Reena Jacobs's Reviews > Burning Up

Burning Up by Angela Knight
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's review
Jun 16, 2010

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bookshelves: 2011-reads, reviewed
Read from September 06, 2010 to January 01, 2011

There Be Monsters By Meljean Brook finished 11/25/2010
Read the rest of the review on my blog:

The first thing which stood out about Here There Be Monsters was the writing. The smallest name and at the bottom of the list. I’d expect it to be the worst story of the bunch, but the writing was excellent. If this is the bottom of the barrel, I can only imagine the rest of the stories will blow my mind.

So my first steampunk novel: what did I think? Well it wasn’t so much different from other romances. If it didn’t have the artificial limbs, airships, and mechanical gadgets, I’d say it was just another pirate story. In fact, the steampunk portions seemed more of a flavor than anything. Not really important to the overall theme. My first impression of steampunk is I can take it or leave it. Still, it did pique my interest in terms of pirate novels.

I’m afraid I didn’t take too many notes with this read. The stakes were set early. And the pacing was great. Ivy and Eben were strong characters who I could really root for. The only thing I didn’t understand was Eben’s infatuation with Ivy. It wasn’t something which grew. Eben seemed obsessed with Ivy straight from the beginning with no insight into why. I’d hope it’d come to light at the end of the story, but no explanation was given, making it the weakest element of the plot.

I had so much fun with Ms. Brook’s novel, I’m definitely looking forward to reading the Iron Duke.

Whisper of Sin by Nalini Singh finished 12/16/2010
Read the rest of the review on my blog::

Honestly, it’d been so long since I’d read a Psi-Changeling novel, I wasn’t sure who Ria and Emmett were. No matter, I could still enjoy the story. The storyline started interesting enough, though I wasn’t sure if Ria was human for the longest time. As I said, it’d been a while.

The character development was decent. Ria and Emmett were likable folks. Honestly, I don’t have much to stay about them. They didn’t stand out as overly unique.

As far as the plot goes, well… I’d say it was one of the weakest story lines in the Psi-Changeling series, in my opinion. However, I liked it better than her prior novel, Blaze of Memory. So what was the issue with it? The stakes were rather weak. I remember reading on Ms. Singh’s website once something to the effect, think of the worst thing which could happen to your character, then do it to them. Well, nothing bad happened. There were no significant wedges driving the lovely couple apart. The fight scene was given as back story.

I’m a little apprehensive about purchasing Bonds of Justice at the moment, which came out in July 2010. Anyone boasting about it as a gotta read?

Blood and Roses by Angela Knight finished 12/25/2010
Read rest of the review on my blog:

I’m not sure Blood and Roses is part of a series or not. I thought at first it was, but when I headed to Ms. Knight’s website, there was no indication. Regardless, Blood and Roses read like a standalone. I had no problem understanding what was going on.

Starting with the romantic setup: I didn’t buy it. The idea that a captor could seduce a prisoner into betraying his loyalty just didn’t work for me. I certainly wouldn’t trust my captor. I don’t care how hot he is in the sack. And if I were the captor, I wouldn’t think my prisoner would be so stupid to fall for some seduction trick. That’s just me though. I honestly thought the villain was trying to set up the heroine (Amaris) by suggesting she seduce the hero (Raniero)… maybe it was part of some grand scheme to bring the heroine down also. I was wrong. The villain actually thought his suggestion was a great plan. In my opinion, it made the villain a less than worthy adversary.

Even though the setup was rather lame, the world building was pretty cool. Ms. Knight included four different type of beings. Roses — special women with magical abilities. Vampires — human soldiers transformed into the bloodsucking, light sensitive beings who protected the kingdom. Humans — that’s you. And Varil — lizard-like people who ate folks who weren’t Varil. For the most part, it seemed like a pretty cool world. I’d certainly like to read more about it. Only thing which didn’t really make sense was: how did vampires protected the kingdom if the sun was fatal to them? I don’t recall the Varil being sensitive to the sun. If I were the Varil, I’d just attack during the day.

As far as the characters, the villain was lame. So, I’ll just get that out of the way first. He pretty much made cameo appearances and made not so bright choices. At one time in the novel he walked in and it remind me of that scene from the movie Airplane. "I just wanted you to know we're all counting on you."

No real significant part… he was just there because the novel needed a villain. Moving on. Amaris, the heroine, wasn’t so bad though. I’m all for strong women, and she definitely was one of those. She kicked ass. Even Raniero had to admit to that. She was a woman who took what she wanted. It was unexpected in a very naughty, awesome kind of way. Now that I think about it, Raniero, the hero, wasn’t so bad either. He didn’t stand out as unique as Amaris, but he was pretty cool in his own right. The only thing I didn’t like about our hero and heroine was they seemed to have the exact same hangup keeping them from a romantic union.

So there were a few plot holes in my mind. However, this work was still enjoyable. I’d certainly be interested in reading another story in this world. If nothing else, I’d love to pick up another anthology which included Angela Knight and along with another author I’m familiar with.

Shifting Seas by Virginia Kantra finished 1/02/2010
Read the rest of the review on my blog:

Shifting Seas is part of the Children of the Sea series. According to Ms. Kantra’s website, it’s actually a prequel. Goody me… means no worrying about trying to figure out back stories. Shifting Sea pretty much jumps into to things… no preliminaries, no wasted words. I didn’t really buy the story line at first. I always expected there to be a catch to the way the heroine behaved. It turns out there wasn’t a catch, just the heroine had a different mentality due to being a finfolk.

In terms of characterization, It seemed as if the hero and heroine switched gender roles, something I love. The heroine was quite logical. Not saying women aren’t logical, just writers often portray women as emotional (often unstable) in romance novels. The hero on the other hand was more of the caring type. Not the protector type of caring we see in romance novels, but the hearth kind of caring. Do you have enough blankets to keep you warm for the night? Okay… he didn’t say that, but you get the point.

Overall, the plot was okay. Nothing spectacular, nothing to snark about. I might say, I thought the townspeople were a bit too accepting of the happenings, but it didn’t spoil the read. And I doubt a mystical creature would be so liberal with giving away her origin.

So, would I purchase a Kantra book in the future? Well, this one didn’t stand out enough to make me say yes. However, I definitely would read one of her stories if it were in an anthology with another author I enjoyed. I put Shifting Seas on the same level as Angela Knight’s story in terms of interest. I might even be motivated to enter a giveaway for one of those authors’ works.

Since this is the final read in Burning Up, I’ll give my final analysis. I started off as a Nalini Singh fan. In fact, she’s the reason I purchased the book in the first place. Of the four, I hate to say it, but Singh’s story was my least favorite. I haven’t lost faith though. Just that this one didn’t tug on me like some of the others. Truly, I hope she starts being mean to her characters again like she spoke about in her blog. I’d never read works by the other authors before, but you got my view of Knight and Kantra above. Okay… no big deal. But Meljean Brook… now she stood out! I absolutely loved her story. In fact, I ordered the Iron Duke, I liked it so much.

So do I recommend Burning Up? As an anthology it’s not bad. I’ve yet to read an anthology which had more than one good read in it. This one had pretty much average reads then one kick ass read (Brook). So yeah. If you’re looking for one of the better anthologies, I’d say go with Burning Up.

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Reading Progress

09/06/2010 page 237
64.0% "Skipping straight to Meljean Brook's story "Here There Be Monsters." Too tired to start right now, but maybe after a nap or two. :)"
11/24/2010 page 292
83.0% "Had some downtime while in the car. Decided to give Brook's book a try. Freakin' loving her writing."
11/26/2010 page 8
2.0% ""She'd gotten the majority of her features from her brown-haired, brown-eyed All-American father. Hello Melting Pot. My father is brown-haired, brown-eyed and All American. Is our heroine part Black? or perhaps maybe Filipino origins like some of the All-American kids I grew up with? Or the second generation All-American girl who's father's from Europe? Yes. I nitpick." 2 comments
12/16/2010 page 86
25.0% "Finished Whisper of Sin."
12/24/2010 page 105
30.0% "I'm a little apprehensive about the setup, but curious about the Blood Roses. If this is a winner, I might go back for the rest of the series."
12/24/2010 page 116
33.0% "Didn't see that coming."
12/24/2010 page 129
37.0% "This novella has me giving all sorts of giggles."
12/24/2010 page 140
40.0% "It's getting intense. I'm hoping the bad guys score at least once."
12/24/2010 page 153
44.0% "Finished Blood and Roses. Only one story left. :) Not sure when I'll get to Virginia Kantra though."
12/31/2010 page 177
51.0% "Shifting Seas is rather interesting, but I don't buy into the plot yet. I hope it comes together."
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