I need to rant. I'll rant then I'll get to my review proper. HMPH.
Now I'm just pissed. I've been rooting for Ashyn since the start because even thoughI need to rant. I'll rant then I'll get to my review proper. HMPH.
Now I'm just pissed. I've been rooting for Ashyn since the start because even though she's the scholar while Moria's the fighter, Ashyn has been trained in the ways of the sword but she's always portrayed as the burden in battle, the one that needs coddling or basically just the underdog. There's so much potential for her, but the spotlight is always on Moria.
When they're approaching enemy territory and they're being stealthy, Ashyn was to be the dumb baggage by asking "why [do we have to approach without full battle armor]" and Tyrus and Moria bristled at the interruption from their focus on the enemy camp. Tyrus then very quietly told her it was because they're on a diplomatic mission. Moria shushed them and Tyrus very "honorably taking the blame of breaking the silence to deflect it from Ashyn".
I MEAN, eeeeexcuse you. (I would snap my fingers right about now)
Ashyn is the master of strategy and she's supposedly the smartest amongst them so I don't see why in, any situation, it would be her committing some faux pas, much less in a battle. If any it would've been Moria with her recklessness and brash behavior, not understanding why they can't just charge in, guns ablazing.
And it wasn't just an instance or two, there were many more times that Ashyn was, I feel, pushed aside or made the, excuse the hackneyed cliche, damsel in very unnecessary distress just so Moria could save her older sister, or if she fails then she'll be all angry and Tyrus would find her refusal to break down or whatever very unique and all and ARGH.
Even Tova was passingly insulted by Tyrus.
I must say though, that Moria grew a lot in EoN. She's learnt restraint and is infinitely more mature. There's a lot of action where Moria was concerned, and deceptions that I really can't make any sense of, to be honest (I'll touch on this in awhile).
That said, I'd say that this book was character-driven, if only cause we got to learn more about Tyrus, his motivations, his deep sense of honor and sharp intellect, and Moria. Though Ashyn and Ronan are still pretty 2D to me. (Which is only natural with two thirds or more of the book in Moria's POV.) Gavril is still his annoying, ambiguous self (the bad boy, brooding, mysterious thing wore off probably somewhere in the second chapter of SEA OF SHADOWS), so if you're looking for fodder to swoon over him, you won't find any here. That boy ain't got nothing on Tyrus/Ronan. There were some new faces in EoN that joined the secondary cast, which was a breath of fresh air. So excited to see more of the sharp-tongued Sabre and Dalain, daughter of the lord of bandits and son of the wolf clan, the Okamis.
I would also say it's character-driven because the plot was a non-plot. I swear. Anything that moves the plot forward takes forever to happen, and everything just feels circuitous. The plot is smart, cause I can't make sense of anything now. I'm not sure if it's because Armstrong is a genius or because the writing is messy or I got bored halfway so I'm really just skimming everything or my brain cells just died along the way. Meh. But yes, so now I'm just really confused. I'm confused about the plot, I'm confused who's the bad guys and the good, and I'm confused if I'm curious enough about the story to pick up the final book when it's out next year.
I feel like this is the DARKEST POWERS series all over again. It's been awhile, but I remember being confused and pretty much apathetic to the characters. I don't think Ashyn and Moria will remain long in my memories, and so will Tyrus and Ronan and Gavril. It's been a sort of pleasant journey, but not memorable.
It's maybe a ghost of Jay Kristoff's LOTUS WAR trilogy, with their fantastic beasts and Japanese traditions, similarities between Moria and Yukiko, Daigo and Buruu, but...without Kristoff's way with words and dry wit and humor. But I'd say fans of that variety may enjoy the AGE OF LEGEND series....more
My Christmas read on vacay!! Which provided the perfect setting for a fluffy contemporary romance. But...I'm still pretty on the fence about this one.My Christmas read on vacay!! Which provided the perfect setting for a fluffy contemporary romance. But...I'm still pretty on the fence about this one. On one hand, the cheese, drama and slut-shaming worked for me in the moment cause I do love a vestal virgin go *die, bitches* to the crazy exes; on the other, well, for the same reasons it was kinda-good, they were pretty childish and 2D/cardboard characters out of the same cookie-cutter stencil set from the very first American high school romance gajillion years ago. And a little middle-grade-ish.
Pro 1) It was a pretty short book that flowed pretty well, and I was able to breeze through it in a few hours.
Pro 2) The PTSD of the heroine, through my very layman perspective, was done pretty darn well. (Though I don't see how the coincidence of her chancing upon a dude undergoing the same kind of pain - sort of - as her, who happened to be an amazing specimen of a man and a popular jock, during his moment of vulnerability to be anywhere near realistic. And the fact that she let him kiss her after being an ass!? Which brings me to point number:)
Con 1) Insta-love. Like shakdhlspshwjsohs WHAT.
Pro 3) Abbi Glines knows the right buttons to push when it comes to familial relationships, cause I was bawling during the climax half the book was building up to. Gud jahb.
Although I did enjoy UNTIL FRIDAY NIGHT, maybe a little too much for my liking on retrospect, it wasn't necessarily a prime example of New Adult as a genre, but it definitely has the right amount of drama and romance for one. I don't think you'd really enjoy this book unless 1) you're a diehard fan of Glines, or 2) super in the mood for a kind of idealistic fairytale romance where only the heroine is pure and the hero is handsome. I don't think I'll be reading any more of Glines books though, if my experience proves me right and other reviews hold true that Glines' books are generally similar in plot, characters and style. Unless the need strikes again. ;)...more
*3.5 stars* SEA OF SHADOWS was amazing in all its undead, horrific glory. The palpable fear, heartbreak, budding love, deception, betrayals...my feels*3.5 stars* SEA OF SHADOWS was amazing in all its undead, horrific glory. The palpable fear, heartbreak, budding love, deception, betrayals...my feels were running rampant and all over the place! And that plot twist at the end... It was amazing.
“The face of something from a nightmare, gray skin stretched over bone, jutting chin and nose and cheekbones. No lips, just a slash of a mouth. And teeth. Fangs. So big his mouth couldn’t close. He let out another of those terrible cries, his jaw stretching open until all she could see were the fangs.”
Admittedly, I DNFed SoS way back last year when it was first released cause it has a prologue. Yes, it has a prologue. I think they're the most boring thing that was ever created by mankind. (Remember ERAGON? Waow, that was Boring.) So I DNFed it but saw the hardcover at a sale a few days ago...so I caved cause I love the cover. Even though I agree with everyone else I can't really tell what's up with the swirly things on it, but I'm guessing it's the shadows of the shadow stalkers (the vicious undead that can turn to shadow) with a bloodred tint as they gather. Which is cool. And I love the color scheme. Anyhoo.
The twins, Ashyn and Moria, were awesome and they complimented each other. Or so I'd like to say and what everyone else is saying. To me, they felt more...strategic than natural on the author's part. You see, Moria is the fighter without restraint, a young Joan of Arc, brilliant and fiery, while Ashyn is the quiet scholar, sensitive and gentle of spirit.
1) Even though Ashyn is supposed to be the learned one, the one who wins in games of strategy, Moria just so happen to be the repository of the tales of the land. Moria's the one to regale stories of fantastical beasts and horrors of the night. Then suddenly Moria's the one with the strategies and only occasionally it seems Armstrong remembered Ashyn was supposed to be the smart one and graces her with a spotlight moment. So now Moria seems almost too perfect and Ashyn seems almost lame in comparison. Ashyn gets dissed sometimes too, albeit subtly, but still. I'm pissed,
2) The strategic part about them I felt was that, nowadays the YA genre, or more specifically the YA Fantasy genre, is dominated by badass, take-no-shit female protagonists that are both capable in sword and wit. I felt that Armstrong split that popular, almost ideal(?), persona into two sisters, each completely opposite and complimentary. If that wasn't her intention, then maybe they weren't fleshed out enough or complex enough as individuals for me to accept them, at least subconsciously, as persons.
In terms of love interests, this disregard for Ashyn continues and is especially prominent in the second installment of this trilogy, EMPIRE OF NIGHT. I don't know, it just feels like Ashyn gets the leftovers or gets a love interest as an afterthought. I'm not sure why, but I really want Ashyn to step up and show all that potential she's got and get a real dude.
On Moria's side...they're not bad, definitely better than Ashyn's but none too memorable. (I say they but its not a triangle...at least it's only a hint but everyone can smell it from a mile away. So.)
The best part about SEA OF SHADOWS though, is the plot. The buildup, the anticipation to it. Ominous, but not overtly so. Then the trap in the forest. The death of the village. Their first encounter with a shadow stalker. And then both sister's journey to the capital and to find each other. The pace got pretty slow and it dragged for a bit at the start and many points in the middle, but the last 15% was packed with surprises and a pretty good plot twist. The world building was slow, but I loved the old medieval village setting, but then it transitioned to an Edo Japanese era landscape as the sisters moved towards the capital and surrounding warlord clans. Pretty classic fantasy, but still exciting stuff. I can't wait to see where Armstrong is taking this series to and to learn more about the different clans and culture.
So far so good! It runs pretty close to the vein in which the LOTUS WAR trilogy by Jay Kristoff runs. Fantasy with mythical creatures and Asian elements, with elements of horror and girls with big destinies. I'm still torn between 3 and 4 stars...but I'd go with 3 first.
P.S. I think I might be the only one in SHIPPINGASHYNANDTYRUS!!!!...more
POISON DANCE is a fast-paced little read that neatly introduces us to a fantasy world of mercenary assassins and powerful noblemen called w*3.5 stars*
POISON DANCE is a fast-paced little read that neatly introduces us to a fantasy world of mercenary assassins and powerful noblemen called wallhuggers. The Guild's leader has recently passed away and the higher-ups are keeping it hush hush. James is a gifted assassin who doesn't necessarily like what he does and the new leader of the guild, but he's good in his trade and his new leader has this preconceived notion that James covets the title of top-dog.
In the midst of all these politicking and the daily bustles of Forge, there lives a dancing girl in a tavern called the Scorned Maiden. Thalia wasn't always a dancing girl, but she's here now with a mission - to kill a wallhugger. That's nigh impossible, what with all the Red Shields perpetually at their beck. She's a resourceful woman however, and she has chosen her mentor by eavesdropping on the tavern's many patrons' conversations - James. It's suicide to even think of assassinating a wallhugger, even if you're just an accomplice. James is a rational man, but Thalia's got outside connections and resources that might just be what James and his pals need to escape this stifling city. So therein begins an innocent woman's lessons in becoming a femme fatale and the (inevitable) romance between her and her enigmatic tutor.
Being a novella with an approximate word count of 14,000, there were parts of the story that were skimmed over perhaps a tad too much. Especially the ending, but we'll get to that.
The plot was engaging, though, and I grew to love the characters. They each have their distinctive characteristics, and I loved the development between James and Thalia. Though the "climax" in their romantic development wasn't all that fantastic, I was still rooting for them all the way. There was another subplot going on but it never got confusing.
I wasn't happy with the ending though! GAHHH, but that's because I'm a very one-track reader. I don't want to spoiler it too much, so you'll understand my frustration when you get there. That, and the ending was the part that was skimmed over the most. Blackburne's writing style was engrossing, up until a particular point and everything was tell instead of show. It was like all the details suddenly up and hid somewhere while everything was conveniently summed up without the hows.
That said, POISON DANCE shows much, much promise and I cannot wait to see what happens in MIDNIGHT THIEF. I'm hoping to explore Blackburne's world in more depth and definitely to see more of James! ;) POISON DANCE reads more like a cross between YA and adult Fantasy, so younger readers should take note.
*An ecopy was provided by Livia in exchange for an honest review.*...more
*3.5 stars* TEARS OF TESS is a dark NA Contemporary Romance that crosses into heavy BDSM Erotica. It explores the world of dark desires and the danger*3.5 stars* TEARS OF TESS is a dark NA Contemporary Romance that crosses into heavy BDSM Erotica. It explores the world of dark desires and the dangerous underworld of human trafficking in Mexico to the elegant reaches of France.
For me, the simplistic plot and narrative are within the realm of YA/NA, but the emotional development and complexities and of course, the explicit sexual scenes are clearly tending towards Adult. (And the heavy BDSM is really not for older teens at all!! More for adults with a hardier heart.) I thought that TOT is a dangerously sexy book, and Tess's journey throughout very vivid and heart wrenching. From a girl who leads a life of simple acceptance and constantly hiding her true, more violent inner desires to a woman who fights for what she wants.
When she was in captivity, she had time to think and reflect about her life before, and she resolved that she will not let herself be debased, even if she has to fight like an animal and be brutalized. To the time where she met her new master, the tortured and enigmatic Q. Mercer.
Talking about Q, he's uncannily like our dear Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades series. He's reserved, powerful man with sadistic sexual needs, though when juxtaposed with Fifty, I must say that Q pales in comparison. Q has an equally screwed up childhood (or actually I think Q was dealt a worse hand in life) and he has worked hard to build on his father's empire, but he just didn't give the truly aloof and poised vibes. One issue I had with Q was that he hit Tess when they were quarreling outside of the bedroom. I mean, I'm fine with a little bondage and pain, but slapping when you don't see things the same way? *inner diva rising, snaps* Hell to the no. This will obviously lead to domestic abuse in the future, you listen to Mama Peng.
Another issue I had with TOT was the...do you call it idealistic or naïve? Circumstances of Tess. I mean, being kidnapped and trafficked is one of the worst things that can happen to anybody, but to end up as a slave to such a, well, magnanimous master such as Q? Slaves usually end up dead or abused beyond sanity, so all I'm saying is that Tess is lucky. I mean, who gets kidnapped and trafficked into the hands of your one true match/love? But ok, there are always those one in a gazibijillion cases.
After all that you'd think I didn't enjoy TOT, but actually, Winters have this unique style of writing (this is my first attempt at her books but there's this way of her storytelling that I'm thinking will permeate throughout all her works) that is quite compelling. She uses the senses to lure Tess to Q. You'll have to read it to understand it. Tess's emotional journey tugged at my heart strings - her dilemma, denial, struggles, desire, everything! She didn't let her kidnappers dampen her fighting spirit, and she learnt to cope with Q.
TEARS OF TESS is actually a pretty smexy read in all it's screwed-up glory between slave and master (in the literal sense, not role play in the bedroom. Though there is a little role play involved...). I'd recommend it to BDSM Erotica readers who's looking for a lighter read....more
*3.5 stars Not a bad adult contemporary romance! It's definitely steamy and piled with sexual tension, but it's the instant physical attraction kind t*3.5 stars Not a bad adult contemporary romance! It's definitely steamy and piled with sexual tension, but it's the instant physical attraction kind that doesn't do much to leave a deep enough impression on the reader to let the memory last.
Olivia "Liv" Townsend is a sheep farmer's daughter who's responsible, loyal, has a unique blend of humor and...is always attracted to the bad boys. It's the reason why she's had her heart broken one too many times in the past, and the reason why she avoids them at all costs.
Liv is living with her rich, snobbish cousin in Atlanta to finish her college degree in accounting. She goes to school, bartends at a friendly club at Salt Springs every weekend, and goes out with her friends occasionally to club a little or just to chill. She never factored in meeting the sexy bad boy owner of the club that her friend held her bachelorette party at, Cash, or his twin brother, Nash, who's a lawyer, equally sexy, and her cousin's boyfriend...
Both drives her insane, both are equally desirable. Thing is, she's always been drawn to the bad boys, but she knows that Nash will be better, safer choice, the kind of guy she needs in her life. The only end she sees with Cash is one that ends in heartbreak, but she's not that kind of girl that'll steal an attached guy. Therein lies the problem: She's drawn to both brothers. Both brothers are drawn to her. But both also brings with them a whole lot of consequences that Liv'll have to contend with.
Thoughts: I'll admit it - the cover was the thang that drew me in. Dang, I mean, look at it! Haha, it's the kind of once-in-awhile, guilty pleasures that a girl wants to indulge in. It's a quick, steamy read that'll guarantee tide you thru this need-for-a-guilty-pleasure phase, girls! Not sure about the dudes out there, though. It's told in multiple POVs, from Olivia to Cash to Nash, so it's a little different from your ordinary contemporary romance.
I liked DOWN TO YOU, the only reason why I docked off a few stars is because there were times where I just thought that the characters were a little shallow - bimbotic, for lack of a better word. Shallow, yes, but it made for quite a fun read! One of Liv's friends, Ginger, can swear reaaaal colorfully! A quote:
"Stay in you lane you limp-dick, candy-ass, crazy mother fu--" "Ginger?" I interrupt. She quiets immediately. "Oh, Liv. Hi, sweetie. I didn't hear you answer."
Hahaha, you have been warned!
One thing that I really liked about DTY is that plot twist at the end! I didn't even see it coming when it hit! Though I don't think that it's really plausible in real life, it still made for quite a big shock. That's some real cool writing right there.
Anyhoo, all in all, I thought that DOWN TO YOU was a quick, steamy read full of lighthearted fun and laughter with a neat plot twist at the end that'll sure to catch readers off-guard. Enjoyed it!
P.S. Not sure whether I'll start on the next few books yet though. I think I'm back into the intense plot and action novels now, so I think I'll place UP TO ME somewhere in the middle of my Mt. TBR. :)...more
*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.
*3.5 stars* MY LADY MAGE was a very nice blend of High Fantasy and Romance. There was a development of plot where we were initially plunged directly i*3.5 stars* MY LADY MAGE was a very nice blend of High Fantasy and Romance. There was a development of plot where we were initially plunged directly into the fear that Merewen constantly lives with, and how she found her way to the river where she could summon the warriors of the mist.
Just a brief summary of the story (a little more detailed than the official synopsis which might contain spoilers):
(view spoiler)[In times of dire need, when a person deemed worthy by the gods stands beside the lake and summons the legendary Damned warriors of the mist, six champions will rise up and help rid the world of its evil. It has been centuries since the last time the gods have granted a request.
An evil has been growing in the heart of Agathia, but bringing it closer to home for our protagonist, Merewen, daughter of the recently-deceased Lord of a keep a few days ride from the capital of Agathia, her keep isn't in good shape at all under the government of her uncle, the new lord of the keep. Her uncle is a selfish ruler, a cruel husband, and just inherently a cold man who enjoys watching his subjects squirm and cower in fear or pain, or both. It is a bad time for Merewen and her people, and in the dusty tomes of her father's rather expansive library collection, she stumbles upon an ancient spell to summon help from the river.
Captain Gideon and his men has been asleep in the cold, winter river for many centuries and only been slightly jolted awake a few times by failed summons, however, this time his gods are allowing them to rise up from their sleep and allowed time on land for three months. Three months to feel the sunshine on their face and smell the scents of fresh grass - and to rid the land of an evil far larger in scale than just Merewen's uncle. If the warriors fail, him, his men and Merewen would have to spend the rest of eternity wandering the cold depths of the Afterlife together. Gideon has enough on his mind so far, but add in to his plate is a brash but kind, loyal and sweet woman who has opened his heart up after all these lonely centuries... (hide spoiler)]
MY LADY MAGE was an enjoyable read, very relaxing and engaging, however, it is quite a typical High Fantasy novel plot-wise, and the romance was ummm...it could have been developed a little more. I mean, where's the sexual tension and suspense? Not that I'm against the attraction at first sight stuff, but I would've preferred if it was dragged out a little more, and if they didn't started kissing and all quite so soon after they met.
The characters were lovable! Merewen was the usual courageous and headstrong heroine now commonly found in High Fantasies and more often than not, Urban Fantasies and Paranormal Romances, even Contemporary and Historical fictions; Gideon and his men were very, VERY similar to the dudes in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward! Especially Kane! Kane was the ultimate doppelganger of Zsadist, I swear! With that dark mage mark on his cheek, that mysterious, you-mess-with-me-and-I'll-skin-you-alive-dice-you-into-pieces bad boy thing going on. He's cool. And add to that, each of the warriors had an avatar that can be called to life from their shields, which were animals that could form a mental link with each of the warriors. All the avatars had a personality of their own which was very endearing. And of course, Kane had the coolest avatar. (view spoiler)[A GARGOYLE!! *swoon* haha (hide spoiler)]
Morgan was writing mainly in the selective third person POV, but often switching from one character to another. It was mainly Merewen's and Gideon's, but she does switch to the other warriors' and Alina's (Lady of the keep) and even Fagan's, Merewen's evil uncle. It didn't get confusing at all throughout the entire novel and I thought that that spoke a lot about Morgan's stellar writing style.
Overall, I thought that MY LADY MAGE was a light and enjoyable read, some quite-intense fights here and there (not reaaaaally considered battles), and a few intimate scenes, and the building of an even greater plot up ahead in the following sequels. It wasn't as intense as I first expected it to be, that's why I didn't give it 4 stars....more
**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
“The house took my breath away. Yes, it was enormous and graceful, but it seemed to bleed emotions. Sadness. Loneliness. Like a beautiful lady left alone in a sea of gray, green, and black, protected only by oak matrons in their skeleton shawls.”
Kelly Keaton has a way with words that is very visual and poetic. I've always had a love for Greek myths and legends, and Keaton has put quite a modern twist to the entire Medusa legend that's atypical from most YA novels nowadays.
My Summary Aristanae "Ari" Selkirk has always been the oddball in society - freakish, white hair and teal eyes. She's been an orphan since the tender age of four and been moved from foster home to foster home, finally finding a loving family in the Sandersons. To be part of Bruce and Casey Sandersons' Bonds & Bail company, she has to learn to be able to defend herself and that means being comfortable with headlocks, knives, and guns. Now that she's seventeen, she's determined to find out more about her past - why did her mom request to be admitted into an asylum? Why did she abandon her?
At the asylum, Ari's told that her mom exhibited occasional unusual behaviors and ultimately slit her own throat just before her twenty-first birthday (twenty-one yo?? I shall address this in a minute), and left a box of belongings to her. In the box, there's a letter addressed to her, telling her that there's danger for her in New 2 and to run.
Thirteen years ago, New Orleans was ravaged by a freak hurricane that blew through and wiped out the entire town. A group of nine families, who called themselves the Novem, came together, bought the town and rebuilt it. People do not travel into New 2; The ones that do come out with tales of the supernatural and paranormal. Ari was born there, surely they'd keep records that can lead to some answers about her biological family. Just a day to travel there and another to travel back. What's the worse that could happen?
My Take on DBH First things first, that cover is a stunner! I love the moonlight quality of Ari's hair, and that purple flower-on-grail pattern is BEAUTIFUL. So mysterious and just perfect for the story! I've never been that interested in the gorgon legend, especially since it's the such a commonly used story that I sometimes find it overrated. But Keaton's take on it pulled on my heartstrings and was so haunting I'll probably remember this version of Medusa's tale every time I hear Medusa's name.
When we were first introduced to Ari, she's a relatable character and she's got character. However, something that did not sit well with me is her dislike of her beauty. I'm not going to your pity party just because you're sad that you're beautiful. Granted, it makes you outstanding (well now, it can't be that bad to have moonlight hair and teal eyes), but it's nothing to be so upset about. I don't think your friends will hate, ostracize or abuse you if you have strange but really nice physical traits now, would they? So stop kicking up such a fuss over it.
But yes, she can kick ass and it's such a joy to read about her confrontations with those who'd want to hurt (or kill) her! It gets even more interesting as we get to meet the rest of the cast in New 2 - twelve-yo quirky and independent Crank, Henri with his own brand of humor, little Violet with her quiet, disturbing yet endearing ways, and the (wait for it) tall, dark and handsome Sebastian. I love the interactions that Ari has with her new little family in their rundown mansion in New 2, and their camaraderie and loyalty. Violet's so adorable in her own ways, even though she may exhibit really strange behavior at times! She wears different Mardi Gras masks, goth dresses and has a baby albino alligator called Pascal for a pet. See, adorable.
Sebastian is...quite the typical hero you'd see in YA novels nowadays. I'd say he's a mix of Aiden from the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and maybe Nash from M. Leighton's Down to You (first instalment of the The Bad Boys series). He's a fighter too, he's brooding, he's a little mysterious, but he's diplomatic (most of the time) and he tries his best to help Ari uncover all her family's dark history. What I would have liked to see more of is development between Ari and Bastian. Their romance was almost of the insta-attraction variety, and that just does not inspire any warm and fuzzies in me.
The pacing of the story was very steady, with some ups and some downs. There were times when the story became a tad monotonous, and I was tempted to put it down several times. But I have been in a reading funk of late, so I was determined to get through this, and what do you know, the last one-third of the book was pretty exciting. The halfway mark has come and gone and we're still dangling with Ari on the lineage front. We've met the Novem and they seem to know all about Ari's cursed lineage (they are literally cursed. I'm not swearing just because I'm frustrated), so why doesn't one of them possess the initiative to TELL US WHAT IT IS? It got so frustrating because everyone just kept, "I knew your mother", "You look just like your mother", and gave her the sad, knowing eyes. The thing is, I knew that it was going to be about the gorgon curse so just get on with it.
Another part of the plot that did not sit well with me was the teen pregnancy. Ari's mom died before she turned twenty-one, when Ari was about four years of age. That means that Ari was conceived when her mom was sixteen/seventeen-ish. In the modern world, that's just wrong, and the wrong message to send out in the YA world. The plot is also a little simple and the world not very in-depth. The entire story mainly revolved around Ari, her friends, the Novem and the Big Bad Wolf. Other than that, we don't get to see much of the world or people outside of New 2 or their little group.
It wasn't until the entire instigator of the curse and fiasco was revealed that the story started to amp up its pace. I was shocked actually, cause I was expecting some other god(dess) to be the Big Bad. (view spoiler)[Hera seemed the more plausible bitch than Athena. Cause I mean like, Athena, really? She's the goddess of wisdom and justice, I don't think she will be that petty and power-hungry. (hide spoiler)] There were some things that happened in the story that were rather questionable and even in fiction and legends, there are some rules already set in place that are not meant to be broken. (view spoiler)[For one, I don't think the Greek gods and goddesses are that easy to kill.And why do we only get to see one of the few existing gods? That's stingy... Haha, Kidding. (hide spoiler)] One thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the god(dess) swearing. There are too many F-words in this story, but that's fine, I guess. But when a god or goddess start to color the air blue, it just doesn't seem legitimate. They're gajillion years old with age-old knowledge and wisdom. Profanity should be below them. And where's the elegance?
However, I mentioned that I liked Keaton's take on Medusa's story, that what if Medusa was the victim and not the irreverent beauty that myths often portray her to be? What if she was the wronged victim forced to take the blame and suffer for the misdeeds of another god? The way that Keaton told her story was very vivid and heartwrenching.
There were many things I did like about DARKNESS BECOMES HER, but there were others that debilitated my enjoyment of it. I would still like to see where Keaton takes Ari and her misfit little family in New 2, out of curiosity or amusement or maybe they've grown on me. Just a little. ;)
Staunch (or anal) fans of Greek myths might not take very well to DBH due to some parts of the legend in here that strays from what y'all know of it....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
*2.5 stars* I thought that THE GUARDIAN'S WILDCHILD was a very philosophical and mature Dystopian novel - fuOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*2.5 stars* I thought that THE GUARDIAN'S WILDCHILD was a very philosophical and mature Dystopian novel - full of moral righteousness and teachings. I'm not a big fan of Dystopian stories, but when the synopsis told of a love story amidst military disputes and harsh conditions, being the romance-junky that I was, I decided to give it a try.
The world is slowly falling into ruin, but only Hawk's Island remains to be inhabited by long-extinct flora and fauna, and this is where the Guardians reside. It was said that everyone on the planet was once a Guardian, but that evil, greed, and ambition has infiltrated the hearts of many that they lose their connection to their spirit guide and conscience. Hope is not all lost though, many outside of Hawk's Island have not lost their powers completely, and are merely Sleeping. The Guardian's sole mission is to awaken said Sleeping Guardians, and teach them of the higher purpose.
Sidney and Danik Davenport, orphaned siblings who came into the care of the Guardians on Hawk's Island, where only the hearts who seek the higher good are permitted entrance. As they grew older and learned the ways of the Guardian, using the mind to unlock doors and for telekinesis and telepathy, they left the sanctuary of their home and began to hold singing performances around the world to spread the Guardian's word. However, not everyone supports this type of talk of freedom and such, especially not the military commanders who control the population.
And even within the military ranks, high ranking generals and an outside connection have been secretly researching on a source of power so great, that even the Guardians back at Hawk's Island have been given a vision that was a result of them unleashing that power. A vision of a barren world.
Sidney and Danik was told of a plan to stop this, but Sidney was captured by one Captain Samaru Waterhouse, who is a husk of a man after his wife died and his children taken from him. But as they got to know each other, Sam's icy heart begins to thaw, and together, can they stop the destruction of the world?
The beginning of the book was rather dull, and I have to say, info-dumping is seriously overrated. Why can't you just tell it in the narrative way like how a novel is supposed to be written? I was excited initially to get started on TGW, but my enthusiasm was sadly doused quickly. The pace was slow, but it did pick up after the middle, and then there was that climax at the end! There was a battle that our protagonists barely scraped through, one didn't though, but that is for a later paragraph to elaborate on. It was quite epic, and was what saved the rating. Kind of.
Sidney was too.....mature/philosophical. Not that it was a bad thing, but you don't go around telling your friends, "Trust in your heart and the higher good." Y'know? It's just not natural. But she was brave, and very courageous, that I'll give credit. She's also really innocent too. For some reason, I thought that her saying "dust bunnies" was real cute. As for Sam, he's a family guy, and for the better part of the book, he was set on betraying Sidney to get his boys out of his enemy's grip. I didn't like that about him, not that his actions were unjustified, I just couldn't stand a man who would sacrifice a defenseless woman. But he still protected Sidney in the end, so he redeemed himself in my eyes. :P Haha, and yes, since he is a man in uniform, he is also hot and handsome.
TGW is written in shifting POVs - starting mostly with Sidney's, then as the story progressed, it was more of Sam's head we're privy to. Another thing that I'm not a big fan of, and that's selective third person or shifting first persons. I've said this in quite a lot of my reviews that this sucks out a lot of the suspense and mystery for the novel, revealing quite so much of the other parties, and I like it when I can relate with that one heroine/hero (mostly heroines cause well, I am a girl) instead of a multitude of other people's thoughts. I like to guess what the other party's true intentions are, what they are thinking, and stuff like that that keeps me wondering. I mean, what if the the other party is one of the bad guy? Then wouldn't divulging that at the start kill the surprise?
Other than the points above, I liked the ending battle. It was a long and hard-fought one, and one that was quite amazing and fantastic. The tables turned so suddenly, and it all progressed so fast that the pages were turning of their own accord, I swear!
And now we come to the aforementioned one-of-the-characters-died part which is probably the one that I liked the least - the part that...
[If you're not one for spoilers, please skip the next paragraph of this review]
(view spoiler)[THE FREAKING HEROINE DIED! Of all the bloody things in the world to write about, she died. Seriously. What kind of a book lets the main character die? This is...I endured how many pages of info-dumping and dull, slow-paced plot processes for a short, sweet bit of romance and...this. This is seriously some headbanging moment. A total FML moment. (hide spoiler)]
I don't really read that many Dystopian novels, so I wouldn't know who to recommend this book to, but compared to the few others that I've read, I thought that THE GUARDIAN'S WILDCHILD was not bad; The writing flowed smoothly, the plot developed nicely, and the world-building was well done too. A bittersweet Dystopian novel with a little hint of romance and kinship....more
My Summary DESPERATE BETRAYAL is about a group of immortal men who took an oath to protect thOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story. *3.5 stars*
My Summary DESPERATE BETRAYAL is about a group of immortal men who took an oath to protect the innocent from demons who mean harm. They are all lethal, and highly-skilled in battle; They are all loyal towards one another and sexy-as-hell; They cannot marry unless it is a marriage arranged by their leader, Julian, or if it is with their life-mates; They are called the Protectors.
Cynden "Cyn" Fraser is one such man. Born three centuries ago in Scotland, he undergone the transformation and took the oath to become a Protector, and is now assigned to keep the demonic at Atlanta at bay. He was slaying a group of demons in an alley one day when Emma walked into the scene. She has been looking for him for quite some time now. Her sister's been held hostage by the Supreme demon, Gerard, and he wants Emma to lure Cyn into his den. Briana's all Emma has left, and so she agrees to this bargain.
Emma is a half-demon, borne of a high-level demon for a father and a human mother, and so naturally, she keeps her heritage a secret when she first confronts Cyn, afraid that it will incite a negative response from him. Cyn refuses to help her the first time, something about his senses tells him that something about her is amiss, and his immediate attraction to her isn't helping matters either. But the second time Emma manages to find him, he caves in to her request.
As Cyn and Emma sets out to track her sister down, sparks fly, but many treacheries and betrayals abound at the same time. It's hard to trust each other, but it's hard to refuse each other too. Worse still, survival at this point is not certain, put into account all the other lives that they are risking... They're in it big this time.
My Thoughts Well, that was an awfully long summary. Lol, that aside, I must say that DESPERATE BETRAYAL's main fous seemed to centre around the romance between Cyn and Emma. Not that it was a bad thing, far from it, being the romance-junky that I am. In a way, the PROTECTORS series resembles the BDB series by J.R. Ward. Each instalment in the series is the story of one of the "brothers". Lots of action, but with a larger dose of romance.
Emma is the type of woman everyone wants to be - smart, loyal, beautiful (apparently, this is a prominent trait of hers as many of the boys seem to take note of this point), courageous, stronger than and not fully human, but not fully demon with a compassionate heart. She gave her all in saving her sister, even gave up her love life. Cyn on the other hand, is a tall, intimidating Protector who was fiercely protective, and not only was he skilled on the battlefield, but in bed too. He may appear cold and indifferent on the outside, but he's actually quite the passionate guy when they get down and dirty. Even though it was more of a lust-at-first-sight relationship, they did make a really cute and sweet pair.
As far as the plot goes, it was not bad. One thing I can say about it is, it doesn't drag. The first part of the book flowed smoothly, and I thought the character development and all were done really well, but it detoriated a little as we get to the end. There was one part where the whole scene got rather confusing, and the sentences became a little abrupt. Even though McQueen's style of writing changed at the end, I was still hooked to its pages. I think I can safely say I finished DB within two sittings. :)
I actually got the review copy of DB for its blog tour late, so I'm only reviewing it now, but it was really good! I'm tending more towards romance than action now (but not so far as to go for contemp romance with no action at all whatsoever), so if you're like me, you may want to try DB out. I'd say that DESPERATE BETRAYAL is a mix between the BDB series and the Curse of Gremdon by Ciara Knight. So if you're a fan of either one, you might like to try this out too. :)...more
My Summary Natural disasters have ravaged the earth, leaving only the bare neccessities that the remainingOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
My Summary Natural disasters have ravaged the earth, leaving only the bare neccessities that the remaining human population can live off of. Food and electricity becomes so scarce that if you cannot contribute to society in any way, you are considered a disposable extra mouth to feed.
The only reason why Misty is still alive is because she has always been at the right place at the right time - like how she was born into the land that has its natural, partial protection against the elements. She can't contribute much to society, and she thinks that she's going to be thrown out of her own house soon if she doesn't do something about it. Now that a vampire has shown up and demands nutritions for himself (blood) in exchange for their decimating society's protection, Misty volunteers herself. Just one tiny little bite and suck from the vampire can't be that hard, right?
But what she doesn't know is that the vampire's deal comprised of more than satisfying his hunger for blood, but also his hunger for more. After Ivan, the vampire, drained some blood from her, Misty faints and wakes up tied to a bed...Ivan's bed. She finds him lying beside her, trying to coax her to a willing participant from here on out.
My Thoughts FEEDING THE VAMPIRE was a surprisingly short and enjoyable novella with mild BDSM. There isn't much to go on about this book because when I say short, it is honest-to-god short. FTV comprises of only 3 scenes, or more specifically 2.5 scenes cause the first scene, where the people meet to discuss about their society's future, started at the end of the meeting where Misty volunteers herself. It really was so short that I, being an extremely slow reader, finished it in an hour.
Misty's a timid, sweet girl who has to earn her right to continue living in her city, but she changed to become a brave, outspoken woman after spending the night with Ivan. I found it very unrealistic, actually. Just because she had sex with a vampire doesn't mean her basal characteristics can change overnight. Her drastic change was very unnerving, and as I've said, unrealistic. So character development was something I found lacking.
On the other hand, Ivan, the new vamp in town, wasn't all that hot and sexy like the other vampires I read about in other books. Y'know, vamps are usually mysterious, dangerous, handsome, alpha males, but Ivan didn't give off those vibes. Handsome, yes, but not dangerous and mysterious. Thus he didn't really make an impression on me.
However, considering how short this novel/novella is, I thought that the world building, albeit still have rooms for improvement, was considerably well done. I know what poor condition the world was in, and I know what it's like to live in her city, what the people are like, and details like that were all covered and explained. Which is really amazing.
All that said, I thought that FEEDING THE VAMPIRE was an ok sort of book - writing style was good but typical, dystopian setting and plot was average, characters are not bad, but not impressive. Actually, I think that this book had lots of potential, plot-wise and all. But I attribute the reason why FTV wasn't fantastical to the length of the novel. The synopsis intrigued me, and I think that the story would have been much better if it was longer. Or maybe not, cause then it'll be draggy. But for this, I'd give it an average rating. It wasn't bad, but not a stunner as well.
All in all, FVP is an average vamp novel perfect if you want a quick, light and mildly erotic read....more
Firstly, I don't get the cover. Not that I don't know that there are two people in the nude hugging in the dOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Firstly, I don't get the cover. Not that I don't know that there are two people in the nude hugging in the dark, but I can't really tell where's the girl's arms, legs and ass are... The artistic side in me has not always been good, so, it may be just me. Secondly, this book is all about psycho-analyzing and such, and I know it's supposed to be a very disturbing story. It is a little disturbing, but it didn't really have an effect on me. And I'm not a fan of that ending. I was immediately intrigued with CF when I first read its synopsis that I dropped all other books I was reading and started on it. It was ok, I didn't really regret my choice, but this one could've waited.
My Summary - which would probably contain spoilers
Emily Vargas is a minor celebrity self-help guru, someone who addresses large audiences on empowering women. She's comfortable talking in front of crowds, and she knows how to communicate with any type of people. She thinks that women should be stronger and more indepedent, but things are usually easier said than done.
Emily was kidnapped at a bar, and when she wakes up, she's tied to a chair, bound, gagged, and eye-masked. Her captor doesn't speak to her, nada communication in any way or form. He just sits there, spoonfeeds her chicken soup, the one food that she has always found comfort in, and touch her. She resists at first, but Emily is a person who needs noise, sound and life around her, and so to get even a hint of a smile or angry response from her captor, she surrenders to the advances of her captor quickly.
She was trapped with a captor who played mind games with her for months, and her detoriation is evident from the pictures he takes of her in his "playroom" (BDSM term) from a little unwilling, to begging for more. And when he gets bored of her and dumps her back into her life, Emily doesn't know what she wants anymore. But as time passes, her decision becomes clear. But is it to return into the arms of her "master" (BDSM term)/captor, or to hand him over to the police where he'll get his just desserts?
End of Summary
I thought that the psychological play in CF was very unique and smart. The way Emily's captor started to break her and predict Emily's responses was amazing - not that I'm a sadist or anything, but it was really well-done. That said, even though it was a whole new experience for me, it didn't have that much of an effect on me; I even thought it was a little bland at times. I stopped reading it for a few weeks cause it got really dull, and I thought that Emily's degradation was a little too quick. She surrendered too fast, and she broke too fast. Someone with her level of confidence and intellect would have lasted longer. This is one of the things I found unrealistic.
Her captor had his own tragic past, he is smart and successful but because of all that pent-up emotions inside, he became a little obsessed with his little "project" on Emily. He wasn't crazy, far from it, but he had this predatory aspect going on for him. It can be a little unnerving, but as I've said, this book's psychological effect was lost on me because of its hasty progression.
CF was told in the first person perspective, but every time they had sex, it would change to third-person perspective. I find it really weird actually...
I thought that CF wasn't a bad book, just not a book that will occur to me when someone asks for a book recommendation. The end of it wasn't the best of endings too, so yes, COMFORT FOOD is a unique but average blend of psychological play, BDSM and the bonds in a family. I wanted to give it a 2 or 2.5, but I had to give credit to all her amazing research on psychology....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....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.
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!
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
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
*2.5 stars* Meh. Didn't impress me much; Don't think I'll be reviewing this. I've been very excited to start this series, but I think I'll just slot G*2.5 stars* Meh. Didn't impress me much; Don't think I'll be reviewing this. I've been very excited to start this series, but I think I'll just slot Goblin King somewhere at the bottom of my Everest TBR pile first....more