I normally adore Molly Harper books, but this one left me with lukewarm feelings.
What I loved about the story: Molly Harper's trademark quirky humor;...moreI normally adore Molly Harper books, but this one left me with lukewarm feelings.
What I loved about the story: Molly Harper's trademark quirky humor; the host of familiar and delightful side characters; the plot which was cute and fun, if not very riveting.
Things that could have been better: I had issues identifying with the heroine, which is first for me with Molly's books. She cheated on her boyfriend and didn't even have the decency to feel bad about it, which really bugged me. I can never really love a character with no sense of honor. The hero also left a lot to be desired. He's too much of a bad boy for me. Case and point, he groped the heroines ass within seconds of meeting her. Then he pulls this hot/cold act that was meant to be sexy, but ended up annoying me more than exciting me. The reveal of his “big secret” was anticlimactic, and no where near as interesting as I'd hoped.
I can't imagine every hating one of Molly's books - they are all fun, and light, and make me feel like I'm reading the book version of a romantic comedy, but A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses was not one of my favorites. (less)
Binding the Shadows comes very close to being a perfect book. It brings back all the elements I loved from Kindling, and avoids the failings...more4.5 Stars
Binding the Shadows comes very close to being a perfect book. It brings back all the elements I loved from Kindling, and avoids the failings of Summoning.
When Caddy’s bar is robbed, and her partner injured, she and Lon start investigating. Their digging reveals a string of robberies, and other incidents perpetrated by Earthbound’s with seemingly amped up knacks. People that could once do little things like levitate house cats, can now throw around cars, and bring down bridges. Added into the drama in the city, Caddy has some challenges of her own. Her Moonchild powers are growing stronger, and infinitely creepier. Every time she uses her gift she’s seeing things, and hearing voices. Shadows seem to be following her, and mother’s memory stalks her in visions.
The plot in this novel doesn’t let up. It’s one thrilling, action packed ride from start to finish. While reading the previous book, I found myself kind of zoning out, and losing interest in the story, but none but not so for Binding. This book caused me to loose almost an entire night of sleep finishing it. It was just that good.
Even better, Ms. Bennett fixed every complaint I had with the second novel. And most of it got addressed in the first few chapters – I was completely amazed and thrilled. Well done, Ms. Bennett! Accadia has been practicing using her Moonchild ability, and is no longer terrified of using it. Thank god! She’s rediscovered her inner strength, conquered most of the depression and fears that plagued her in Summoning, and seems to be making more intelligent decisions. She’s comes clean with Lon about everything that’s been going on with Dare and her abilities. And most importantly, she finally gets over her irrational fear of Dare and puts that shithead in his place soundly.
“My mistress. It is I, your loyal guardian.” His voice was low and crackly. Rougher than rough. He cupped my face in both hands, long fingers grazing my scalp. “It is Priya.”
Priya is back! And sexy! In previous books, Caddy’s guardian spirit always appeared in sort of a holographic bird form. I also assumed Priya was female – crazy me. Maybe it was the name. But when he shows up in his new body, it turns out he’s an extremely sexy, 20-something, sandman lookalike with wild black hair, perfect abs, and black angel wings. Yum! If I weren’t so completely team Lon, I might actually start hoping for a love triangle there.
When he caught up to me, he sat down on the rock next to me. He didn’t ask me why I was out there. He merely pulled me into his arms and said, “Show me what’s wrong and we will fix it.”
Lon and Caddy continue to be amazing! The quote above perfectly encapsulates why I love them together. They may even be my favorite fictional couple. They are just so functional. They don’t need a ton of words, or grand gestures. Instead they show their love through understanding one another, and quiet support. Neither one is perfect – Lon is emotionally reserved and Caddy is insecure, but they accept each other wholly, warts and all. “Show me what’s wrong and we’ll fix it.” Whow, just whow. I’d like to hear those words from someone someday. You’d better hold onto Lon tightly, dear Caddy, because I might just steal him away from you!
I was surprised there weren’t more “sexy time” moments in this book. Since we’d heard Binding was going to be Lon and Caddy’s story, I was looking forward to some more private time with my favorite couple. But alas, that was not to be. I think we only had one bed room scene, and a lot of delicious flirting. I won’t lie – I wanted more pirate mustache smut, but I also can’t complain. Ms. Bennett spent her writing time wisely, delivering a complex, fantastic story.
There are only two things keeping this book from being completely perfect. One, there’s a bit of unnecessary emotional drama from Jupe’s grandmother. This is really a minor quibble, and may not bother most readers, but it bugged me. There is already enough excitement in drama in this book, I didn’t feel it was necessary to complicate Caddy’s life more. Having yet another character that seems to hate Caddy for no good reason, just frustrated me. Poor Caddy just can’t catch a break. Secondly, there’s a big surprise at the end of the story, and a cliffhanger ending. I wasn’t pleased with the cliffhanger, and I really hated the surprise. I can’t say more for fear of spoilers, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.
These minor complaints aside, I loved this book. Really, really loved it. It has all of the elements I enjoy most about urban fantasy: A strong, intelligent heroine, a very sexy hero, a cast of interesting side characters, and a thrilling and well executed plot. If you love this series as much as I do, and especially if you felt a bit disappointed in second book in the series, rest assured you will not be disappointed with Binding. Buy it now, get a pot of coffee brewing, and prepare yourself for a great read you won’t be able to put down. (less)
This book was recommended to me by Cat here on Goodreads. It’s written by a relatively new author, that hasn’t gotten much press (there was only one r...moreThis book was recommended to me by Cat here on Goodreads. It’s written by a relatively new author, that hasn’t gotten much press (there was only one review on Amazon when I downloaded this book), but Justice made me wonder where Jennifer Harlow had been all my life. Yes, this book is that good. I cheered, I cried like a baby, and I hugged the book on completion. This is easily the best novel I’ve read this year.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Justice is a story that may seem familiar at first glance. Anyone that has ever loved comic book heroes will recognize common tropes. There is a cop that has lost her faith, a billionaire philanthropist, and a down trodden city, full of crime - a city in need of heroes. While the canvas this story is painted on might seem familiar at first, the similarities end when you look deeper.
I just wish they’d all go away. Even the good ones. They give us false hope that when a mugger approaches, Justice or Olympia will swoop in and save the day. People should know the only person who can really save them is themselves. I learned that at twelve, forty-year-olds should know better.
Our heroine is Joanna Fallon was born in the slums. Her mother was an abusive alcoholic, and her father was murdered in a convenience store when she was thirteen. On that day, she lost her faith in the city’s supers, and decided to become a cop, to become her own savior, and a force for good in her own right. I loved Joanna’s character– she’s a perfect combination of all the traits look for in my urban fantasy heroines. She’s smart, tough, self-reliant. She doesn’t look for anyone to save her. She has no special powers, but she doesn’t need them to be a hero. All she needs is courage, competence, and stubborn determination to always do the right thing. She’s flawed: insecure, disbelieving that she deserves love, and brash. But she doesn’t let her weaknesses hold her back. Perhaps Joanna’s greatest flaw (and strangely also her greatest strength) is the fact that she’s head over heels in love with her best friend – Justin Pendergast - a man that is marrying another woman.
“Because you’re a symbol to him, Joanna. You are the first person he ever saved, and that saved him. You’re an extension of himself, and everything he stands for. You represent his whole world. All his pain and sacrifice for the greater good… You have to go out in the world, live a good life apart from him, contribute, otherwise what is all this sacrifice for? And that’s what makes you the most important person in his life.”
Joanna and Justin’s friendship is beautiful and heartbreaking. It takes up a relatively small part in the book, and is overshadowed by the dire events going on in Galilee, yet it is one of the most vital and brilliant things in the story. These two became friends as teens, when Justin prevented her suicide attempt. While he is unaware of her deeper feelings for him, they both need one another desperately, but for different reasons. I adored Justin. He’s a normal guy, and an amazing friend. I love how he worries about Joanna. He’s juggling wedding plans, and the demands of his billion dollar business, but he still has time to call her and ensure she’s safe. I appreciate Joanna for the care and support she shows Justin, even when supporting him means giving him away. They are beautiful together, and need each other even more due to the events in this book. Justin's presence adds an element of heartbreak that somehow makes Joanna even more sympathetic. Most of us can relate to loving someone from afar, but with the surety that they are completely beyond our reach.
Every second of the timeline in this story is packed with action. The man hunt plays out like an episode of 24, with escalating suspense, and big events occurring regularly. There are things that happen in this book that will really destroy you emotionally. Consider yourself warned.
But it’s not about what’s fair, it’s about what’s right. I get that now. It’s not about dying for Justice, it’s about maintaining justice. Much harder.
It’s hard to sum up everything I appreciated about this story when I loved just about everything in it, but here’s a few things that were amazing: Joanna herself. Her secret boyfriend Harry who loves her exactly as she is, and supports her through every part of this story. Justin and his finance Rebecca – their love was beautiful, even though it broke my heart. The villain – he’s sadistic, frighteningly intelligent, and creepy as all hell. He made me believe he might just succeed in his bid to destroy Justice and the city. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to figure out the identities of the superheroes in Galilee, especially that of Justice, Galilee’s main super. I loved Justice’s relationship with Joanna and how it develops. She worshiped him as a child, hated him as an adult. I loved seeing how he became her hero again. The message of hope in the story. This book is well named. It isn’t really a story about the super hero named Justice, but rather a story about how normal people can make their world a better place, and find their own justice with a little courage and determination.
Justice made me fall in love with super heroes all over again. It’s an amazing book, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you like gritty, dark urban fantasy with strong heroines, then you will love this book. Even if you think super heroes are cheesy, give it a shot. Check out the sample chapters on Amazon. I think this is a story that has something for everyone. I don’t know where Ms. Harlow has been all my life, but I'm a huge fan now, and will be counting the days until she releases book 2 of this series. (less)
I'm not usually a fan of novellas for series I really adore. They give me a taste – just enough to make me crave more - then leave me hanging. Leashin...moreI'm not usually a fan of novellas for series I really adore. They give me a taste – just enough to make me crave more - then leave me hanging. Leashing the Tempest was just about perfect though. Lon, Caddy, and Jupe charter a boat for a "three hour tour" that would make Gilligan cringe. Picture a boat, powerless, drifting at sea in the worst storm you can imagine, then picture something dark and monstrous on board hunting the passengers. This story is riveting, and definitely worth the read.(less)