There will be SPOILERS, due to explanations, but they are not HUGE ones.
The premise: Thomas is in Vegas for two weeks (two weeks, did you get that?) t...moreThere will be SPOILERS, due to explanations, but they are not HUGE ones.
The premise: Thomas is in Vegas for two weeks (two weeks, did you get that?) to seal a deal with the hotel where Brianna is the manager.
Their attraction is fairly instantaneous, and though they get off to a rocky start they are both pretty eager to give in to temptation. There are a couple of really hot scenes, and then the part that I take issue with. I had times when I had to stop reading, and actually read other books before going back to finish. I honestly forced myself to finish just to see if the plot could be saved.
If their situation had been spaced out over two (or even six) months instead of two weeks, I could have believed things a lot more easily. As it was, while the story progressed smoothly, their relationship felt extremely rushed.
*****SPOILERS***** * * Brianna is a widow with three kids. While this is not a huge spoiler, I figured I'd put it under here anyway because her kids were my main cause of irritation. I know kids. I think most people who have kids, or who have been in the situation of introducing a new boyfriend to their kids will be thrown out of the story by their reaction. While kids can be super friendly and latch on to people right away, they do not decide on a first introduction to treat strange men as the father they lost. The teenager's reaction is the most appropriate, then even he gives in and accepts Thomas as a part of their family within two weeks.
The other part of this is that Brianna, without any word from Thomas on whether or not he's staying in Vegas, takes him home to meet them. She supervises when he reads a bedtime story to her youngest, because he's a strange man in her daughter's room. Good for her. Then he tells her to trust him to handle her oldest's bad attitude - and she does. Because a man she met a week ago TOLD HER TO. No, I'm sorry, you don't get between me and my kids and tell me how the situation needs to be handled when you haven't even committed to staying past two weeks. Oh, and then there's that part where she agrees to let his sister and her husband babysit overnight (so they can have sex in his hotel room) even though she's never met them.
Brianna is professional, capable, and smart. Insane chemistry aside, she recognizes the need to put her family first. I totally respected this, and was really disappointed when she still couldn't bring herself to just ASK if he planned on sticking around.(less)
Okay, for the most part, I absolutely loved this book. I cracked up several times while reading it, and would have loved to give it 5*. Our shero was...moreOkay, for the most part, I absolutely loved this book. I cracked up several times while reading it, and would have loved to give it 5*. Our shero was awesome, and our hero was arrogant but pretty awesome, too.
Things I loved: The humor - there were situations I've never seen in a romance novel before, and I giggled and chuckled for most of the book. Cat-calls, nail guns, and blankets, oh my! I really enjoyed a lot of Eve's interaction with her family, but I thought there were several things that were introduced and then the author forgot to go back and flesh out. Interactions between her brothers and Matt, Eve and her mom, little things.
There were two main reasons I took off a star: Claude - for an obsessed psycho, he actually isn't much of a villain. I expected a bigger confrontation, and more resolution than the end provided. Eve's refusal to tell anyone about Claude. She puts up with years of harassment from her family for giving up on her marriage because she refuses to admit that he tried to hit her. He breaks into her house and trashes her bedroom - there's evidence everywhere, and she doesn't think the police will believe her? For someone who is otherwise completely competent, I thought that was uncharacteristically stupid and obviously author interference.
I half expected her mother to invite him to the family reunion to try and get them back together; THAT would have made for some entertainment.
Overall a really great read, and I will be happy to read other books by Paula.(less)
Summary: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner meets Captain Nemo, plus explosions.
I will preface this by saying, Yes, I am a big fan of Lindsay's, but I do no...moreSummary: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner meets Captain Nemo, plus explosions.
I will preface this by saying, Yes, I am a big fan of Lindsay's, but I do not rate a book by its author or its series. My affections lie strongly with the EE crew, and while it is the same world, it is 20 years prior and those characters are not actually in the book. The Tikaya and Rias books (if you haven't read Encrypted* you really should start there) truly are a separate series. *Short summary: They bonded while being held captive and forced to solve the mysteries of a brutal weapon, figuring out a way to escape without letting it fall into even more brutal hands.
We rejoin our unlikely pair as they reach Tikaya's home and are almost immediately faced with aggressive opposition. Rias is considered a war criminal, wanted in chains by the government and the islands at large, but never mind that - they still have to introduce him to her parents. Someone has made it home ahead of them and started giving a somewhat different version of what the events in Encrypted, leading most of her friends and family to believe Tikaya has been brainwashed by the enemy.
I really, really enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters in this book. I had fears going in that his amazing charisma would have Rias winning people over a bit too quickly, or potentially being so taken with him that Tikaya would become resentful at a lack of recognition for the role she played. Rather than a crapload of such dramatic tripe, however, we meet concerned friends and family who are wary and suspicious (okay, most of them) but also some who are willing to give Tikaya's massive intelligence the benefit of the doubt rather than write her words off.
***** MINOR SPOILER *****
If I had one problem with the book, it WAS the fact that so many of her colleagues and friends, even her family, were willing to ignore Tikaya's reputation as an extremely intelligent woman in a society where women typically seem to be accepted as equals with the men (le GASP!). I was irritated by how many people to whom she told her story of kidnapping and captivity, of horror and brutality and escape, listened and then said, "Yeah, but obviously you're too stupid to realize that it was a trick and he doesn't really love you." Way to be supportive, guys.
***** END SPOILER *****
If there is one thing that Lindsay Buroker knows how to write, it is an entertaining thrill ride. There is action around every corner, including corners I didn't even know were in the room. You think you're in a sweet, about-to-be-kissed alcove and BOOM! Corner. Action. There are explosions (and Maldynado isn't even IN this book!), lies, mysteries, and a dangerous secret that has been kept for generations. I would love to say more about this, but since it just came out, I'm afraid of giving away too many spoilers.
It was also really interesting to learn about the history of the major nations in this world, and to see some of the groundwork laid out for the political and technological relations to come in the EE books. I'm already wondering when we're going to get a book from the Nurian perspective.
I would advise that, if you're coming across Lindsay's work for the first time, you would enjoy several "inside" jokes by reading Encrypted first, followed by the first 5 EE books (starting with The Emperor's Edge) and then Decrypted. It is certainly not required, but I think you'll get the most entertainment out of them that way. :)
This book ranks somewhere around 2.5 for me. I found myself skipping around a bit, and I never did manage to go back and read everything I skipped......moreThis book ranks somewhere around 2.5 for me. I found myself skipping around a bit, and I never did manage to go back and read everything I skipped... but I just had no interest in those bits.
Once she's been through her third, "omg are they going to figure it out?!" moment, it starts getting repetitious. No matter how it was disguised, it was still the same schtick.
I thought the premise was cute, kind of like Tootsie but with her pretending to be Irish, except it just didn't pull it off. I also didn't really care for the way her accent was spelled... You can remind readers about the accent, but spelling "filum" was a bit heavyhanded and took more from the story than it added.
2.5 stars for a cute plot and enjoyable writing. (less)
Really adorable romance about Jack Frost and his runaway bride.
While I could have used a bit more communication from both of them earlier on (but the...moreReally adorable romance about Jack Frost and his runaway bride.
While I could have used a bit more communication from both of them earlier on (but then, we would have no story!) I can understand both POVs and their issues. Hers are based on a life spent making sure she depended on no one, and vice versa. His are more arrogant, but when you're the King of Winter, maybe you get used to things going your way. The physical aspects (& repercussions) of their separation were a creative touch.
I felt my attention drifting a couple of times, but I was always pulled right back. Definitely worth it!
I thought it was a little bit short, but it was a nice way to spend a cold afternoon (especially with some hot chocolate!).(less)
Okay, it may be an average day in the life of the EE team. This is a novella intended to be read between books 5 & 6 of the Emperor's Edge series....moreOkay, it may be an average day in the life of the EE team. This is a novella intended to be read between books 5 & 6 of the Emperor's Edge series. Without that background it will still be a funny, enjoyable read, but won't make a whole lot of sense. If you're looking to sample the Emperor's Edge, may I suggest Shadows Over Innocence or the first book, The Emperor's Edge, both of which are free. :)
If $2.99 seems a little high for something listed as a "novella" let me assure you that it is just over half the length of a regular novel and reads like one. This is by no means a mere "short story." After the intensity of "Conspiracy" and "Blood & Betrayal" it was nice to see a bit more of Buroker's skill with levity. There is still intensity and some good ol' fashioned action, but there was room for the characters to relax and breathe as well.
While we still have Amaranthe's counterpoint, the main focus is on Evrial Yara, a new and uncertain addition to the group. Uncertain because she doesn't know where her loyalties lie, and getting inside her head was a real treat. She has an outsider's perspective on the group, which we haven't actually seen before, and her reactions to their interactions can be priceless. After her experience with them on the train and battling with Forge, Yara still has to make up her mind about whether she will stay with the team. Will she support Sespian, or go back to her life as an enforcer? Now that she's been seen with them, does she even have the choice?
As for the story - we join the team hiding out on a passenger ship making its way back to Stumps. They manage to come across a few Forge members, an acrobatics troupe, one of the most intimidating weapons we've seen yet (this is where having read Encrypted comes in handy), and most surprisingly of all - an explosion. Or two.
Things I loved about this book include the easy movement forward in relationships - familial, platonic, romantic, and physical - that could have involved lots of drama and angst but progress smoothly without either. This cannot be simplified down to "a romantic interlude" because there's far more to it than that, but that does happen too. ;)
I adore Hiresha (and though it frightens me to admit it, Tethiel), and I was so happy to add a new focal point in this world!
Marling has opened up a...moreI adore Hiresha (and though it frightens me to admit it, Tethiel), and I was so happy to add a new focal point in this world!
Marling has opened up a new land, of volcanic goddess-worshipping tribes and parasitic monsters. Celaise is a Feaster, someone who feeds off of fear. She has been tasked by the Lord of the Feast to learn how to stop the Headless (the parasitic monsters) before she may feast on human fear again. Unfortunately, they're incredibly stupid and her illusions simply don't scare them. There's also the minor problem of a Bright Palm combing the grasslands, and destroying Feasters is one of their main reasons to exist. Soooo - starving, stuck in her mission, and evading certain death.
Jerani is a young warrior with a lot of problems, and somehow being chosen by a handmaiden of the Angry Mother hasn't helped as much as he had hoped. The rest of the tribe still speaks down to him, rock-backs are coming closer each night, and his little brother is determined to prove himself a man. Add to that the appearance of a man who looks like Jerani's father, but couldn't possibly be; the man is a Bright Palm, glowing with magic and ignoring the needs of his own family in search of a Feaster no one really believes is there.
Although he isn't actually a main character, Gio (Jerani's father) is a major catalyst. The reason he left, his reappearance, and the consequences of his actions really bring so much of the story about. I loved the drama focused around him; his relationship with Jerani and how it affected Jerani's relationship with Celaise. And oh, Celaise... I loved reading a Feaster's thoughts about herself and her kind. Loved it. She makes no bones about the fact that they frighten people to death, and while she may not come across as a hero, she doesn't come out as a villain, either. I loved the descriptions of her illusions; the depths of her dress and the worlds she can create within it. (I do think there's a lot of Quantum involved there.) Her devotion to the animals sweet and unexpected, and I can't help hoping there are deleted scenes somewhere with more of her sentimental side.
Watching her story merge with Jerani's was a fantastic read. I was worried at one point that the book was about to be over because everything seemed to be wrapping up with a nice little bow and then BAM! Plenty of new conflict and the story continues, leaving me with a definite sense of satisfaction.
I do think there is a lot to be gained by having read at least first. Celaise makes several references to enchantresses, Bright Palms, and other parts of the world which are explained in BoB and .(less)
Well, I stayed up all night again. Can't say I mind, though. :D This is a fantastic read, and a wonderful continuation of the...more(cross posted at Amazon)
Well, I stayed up all night again. Can't say I mind, though. :D This is a fantastic read, and a wonderful continuation of the series!
Blade's Edge is the sequel to Matt Archer: Monster Hunter, in which Matt discovered that monsters are real and attacking humanity. In the first book, they kept mostly to individuals, so the public is still unaware of the threat. In Blade's Edge, the attacks have gotten bolder; the team is responding to rumors of zombies and entire villages disappearing overnight.
This book was a big step up from the first in terms of darkness, both in the monsters and the story. Matt goes through a lot in this book, some of it gut wrenching. And through it all, even while I was crying as I read, the tone of his sadness stayed understandable and sympathetic. Matt doesn't get emo. He's a soldier, and he has the strength of character to act like the man he's going to become. I would like to explain how this book is so much darker than the first, but to do so would be giving major spoilers.
Fortunately, there is also a more lighthearted side to the book. Among other things, Matt still has to pass his driver's test. This was actually one of my favorite scenes. :) There's also a LOT of development where Matt's family is concerned, with multiple revelations. There's enough new information that I'm already really excited about book 3 just to find out what's going on there, not to mention the new monster developments! There is a bit of language in this book, but Matt is getting older and it's realistic that he's not going to keep his vocabulary toddler-friendly when he's surrounded by soldiers. The author's writing style flows beautifully, as ever. Grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary are all something I know I don't have to worry about here.(less)
A breath of fresh air for the werewolf genre. At least I think it is. Not having read a ton of them, I can only go by the basic mythology.
There are n...moreA breath of fresh air for the werewolf genre. At least I think it is. Not having read a ton of them, I can only go by the basic mythology.
There are no slavering, mindless victims of bites and full moons here.
While I enjoyed Elodie's perspective, and I really enjoyed Sawyer's thoughts as he tried to figure out "is she or isn't she?" my favorite part of the book was the background for Elodie's family. The mythology behind her curse vs reality, and the line of Hunters like werewolf-obsessed Van Helsings, was far more interesting than villagers with pitchforks.(less)