logo
Currently Browsing: Rating A
May
18

Review: The Stepsister Scheme

Review: The Stepsister Scheme The Stepsister Scheme Author: Jim C. Hines Release Date: January 6, 2009 Publisher: DAW Princess Novels Book #1 ISBN: #978-0756405328 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (352 pages), e-book We bought this book because…well, Gikany bought this book because she liked the cover while shopping in the bookstore and she told Una to read it while handing it to her. From the author’s website: “You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures until you finally reach that inevitable line: “And they lived happily ever after….” Guess what? It’s not true.” Cinderella–whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas)–does marry Prince Armand. And if you can ignore the pigeon incident, their wedding is a dream come true. But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia–otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty–comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away. That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her own very secret service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy duty flirting. Can the three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains? What Gikany & Una are talking about: We decided to give you a review of this book simply because we feel it is our duty to ensure other genres are brought to your attention. We decided to stretch our wings because we believe strongly in variety and we know that so far TwiMom has focused on urban fantasy, romance and a few young adult novels. That being said, since our first post was Urban Fantasy, it wouldn’t be too far a stretch for you to be introduced to some pure fantasy. The Stepsister Scheme is what we consider pure fantasy. It is set in the world of fairy tales, where Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty all exist and are real people. However, “happily ever after” is still just the fairy tale. We begin this story shortly after Cinderella’s (or Danielle as she is really called) honeymoon. For her, she thought she thought all...
Read More
May
13

Review: Ender’s Game

Review: Ender’s Game Ender’s Game Author: Orson Scott Card  Release Date: January 1985 Publisher: Tor Science Fiction Book #1 Ender series ISBN: #978-0812550702 Genre: Science Fiction Format(s): Paperback, e-book, audiobook Gikany found it on her parents’ shelf when she was a teenager. She bought the ebook a few months ago…because it is nice to have handy on her iPhone. From the author’s website: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military’s purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine’s abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails. Newsday said of this novel “Card has done strong work before, but this could be the book to break him out of the pack.” It was. Ender’s Game took the sf world by storm, sweeping the awards. It won both the Hugo and Nebula, and rose to the top of national bestseller lists. What Gikany & Una are talking about: Una has not read much science fiction (but has enjoyed many television shows and movies) while Gikany holds it close to her heart (she almost has the whole book memorized *Gikany mumbles, not entirely*). Through Gikany, Una finally read Ender’s Game...
Read More
May
3

Review: Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

Review: Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel Authors: Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris Release Date: April 26, 2011 Publisher: Harper Voyager Publishing Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1 ISBN: #978-0062049766 Genre: Steampunk Format(s): paperback (416 pgs), e-book   I received a copy of this book from the NETGALLEY for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s top-secret organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest…and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.      For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot…or see England fall to the Phoenix! What I’m talking about:      Agent Eliza Braun is one of those secret agents that always gives 100 percent, lives for the thrill, and always uses a bit more dynamite than necessary.  After completing a mission to save the Ministry’s Archivist, dashing Wellington Books, she is sent to work with Agent Books in the Archives. There she discovers countless abandoned and unsolved cases, including one that lead to the downfall of her previous partner.  Soon Ms. Braun has dragged the prim-and-proper Agent Books into the middle of a far-reaching, diabolical plot against Her Majesty.      Phoenix Rising is a well-written amazing adventure. The plot unfolds at just the right pace, leaving me at the edge of my seat throughout much of the tale. The story is smart and the characters witty. The steampunk world created in this tale is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes or the movie The Prestige. (For those still unfamiliar with “steampunk,” the authors have a wonderful post you can read HERE.)      Agents Eliza Braun and Wellington Books are the perfect duo. With her field experience, fighting capabilities and feisty attitude and his vast knowledge, keen interest in mechanisms and upper-crust breeding, they complement each other. They may not run like a...
Read More
May
2

Review & Giveaway: Hard Bitten

Review & Giveaway: Hard Bitten Dear Readers: Please help me welcome my friend Wendy, a big fan of the Chicagoland Vampire series. She brings you today’s review of… Hard Bitten Author: Chloe Neill  Release Date: May 3, 2011 Publisher: NAL Publishing Chicagoland Vampire Series Book 4 ISBN: #978-0451233325 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (368 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals–and they’re camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are … tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else. Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn’t help that she can’t tell who’s on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who’s tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago’s supernatural society–a world full of vampires who seem to ready to fulfill the protesting human’s worst fears, and a place where she’ll learn that you can’t be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands…. What Wendy is talking about: I love it when I know there’s a new Chloe Neill novel coming out. She writes excellent urban fantasy with plenty of action, humor and just enough romance to draw me in. Hard Bitten is the fourth novel in her Chicagoland Vampires series and I was ready for number five before I hit the last chapter!  As Sentinel of Cadogan House, Merit is a newly-made but completely bad-ass vampire who was very recently a “nerdy graduate student.” Neill has a real talent for writing very regular people into her supernatural world. Merit loves shoes and baseball, and like most girls (the girls that I know, at least) she over-indulges in chocolate when she’s feeling sorry for herself. And she has a fair amount of things to be bummed about this time around. Her boss, Ethan, has changed his mind (again!)...
Read More
Apr
25

Review: Moonlight Temptation

Review: Moonlight Temptation Moonlight Temptation Author: Stephanie Julian  Release Date: January 2011 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Lucani Lovers, Book 4 ISBN: #978-1419932885 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotica Format(s): E-book   I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      Evie Simmons has magical powers she can’t control and her best friend is a 17-year-old werewolf. It’d be hilarious if it weren’t just so damn depressing. Add in the sexy shifter she can’t keep out of her mind and his hot-as-hell friend and it’s a recipe for disaster.      Dr. Dane Dimitriou knows Evie has had a hard time adjusting to her new life in the Etruscan magical community—as difficult as his denial of his feelings for her have been. But he’s got the perfect cure. His best friend, easygoing Ryan Maguire, is the complete opposite of stick-up-his-ass Dane. He can act as a buffer. Dane can get close, but not too close. Yeah, right.      These sexy men may be just what the doctor ordered.  What B is talking about:      Having been kidnapped, experimented on, and then acquiring some dangerous new powers she can’t control, Evangeline Simmons feels like she’s barely hanging on. To top that off, she’s got a serious crush on the Lucani doctor whose first encounter with her was extraordinarily unfortunate. While she’s sure he can’t stand her, her heart seems determined to want only him.      Ryan Maguire and Dane Dimitriou have been friends for years, and know each other better than anyone else ever could. But Dane’s plan to get Ryan to help Evie adjust to her new life, one in which he can deny how hard he’s fallen for her, backfires when both men realize she’s the only woman they’ll ever desire.      Moonlight Temptation was the most enjoyable of the Lucani Lovers series. I really liked Evie, and enjoyed seeing things work out so well for her. She too has had a difficult past and recent trauma, and she reminds me somewhat of Tamra from the first book in the series, Kiss of Moonlight. Rather than allow herself to be incapacitated by what she’s been through, Evie faces her new challenges and confronts her demons, and, ultimately, proves she’s someone others can depend on. Watching Evie get fierce was a lot of fun.      Dane and Ryan were good characters, too. They each have their own...
Read More
Apr
20

Review: Gods and Monsters

Review: Gods and Monsters Gods and Monsters Author: Lyn Benedict  Release Date: April 26, 2011 Publisher: Ace Books Shadows Inquiries Book # 3 ISBN: # 978-0441020386 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (311 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the back cover: Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary PI.  She specializes in cases involving the unusual and unbelievable, in a world where magic is real, where hell just around the corner – and where death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you… When Sylvie discovers the bodies of five women in the Florida Everglades, she believes their deaths to be the work of a serial killer and passes the buck.  Or at least she attempts to.  When the bodies wake and shift shape, killing the police, Sylvie finds herself at the heart of a potentially lethal investigation. With the aid of a necromancer, Sylvie learns that the women are victims of a sorcerer who combines alchemy, shape-shifting, and death magic into a gruesome whole.  As more bodies pile up along the Gulf coast, Sylvie is determined to stop the sorcerer.  But how do you defeat a man who can manipulate the dead without becoming one of them yourself?  What Gikany is talking about: Sylvie Lightner (aka Shadows) is a private investigator who specializes in cases involving the Magicus Mundi.  The Magicus Mundi is a world filled with magic, monsters and gods that surrounds the ordinary world that most of us live in.  The vast majority of people are unaware of this world simply because they choose to be unaware of it.  Awareness of this world makes you vulnerable to the dangerous elements that exist within it.  When the Magicus Mundi intrudes into the lives of ordinary people, they turn to Sylvie Lightner and Shadows Inquiries for help. Gods and Monsters picks up immediately after the conclusion of Ghosts and Echoes.  Sylvie has been hired to find a missing woman whose husband believes she was abducted by aliens.  Sylvie discovers that a powerful sorcerer has abducted the missing woman.  The sorcerer has placed her, and four other women, in a state of suspended animation and is using them to break a curse.  Sylvie has to turn to Tierney Wales, a necromancer for help. One of the things that I like the most about this series is that Sylvie Lightner is able to defeat people and monsters that are far more...
Read More
Apr
19

Quickie Review: "Primal Kiss"

Quickie Review: "Primal Kiss" “Primal Kiss” from the Anthology Primal Author: Lora Leigh  Release Date: February 1, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Breeds Series #23 ISBN: #978-0425239056 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Format(s): paperback, e-book I borrowed a copy of the book for my own reading pleasure. (thanks Mandi!) From the author’s website: When the bad boy lion breed, Creed Raines, crashes the family cabin while Pharmaceutical CEO Horace Engalls’ daughter is vacationing, it sets off a series of events that even Creed couldn’t have imagined beginning. Mating Heat blows sky high, hot and overwhelming, and reminding him of all the reasons he had fought to avoid it. Especially with the shy, though incredibly stubborn decidedly willful, much loved and cherished Engalls Princess, Kita Engalls. But for Jonas Wyatt it could be a blessing in disguise, because only Horace Engalls knows the true scope of Phillip Brandenmore’s evil. And only by holding Kita hostage to the truth Jonas demands, will it ever come to light. But can mating heat bloom and became the fiery tendrils of love when Kita suspects her breed has betrayed her? What I’m talking about:       Once again, I stress to you all… The Breeds Series is my guilty pleasure. Ms. Leigh writes some of the hottest erotic paranormal stories out there, and this novella is no exception! As an avid reader of this series, my review may not make sense to those of you that have not YET picked up this delicious series.       Chronologically, this story takes place after Styx’s Storm and prior to the recently released Navarro’s Promise (review later this week).  As with most of Ms. Leigh’s novellas, “Primal Kiss” contains key plot development for the overall story arc.  In this case, we find out more about Phillip Brandenmore and his evil plot to create a “fountain of youth” serum from mating Breed pairs. At risk, his niece, Kita Engalls, the unknown (at the time) mate of Breed Enforcer Creed Raines.  She is wanted by both the Breeds and purest-human groups as leverage to get knowledge from Brandenmore.       The pace of this story is quick. There are few bumps in the road and both Kita and Creed readily accept their lot as mates including all of the complications that come with the Breed mating hormone. The primary focus of the story is the romance between Kita and Creed, which is erotic and sensual. The story climaxes with a showdown between...
Read More
Apr
18

Review: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Review: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night Author: Kresley Cole  Release Date: October 2007 Publisher: Pocket Star Immortals After Dark #4 ISBN: #978-1416547037 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (384 pgs), e-book From the author’s website: Her breathless kiss haunts him. Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed—until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive. His slow, hot touch is irresistible. Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go. No deed is too wicked for her seduction. If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul—or will she risk everything for her fierce protector? What I’m talking about: Hmmm… I have to say that the book summary on Kresley Cole’s website (above) isn’t what I would have said to summarize and describe the book.  Anyhow… Wicked Deeds opens during the Hie competition, the focus event of the the third story, No Rest for the Wicked (review HERE) Lykae Bowen MacRieve (Bowe) was the “runner up” of the Talisman’s Hie, a “deadly, immortal version of The Amazing Race.” The story backtracks a bit in the timeline to tell the reader about Bowe’s run-in with Mariketa the Awaited (Mari), the witch that cursed him with mortality during No Rest for the Wicked. The story quickly moves forward to events that occur immediately after the end of the Hie competition. (NOTE: I strongly recommend reading No Rest for the Wicked prior to reading Wicked Deeds.) Mari is a fiesty girl and it is enjoyable to watch her mature in this story. At the beginning of the book, she is 23-years-old and still mortal – that’s right… she entered the deadly competition and isn’t even immortal! Mari is predicted to be the most powerful witch in centuries, but it seems she cannot get a spell straight without blowing up something.  She hides her true self, afraid she will be claimed by an immortal as his mate and...
Read More
Apr
7

Review: Shady Lady

Review: Shady Lady Shady Lady Author: Ann Aguirre  Release Date: April 5, 2011 Publisher: Roc Corine Solomon Novels, Book #3  ISBN: #978-0451463258 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book We received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: I’d spent my whole life settling, trying not to attract attention, and generally doing whatever it took to keep other people happy. I didn’t want to do that again. Not when I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Sure, there were certain challenges, like a drug lord who wanted me dead, and the fact that I owed a demon a debt that he could call due at any moment. But everybody’s got problems, right? Whenever Corine Solomon touches an object, she immediately knows its history. But her own future concerns her more and more. Now back in Mexico, she’s running her pawnshop and trying to get a handle on her strange new powers, for she might need them. And soon. Then former ally Kel Ferguson walks through her door. Heavily muscled and tattooed, Kel looks like a convict but calls himself a holy warrior. This time, he carries a warning for Corine: the Montoya cartel is coming for her—but they don’t just pack automatic weapons. The Montoyas use warlocks, shamans, voodoo priests—anything to terminate trouble. And Corine has become enemy number one… What Gikany & Una are talking about: First, we are back as a team on this book.  Yay!   Secondly, I, Una, read this book as a standalone, because Twimom asked me to review it.  However, because Gikany is just as obsessive/compulsive as me (and had the time and money) read the first two books in the Corine Solomon Novels before reading Shady Lady.  It made a huge difference!  We both strongly recommend that you read this book after reading the first two.  It seems, as poor Una found out, much from (especially the first book) previous books are referenced, implied, alluded to, etc.  Goodness, poor Una got very confused and frustrated during the first half of this book because of carried over plot lines and romantic entanglements. As Gikany filled in Una, there is quite a lot that takes place in Corine’s (for those, like Una, who didn’t the first book, her name rhymes with Doreen) life prior to the third book.  However to know any of it, you have to read the first two books.  So...
Read More
Apr
6

Review: Lover Unleashed

Review: Lover Unleashed Lover Unleashed Author: JR Ward  Release Date: March 29, 2011 Publisher: NAL Hardcover Black Dagger Brotherhood series Book #9 ISBN: # 978-0451233165 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Hardcover (512 pgs), e-book   G & U purchased a copy of this book for the purposes of their own enjoyment. Twimom borrowed the book from her local library. From the author’s website:      Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother:  A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.        When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world.  Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.      As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy. What Gikany & Una are talking about:      Gikany and Una were waiting with baited breath for this latest installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  The “WARDen” did not disappoint in Payne’s book, Lover Unleashed.      Gikany loved the introduction of Xcor (pronounced in her head as “Score”).  Unlike the introduction of Lash, the Omega, Mr. X, etc, as the antagonist, he appears, for lack of better term, human.  He is complicated and not just evil, being capable of change.  Xcor’s interactions with Payne highlighted his honor and his ability to hold to a set of moral beliefs.  However, Una still can’t believe his name is Xcor (pronounced in her head as “Core”) after it seems the WARDen received so much grief about her overuse of the word core in her previous novels.  Just like the controversy over the pronunciation of Xhex (as the WARDen says, “Hex” and the rest of us that thought “Sex” until an interview with her on the web cleared this up).      Una enjoyed the pace of the novel.  Unlike in John Matthew’s book...
Read More
Page 92 of 98« First...102030...9091929394...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes