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Noa: Will you be able to bring the new Sebastian St. Cyr book back with you from the states? I’m getting a review copy. Big Sis: *Squee* Yes! This way I can read it first! Noa: But I need to review it. Big Sis: You’ll get to review it…I’ll get it to you ASAP…after I read it
Another conversation between two sisters:
Little Sis: Whatcha reading? Noa: the new Sebastian St. Cyr, I’m reviewing it for Month of Love… Little Sis: OMG! I’m so excited!!! Yes! Sebastian! Yay! When can I read it????
Ten minutes after we finish reading it: How long do we have to wait for the next one????
Is it any wonder we need multiple copies of this series in my family? The beauty of C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series is that it manages to enthral each of us. Yes, enthral. Each of these books (this being No. 7) just captures you from the get go and doesn’t let go even after you’ve closed the beautiful cover.
This instalment was no different; picking up from where we left off in the last book, Sebastian and Hero are starting off on married life together and while it seems that there is a kind of understanding between them, the wall created by the fact that Hero’s father and Sebastian still can’t seem to see eye to eye (understatement of the century) is still there.
Their enmity puts Hero in a very difficult position as in this book she keeps asking herself – who comes first, her father or her husband. Reading about how Hero deals with these issues, with her changing role gives the reader a new view of Hero’s character. She is so complex and when you put that together with Sebastian and his issues…well, wow!
Sebastian also has a lot to deal with – his love for Kat, his feelings for Hero, impending fatherhood, his own father…And then there is the ongoing mystery surrounding his mother’s whereabouts. Oh, and who is this man who seems to have Sebastian’s eyes? ;)
Sebastian needs to discover why Gabrielle Tennyson was murdered – was it because of something she discovered on a dig at the site she had believed was Camelot of old, was it because she was an independent woman who refused to accept the conventions of 19th century England, or was it something to do with Sebastian’s father in law Lord Jarvis… and what does Hero know? Sebastian is racing against time on this one as two children are missing and they may already be in the hands of a killer.
When Maiden’s Mourn also shares new information about Sebastian’s background and while it may not be shocking, it does raise even more questions. I am very happy to say that C.S. Harris does not fall into the trap that often captures authors writing a series – there is no treading water and yet, there are also no forced plot devices used to extend the drama. There is no need. The drama in this series keeps unfolding and like a maze, you take one step froward only to find you need to make a different turn to find the center. I love it!
This installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr series was as usual, a pleasure to read, The romance, conflicts, mysteries… I simply cannot get enough. Totally worth waiting a year. Now if only March 2013 would just get here already…...more
I was first introduced to Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mysteries when I was writing tea reviews for my college’s newspaper a few years ago. Stumbling upon this series by happenstance, I was a stranger to the world of cozy mysteries. But after reading Death by Darjeeling, the first novel in the series, I was hooked.
Over the past three years I have been following the lives of Theodosia Browning and her trusty sidekicks Drayton and Hayley. And who can forget Earl Grey, Theodosia’s trusty four-legged friend dubbed with a pedigree of “Dalabrador.”
I’ve enjoyed the mysteries and mayhem that this band of friends has endured over the years, felt the heartache of Theodosia’s break ups, and laughed at the wisecracks they’ve made throughout each novel. The world of the Indigo Tea Shop has become a haven of comfort and relaxation for me and many other readers who have become devoted to the series.
Agony of the Leaves, the thirteenth installment in the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs, finds the staff of the Indigo Tea Shop at the Neptune Aquarium in Charleston, where they’ve been hired to cater an opening-day fundraiser. As Theodosia takes in the sights of the beautiful fish and coral, she discovers a new addition to the tank, a dead body. To make matters worse, the deceased happens to be her most recent ex-boyfriend, Parker Scully.
Everyone at the aquarium is convinced that it was simply an accidental drowning, even Detective Tidwell, Theodosia’s ally from the police department, is convinced that Parker slipped and fell into the tank before becoming entangled in a net and drowning. However, Theodosia knows better. Someone wanted Parker out of the way, but who and why? It’s up to Theodosia and her friends to discover who is behind such a sinister murder and why on earth would anyone want to kill Parker.
As a fan of this series, I have never found a single installment that has disappointed me. Yes, some of the novels are better than others, but all deliver excitement and entertainment. Agony of the Leaves is a tad bit different from its predecessors. It is this reviewer’s humble opinion that Agony of the Leaves is by far the best novel in The Tea Shop Mysteries.
Throughout the previous novels Theodosia is faced with solving the murders of people she barely knew or people that were vaguely mentioned as side characters in preceding novels. But for the first time she is faced with the murder of someone she not only knows but someone she also once loved. This simple fact takes both Theodosia and the reader through one heck of an emotional roller-coaster.
The characters are endearing, the plot original, and the setting ideal. This book includes cameos from characters that readers have come to know and love throughout the series (such as Timothy Neville, Delaine Dish, Aunt Libby, Earl Grey, and Miss Dimple) and gives the reader an in-depth look into the world of Charleston, South Carolina.
Agony of the Leaves is an intriguing read that grabs the reader at the very beginning and holds on tightly until the very last page. This book has it all: excitement, sorrow, humor, romance, and of course mystery. This novel is near impossible to put down once you start reading it and takes the reader through an emotional rollercoaster vicariously through the eyes of Theodosia Browning. Once I finished this book I was ready to read the next in the series. Unfortunately, we readers will have to wait until March of 2013 for the next addition to this magnificent series....more
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....more
Wait For Me would be consider Romantic Suspense and anyone who hasn’t figured it out by now, unless the suspensOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
Wait For Me would be consider Romantic Suspense and anyone who hasn’t figured it out by now, unless the suspense involves a Brother or an Argonaut I tend to pass. I really have to be a fan of a writer to step outside my comfort zone to take a chance on a genre I am not interested in. I was so happy to have taken a chance on this book. I actually stopped reading only long enough to tell Elisabeth how much I absolutely loved this book. I totally gushed, it was a little embarrassing but I couldn’t seem to control myself.
Everyone knows by now I don’t like to spill the beans and throw spoilers out so I will keep this short, sweet, and hopefully not to fan girly……
Kate Alexander is introduced to us while getting an CT scan and trying not to lose her mind in the machine. She is recovering for a car accident eighteen months prior that has stolen her memory and left her body ravaged so badly she died for 90 seconds. In the next few pages she learns via a news bulletin her husband has perished in a plane crash……
At this point I am sucked in to the story. I am holding the Ipad so close I’m squinting and so tightly my fingers are aching. My heart is pounding in my chest and when one of the kids ask me a question, I’m pretty sure I hissed at her. Not my finest moment, I know. From that moment on I cannot put the book down. I love twisty. I am and will forever be a angst addict. This book fed so many of my reading needs, I read it twice in three days. Each character made me love them. The secondary characters were just as good at capturing my attention as Kate and her counterpart Ryan. And speaking of Ryan…. Oh sweet Lord, the man is delicious, aggravating, sexy, and I-want-to-eat-him-with-a-spoon-while-telling-him-to-snap-out-of-it-! (ie. Cher in Moonstruck).
I honestly cannot say enough about this book. Just go out and buy it, download it, or run to the nearest library! Trust me you will not be disappointed. Actually after talking about it with all of you I find myself pulling up my Nook app and opening Wait For Me right now. I honestly don’t think three times in Kate and Ryan’s world will be enough, but it’ll take the edge off for now. To sum it up, Wait For Me more than met my expectations, it was downright delightfully angsty with a great big dose of scorching hot scenes between two characters who could not have been more made for each other. The unraveling mystery is compelling all on it’s own but the chemistry between Kate and Ryan will keep you truly captivated....more
In this exciting debut novel by Leigh Bardugo, readers are introduced to a magical Russian inspired setting fulOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
In this exciting debut novel by Leigh Bardugo, readers are introduced to a magical Russian inspired setting full of remarkable characters, creatures, and a truly unique world that I found utterly captivating.
Alina grew up as an orphan placed in a residence that served as an orphanage with another orphaned boy, Mal. Growing up together the two children form a close bond and follow each other into the military. Always exceedingly ordinary, Alina becomes a map maker and Mal excels at tracking. When they attempt to cross a dangerous area known as the Fold, Alina taps into a power that she never knew existed in order to protect herself and Mal.
With a new and powerful ability brought to everyone’s attention, Alina is whisked away by the magical elite order called Grisha and their mysteriously sexy leader known as The Darkling to begin her official training. Although Alina misses Mal, she is captivated by The Darkling and his mysterious ways. As their attraction grows so does Alina’s comfort in her knew surroundings until new discoveries are made that force Alina to make some decisions that she never dreamed she’d be in the position to make . . .
Leigh Bardugo blew me away, I couldn’t put SHADOW & BONE down. With all the amazing characters and world building, this is a truly intelligent book that will leave readers enthralled from cover to cover in it’s fantasies. It isn’t often that side characters are as detailed and interesting as the main characters or that a plot surprises in all the right ways, but SHADOW & BONE is an exceptional debut that did just that and more! I am already waiting on pins and needles for the next installment and will definitely add this author to my “must read” list....more
This book made me insane. Oh, it was surely a happy ride and I’d stand in line to go again, but it was without a doubt pure, emotional insanity. I said, about the last book, that Stacia Kane had ridden me hard and put me away wet and it’s true here, too. I feel like the junkie, coming back for more after being wrung out so hard, but I just can’t get enough of this series. For a long time I thought book #3 in the series was my favorite but I do believe this one is now. It might go down as the book I most love to hate in the series, too. There was a lot of emotional dichotomy in this book for me, a lot of emotional extremes.
I’ve been standing up for Chess against the folks who knee-jerk react against her drug abuse since the beginning. I’ve encouraged people to see beyond her drug use to the person behind it. I have to own that I’m tired of her drug use and the self hatred and negative mind talk; and I just want to smack her, and shake her, and smack her again and scream in her face and tell her to grow the fuck up. I’m sick and tired of being patient with her and watching her hover on the border of self-destruction and the annihilation of those around her who care about her (even though she’s so fucking great she always manages to pull it out). There. I said it. I feel so much better. I feel like I need to be going to Al-Anon meetings over my love of Chess. My co-dependency has resurfaced and I am making excuses for a relationship whose chaos I would not tolerate in meat-life. In short, I am completely sucked in!
So, by now you’re thinking that this book is nothing but negative, right? I’ve made it sound as though it’s all bad and you don’t think you could possible stand to listen to Chess mind-fuck herself through it all? Well, Chasing Magic is hands-down the most romantic, most action-packed, and most thrilling of all the books in the already superb Downside series. If you opt out of this book just because I bitched about the stuff that’s driving me nuts with Chess then you’ll miss all the good stuff and there is so much of it that you’ll want to roll around in it like a cat in a patch of cat nip. When I say “good” I don’t necessarily mean “feel good” but it’s good never the less.
We’ve never seen Terrible quite so tender or so effusive. There are so many wonderful moments that if Terrible wasn’t on your romance top hits list before he will be after this book. He’s also never been quite so adamant about putting his foot down and laying down some boundaries while still respecting Chess’ right to choose, and I say “about damned time!”
We’ve never gotten quite so much insight into Bump. But I’ll let that unfold by itself.
I’ve always felt a dichotomy for Lex. I empathized with people who liked him and thought he was charming and cared about Chess and understood that he was not to be trusted, but thought that because he cared about Chess he should be cut some slack. Let me tell you that I read this book two months ago, I’ve had time for it to stew. When I read this book I decided that I didn’t just hate Lex, I loathed him. I waited to see if I would still hate him after it stewed for a while. I still hate him. You may not. I do. I didn’t hate him until this book, and that’s even after he again saved Chess’ life, and I hate him for a scene in this book that he spends with Chess – not for what he tries to do to Terrible (although that doesn’t put him on my fan-girl list, either).
Chess suffers a loss in this book that is very real and ongoing. It’s something that she’ll have to deal with on a regular basis and it’s poignant and, in my estimation, very telling about how strong she really is. It’s an extremely hurtful thing to her, but she rolls with it and finds a way to keep on keeping on even though it hurts. It’s the kind of hurt all of us can relate to in one way or another, I think.
As I write this I have no word about whether or not there will be any more books in this series. The last I heard there might be one more in the U.K. but there were no known plans for further publishing in the U.S. According to Goodreads the paperback and Kindle publishing is Del Rey and the ebook is Random House Publishing (in case you might like to write an email expressing your support) although I have not been able to further verify any of this so please don’t hold me or anyone else to that and I am certainly not suggesting an email writing campaign.
All I know is that Downsides Ghosts is one of my most favorite urban fantasy series. Even when I hate it, I love it and that’s a very difficult thing to get from me as I am not the sort of person who enjoys being teased. I will watch with baited breath hoping that Stacia Kane finds a way to continue publishing whether it be through conventional publishing methods or not. As long as there is more to read in this series I will be there with bells on to read it, particularly if it’s half as good as Chasing Magic.
And with one final shot let me now thank Stacia Kane personally for never having written a cliff hanger in this series. Few things make me feel more respected by an author and this is at the top of my all time favorites list....more
OMG…If you like/love the Hollows you can’t miss A Perfect Blood. Mrs. Harrison has taken Rachel past Pale DemonOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
OMG…If you like/love the Hollows you can’t miss A Perfect Blood. Mrs. Harrison has taken Rachel past Pale Demon and into her new life. In Rachel fashion the hard way is the only way to go. Thankfully she has friends there to help when she falls. A Perfect Blood has us seeing new dynamics within the “Hollows” series and we can start to see the possible end in sight. No you don’t know what’s going to happen. You can just see things starting to come to an end. There are still twist and turns, as there always is, and I’m sure we’ll have more in the further. But we know Mrs. Harrison is going to finish the series either at book 12 or 13 and with us on book 10 it’s only fitting that we start to see idea’s that will take us to the finish line.
So what could/would Mrs. Harrison do to prepare us for the end to come? She could do a lot and she did it with grace and stayed true to her characters. This is why I love Mrs. Harrison, she doesn’t jeopardize her writing for what people want. She shows their growth, their strengths, and weaknesses. With that said I’ll get on with it.
A Perfect Blood brings back some of our favorite characters (not dead) and some new ones, good and not so good. If you’ve read the first five chapters that HarperCollins posted than you know who I’m talking about. If you haven’t I’ll clue you in… Rachel now has a bodyguard thanks to Mom and Dad aka Takata. They think she needs someone to protect her/ keep her out of trouble. Though I think we can all agree that “trouble” is Rachel’s middle name. She is always getting into it with or without help. Her bodyguard, Wayde, is a Were who worked for her father as security. Wayde has a hard time controlling Rachel, as if anyone could and it leaves us with some pretty good banter.
Besides the introduction of Wayde we learn about a hate organization called HAPA. HAPA is a human hate group who want to eradicate Inderlanders. Being human and reading about HAPA made me wish I was an Inderlander. Even though HAPA doesn’t like magic or Inderlanders they aren’t opposed to using it. The magic they use is demon magic and so the I.S. wants to pin the crimes on Rachel if she doesn’t help them find the criminals. It’s a catch 22, with Rachel’s butt in a sling. Thankfully Rachel is smart enough to bring in the FIB. It’s the first time both groups worked together.
With a run on you never know what’s going to happen. We have a lot of people in this book and it’s action packed, similar to book one Dead Witch Walking and White Witch Black Cures.This one though has Rachel with more friends at her back to help and some enemies. And she needs them since she is cut off from the ley lines still. The bracelet Trent made her at the end of Pale Demon is still on her wrist, as she decides what she wants to be, or who. It’s not an easy decision for Rachel to make. There are a lot of good and bad issues one both sides.
Another decision Rachel has to make is getting her Pack tattoo. She has a hard time going to the tattoo artist until she is forced into it. Wayde and David are the ones that force Rachel into it and getting her there by force is quite funny. The tattoo’s description sounds really cool and it made me what a new one. Rachel even gets a special tattoo that’s slightly different than the one the rest of the Pack has. David too has a slightly different tattoo though his doesn’t look like Rachel’s but since they are both Alpha’s they get special ones. Having the tattoo gives Rachel another group that will protect her if she needs it. She now has three groups that would fight for her. It was so happy when I read that she had so many friends to aid her and “Inderlanders” that supported her.
A Perfect Blood has other highs and lows that are heart breaking as well. No, no one dies, at least no one we know. But some situations are sad, while others make you want to cheer. Having the good with the bad might be why this is such a great book, we feel everything Rachel is feeling. You want everything she wants. There are also other funny parts especially as Jenks cures more in this one. He takes Tinker Bell’s name in vain many times in this book and I love it. We also see his interactions will Belle which are both funny and heartening. He shows some real depth in this book as he’s moving way from the heartache of losing Matelina. It’s not just Jenks who is growing in this book both Rachel and Ivy do as while as they have to make difficult choices. We even see some growth from Trent and Al, which is shocking, though Trent started his grow in Pale Demon. It is within the growth that I think we can see where Mrs. Harrison might take us.
Mrs. Harrison can’t release book 11 soon enough. I know it’s going to be a year before the next one and than hopefully we’ll have two more books after that. I don’t think she’ll have everything tied up by twelve so my figures are crossed for thirteen, plus that’s just a witchy number. ;) I can’t wait to see where Kim goes from here and I can only hope my idea’s on what I think I’m seeing is the true journey. A Perfect Blood met and beat all my expectations. Granted my expectations when dealing with The Hollows is always high. I’m grateful it was a wickedly written novel. Kuddos Mrs. Harrison....more
I ran across this book when I first was diagnosed with infertility last summer yet decided it wasn’t the time tOriginally posted at PaperbackDolls.com
I ran across this book when I first was diagnosed with infertility last summer yet decided it wasn’t the time to read it. I am glad I waited because after 10 more months Waiting for Daisy has had a profound impact on how I view my quest for a baby. Peggy Orenstein opens her memoir Waiting for Daisy with riveting words that struck me deep inside as they anyone who is currently or has dealt with infertility. ‘I’d taken my temperature every morning. I have been obsessive. I’d peed on ovulation predictors five days a month. I’d craned my neck like a yogini to see my nether regions while sluicing my finger around to check for the monthly fluid that would guide sperm to egg. I have been impatient. I’d chugged bottles of cough syrup, whose active ingredient supposedly improves the flow…..I’d transported cups of sperm in my bra. I’d turned lovemaking soulless …..Pardon me, forgive me, allow me to atone.” Anyone who is dealing with infertility will recognize these statements, they hit really close to home and I must also add: “I have become addicted to pregnancy tests, any changes in my morning temperature and analyzing my BBT chart on Fertility Friend.”
I read a few comments online about Orenstein’s memoir and I was struck by how many people that have gotten pregnant easily were so quick to say negative things about Orenstein. What makes this book so special is that she is honest, brutally so. Anyone who is dealing with infertility will relate to her struggles. One of the things that struck me strongly in this book is how we get caught up and do things we said we would never do. We put our own health at risk for the chance to have a baby. We become obsessed with everything surrounding getting pregnant. I look back and though I don’t think I’m completely obsessed, I can relate to Orenstein more than I would like to admit. You set limits for yourself such as “I will only take Clomid for four months”. (My own statement) Then you find yourself sitting here seven months later because you keep saying just one more month.
I find Orenstein’s experiences moving and helpful. It is hard to look at this roller coaster you are on objectively when it is you that is riding it. Reading someone else’s experience made me step back and look at my own life. A few things that struck me is how we become addicted to hope much the same way a gambler is addicted to gambling. “What if this is the only way I will have a child?” is something you ask yourself so often. As I read the book, I was struck by how the doctors play on this mixture of fear and hope to make more money. At least my Doctor told me up front that our chances of success are less than five percent. At least I get to go into this with my eyes wide open.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is caught up in the midst of this infertility roller coaster. You will find Orenstein’s honesty moving and touching. You know the pain she is going through; you are either right there at this moment or have been in the past. She has been brave to show us a part of herself that is not pretty and I think you have to have been here to understand how easy it is to become that person. I thank you Peggy, for your bravery and writing such a touching story. I am walking away from it with resolve to set firmer limits on what I am willing to do and a realization that I need to live. I have a wonderful loving husband and I need to cherish my time with him and enjoy this wonderful life that I do have instead of spending every second obsessing over what I don’t have.
Easier said than done but I am stepping out into the brave unknown ready to try and no matter the outcome, it’s going to be ok....more
I’m going to tell you right up front that I almost didn’t read this book because the ARC I had was missing chunks of the story and it was frustrating to try to piece it together. I’m so glad I gave it another shot, though, because it was so good I didn’t want it to end. Once I got past the first couple of missing sentences or paragraphs, I was able to glean enough from what I’d read to piece the rest of it together.
The cover blurb tells it all, but without the spirit and fire and emotion that’s woven throughout. Charlotte is determined to rescue her father with or without help. It’s just dumb luck that she ends up at Bryce’s feet…with a clear view of what’s under his kilt.
Thinking she’s a boy, he rescues her from getting arrested and now she’s his property. Laboring under the assumption that she is a he, Bryce is determined to make a decent man out of her. Charlotte/Charles is more than up for the task and can outdraw most men with her bow. Together, they make a formidable team, teaching each other valuable life lessons.
When she’s finally outed as a girl, Bryce is shocked then goes into macho protective mode, which is ridiculous considering she’s saved his hide more than once. She refuses to be intimidated into dropping her father’s rescue attempt, and eventually leaves Bryce behind. But like any hardheaded man in love, Bryce follows her.
A touching, funny ruse that morphs into a love story, A Warrior’s Promise will satisfy the historical and the contemporary romance reader. Plenty of action keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, and the solid bond of trust that develops between Charlotte/Charles and Bryce is the basis for the love that transpires later. I can’t wait for the next book in the series....more
My fascination with Shirley Jackson began at the age of fifteen. My Sophomore English teacher, Miss Randall, created a lesson plan around Gothic literature. Reading tales such as How Much Land Does a Man Need and The Yellow Wallpaper filled my mind with horrific images that evoked the spirit of the writer and horror fan within me. But it wasn’t until we read Shirley Jackson’s gothic tale The Lottery that I learned what true terror meant.
Years later I remain in awe of Jackson’s work and was overjoyed to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Just when I thought that her work couldn’t be any more intriguing, this novel comes along and proves once again why Shirley Jackson is a master of Gothic Lit.
Sisters Merrikat and Constance Blackwood live a secluded life in the dingy old mansion. But after what happened to their family what choice do they have? Rumors swirl as reminders of Constance’s trial are beginning to resurface, the trial in which she was acquitted from poisoning the elder members of her family. The girls are happy living a secluded life with their uncle, the lone survivor of the poisoning. But when their cousin decides to pay a lengthy visit, strange and unfortunate things begin to happen, and Merricat must face some truths that have always remained unspoken.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously sinister tale that creeps into the depths of the reader’s soul. This novel grabs the reader at the very beginning and holds on tight until the very last sentence. With lovable and loathsome characters, this novel introduces readers to the world of the Blackwood family and opens a magical yet dark atmosphere through the eyes of Merricat. The plot is original, the characters are powerful, and the setting is one of the creepiest of all time. With such a fantastic melding of characters and events, We Have Always Lived in the Castle will surely make the hair on your arms stand on end....more
Back in 2006 I was completing my first year of work at the city library. One day, as I was straightening the shelves, I noticed a very seductive looking cover. A candle and red smoke danced around the silhouette of a young lady with an arched back and flowing hair. I was intrigued. Little did I know that a grand love affair was about to be set in motion. The title of this book was Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur.
The Riley Jenson Guardian series introduced the world to characters like Riley and Rhoan, Quinn and Liander, and Dia and her adorable daughter Risa. Throughout the Guardian series little Risa demonstrates great power that readers just know will develop into full-blown greatness as she grows into adulthood.
The Dark Angels series is a spinoff of the Guardian series and follows the life and times of Risa, who is now an adult with great powers that she has learned to harness and use. The first book in this series is Darkness Unbound.
Risa Jones may be referred to as a half-breed by her peers, but she has the best of both worlds when it comes to powers. Her mother Dia is a genetically enhanced lab-created werewolf with psychic powers and her father is an Aedh, a being that appears to be an angel and aids in the transportation of souls to the afterlife. Risa has a touch of the psychic powers, the sex drive of the wolf, the ability to transform into invisible energy, the ability to walk the grey fields to seek out the dying, and the scariest of all—the ability to see the reapers.
While she would much rather focus on the business she runs with her friends Tao and Illianna, Risa is roped into searching the grey fields for the soul of a little girl in a coma. But what she finds there is beyond horrific. The little girl’s soul did not simply move on, it was ripped from her by an unknown creature.
But this is the least of her worries. A reaper is following her in an attempt to track down her father who has hellacious plans for the control of the gates to hell. Can Risa solve the mystery of the soul stealer and stop her father from wreaking havoc on both the grey fields and the world of the living?
Darkness Unbound is a wonderful introduction in the world of Risa Jones. This novel contained all the elements a reader desires in an Urban Fantasy novel. Action, suspense, terror, sex, love, humor, you name it. The plot is original and the characters are endearing. Old favorites from the Riley Jenson Guardian series make appearances. We bump into Riley, Quinn, Liander, Rhoan, and even Director Hunter.
This novel exceeded my expectations beyond belief. I was nervous to read a spinoff series since the Guardian series is one of my all-time favorites. But Keri Arthur did not let me down.
Darkness Unbound is so wonderful it manages to rival Full Moon Rising. Arthur’s writing style sucks the reader into the book, grabbing them in the first sentence of the book and holding on tightly until the last. Once again, Keri Arthur proves that she is one of the best in the world of Urban Fantasy writing....more
I’m always a little nervous when I read a new author. And when I say new, I mean to me, because let’s face it, there are simply too many great writers out there for even a book addict like me to have even scratched the surface. I sat down with Rules of Negotiation on a day when the house was clean, the kids were in school, and my wonderful husband was off hunting down lawn and pool supplies. I would have hours of uninterrupted reading time. And it’s a good thing, because I don’t think I would have noticed if dinner was burning.
RON was full of everything I love, a good dose of angst, a great love story, and a writer who knows how to deliver a story. I’ve recently hit a road bump with several writers and their continuity issues within one book. I’ve also run across finding a real disconnect with characters in several books. In more than a few I wanted to throttle the leads and tell them to find some new friends and family to hang with! In Rules of Negotiation we have characters that were likable, I want them to be together, I root for them! Brit is hot and adorable and sexy and smart. And hot. Hey did Imention hot? Tori got to me and not in a bad way. I was so happy to like a female lead this much again! I also enjoyed Betsy, Tori’s assistant. She was funny and straight forward but not in an annoying I-know-better-than-you way.
It’s that time of year to put our summer reading lists together and I highly recommend to all our readers to add Scott’s love story to their TBR! I ended up reading it twice and I have a good feeling I will again this summer. I’ll have to put a * next to the title though …..iced tea and a fan at the ready for some scenes because hot and steamy will be coming from the pages not just Mother Nature. ...more
I was lucky enough to meet Mingmei Yip at the 2010 Romantic Times Convention in Columbus, Ohio. She was on a panel for multicultural creative writing along with L.A. Banks and Barry Eisler. From her very first description of her book, Peach Blossom Pavilion, I was hooked. Throughout the panel I learned many things about Mingmei Yip as a writer and a person. I learned that she is quite the Renaissance woman, having written adult and children’s books as well as being a skill Qin player and artist.
I immediately purchased copies of her novels Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals from the Sky and a grand love affair with her work began. Last summer I was overjoyed to pick up a copy of her book Song of the Silk Road and this year I was over the moon that she actually asked ME to review her latest novel, Skeleton Women. As a longtime fan you can imagine how exciting it was to be personally contacted by one of my favorite authors and to receive an advance copy of the book that I was eagerly awaiting. The works of Mingmei Yip have always captivated me and before I even read the first page I was certain that Skeleton Women would surely enthrall me from start to finish.
In 1930s China, the underworld of mafia was at its peak. Femme fatales (also known as skeleton women) were the secret weapons of gangs, so named because their charms and beauty often brought death upon their victims who became nothing more than skeletons.
Beautiful lounge singer Camilla wasn’t always a rich and respected woman. Her humble beginnings were that of an orphan who was later adopted by Brother Wang (head of the Red Demons gang) for the sole purpose of luring Master Lung (head of the Flying Dragons gang) to his death.
When she is forced to become Master Lung’s mistress she meets two other skeleton women, Rainbow (the head of a gossip column) and Shadow (a magician who rivals Camilla for Master Lung’s affections.) Both of these skeleton women cause Camilla to be on high alert, for her safety and status are soon at risk. But the biggest threat to her mission is Jinying, Master Lung’s son who has returned from Harvard to not only fall for Camilla but to capture her affections in return. The only way that Camilla can escape is to plot the demise of Master Lung, but at what cost is she willing to sacrifice for true love?
As always, Mingmei Yip did not disappoint. Skeleton Women is a dynamic novel jam-packed with action, suspense, romance, lust, scheming, and twists and turns. This was an incredibly well written novel that not only captures the setting of China but it also manages to pull you into the 1930s and make you feel like you are an outsider looking in on the gangs of Shanghai.
The characters are not only complex but also have the ability to evoke an array of emotions in the reader. Some of the characters of lovable, some loathsome, and some are in between. The plot for this book is original and mesmerizes the reader from page one to the very last sentence. Mingmei Yip proves once again why she is a master of creative writing, suspense, and romance....more