I feel bad for Murdoch because it seems like, among the Wroth brothers, he got the short end of the stick, and that his and Daniela's story was createI feel bad for Murdoch because it seems like, among the Wroth brothers, he got the short end of the stick, and that his and Daniela's story was created just to "conveniently" tie-up what had happened so far among brothers... without really bothering much with the development of their OWN story. (Tie things up is even misleading, because there was nothing new to show for the preceding Wroth brothers' stories. They were just "revisited".)
I can't even see how the two of them fell in love with each other by the end. It was all just, "huh?" at the point. Precisely because Ms Cole seemed more concerned about giving the reader another angle by which to see how Nikolai and Myst, and Sebastian and Kad, and even how Conrad and Neomi were doing at the time of their OWN respective stories.
And even those were annoying, to be honest.
Murdoch knew that Nikolai and Myst saw each other again after 5 years. A few pages on, Murdoch saw Nikolai and Myst slumbering next to each other. A quick forward turn of pages, Nikolai confessed to drinking from Myst. Murdoch is confounded by these of events.
And guess what? Sebastian is alive and competing in the Talisman's Hie. Murdoch is overjoyed. A few pages on (let's not bother bothering on the duration of the tournament), the Hie is finished and Sebastian apparently WON it and is mated with a Valkyrie? Another of Murdoch's brothers finding love. That's really great. Even if things felt abrupt.
(It would have nice if in this Murdoch's story, Ms Cole allotted a chapter on how Nikolai, Murdoch, and Sebastian finally reunited. How did their conversation go? But that's neither here nor there...)
Oh, and while we're at it... Conrad is alive. Riddled with psychopathic tendencies, sure, but alive, nonetheless. Murdoch is grim about meeting his baby brother. A few pages on, there was a fleeting mention about how Conrad is being rehabilitated by his older brothers... he is seeing ghosts, too. The author tells the reader that Murdoch was made busy tending to Conrad. Okay. Fair enough.
(It would have been a nice touch if Ms Cole showed how the elder Wroth brothers fared during their stint at Elancourt while Conrad was tied up in the bedroom above. How did they spend those nights making the mansion habitable? How restless were they really as they missed their mates? Did they not converse with one another? Catch up with each other? But that's neither -- yeah, never mind.)
To top it all off, Nikolai later called Murdoch and told him that they're going to war. Even if you have read Conrad's story, the rapid jump into what's suddenly happening takes a few moments to sink in.
Oh, a war? Okay.
A scant few pages later -- and with no mention whatsoever STILL on how the brothers went to war against Kristoff and how they were subdued -- they are now imprisoned. But, no worries, bub: barely a second later, Conrad will be there to free his brothers.
Meanwhile, in between these bouts, Murdoch traces back and forth to Daniela -- when he finds the time.
And they just fight. All the time.
One hopes that Murdoch will be made to look adorable as he suddenly finds himself without his usual smooth moves with a lady... but he just looks annoyed and grouchy. His pride and ego were still pretty much unbending, however. And there really was no crafty development to show how he gradually changed. One minute he's resentful about what's happening with his Bride. The next -- I'm in love with her.
Danii meanwhile accuses Murdoch of deliberately being careless the two (?) times he accidentally brushed his skin against any naked part of her. Despite Murdoch telling her every. single. motherfudging.time that he doesn't want to touch her for fear of hurting her.
And she made him, a vampire -- scratch that -- a vampire who was finally blooded by his Bride -- to vow NOT to drink from her. She demanded that a vampire male NOT drink from her. But she'll continue to seduce him with her eyes, anyway. Any other creature of the Lore will find the vow fairly easy to keep. But, yes, let's make a vampire male who is OBVIOUSLY GREATLY attracted to you to PROMISE not to EVER be swept by desire and lose control. A Bride withholding the precious blood needed by her vampire male.
I found this tetchy from an IAD heroine because pretty much every woman up to this point -- from Myst down to Sabine -- absolutely reveled in the knowledge that only SHE can drive her male to lose his grip on his formidable control.
Oh, and just to quickly, tidily tackle the issue of the Icere threat: make Jadian suddenly the good guy, after all. Expeditiously kill Sigmund. End of threat. Ta-da.
There was not even a good 'ol down and dirty showdown.
And Murdoch stumbling upon Danii and Jadian kissing? I think everyone in the free world could have predicted that a mile away. Come on, Ms Cole.
All-in-all...I can understand why this was also made as an anthology with Gena Showalter's work.
Nice enough to re-hash on what had ALREADY happened in the past installments -- without really adding new touches (except on the very last chapter, of course) -- but NOT enough as a full-length story to focus primarily on the two lovers.
"And you're forced to hang around with two nuts." -- actual alternate title of this story.
First things first: why can't Aeron's demon be Vengean"And you're forced to hang around with two nuts." -- actual alternate title of this story.
First things first: why can't Aeron's demon be Vengeance or something like that?
Second: I loved this installment.
Third: I have so many other books lined up just demanding that I pay them the attention due to them, but...no. Imma have to -- imma need to finish this series. Forrealsies.
Fourth: have I mentioned that I loved Aeron and Olivia's story?
Because, for a warrior considered to possess all the charm and humor of a two-by-four, seeing Aeron being run ragged to the ground at turns by Olivia's sweet innocence as well as her tenacious desires for his touch, and then by Legion's blood-curling, scrub-Aeron's-corneas-with-sandpaper intent to have sex with him (yes, ew), I mean-- at one point, you really can't help but pity the poor dude. Two nuts, indeed.
(And yes, I know it's not meant to be funny -- Olivia's and Legion's actions both resulting in dire consequences in the labyrinthine quagmire of bargains and compromises, deals and sacrifices. But...still... Aeron's valiant juggling attempt to be a lover to one and remain a father to the other... that was fun to watch.)
Also, that time when "Tempation" was compelling words out of Olivia's lips in the presence of Torin? Priceless.
And that scene between Olivia and Gideon? Gold.
Maybe because two-thirds of this story was not as heavy or dour as that of Reyes and Danika's, or as convoluted as Sabin and Gwen's... but Olivia's character is just adorable and sweet -- and not in that cloying sweet manner at all: as a fallen angel, she knows that she's physically weak as the next mortal, and yet she has so much courage to go after what she wants. Her deliberate but awkward seduction of Aeron should have been ridiculous to witness, but she's just so... cute. And I didn't expect to find her cute.
And Aeron? His brethren may look upon him as having no sense of humor whatsoever, but it is his straightforwardness that made me like his character, too. Oh yeah, and Wrath is perhaps the first demon of the Lords whom I also really liked (although, I still do wonder why he wasn't named Vengeance. I'm sticking to that). I can understand why sometimes Aeron was loathe to loathe his demon.
On the other hand, that fateful, final third: that moment when Danika's dream about Aeron was about to come true... when Wrath and Aeron spoke to one another... and then the resulting whiplash among the warriors... that just about wrecked me.
Gods, I love these men.
So let's not do anything like that ever again, yea?
Overall, this is really an enjoyable read. Funny in generous doses. But also damn heartbreaking in some.
And through it all, there is that signature we-are-up-in-shit-creek-and-how-the-hell-do-we-get-out-of-this-godly-mess that perhaps, at this point in the series, we should probably be used to already, but damn, Showalter sure knows how to weave impossible odds in each new story and then untangle it at the end like ta-da! loophole found. you are very welcome.
The best thing always? The fortress ends up housing yet another gorgeous woman. ...more
It was going so well... but that showdown just ruined it for me.
I really liked Sabin and Gwen's story (although, admittedly, I was a little surprisedIt was going so well... but that showdown just ruined it for me.
I really liked Sabin and Gwen's story (although, admittedly, I was a little surprised when it became Sabin's turn in the Lords of the Underworld series. I expected Showalter to prioritize the warriors from Lucien's group first).
For someone who has lots of insecurities, seeing Gwen discover the depths of her strength and earn the respect of her formindable sisters made me, at turns, envious and proud. Another aspect I really liked with these lovers is the part where they shared their vulnerabilities with one another. This installment showed that pillow talk should not be underrated.
(However, there were times when I did not quite fully understand why Sabin's demon of Doubt acted the way it did around Gwen/ Gwen's harpy.)
The only thing truly gnawing at my craw is how Galen was allowed to escape. There. Because I really, really, really wanted each and every one of the Lords to take a piece out of that asshole's miserable hide.
Seeing how Amun and Gideon suffered? Gideon's torture?? I was calling for blood.
Rivers of it.
I took it upon myself to pretend I was promised rivers of blood.
SO WHERE THE HELL WAS MY RIVER OF GALEN'S BLOOD?!
Oh, but Sabin had to go all noble and shit. Hrrrmph.
Scenarios like that made me wish for the umpteenth time that Maddox was still an active character and allowed to set Violence loose among their enemies....more
Truth be told: I was not terribly impressed with how Mariketa was described in the sneak peek of Wicked Deeds... following the end of No Rest for tTruth be told: I was not terribly impressed with how Mariketa was described in the sneak peek of Wicked Deeds... following the end of No Rest for the Wicked.
Perhaps, fresh off from the image of Kaderin as this super bad-ass resilient she-warrior, the picture painted of Mariketa the witch as a young woman in a drab cloak, vainly trying to call on her magical powers only now in the midst of the Hie of all times, deceptively set her up as ... well...not exactly a weakling... but maybe a little over her head? Pit her against the raw, bristling edges of a powerful Bowen who's carrying such a heavy baggage, and I foolishly thought that their story might not be worth the time, after all. Coz I didn't want to read about a female pushover.
WHICH filled me with no end of despair because I really wanted to explore this series further.
That was back in 2008. Two thousand and eight.
A few weeks ago, out of sheer boredom -- and a disgustingly pitiful reluctance to pick up any one of the dozens of books in my to-read pile (I think they've given up on me, too) -- I found myself re-reading A Hunger Like No Other. And was enchanted all over again.
So, valiantly keeping my eyes from straying guiltily towards the non-romance books awaiting my pleasure, I decided to read Wicked Deeds....
And now I wish someone bulldozed their way up to me and promptly smacked me upside the head nine years ago for letting go of this series so easily.
I had no idea that right after that little blurb of a sneak peek of Bowen and Mari, the pace relentlessly picks up.
These two? A combustible mix. Their verbal exchanges a delight.
Although, admittedly, more than half the time I got irritated with the many splendid fuck-ups Bowen committed around Mari. I mean, he's on a wholly different level in terms of continuously saying the wrong thing. Like... man, oh man....really? really. you.said.that.
Halfway in this story you can't help but admire Mari's emotional strength in the face of the (okay, often-unintentional) word vomit that keeps spouting from the Lykae's big mouth. Also, Bowen's fumbling damage-control in the wake of yet another faux-pas has left me a little unconvinced (hence, the 4 stars).
Other than that, the always delicious almost-sex and eventual yes-finally-sex, Mari's indomitable strength of self, her discovery of the breadth of her powers (she reminds me so much of Emmaline from A Hunger Like No Other), and the moments when Bowen tries everything in his power to protect Mari from harm -- from her fear of heights, and even from himself during the full moon -- Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night is an enjoyable read.
To be sure, I definitely am hankering for the next story.
Hellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would requireHellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would require a shrink (and no, it’s not the I-can’t-have-orgasm-oh-kill-me-now thingie)…
[FYI, Dr. Dreamy has brothers, too. No guesses needed on how they look. Dayum!]
Okay, so perhaps the only beef I have with this first installment is his name. Resorting to calling him “E” felt too much like BDB to me (and I kinda wanted those guys to remain just the tiniest bit untouchable, so…).
No wonder even Hellboy began to sound endearing. Not that terribly original, true, but it definitely beats having to say (or, as it applies during mind-numbing sex, hoarsely shout) the slightly tongue-twisting-inducing “Eidolon”.
I appreciate ms Ione for bringing in a new paranormal romance series that is not reliant on fangs jutting out at the slightest whiff of blood, gorgeous hunk of men that unfortunately cannot show off their fabulousity out in broad daylight (no sparklies, ¡por favor!), or those same men having to make regular body checks with either werewolves or their own breed who have gone rogue.
Sure, the whole premise of “Demons” actually being just as sane, dysfunctional, and, for some of them, possibly having a garish affinity for all things perky and pink (a crazier version of Acheron’s Simi?) as humans is perhaps TMI at first take. Having to be acquainted with their staggeringly complex demon classifications might just also take some getting used to. (As I type this, a pulsing, writhing mound of big, fat maggots just popped in mind.
Please… uhm… a moment…)
Okay. Sod it. I’m just damned glad that it’s not a rehashed plot.
So, yeah, I’m gonna put up with the concept of S’genesis, the intricacies of breeding between different kinds of demons and between demons and humans, the apparently blatant exhibitionist and philandering behavior of demonkind, and the vague dynamics of ‘bonding’.
The Aegis slayer Tayla’s slow incorporation into the world of demons and the soul-searching she is forced to go through in trying to ‘see’ these ‘monstrous’ foes in a new light were sketchy at times. Rightfully, she should have been expeditiously dispatched once she has accidentally infiltrated the not-at-all-awkwardly-named UGH premises. Her job as a demon-slayer should have been enough impetus for Hellboy and Co. to make sure she doesn’t live to tattle. I mean, c’mon, just this one time, shouldn’t the safety and secrets of their own brethren weigh more than whatever good Tayla’s existence might indirectly provide?
But heck, that’s just it. Hellboy and Co. are a different breed of demons. They have principles. And… and… honor. Even a dash of mercy. And, god help me, humor.
They may get cranky, they may all be ingrained with the fine art of slicing and dicing, they may have a fine thirst for revenge and gore, but it turns out that they have no hankering for any megalomaniac soul-sucking world domination, and that, indeed, just like humans, they feel that life is shitty enough as it is and that Beelzebub himself is more of a bogeyman than anything else.
Personally, this first installment is probably best enjoyed for its novelty in the overall idea, but not necessarily in the particular goings-on between Eido—pardon, Hellboy and Tayla. Sure, the sex is nice (that first mindless sexual foray inside the hospital pretty much outshone the rest, no?), but more often than not, it was the escalating tension (unfounded or no) between the Demons and The Aegis that made centerstage.
Am not exactly sure if that is a good thing or not. No, I’m really undecided about it. I mean it’s good that it’s not a sexcapade every 10 pages or so – even though that looked to be the likely possibility given the off-the-charts chemistry between Hellboy and Tayla – but neither did I relish having their relationship gain momentum only in the last quarter or so of the novel.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Seriously, though, for the lulz of it all, I would recommend this start to this new series. I’ll just have to see with the next book if this new line of paranormal romance is worth cozying up to ‘til the end. ...more
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for mePassably good, fairly entertaining.
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for me anyway); but coming on the heels of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, The Dark-Hunters, and even the Dark Carpathians series, not to mention a few more other vampire-romance titles dizzyingly vying for space on bookshelves by up-and-coming authors and even from established ones who have succumbed to the popularity of the genre (like Medeiros, Dodd, and Sands), Lara Adrian’s The Midnight Breed, in my opinion (for what it’s worth), faces a veritable burden. And that is of needing to have something spectacularly jolting and provoking for it to steal the attention of an ever-widening audience who may already be over-saturated with this popular culture of vampire-slash-paranormal romance.
Frustratingly enough, even though the last BDB I have read was over a year ago (hence, should have dulled my memories of it), Adrian’s Midnight Breed felt so much like it. And sad to say, not *really* in a good way.
Frankly, it felt a little bit like a pale version of Ward’s.
From the tech-gizmo Gideon (who acts a bit like Vishous), the brooding Tegan (who, surprise-surprise, felt and sounded a bit like Zsadist), to even the warrior-leader Lucan (who felt like…guess-who), the Breed Warriors might as well have been the next-door neighbors of the Black Dagger Brothers, regularly coming over to swap secrets of the trade…except that they (the former) come off less like a close-knit family and more like a small corporation with members just conscripted for the job. At its extreme…they sound a bit…uhm…well…boring. Just a tad, mind.
When I read over what I have been saying so far, it sounds so harsh and wholly unfair, I know. But I think that is precisely the pernicious nature of a reading audience—especially romance readers. We are a sensitive, even fickle, lot. And for authors to earn (and keep) our adulation, they have to continually, aggressively feed our need for fascination and novelty.
Adrian’s series somewhat fails me on that score. The plot of a band of vampires rounding off their kind who have become renegade, as well as humans who have been brain-washed by the latter is not terribly original. Dress it up in as many other nouns as you could—“rogue,” “fallen,” “daimons,” “lessers,” etc.—unless the storyline jumps out at you in a fresh way, these characters would ultimately run the risk of sounding just like any other personas from other books.
Certainly, however, this series does not deserve to be unconditionally written-off. I can personally vouch it to be better than other vampire novels which have lame plotlines and ridiculously over-the-top premises (you can understand if I’d rather not name them—I’m doing enough damage to this one author, I think). In fact, what could be a different ingredient in this series, and may even be lauded by those who wish to have the “formula” twisted, is that the male protagonists are not “heroes” or “protectors” of the human race.
There. Stew on that =)
Anyway, if you are really seeking a large dose of knee-weakening, envy-inducing romantic shenanigans, this book could probably be relegated to the lower rungs of one’s “to-buy/read” books.
Read it for entertainment but not much more. It’s not a regrettable I-wish-to-god-I-never-picked-this-book-up kind of story, but neither does it make you overly drool, pant, hanker, and itch to grab the next installment…which I’ve experienced before.
Oh, shoot. Too much info? *runs off in shame* ...more
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The NightwSensational new series!!
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The Nightwalkers,"--I mean, what the heck is new with vampires or even werewolves consorting with hapless humans?? None. They're almost as old as...well...as these supernatural creatures themselves. Er...you get it. The formula's old.
Certainly I was on the verge of saying "oh, no, not another one...sheesh!" when I read the first few passages of Jacob,--it felt too much like Lucian speaking (from Christine Feehan's Dark Guardian), being an enforcer of their species' law and justice and all that. And since Lucian is my favorite supernatural hottie, you can imagine how reluctant I was to be pulled in by another magic-wielding macho. He had better be good.
But then, once the scene shifts to Isabella's POV and her encounter with Jacob (did I mention he's supposedly handsome? No...make that, per Bella, "beautiful."), things start to become interesting. Jacquelyn Frank lays down all the lowdown (sorry, can't help it) on the Demon species. And even the characters of Noah, Elijah, Legna, and Gideon are instantly fascinating.
Though I found Bella's calm acceptance of being embroiled in Jacob's world sketchy at best, her quirky and quick-witted attitude makes her quite adorable to me, despite my better judgment--she's like a less acerbic Anita Blake. Half the time I forget that Bella's supposed to be a wisp of a thing.
And I have nothing but gushing and blushing things to say about Jacob--a true gentleman who thrillingly loses control over the woman he loves, who never loses sight of his role among his people, and is surprisingly funny as well at the most unexpected times. No clichéd brooding warrior in him.
And his yummy factor really need not be belabored.
Anyway, what really made me finish the book until well into the hours of dawn is the sizzling chemistry between him and Bella. In the back of my mind, I know it's going to be really scorching--Jacob is already shown as one of the most powerful Demons who turn out to possess a latent smouldering passion; ergo: "hot sex."
Beyond their bed scenes, though (which, for the sake of modesty I have to keep mum about), the attraction, pure need, and possession that arises between the two every time they are together, despite the presence of other people, are like goodies for a starving romance junkie. "Destiny" about the two of them aside, they really are two halves of a whole. And the author does not stint on making Jacob and Isabella voice their love for one another--without verging on the syrupy.
So, yeah, ms Jacquelyn Frank, you have a fan in me. Jacob is a thrilling, action-packed new beginning to another breed of paranormal heroes. Heck, his and Bella's story is even quite satisfactory enough for me. There's a really warm and giddy feeling by the end. But then, such is the thrill infused in these characters that I really am looking forward to Gideon.
(FYI, because of this overblown hype [and yes, I'm aware of the redundancy:], this previously held-as-a-favorite novel is now relegated to a 'good' re(FYI, because of this overblown hype [and yes, I'm aware of the redundancy:], this previously held-as-a-favorite novel is now relegated to a 'good' read. Damn it.)...more
Normally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novelNormally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novel series were seldom encouraging.
Even after reading Twilight, I was still skeptic about all the hype it was getting (strange really since I finished it in one day). So, when I bought New Moon, I was braced for disappointment.
One thing I can say about Meyer, she sure does know a trick or two.
Let me just say that I was not jumping up and down with the first half or so of New Moon. Though Jacob still made for an interesting character, some aspects of Bella’s attitude felt weird to me. And I just plain missed Edward. In fact, I missed the romance part so much that Victoria’s hand with all the killings, ostensibly to preserve the tension, teetered close to being just plain annoying. I was about ready to give up.
But then, on what felt like the last stretch, Meyer pumps up the suspense. She introduces a whole new coven of vampires with serious powers and hang-ups. And Edward comes back with a vengeance. Ultimately, despite all my pessimism, I found myself crying when he reaffirms his love for Bella (another measure of Meyer’s skill: I always forget that Bella's still just in high school and this is actually supposed to be a teen romance…).
But please! enough with this hysteria. It's verging on the ridiculous. And I hate that it's kinda soured me on the whole series....more
if i hadn't read a christine feehan vampire novel before, ms. kenyon's seize the night would have earned a higher rate from me. as it is, i just foundif i hadn't read a christine feehan vampire novel before, ms. kenyon's seize the night would have earned a higher rate from me. as it is, i just found it falling short of my expectations.
don't get me wrong--the characters were brilliantly portrayed. val is sinfully sexy, no doubt about that. his upright principles can even be described as adorable when pitted against tabitha's. their clash from the beginning was certainly intriguing. and the sex...well... just figure how it would be between an american vampire slayer and a roman immortal who looks good enough to eat in an armani...
the secondary characters were fine, too. having incredible abilities, they certainly are interesting enough (ash is really too perfect actually to be anything but a god). i guess what im frustrated about this story is how the "scenes" were orchestrated--which is to say, clumsily.
certain parts of the story simply left me confused and even irritated. case in point--too many mortals involved in supernatural matters (the slayers, the relatives of the slayers, the squires, and, come to think of it, almost half of new orleans, it seems) and everything is still kept under wraps. fancy that. too many characters, i think, has also led to some flawed scene shifts and inadequate character development.
then there's the olympian matter--the whole thing about the gods and goddesses--i think it was given too much emphasis that the story sometimes appears to be simply a battle between dark hunters and the egotism of gods. and is it only me, but after reading descriptions of dark hunters--how they are supposedly powerful and all that stuff--when it comes to actual battles they appear quite slow and even weak. no offense.
redeeming facets of the novel were val's traumatic past (that was certainly heart-wrenching), and the not-so-happy-ending-for-all element. a lot of protagonists died, but it made the story look more "realistic", relatively speaking, and not one-sided.
i hope to read another dark hunter novel and find my impression of kenyon rise a notch. suffice to say, this isn't one of her best. it stays with you about a day or two, but after a week you can forget you ever read it. ...more