Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Iron & Velvet" by Alexis Hall

Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator, #1)Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I must say, I loved the cover and the title of this book. I don't normally say this in a review, but the cover intrigued me enough to get the book. When I opened it up to begin reading, I found I was very surprised. Firstly, there are a lot of typos and a number of very slang words that I had never heard before. In fact, I had to look them up. I found the definitions of these slang words on UrbanDictionary.com. Words like, "woofle," "wibbly," "wotsit," and "faffed," to name a few, baffled the hell out of me. The whole story reads in what I would consider British slang. Personally, I would have preferred a little more polish overall in this story. However, with that stated, I did really like the story.

Kate Kane is a faery princess by birth, but is a P.I. (Paranormal Investigator) by career choice. As I first started reading this, I became concerned that the author may have mimicked another series I’ve read, that I love very much. However, as the story progressed, I found the only commonality between this story and the other, which I’m not naming on purpose, is that the main character is a P.I. and a faery princess. After that, it builds on its own.

Kate is called in to investigate a murder that has paranormal written all over it. Though Kate is a professional P.I., she kind of handles the case like the proverbial bull in the China shop. She jumps in, makes her insinuations, causes a war to break out then realizes she was wrong and starts all over again. During this investigation, she falls in love with the Prince of Cups, which happens to be an eight hundred year old female vampire. I’d never heard of a woman holding the position of “Prince” so this threw me a bit. You have to understand, I’m an American and this book is written in British slang or perhaps, commoner English. So, it’s quite possible that I’m the only one who didn’t understand. The author does help you to understand what the Prince of Cups is though.

This wasn't a thought provoking story. But the author did such a great job detailing the surrounding areas that one could literally lose their lunch. However, I believe that was the intent as you get into the story. She had to trek through some extremely nasty areas. (No, I'm not saying… read the story yourself!) I would have loved to have had as much detail to describe the intimate moments between Kate and Julian (Prince of Cups). It seemed too shallow for me. However, it leaves me to think that this series will grow into something more and I hope to read the next in this series as well.



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Sunday, June 8, 2014

"The King," by J.R. Ward

 The KingThe King by J.R. Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Normally, I don't hide my reviews because of spoilers, but this time I will. Although I don't tell you the outcome, I still feel it might give some away.

Oh what a beautiful story! As always, the Warden comes through! She caught every emotion. In this book, the primary story is about Wrath & Beth... his kingship, their marriage, their family. But intertwined are at least four other stories weaved throughout the book. We get some back story on Wrath’s parents and the struggles they went through as the monarchy of that time. Wrath went down memory lane quite a bit whilst he wrestled with his concerns of being king. Wrath has his demons he must deal with as he realizes his shellan is not complete without a young. He struggles with the idea of having an heir to the throne... what would he do if his young were like him, blind! The glymera have other concerns and cause their own set of problems!

As I said, there are several intertwined sub plots.

Though Xcor and his Band of Bastards endeavor to dethrone Wrath, Xcor has his own story building up. His feelings toward the Chosen Layla continue to grow and although, it would seem Layla also seems to be falling for Xcor, she’s more concerned with what Xcor and his men are doing to her king. She’ll do anything to stop Xcor from dethroning or even killing her king and queen.

Assail pursues Sola and kills a couple of her assailants who were also his business partners. Sola, realizing she’s all alone and being carted away by hired kidnappers, ends up doing the unthinkable to free herself. Assail knows this human is his and Sola, though seemingly in love with Assail, can’t stay with him if he intends on staying with his career. The nightmare of freeing herself from her kidnappers has emblazoned itself on the forefront of her mind, and to keep a promise to herself and her god, she chooses to take her grandmother south to get away from it all.

The shadow, Trez has his story continuing here too. Though he’s promised to marry his s’Hibe queen’s daughter, he does everything he can to make himself unworthy or unwanted so he can escape this match. Meanwhile, he seems to have his eye on a Chosen of his own and wants very much to be worthy for her.

John Matthew has something going on with him. As with all the other books, I’m lead to believe that his father may be in his head with him. Of course, don’t get that story here, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s what is going on. In this book, we hear more about John Matthew being the brother of the queen. We see more of their relationship there. He has a couple more of his seizures that cause Doc Jane, Xhex, & Beth to get him over to the hospital for a MRI. I’m not sure if we’re going to see more of this, but it really makes you wonder what’s going on inside John Matthew’s head.

There was so much in this book to follow it sometimes got confusing. But I love how J.R. Ward writes her books as if it is real life. She keeps these brothers as family and allows you to see snippets of their lives as they develop.

I must admit I cried through parts of this story. As with all J.R. Ward’s books, I do recommend you read this 12th installation of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but definitely be ready to have your emotions sprung!


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Dime Store Magic" by Kelley Armstrong

Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherwold, #3)Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


"Dime Store Magic" is the third book in author, Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld, series. It is written in the narrative first person point of view of Paige Winterbourne, leader of the North American Coven of witches. If you've read the other two books before this, you will have met Paige for the first time in "Stolen." In fact, many of the characters in this book were introduced in book two.

This story picks up where "Stolen" left off. Paige takes Savannah, a powerful teenage witch, as her charge. It is her duty to protect Savannah and keep her from Cabals and black magic witches. This proves to be a difficult feat for Paige because Savannah’s father is a Sorcerer and leader of one the most dangerous Cabals on the West Coast. Nast, Savannah’s father employs the help of a telekinetic half-demon Leah, also introduced in book two, to retrieve Savannah and bring her to his Cabal.

Paige finds herself battling a legal custody case, sorcerers, black magic, media, and her own coven whilst protecting Savannah. She and Savannah, forced to align themselves with an unlikely ally – battle against all odds with an attorney/sorcerer named, Lucas Cortez.

As I read through this book, I found Paige to be very naïve and incredibly boring, albeit, she has strong morals and has potential to be a strong witch. Sadly, I think having Paige’s mother in this story would have added some substance to this story. Paige, knowingly, was not ready to be a stand in mother for Savannah. She was ill-prepared for the job. Paige really came across as a teen not much older than Savannah, to me.

This whole story, although well written, just seemed to lack substance. It was mostly a battle of wits and sure luck. I suppose I expected something more… like maybe Paige finding her magic deep within herself. I also thought there would be more romance in this story. Maybe half a chapter toward the end had a roll in the… uh… laundry. There was no build up to it. In fact, Lucas Cortez repulsed Paige! Then you turn the page to the next chapter and they’re rolling in the laundry. Sorry, but that seemed contrived at best.

In the end, Savannah and Paige, with Lucas' help (the good), beat Nast and his minions (the bad), saving our heroes to live happily ever after.

As stated, the author writes well, develops the characters reasonably well, but the story just seemed bland to me. I think reading it is important if you’ve started the series, but truthfully, I don’t think you need any of the back story to get through this one. The wolves from "Bitten" and "Stolen" are not in this story, except for a phone call. That’s it. However, it is a great book to fill the need to read between other stories that you’re waiting for authors to publish.




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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Moon Called," by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“Moon Called,” by Patricia Briggs started slow at first. There seemed to be a lot of world and character building. There was a lot of information poured into the story as well. However, the author built a believable world with believable characters.

Briggs described the hierarchy of the werewolves well. She explained little innuendos such as what it meant to look into an Alpha’s eyes. It was a way to show dominance. I felt she described Mercy into a strong female protagonist, with just enough smarts to know when she should back down. One fact not made clear was the description of a skin walker. Briggs explained in the story that Mercy was a skin walker, but then described Mercy as a Coyote. To me, a skin walker is a Native American legend where a person with supernatural ability could turn into any animal she desired. To be able to transform, the legend says the skin walker would require a pelt of the animal she wanted to be. Granted, more modern telling of the legend either removes the pelt or uses it for only the initial change. If the person wanted to be the same animal every time they changed, they would no longer need another pelt. Mercy was always a Coyote. So far, there’s no indication that she can turn into anything other than a Coyote. With that said, I believe Mercy has some other tricks up her sleeve, and I really hope to see this series take off in that way, revealing more and more.

Now, I was kind of bothered that there was no romantic factor in this book. Not every book needs to have romance or eroticism, but it sure adds to the pleasure of reading. However, again, this book looks to be a jumping off point into an excellent series. Briggs left a lot of loose ends that I foresee having a delightful tie-in into the next book in this series.

This is an excellent book. I’ve rated it 4 out of 5 stars because I do feel it was lacking just a bit as mentioned above.

You can get your copy of Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) today!


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Before Midnight" by Jennifer Blackstream

Before MidnightBefore Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


At first, I was quite confused with this story. I didn't understand what was happening in the beginning of this story. After reading through the whole book, I finally had a better understanding of where the story was going.

This story is a beautiful adaptation of Cinderella. However, this "Cinderella" is a Loup Garou, a bitten werewolf. Her fairytale prince is a lycanthrope, a natural born werewolf. There is a difference! This story turned out to be a sweet paranormal fairy tale. The female protagonist is a weak scared little girl, fearful of everything. She has a horrible, hateful stepmother and stepsisters who love killing wolves. But, she doesn't stay that small fearful girl for very long. Love brings her to a place where she accepts her wolf & uses it to try to save her prince.

I did find that there were certain parts of the story that lacked definition. I would have liked a little more description of the love scenes... I don't necessarily need it written erotically, but with more feeling. It seemed short and felt like it was missing something. However, the rest of the story, with all its action, seemed to flow very well. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you enjoy paranormal romance stories.

Get your copy of Before Midnight (Book 1) (Blood Prince Series).


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Sunday, March 9, 2014

"A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel" by Pamela Palmer

A Blood Seduction (Vamp City, #1)A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Wow! That about sums up my impression of this first of the book series Vamp City, "A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel" by Pamela Palmer! Overall, this was an awesome story. Yes, there were parts in this story that dragged and were slow. And, yes, there were parts where I felt there was a lot of violence and perhaps, a bit too graphic. But I believe the author did a great job of impressing on the reader of just how vile these creatures really are.

This author brings our understanding of Vampires to a whole new level. Here, vampires live in Vamp City, a dark version of Washington D.C. Magic made this city what it is, an 1870’s carbon copy of Washington D.C. without sunlight; perfect for the vampires who reside inside it. But the magic is dying and sunlight is breaking through! The city needs to be restored if vampires are to continue living in Vamp City.
Quinn Lennox lives in current Washington D.C. with her brother Zack. Quinn works in a lab for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Lately, Quinn has been seeing visions that she can only label as Shimmers. These Shimmers have done strange things to her as she passes through them. They seem to change the colors of her clothing and the interior of her car. She can no longer take public transit because, how would she explain these changes? Sometimes, Quinn can see through the Shimmers, into what seems to be another time or perhaps another world.

Disappearances are reported daily of individuals who have never returned home. They have just vanished. This includes Zack’s friend, Lily. As Quinn and Zack look for Lily, they stumble upon another Shimmer near their apartment that only Quinn can see. They are pulled through this Shimmer into this other world.

Vamp City, also named V.C., is a dark place, and not just because there is no sunlight. In this city, a great sorcerer cast a magic spell to create this city where vampires could live without the threat of sunlight. The magic also locked in the vampires from getting out into the real world, which is a good thing, because the horrors that Quinn Lennox experiences after being sucked into this world through a shimmer of light would make everyone thankful that these vampires weren’t in our world. Palmer’s vampires feed not just from blood, but also from emotions.

V.C. is old and decrepit. Vampires rule over slave humans. Slaves feed all the vampires’ needs; blood, sex, pain, fear, anything a vampire needs or wants to sustain them, and then their memories are wiped and it’s done to them again. Vampires are mean sadistic creatures. They live off of a person’s fear or pain and will inflict whatever is necessary to bring the emotion that best feeds their needs.

Arturo, a vampire who feeds from the fear of his slaves, saves Quinn from her captors as she enters the vampire city. But Arturo’s intent is only to feed from her fear and her blood. After feeding from her blood, he realizes that Quinn is not your normal human. She has sorcerer blood in her veins. Because of this, he feels Quinn may be their savior. She may be able to renew the magic that hides Vamp City.

I’m intrigued with this series and can’t understand why I waited so long to finish reading this book. It is a very dark, grim story where vampires truly are frightening. But the story has a beautiful love story in it. Through this love, we begin to see compassion from some of these frightening vampires.

The book ends with you knowing that you have to read the next book. Many questions go unanswered as our heroine is sent back into her own world. You get a sense that Quinn & Zack are not done in Vamp City. Somehow, you just know they have may have a vendetta. At the very least, they still have to rescue Lily!

I highly recommend this book! If you love vampires and all that’s paranormal, you will LOVE this book! The world and characters in this book are very well developed. The story is very believable!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Kiss Across Time" by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Kiss Across Time (Kiss Across Time #1)Kiss Across Time by Tracy Cooper-Posey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I originally downloaded this book because it was an erotic romance with vampires and time travel in it, and it was free at the time. I’m always looking for new books to read with new ideas.

"KISS ACROSS TIME," by Tracy Cooper-Posey was refreshing and original with regard to bringing different nuances to a story. Most vampire books do not have ménage a trois in them. If they do, usually there is a build up to the threesome. However, with this book, the ménage a trois romance IS the story. This romance is a M/F/M romance with a quick glimpse at F/M/M. It’s interesting that in this story, the two male vampires are lovers before the female steps into the story, so one would figure there would be more focus on their relationship first. However, it is not. It is all about the woman and the connection the two men have with her.

As I began reading this story, I thought I had made a mistake. The story read well. The author has talent in writing. However, I couldn’t grasp how this woman, who had just lost her job because she could not nail down her thesis to facts, falls into this ménage a trois. She’s lured into her neighbor’s apartment with the sound of death metal music, using a poem from an ancient poet’s book that she had been researching but could never find any existence of. Yet here it was hidden in a death metal song.

When she’s introduced to the metal band that produced the song, sucked into a time travel memory through the kiss of the group leader/singer. She comes back to the present time, in the middle of the concert, wishing she could explore more. But she’s swept away by security to go backstage to meet the band. This I found interesting. But when the group leader introduces her to another man, his lover, to see what would happen if he were to kiss her, the two fall into a time travel memory as well. Instead of them coming back as the kiss ended, they break out into a rip-your-clothes-off erotic scene during the memory. When they arrive back to present time, they’re found in the throes of passion there too.

Here’s where I became confused. Although Taylor seemed to want to find out more about the time traveling, which I understand, all three of them find themselves trying to travel together by having a threesome together. We get our first glimpse of anal sex, which seemed over simplified. Both men, the woman finds out during sex, are vampires. They’ve tasted her sexually and tasted her blood, which “marks” her as theirs. She is now what we know as a "human servant."

This all happens in one night.

In order to time travel, they must have sex together. It doesn’t happen unless there is sex. There seems to be no real plot to this story, or at the very least, a weak plot. We just see that Taylor is obsessed with a poet from King Arthur’s time. These two vampires, Brody and Veris, can lead her to learning more. But the story had a lot of gaps for me. I found myself scratching my head, wondering how something like that could happen.

I suppose the best way to sum this book up is, good story, great potential, no substance. I wish the author would have spent more time beefing up the story. I may have to read this one again, just to be sure I didn't miss anything.


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don’t normally read dystopian novels. Some can be rather depressing and usually by the third book, I’m disappointed. I hope that this is not the case with this series. Time will tell… However, in this series, the first book, Divergent (Divergent Series) was riveting! I could NOT put the book down! In the final chapters, I found myself waking at 3 am only to finish the book! I had to know more! It is a fast paced story with a strong female character, very similar to Hunger Games. The story sucked me in and I found it difficult to pull myself out. The storyline stuck with me every time I had to put the book down to do my daily routine! I found myself inspired by Tris who was raised in Abnegation, a selfless society, but could never fit into that faction…not entirely. She has more to her nature than being selfless.

In this story, there are five factions, the Abnegation who put others before their own needs, the Dauntless who are brave and fearless, the Erudite who are scholarly, Amity who are peaceful and live in harmony, and the Candor who are honest. Each 16 year old must choose a faction they will devote their life to and to help them accomplish this, they are put through a simulation aptitude test. Where most possess the aptitude traits of one faction, Beatrice (Tris) possesses the aptitude for at least 3 factions. They call this inconclusive result, “Divergent.” This makes her a dangerous person for which she doesn’t understand and is unable to get answers to shed light on what it all means. But keeping this information to herself means keeping herself from getting killed.

I found the writing style different but refreshing. It is written in first person, narrated by Tris in present time. She’s not telling the story in past tense, as if it happened and now I’m telling about it… but in present tense, as if I’m telling it as I’m doing it. The author, Veronica Roth, develops the characters & world are very well. Watching Tris work through all her fears and life decisions was fascinating and inspiring. I can't wait to dive into the next book in this series! Get your copy of Divergent (Divergent Series) NOW!

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"Odd Thomas: An Odd Thomas Novel," by Dean Koontz is about a young 20 year old fry cook in a fictional California town. The story is narrated by Odd himself and you can see that he is… well, odd. In this story, Odd really has no ambition to do anything but be a fry cook. That’s because, Odd has the ability to see and talk with ghosts… those who have not yet passed on to the other side. His girlfriend and the local police chief, whom he, on occasion, helps to solve terrible crimes, only know this secret of his. You see, Odd doesn’t only see ghosts. He sees malevolent spirits too. These spirits feast on pain and usually mean that something bad is about to happen. Odd ends up following the bodachs (malevolent spirits) and finds them always near one particular man, which Odd names, "Fungus Man."

The story is an awesome race against time to save people from something catastrophic. It’s an edge-of-your-seat, tense suspense. It has a very rapid pace with bizarre characters and some grizzly and supernatural circumstances. I really enjoyed reading this book and found I couldn’t put the book down!

I definitely recommend this book!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

"Bound by Night" (The MoonBound Clan Vampires) by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire, #1)Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Larissa Ione, author of "Bound by Night (The Moonbound Clan Vampires)" (The MoonBound Clan Vampires) has a different idea of vampires, which I found to be refreshing. The story begins with an 8 year old girl, Nicole Martin, whose family's business is to capture & sell vampires as slaves to humans. The family company does research on vampires as if they were animals or aliens. But, the vampires rebel against the family; leaving 8 year old Nicole Martin barely alive and most of her family dead. Jump ahead twenty years and we see Nicole all grown up and she has her head full of ideas of what vampires are, and generally, vampires frighten her.

Riker, a member of the MoonBound Clan, a bunch of renegade and free vampires, kidnaps Nichole in hopes of using her as a ransom trade for a gifted female vampire recently captured by the humans. Riker must rescue the female vampire and return her to her clan before war breaks out amongst the clans. Throughout the story, Nicole comes to some realizations about her family’s company and the creatures she's been studying. During her time amongst the vampire clan, she and Riker find themselves drawn to each other.

As relationships developed between Riker and Nichole, and Nichole and the rest of the clan, I found myself hoping that Nicole would be turned into vampire. Eventually she was, but not when I thought she should be or even how I thought she would.

Ms. Ione built a great foundation for her characters and the world they lived in. It was an odd sort of believable to me. Even though she describes everything so well, I still don’t understand how vampires who are physically more imposing; stronger, faster, and formidable predators, become slaves to humans so easily. How can humans capture vampires? At this point, we are left to our own imaginations. Perhaps, this will come out better in the next books in this series!

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