with a childhood friend and past lover, MeShack. He happens to also be a Were-leopard. A really protective, possessive, and ultra hot one.
Lanore is part of the Mixbreeds For Equality (MFE), a revolutionary group that aims to fight for the rights of Mixies who are looked down upon by both the Humans and Supernaturals (Supes) which is headed by Zulu, Lanore's current lover and an alpha-male Mixie who has the connections and wealth.
The Supernaturals and Mixbreeds live in the Habitat, where there is a boundary that they cannot cross. It's not a bad world, with proper schools, universities, clubs and such, but when Lanore stumbles upon a live murder scene one day, she becomes a target of a serial killer with a fetish for draping the crime scene with the victim's decorated body parts. But what if the serial killer isn't just dismembering random passers-by? What if, there was a pattern and a purpose to all these killings?
Not only must Lanore solve these issues and handle MFE matters, she must also deal with the emotional confusion that is Zulu and MeShack, two very hot-headed and sexy half-Shifters...
I was honestly hooked to FB while I was reading it, and felt so sorry when the epilogue came up. I even chanced reading it in class! There was that steamy hot love triangle that I was seriously not expecting, and a complicated murder case that was mind-blowing. The suspense was intense, and the plot scared me a little for awhile, and I LOVED it.
Lanore's a very cool heroine. She's just the right amount of kickass and feminine; She sticks up for herself, fights her own battles, but when things got real bad and horrific, she did lose it for awhile, and had to be taken care of by the boys, but that all just made her seem all the more real and....well, cool! MeShack and Zulu too. I thought that their names were so odd when I first read about them, but it didn't matter anymore as I got to know them. They. Were. HOT. Haha, and so protective, possessive, romantic, cheeky, hot-tempered, testosterone-y, and sexy.
I liked Kenya's writing style too - the plot flowed smoothly and the scenes were illustrated vividly. The murder scenes were portrayed in all their gory detail which did gross me out quite badly, and it truly seemed like a horror story at one point. But that just goes to show how truly well FB was planned and written. Lanore was becoming obsessed with finding the murderer as it was becoming clear that she was going to be one of the next victims, and I was as confused as she was while she was still trying to solve the case. But when the big revelation came, you would go, "Why didn't I make the connection?!" It was so shocking, and I couldn't, for the life of me, have guessed who the bigass mastermind was! That part was fantastically well done.
I'd recommend FIRE BAPTIZED to fans of Paranormal Romance and Mystery/Thrillers. I'm so glad I took this tour up, and I'm anxiously awaiting for book 2, THE BURNING BUSH....more