The Taker left off with everything calm and peaceful in Lanny’s world yet there is foreshadowing that the peace is about to be shattered. After waiting a year to find out what danger that I had feared would befall Lanny in Alma Katsu’s second novel in the series The Reckoning I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to find that my wild imagination had not produced any of the scenarios Katsu has come up with.
Suddenly Adair is free and his only thought is to find Lanore (Lanny) and make her pay for her transgression. The time has come for Lanny to pay the price for what she has done and her reckoning is upon her. We can feel the fear and anxiety she is feeling over the inevitability of this reunion as she races across the world trying to keep ahead of Adair. Katsu’s exquisite writing takes us on twists and turns as Lanny has a few startling revelations about what she had thought love was and begins to confront emotions she did not realize she felt. Much like The Taker we are drawn between past and present as Lanny and Adair both remember events from their lives. This effectively helps us to see the person Lanny has been becoming over the past two hundred years as well as how Adair became the tyrant we have come to know him as.
One thing that I immediately enjoyed is the new perspective we gain on Adair. As you can imagine he has been entombed for 200 years and quite a few advances in technology have taken place. It is almost humorous to watch him learn about computers and debit cards. I found myself laughing out loud more than once at his thoughts on modern life. Adair has had two hundred years to think about his life choices and he too has come out a changed man. Many of the profound moments in the book revolve around Adair’s battle between his nature and the new person he would like to be. The changes in him are intriguing and with the stories from his past a different more complex picture of him begins to emerge.
Love actually becomes a bigger theme in The Reckoning and we begin to see a little more about love lasting an eternity. Some of the characters from the previous book are revisited as well as a few new ones. Nothing is as it appears to be and Katsu continues to shake up your understanding of what has happened. Sometimes we believe what we have been told because we want to believe the story rather than face the truth.
The Reckoning will leave you wondering what new revelations will be unearthed about the main characters in the final installment. Can love last an eternity? Are some things beyond redemption? What makes Adair immortal? The character growth is so complex and so rich in this installment I personally can’t wait to see what lies in store for Lanny and Adair.(less)
Seriously, offering me a book where Steampunk meets Jack the Ripper? Are you kidding me? It’s like chocolate with peanut butter on top! Oh, the goodness! Darn, did I give it away to early? Sorry, I just couldn’t wait to say that I really loved this book. Now I can act in a more orderly fashion. In this steampunk debut by Karina Cooper we are introduced to orphan and heiress Cherry St. Croix (love the name!) who is caught between two worlds – London below the drift and London above the drift… yes, in this alternate universe London has been divided in to two levels- the original level which is considered below the drift and the new level – constructed to escape the ever growing fog, above the drift, where the more privileged dwell in a fog-free area.
While Cherry lives above the drift, in a house with her guardian (a man we see little of but of who Cherry is terrified) she works a collector (a kind of bounty hunter) below the drift, in the foggy depths of London’s less salubrious neighborhoods. I keep thinking how much can I give away without completely revealing the entire plot…so I’ll say this: Her childhood left her with an expensive habit, one she can only pay off by getting an additional income.
London above the drift is ruled by society, and Cherry is at its outskirts, not quite a pariah but very close. So she is incredibly surprised when she gets invited to one of the society events of the season. Where she meets Lord Compton, the prodigal son who has returned to the arms of his loving mother – one of society’s leading ladies who loathe Cherry…
Meanwhile, London below the drift is rules by the Midnight Menagerie… a circus filled with every kind of pleasure, for those who can pay the price; and if you can’t pay the price, they will make sure you pay. Using collectors if necessary. Here Micajah Hawke is the ringmaster for the menagerie…and well, lets just say this ringmaster can run rings around me any day. ;)
While attempting to collect her fee from the menagerie, Cherry runs into one of it’s lady’s of the night who wishes to hire her to look into the disappearance of some of the menagerie girls, found brutally murdered. Yes, the infamous leather apron (one of the names given to Jack the Ripper) and from here on in the pace of this story just increases. As Cherry tries to discover who leather apron is, and could he be a collector? She is also embroiled in other menagerie business, stumbles upon a connection with her dead parents and all while trying to be a proper society miss who has caught the interest of Lord Compton, a man she doesn’t mind being caught by.
In fact, my only problem with Tarnished is that I sometimes felt a bit lost. I was trying to both understand the incredible universe created by Ms. Cooper while piecing together the plots and characters. There was just so much going on here! Now, this is something I have often seen happen in first books in a series, so I understand why it was like this, I just really needed a little bit more insider information on the St. Croix Chronicles universe.
As for the characters themselves, they each jump off the pages and are so easy to picture in my head. Cherry is a very sympathetic character though she is most definitely not the type-cast heroine. Her past, her current problems, they all make for a page turning read. It looks like Ms. Cooper is setting Cherry up for a bit of a love (lust?) triangle and frankly, I know where my loyalties lie…. Did someone say Hawke?
Tarnished is an absolutely riveting series debut and a must read for steampunk lovers. I am truly looking forward to Gilded which is set to be released in December…In fact, I may go re-read Tarnished now in anticipation.(less)
I do love discovering new series with new premises especially when they come along just as your stuck in a boo...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
I do love discovering new series with new premises especially when they come along just as your stuck in a book rut wishing you had something new and exciting to read. It was thanks to my friend Bama that I discovered Inhale, the first in the Just Breath trilogy.
Here we are introduced to the world of wyldlings (humans) elementals and sentinels… a world where fire, air, water and earth are what makes the different elementals tick and in this case, the problems created when fire decides it’s just a bit too hungry and starts to invade human dreams, causing nightmares that in some cases, even lead to deaths. Enter the sentinels, super humans who can control dreams and manipulate Elements to either defend against or attack Elementals with Elemental magic. A Sentinel’s purpose is to maintain the balance and protect the wyldlings…or at least are attempting to do so.
Zoe a marine biologist specializing in whale research has finally gotten the opportunity she has been waiting for – a position in Australia leading a research team that could mean a major promotion and an escape from an annoying ex who happens to be her boss. She has a lot to prove but it might be a lot easier if she didn’t hear voices – the whales talking to her …and then there’s her panic attacks and the extremely strange dreams she’s been having.
Gavin Cassidy is a musician and sentinel without a cause. Ever since he lost his partner his control over his elements has been nil – just like his ability to write new songs. But then he’s called in to protect one wyldling – Zoe.
With fire trying to take over the dreaming, elemental leaders being killed off and changes coming to the ranks of the sentinels, Inhale introduces a fascinating new world with vivid imagery and almost poetic descriptions and let’s not forget sensual… Gavin and Zoe spend most of the book meeting in the Dreaming and well, things get interesting, very interesting. Sadly though Zoe is in danger in the Dreaming and in the ‘normal’ world. Some of the enemies are known – like a vindictive fire elemental named Scarlett, while others remain in the shadows.
I really did enjoy this book but at the same time I felt like I was missing something. The world of Inhale was beautifully presented but I wished there had been a little more background information. I realize that as a first book in a series there is always a lot to put on paper and some things get rushed so I hope this means that the second book in the series will clear things up on that front.
I also have to say that at some point in the book I really, really, wanted to find out more about Sinnder – the mysterious fire elemental. So much so that it took over the book from my perspective. That actually means I and seriously looking forward to read the next installment… with high hopes that Sinnder gets a more central role.
All in all Inhale was an intriguing and well written introduction to a new PNR/UF series; one I am looking forward to reading more of.(less)
Usually – I really love reading Kresley Cole’s books but, right now, I’m hating LOTHAIRE. Now all the Immortal...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
Usually – I really love reading Kresley Cole’s books but, right now, I’m hating LOTHAIRE. Now all the Immortals After Dark fans will send me hate mail because I seem to be the only one who is not in love with this book.
Lothaire is a centuries old vampire notorious for being fiendishly cold blooded, sadistic and incredibly intelligent. He is opportunistic, calculating, and every creature in the Lore fears him. The only thing that has kept him (barely) sane throughout these many years is his plan to rule all the vampires in the Lore.
In Cole’s Lore, a vampire will fall in love with only one woman – their bride, but it may take centuries to discover who this person is. But wouldn’t you know that this is where the trouble lies. Lothaire believes he has found his bride in the body of Ellie Pierce. Saroya the Soul Reaper has taken possession of Ellie’s body and is fighting to have Ellie’s soul permanently extinguished. When Lothaire meets Ellie he believes that Saroya is his bride and makes an oath to help her gain permanent control of Ellie’s body. Sounds good right?
Cole is wonderful at creating full characters and imbuing them with traits and voices that are interesting; leaving a reader with a pretty clear and distinctive impression of each character in her novels. Lothaire just happens to be written as an unappealing, sadistic, cruel, domineering, bigoted, opportunistic, selfish, self-serving son of a gun – I’d be just fine if he didn’t find his bride. In fact – it bothers me that such a bright, interesting, noble person as Ellie would even give Lothaire the time of day.
What bothers me even more is that in order to make this match seem more improbable, Cole has chosen to draw Lothaire as a wealthy worldy Russian sophisticate and Ellie as a poor, ignorant, virgin hill billy with a heart of gold. Cole uses every cliche in the book. Ellie lives on a mountain named after her family, in a trailer, with her mother and baby brother. All her kin live on or around the mountain. Her father worked in a coal mine and died in a mine explosion. Ellie may fool around but she doesn’t have sex because she doesn’t want to end up teenaged and pregnant like all the other women in her family. Ellie’s only clothes are some jeans from the Walmart. And, of course, Ellie’s speech is riddled with so many “country” colloquialisms I feel like I’m watching The Beverly Hillbillies. Any second now, Ellie will be spurting out, “I may be ignorant, but I’m not stupid!” – “Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980).
Oh – and Ellie is human – which is a huge no-no. So. that’s kind of the cherry on top.
The book is filled with page after page of cliches, sadistic events and over the top drama, BUT, there is one beautiful, perfect, memorable scene between Lothaire and his nemesis Nix, The Ever Knowing Valkyrie oracle, that is the one saving grace of this novel. For fans of the series, that scene alone would be worth purchasing this book.
At the end of the day, I don’t care if these two get together because he is an nonredeemable prick and she is an idiot for making excuses for him. If he wasn’t such a sadistic egoist I could find some love for him maybe through pity. If Ellie wasn’t drawn as being smart in spite of being poor and unsophisticated I could probably find some love for her, too. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Ellie is a virgin because that makes this pairing even more twisted. My real problem is that Cole has shown again and again how intelligent a PNR can be that anything less than her best is tragic. She can really be that good.(less)
I really do try my best to finish every book. If the story is interesting enough, I will find the strength to...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com.
I really do try my best to finish every book. If the story is interesting enough, I will find the strength to muddle my way through to the end. It’s a compulsion for me, the NEED to know what will happen next. Slowly but surely, I’m learning quickly to just stop instead of subjecting myself further to a book I just don’t like.
Kiss of Pride should have been a triple threat. I mean Viking Vampire Angels? Score, right? Unfortunately for me, no. I tried really hard for over a week to get through the first hundred pages to no avail. From the very first pages we’re greeted with a subject matter that doesn’t match the levity of its language, but instead comes off completely absurd and just plain immature:
”I am deeply disappointed in the Vikings. I made them proud examples of a favored race.” Lightning bolts shot from Gods hands, which He raised on high, and the clouds wept. “Micheal!” God called out, and immediately appeared the Archangel Micheal, feathers flying as he rushed to His side. Without words, Michael could see down below to what had so offended his Lord. “Tsk, tsk!” was the best he could come up with.
“God loved Michael’s idea. “You will head this enterprise. Viking vampire angels. Well, not really angels. More like angels-in-training.” The archangel gasped with horror at his mistake. “Oh, not me, Lord. I have to help St. Peter repair the Pearly Gates. And Noah is building another ark. We have no room to put another ark. And those hippos! Phew!”
Kiss of Pride is the first in Ms. Hill’s Deadly Angels paranormal romance series designed to tell the story of the seven VIK who each committed one of the seven deadly sins and must now spend their lives as one of God’s vangels – vampire angels – fighting against the Lucipires – Lucifer’s vampires.
Now, I will admit to being somewhat shallow myself in choosing Kiss of Pride. That cover is HOT and who doesn’t secretly harbor desires for Viking Vampires, hmm? However, after reading just a short way through, that’s where all my interests ended. I didn’t get much past the introductions to the story and characters to report on more of what happens, but I can say what irritated me the most was the gravity of the situations warred with the humor. I, for one, am all for humor in books, but sometimes too much can make a mockery out of what is trying to be conveyed and make it all sound rather empty and foolish.(less)
If you haven’t read the first three books in the Eternal Guardian series I honestly don’t know what you are wai...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
If you haven’t read the first three books in the Eternal Guardian series I honestly don’t know what you are waiting for. Some of you may remember my series review from last fall and took my word for it on this compelling story, but if you haven’t put this series on your TBR or keep putting it off I implore you to pick up the books today! Ms. Naughton makes it very easy to get lost in the pages of her books regardless of the genre she may be tackling.
Enraptured was everything I was hoping it would be. Our featured hero Orpheus is not an easy Argonaut to love. He was introduced earlier in the series as a bit of a schemer, someone who you could not trust completely and was obviously out for his greater good. Or maybe that is what he wanted us to believe. In his addition to this fantastic series, Orpheus finds himself making choices even he did not know he was capable of making. A true change within his heart? Or his own demons keeping him from seeing his true self? I like to think it was the latter, but that may be simply because he made me fall in love within him!
Enraptured’s Skyla is a strong female character who can take care of herself and those she deems responsible for, and to be honest, Skyla grew on me slowly. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to fully like her but she sucked me in and now I am a fan. She lived for over 2000 years stuck within a prison of guilt and regret. I think sometimes it is hard to find the character under all that angst and twisted emotion. But Skyla’s journey was just as intriguing as O’s. Her growth and ultimately the choices she makes qualifies her as a hero and someone I hope plays a big roll in future installments of the series.
And of course this is only the beginning for Orpheus’s brother Gryphon. His time in the Underworld was full of true atrocities upon his soul and you can’t help but to ache for him and his older brother. A new character introduced, Maelea, the bastard daughter of Zeus and Persephone, pulled me in from the start. She is a dark lonely creature who is drawn to and is sensitive to supernatural powers but wants nothing to do with the ongoing power struggles between the gods. I cannot wait to see what her roll will be in the future. Each character is a fully realized individual which I find refreshing, there aren’t any useless filler rolls here. I love to be able to get several points of view within a world that is as complex as the one Naughton has created. Sure I love lots of books with a single POV, but when it comes to an episodic series like this one, I find it really fills the pages and keeps me wanting more from all the characters and helps me dive in nice and deep.
All in all, Enraptured completely satisfied me and I cannot wait for the next Eternal Guardians book, Enslaved. Elisabeth Naughton’s understanding of Greek mythology, the human condition, and super hot love scenes comes together to create a book any reader won’t be able to put down. You will find yourself negotiating one more chapter before you turn the light off, burning dinner because you are trying to multitask, or (I highly do NOT recommend this) trying to make that yellow light because it will get you to your favorite chair and Orpheus just a wee bit quicker!(less)
My heart is completely broken and I feel slightly sick to my stomach now.
I’ll be honest with you. This review is going to be breif, because I only made it 40 pages before I couldn’t go any further, but I’ll tell you what I know up until that point. I want to warn you though, if you have no desire to see any spoilers, I would stop now.
Bloodright is the second in author Karin Tabke’s Blood Moon Rising Trilogy and I was so looking forward to enjoying another hot and steamy yet fully enriched story by one of my quickly becoming auto buy authors. I had everything – my favorite comfy seat, my cool beverage, and my tasty little snack for later – then tragedy strikes in the first chapter.
Bloodright picks up exactly where Blood Law’s cliff-hanger dropped off. All hell has broken loose after the council’s verdict that either Lucien can take Falon as his one true mate or leave her to Rafe and choose another. Lucien chooses his Bloodright, not for a love of Falon, but only to torture his brother more for his treachery at slaying his own chosen.
Falon is so in love with Rafe and hates Lucien so much that she would rather shoot herself than to go with him. She finds him selfish, mean, callous, and insensitive and quite frankly, so do I. By the time Lucien gets her to his lair; she’s hurt and bleeding badly. It takes five days for her to heal, but for Falon, everything has just happened when she wakes up from her much needed recovery.
Karin is very good at what she does and that’s why I loved reading her work so much. She has me right there with Falon in her distrust, disgust and her broken heart. I feel her pain and her lost.
That’s why it isn’t a shock for me that when Lucien comes for her, she rails against him, fights him tooth and nail, tares at his flesh and shreds his skin.
The shock comes at his actions and her switch in mental voice because of it. I don’t care what “inarguable call of her blood to his” is happening or that they aren’t like us with animalistic instincts. I don’t care that her body betrayed her.
At no time is ok for a man to force himself on a woman.
For me this is NEVER hot, sexy or romantic, but it has come to my attention that there are some women out there who may enjoy this type of fantasy or can overlook it. I, however, am not one of them. I will not be reading Blood Vow when it releases this December.(less)
Blood Law is the debut in author Karin Tabke’s sultry new trilogy, Blood Moon Rising , mixing old and new Lycan...moreOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Blood Law is the debut in author Karin Tabke’s sultry new trilogy, Blood Moon Rising , mixing old and new Lycan mythology to create a fresh take on an old favorite. For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Tabke is the alter ego of Karin Harlow who I just so happen to absolutely adore! Karin makes some of the best Alpha heroes out there and she doesn’t disappoint as she brings us not one, but two.
Now there is a ton of back story to this series that you’ll only find out if you read Blood Law, but I’m nice enough to throw you a bone (ha,ha) and give you the down and dirty. For hundreds of years, wolves have been hunted down by Slayers at the decree of King Edward I, but about eight hundred years ago during the first Blood Moon Rising, a huge battle was fought between the Slayers and the two great wolf packs – the Mondragon of Europe and the Vulkasin of the New World. Though the wolves fought bravely they were on the verge of extinction so, Singarti, the great spirit guide of the Intuit people, called to the gods for intervention who in turn; turned the wolves into Lycan so as they might blend in with the humans.
Skip ahead to fourteen years ago. Rafael and Lucien, twin alpha males of the Mondragon/Vulkasin pack, are in a blood feud. There is one law that governs the Lycans, Blood Law, where first and foremost, a Lycan must not lie with a Slayer, to do so is punishable by death. And second, if another Lycan shall take another’s person or thing, eye for an eye can be invoked. In an extreme twist of fate, Rafael returned home to find his brother, Lucien, about to mark a Slayer as his one true mate and rather than see his brother dead, Rafe slew her by his own righteous hand. However, Lucien doesn’t see his brother’s actions as kind, nor does the governing council, and Blood Law now hangs over both packs until Rafe finds a mate so Lucien can finally take his vengeance.
Fast forward to present day where Blood Law truly begins. By now, the blood feud has taken a powerful toll on the world’s leading alpha pack, pinning them against one another. One side, the Mondragon, for Lucien. The other side, the Vulkasin, with Rafeal. One single human girl stands between them both as destiny unfolds. Falon Corbet always knew she was different, but it wasn’t until Rafael saves her from Slayers and marks her as his own does she truly find out just how truly different she really is.
Trust me when I say Karin Tabke knows her alpha males. They’re dominant, arrogant, erotic and sexy as hell. It makes my breath quicken just thinking about them. Alpha Lycan, Rafe, has been avoiding connections with the female body at all cost, because he’s never wanted to be responsible for the loss of an innocent life. When he meets Falon , he sees her as nothing but a mere human. In an effort to finally be done with the blood feud, he marks her for Lucien to do with as he wills. However, the more he gets to know her, the deeper she crawls into his head. Something about Falon makes his blood quicken and his beast call to her.
When we first meet Falon, she’s desperate, hungry, and savage. Homeless and an outcast orphan for most of her life, she’s only had to rely on herself and her own fundamental moral code. When Rafe takes her, she’s confused and yet drawn to him. There were numerous times when I wanted to scream at her, so furious with her for her hair brain actions and ideas that brought her further into trouble or just plain didn’t make any since at all. She actually tip toed the line for a TSTL heroine, but I’m happy to say how well she recovers and has only the most epic come back I have ever seen!
Ms. Tabke delivers in Blood Law an intense, erotic paranormal romance with compelling multilayered storytelling. Her mythical narrative with full rich history draws in the reader, but it’s her characters that keep them glued to the pages. Although, the cliffhanger at the end wrenched a tortured sigh from my lips, I’m eagerly awaiting to read the entire trilogy to see where she will take us next.(less)
Ripper is another book I found while looking for books to review for Paperback Dolls.
While the description drew me in the novel kept me reading. It did keep me reading, though I did stop so for sleep (at a reasonable hour). I finished reading Ripper in a day. Ripper had everything mystery, history, the supernatural, the Romantics with the added bonus of The Pre-Raphaelites. What more could a pre-law/English major ask for?
Ripper is a young adult novel centered on a large cast of doctors. The main character is a seventeen year old female named Arabella “Abbie” Sharp. She’s the granddaughter to Lady Westfield and Abbie has come to live with her after the death of her mother Caroline Westfield Sharp. She moves to London in 1888, to live with a woman she’s never met. Abbie is a little rough around the edges and her grandmother wants her to become a proper lady. Abbie, has different plans. She’s an adventurous young woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or get into trouble. However that being said she doesn’t like the continuances after she’s done something grandmother deems unlady like or that would mess with way Westfield’s status. As you may have guessed Abbie doesn’t like the lectures her grandmother gives her, and she’s always expecting to be thrown out. No she’s not always in trouble but she likes to do things her way which her grandmother (and others) wants to object too.
You may wonder why, after what I’ve told you, that I liked Ripper. It’s because it has mystery and a little magic. Both of which I love. Here’s the other reason it has history which is something my dad and I loved to discuss. As I’m sure you caught the history portion has to deal with the most famous murderer of all time… Jack the Ripper. Yes, I was stoked, I have three or four Jack the Ripper books as it is. They hit on all of my “callings” (legal and English). However Ripper is on a different level than most Jack the Ripper stories, where most look at the true history of Jack and or who he might have been Ripper has a new point of view. The premise was great, Abbie is sent by her grandmother to help out down in the East End specifically Whitechapel, at the Whitechapel Women’s Hospital, for a week. Lady Westfield thought this would help make Abbie, see her evil ways and the experience would put her on the right track for becoming the “proper lady” Lady Westfield wanted her to be. It backfires. Abbie loves working at the hospital with the doctors and being able to help those less fortunate than she. The longer Abbie works at Whitechapel Hospital and with the doctors there she decides she wants to become a doctor as well. Something Lady Westfield is not going to approve of. Though Abbie does have the approval of the three doctors she’s working with, Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Simon St. John and Dr. William Siddal. When the murders start it’s the doctors (Abbies friends) at Whitechapel who become the suspects. Why you may ask? It’s because of the brutality and the fine craving skills of Jack the Ripper. Skills only doctors would have the training for, or so Scotland Yard thinks. At this time, almost to the day when Abbie starts working at the hospital, roughly two and an half to three months after her mother’s passing, Abbie gains her mother’s gift of visions. Though I don’t think Abbie would call it a gift, she starts seeing the murders take place.
There are many twist and turns as Abbie tries to work her visions to save the women that she cares for. She also wants to true killer whoever that maybe to be brought to justice, so her friends will be left alone, especially Simon and William. To do that she must follow her instincts and use her visions to prove her friends aren’t Jack the Ripper. The only problem, she may not be ready for the answers she seeks, or the family secrets she will learn. They may haunt her, and closure may not come. Especially since Jack wants her as well.
I would be tickled pink if Amy Carol Reeves came out with a second book. I don’t think Abbie or the Whitechapel doctors have told their full story. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about for this book was if the voice (language) was the correct for this time I would gladly join their journey again. Amy Carol Reeves did a wonderful job of drawling me in and keeping me with Abbie the whole time… I can’t want to see what comes next.(less)
Alma Katsu has released a brilliant eShort story The Devil’s Scribe that gives you a little more insight into Lanore (Lanny) the heroine from The Taker. We are immediately taken back to the year 1846 when it is shocking for a young woman to be alone in a bar at night, yet Lanny sits having a drink. Why does she not care what others think about her and why has Lanny returned to Boston after 20 years? Lanny tells us “I’d been fleeing my past, trying to outrun the terrible thing I’d done all those years ago. I was learning, however, that one never really escapes from one’s sins; they will demand your attention if you try to ignore them.” We are swept along wondering what this young woman could have done that is so terrible.
It is a delightful turn of events that Katsu has decided to use Poe as the one to push along Lanny’s story. With his keen sense he recognizes a story that he must tell in Lanny. Poe introduces himself to Lanny as the Devil’s Scribe, stating that “he preferred to write tells of intense darkness”. With this admission we are taken along the journey as Lanny returns to the source of her fear. Perhaps it is because he is a stranger Lanny doesn’t feel threatened and opens up a little about this terrible transgression she has committed that keeps her up at night.
Brilliant and enchanting, in this story Katsu has given you just enough information to leave you longing for more. If you haven’t read The Taker yet, this story will draw you in and leave you with questions that can all be answered in The Taker. It is also an excellent way to acquaint you with Katsu’s writing style and get a small taste of what to expect in her books. How exciting that it is being released in Trade Paperback on March 27th! If you have already read The Taker this short story gives you just enough new information about Lanny and will have you anxiously awaiting The Reckoning. I highly recommend this enchanting eShort story.(less)
Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio, Jr. has a chip on his shoulder. The newest detective on the Caldwell police force is also the son of a notorious serial killer. Eager to distance himself from his father’s gruesome reputation and firmly establish his own sense of worth, Veck has lived a solitary life of self loathing. His smoldering good looks have never left him at a loss for company but his insecurities have made it impossible for him to connect with anyone.
When Veck is found covered in blood at the scene of a vicious attack on a serial killer Veck is immediately pegged as the number one suspect. Officer Sophia Reilly, a by the book red headed bombshell, is assigned by Internal Affairs to investigate the attack and become Veck’s partner. Right from the start these two find themselves fighting their attraction to each other. Can they find the real culprit and exonerate Veck? Who is the mysterious Jim Heron who continues to show up with information about the attack and the serial killings? Will Veck and Reilly finally allow their passions to take over?
What a ride! Ward’s writing style is direct and aggressive. Her characters are in your face, challenging you to deny their brash intensity. ENVY is the third book in Ward’s Fallen Angels series which follows Jim Heron in his fight to save souls on the verge of being eternally damned. Heron is pitted against the demon lord, Devina, an Angelina Jolie look alike who will break all the rules to make sure she wins this contest. Compared to the previous two books in the series, ENVY is simpler and easier to follow. Both Heron and Devina have gotten the hang of the contest and it is great fun to read the psychological battles between the two.
The mystery surrounding Veck and his role as the chosen soul is fairly clear and doesn’t leave the reader in the dark. The animal attraction between Veck and Reilly comes to life in some super smexy love scenes that may leave you hot and bothered so don’t say I didn’t tell you! Ward throws in a few doozies but there are two sub plots I could easily have done without (can’t tell you because they are spoilers). And you can always count on Ward to give you the anti-heroine heroine (her specialty) – Reilly doesn’t wear make-up and is utterly unaware how attractive she is. A paragon of tighty whitey efficiency - literally – she is brainy but she can’t understand what super hunky Veck even sees in her. While Veck is so steeped in guilt and repentance for the sins of his father, Reilly’s straight arrow good girl rocks his socks off and leaves him totally inept and hopelessly flummoxed.
Take this PNR to bed with you and don’t be surprised if you find yourself racing through the book to read the smexy parts!(less)
I’m hooked on Gena Showalter’s Lords of The Underworld series. The series describes the adventures of the immortal Lords of the Underworld, a group of warriors created by Zeus. Overcome by jealousy when Pandora is chosen to guard the box that imprisons all the worlds demons, the Lords kill Pandora and inadvertently set free all the demons upon the Earth. As punishment each Lord is sentenced to carry a demon within their body for all eternity. Now the Lords dedicate themselves to finding the mystical tools that will release them from their sentence.
The Darkest Surrender is the story of Strider, Keeper of Defeat. As Keeper of Defeat, Strider experiences debilitating pain whenever he is defeated. His demon seeks a challenge in even the most mundane of tasks. Incredibly handsome and overwhelmingly obnoxious, Strider will go to any length to keep from losing, especially when it comes to love.
Kaia Skyhawk is a beautiful harpy hopelessly in love with Strider. A mistake during the Harpy Games at the age of 14, has left Kaia ostracized by the harpy community and haunted by the ensuing tragedy. Countless decades have passed since that day and Kaia has sought to redeem herself in the eyes of her family but most especially her mother. When the Harpy Games are announced and Kaia receives a special invitation she is certain she can win and regain her status. But as the details of the event unfold, Kaia and Strider find themselves pitted against each other in the battle for the prize. Will Strider risk losing his heart to Kaia even if it means losing the only chance the Lords have to win their freedom?
The Lords of the Underworld series is a PNR set in modern day Budapest. The characters although hundreds or thousands of years old live in castles filled with video games, hip-hop music and state of the art surveillance equipment. Like a Black Ops outfit on steroids, the story is told in contemporary slang full of swagger and posturing – a never ending frat party. Showalter’s dialogue is fun! But behind all the bravado is a story of two people who are afraid of getting hurt and disappointed by love. It is painful to read the missteps and misunderstandings as Kaia and Strider awkwardly navigate the game of love. Showalter makes you believe that even immortals with centuries under their belts can still be made to feel insecure and sensitive when it comes to barring their hearts.
The Harpy Games add an exciting background to the love story. The challenges are bloody and gruesome and the villains are dastardly.
Showalter is the best friend who knows where all your skeletons are hidden and wants to help you find some more to put into the closet with them. This series is a fun over the top read that is full of action and and super smexy scenes. Give yourself a present – bring The Darkest Surrender home tonight along with a bottle of margaritas and get ready for some fun!(less)
Greg Novak is the Pack Alpha in Detroit and heir to the pack council leader. Fianna Meadows is an exile from the Seelie Court and Greg’s responsibility. Someone is murdering werewolves in the Detroit area and the Novaks are next on the list.
Greg, his brother George, and his cousin Lana had formed their own pack upon reaching adulthood. They inherited a bar in Detroit, The New Moon, and have been quietly running their business while trying to stay out of werewolf politics. Fianna Meadows has been exiled from the Seelie Court after inadvertently taking part in a revolt against the Seelie queen. Stripped of her fairy powers, Fianna is sentenced to work and live as a human under Greg’s care. The last thing that Greg expected was to become attracted to Fianna and he is awash with guilt for having feelings for someone entrusted to his care. As the days pass and the attacks become personal, Greg and Fianna can no longer deny the passion between them.
If you love Alphas who are tall, dark and protective – then you will love Greg Novak. His shaggy bad boy rock star looks are at odds with his paternalistic code of honor for his friends and family. Fianna Meadows may be over 100 years old but she is completely out of her comfort zone in the human world and it is fun to watch her struggle with even the most mundane of tasks. Fianna’s blasse acceptance of sex as a natural part of life are a perfect match for Greg’s libido. Smexy shifter sex galore.
There are a few twists and turns as the mystery unfolds. But overall, the story is not subtle. Be ready for a few startling scenes towards the end of the book. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Motor City Wolf is a perfect choice for all those readers who love strong Alpha males and hot smexy love scenes.(less)
The novels of the Edge Series written by Ilona Andrews are works of paranormal romance filled with smart heroines, kooky characters, grueling fight scenes, charming heroes, and rich story telling covered in romantic goodness that will melt your heart and leave your brain feeling happy. The series takes place in a parallel world that exists just around the corner from our everyday world in dimensional planes that are imbued with varying degrees of magic.
The dimensional plane we live in is called “The Broken” since we mere mortals survive without any magic. The first dimension outside the broken is “The Edge”. Citizens of the Edge have varying degrees of magic in their DNA. The next dimension is “The Weird” and it is mostly populated by nobility who wield strong magical powers. But this parallel universe has a sense of balance that tends to keep everyone in check. Most members of The Broken have no knowledge that magic even exists and instead have modern technology. Most “Edgers” have enough magic to keep them out of the Broken while others have the ability to cross the barriers separating the dimensions. But the magical inhabitants of the Weird cannot enter into the Broken at all. Their magic is too powerful and the barrier between the planes would rip them apart. Members of the Weird can enter into the Edge but just like in real life, there exists a caste system of sorts – snobbery! Why no self-respecting noble or inhabitant of the Weird would ever be caught dead in the Edge! How ordinary and vulgar! But there is one other similarity to real life in this world building that is particularly of note – evil and greed are just as alive in a magical world as in an industrial one.
The first book in this series,
ON THE EDGE
, introduced us to this magical world.. It also introduced us to some of the most interesting characters in UF or PNR in ages. Jack the young changeling boy who can turn into a lynx, and George, the pre-teen necromancer with a heart so large he would rather die than see anyone suffer – and almost does. Other memorable characters live in the Edge including Zombie Grandpa, brave Rose, noble Declan and lonely but deadly William. The final battle scene at the end of this book is one of the most terrifying battle scenes I’ve ever read!!!! I was on pins and needles! And the formula was set! Each book would have a smart admirable heroine facing an impossible challenge; a brave and charming hero ready to come to the rescue; at least one if not a group of God awful terrifying villains; and a mix of supporting characters that remind me of The Beverly Hillbillies, Swamp People, The Hatfields, The McCoys, Cinderella, and characters from the X-men series, all combined!
Cerise, the heroine of
is my favorite from all three books. Her sense of humor had me laughing out loud. And my good Lord, her family, The Mars, is some sort of swamp people Addams Family! The fight scene in
did not disaapoint. Dear Lord – how do Andrew & Ilona come up with this stuff - cecause they look so nice and yet they write about these truly terrible fight scenes. Shudder! Makes you wonder what they see in the ink blot tests, ya know?
, the third installment in the series, takes place a few years later. Rose & Declan are happily married and living in the Weird. Jack & George are living the privileged life of Weird nobility with Rose & Declan as their guardians. Cerise & William have settled into domestic bliss and are enjoying the roles of doting aunt & uncle to Jack & George when they aren’t on spy missions for the Mirror. And the Mars family has successfully re-established itself down the way form Cerise & William. Tranquility! Well – not exactly. The savage battle in
has left a number of walking wounded including Kaldar Mars. Kaldar – with his “Dukes of Hazzard” charm, pretty boy looks, and con man ways is bent on avenging his family and killing as many members of the Hand as he can. Now a secret agent working for the Mirror, he has been called into action on a new mission which threatens to destroy the delicate balance keeping the world in check.
Jack and George have been trying to fit into their new lives in the Weird but the onset of puberty is bringing its own set of problems. Jack can’t seem to keep out of trouble and George is realizing his options are limited in regards to his future. Both boys struggle with the anti-Edge bigotry that surrounds them in the Weird and worry that they will be sent away.
Audrey Callahan is a beautiful grifter trying to go straight. Raised in a family of grifters in the Edge, her talents have always been a means to an end for her greedy and abusive family. As a teen Audrey is sold into slavery to a local drug lord and beaten to within an inch of her life. Managing to escape she disappears into the Broken to start a new life.
A powerful ancient artifact has been stolen and Kaldar is placed in charge of the recovery. All paths lead to Audrey and sparks begin to fly the moment these two grifters meet. They must pull off the biggest heist of their lives while keeping ahead of the Hand, The Hounds, and the Claws of Bast; and keeping two castaways safe. Can these two con artists open their hearts enough to fall genuinely in love or will the fear of having their hearts broken keep them lonely forever?
Kaldar made such a huge impression in
. He was the scoundrel uncle with the charming ways and no-good sexy looks which makes it is no surprise he gets his own book. And the best part is he gets to meet his match in a beautiful female con artist so wise to the game it’s a wonder she has managed to hold onto her heart. I really enjoyed reading the cons that Kaldar and Audrey pulled off including their hilarious first meeting. Watching them struggle to accept love with another grifter was very entertaining. But most of all – reading Kaldar’s insights into the cons he played in the past give me that fly on the wall access to a grifter’s mind.
Jack and George are always great! And it was such a wonderful surprise to have them show up in integral roles in
. Watching them develop and suffer with aspects of their natures really tugged at my heartstrings.
Overall – the book went along at a relatively slower pace compared to its predecessors but the element of danger and culminating fight scenes were exciting and over only too soon.
This series really delivers a punch! It is packed with drama and excitement. The Ilona Andrews team has a gift for world building and making each book better than the one before. These novels are subtly crafted and much like their Kate Daniels series, the first book only begins to set the tone for the rest of the series. I can’t wait for the fourth installment and I wonder what surprise Ilona Andrews have up their sleeves for us.(less)
When I started reading I had a solid connection with the characters and the different take on vampires. Plus I got into the whole courier aspect since I’ve seen so many while working at the courthouse. It worked well and I could picture everything, especially when Sydney moves to Maui. It remind me of my three trips over to the island from Oahu and how much faint had. But this cliffhanger for me didn’t work and that’s a first.