logo
Currently Browsing: Rating B
Feb
25

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Mercy Thompson Universe Author: Patricia Briggs Narrator: Lorelei King + Alexander Cendese Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Mercy Thompson, Alpha & Omega Genre: Urban Fantasy Source: purchased Shifting Shadows Shifting Shadows is a multi-story anthology of tales from the world of Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series. The book really isn’t meant for those who aren’t familiar with the series, and some of the tales will be spoilerish if you haven’t read/listened to the books through Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8). The stories are told in chronological order, with some narrated by Alexander Cendese (AC) and others by Lorelei King (LK). In between each story, Lorelei King narrates a short message about the upcoming story written by Ms. Briggs. Here are my thoughts on each story. While I listened to the stories in order (numbered below), they are listed as they appear in the book blurb. This book includes the new stories… 1) “Silver” Narrator: AC This is an origin story and a long, long ago prequel to MT #5 Silver Borne. It shares how Bran and Samuel became werewolves and outlines the first time Samuel and Ariana met and fell in love. The tale is dark and haunting, but the way it is written and narrated, it felt more like a recounting of history instead of a solid story with a plot; like I’m being told a story rather than immersed in it. The narration was good but nothing great. I liked the Cornish accents. The story was left very open, but having read the series, I know what becomes of the characters.. B/B- 7) “Roses in Winter” Narrator: LK Takes place between Bone Crossed and Silver Borne. It’s the story of Cara who’s dad appealed to Mercy for help in second book, Blood Bound. Cara was attacked and turned into a werewolf when she was only ten and survived. She’s now living with Bran’s pack and is befriending the lone wolf, Asil. This is absolutely one of the best stories of the bunch. It is the tale of two lost souls finding happiness and comfort together as Asil takes Cara under his wing and shares his garden. It is very emotional and powerful, but more so because I know the characters having listening to both series. I loved this one. A+ 9) “Redemption” Narrator: LK This one is all about Ben, one of Adam’s wolves who is sort...
Read More
Feb
24

Review: A Covert Affair by Katie Reus

Review: A Covert Affair by Katie Reus A Covert Affair Author: Katie Reus Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: A Covert Affair is the fifth offering in the Deadly Ops series.  This romantic suspense series follows ultra-secretive NSA operatives as they combat evil (both domestic and foreign) while finding their soulmates along the way.  Gikany and Una overall liked the story of Nathan and Amelia. In this installment we follow Nathan, an operative who was wounded in the previous novel.  He has recovered and is returning to duty on a mission that reconnects him to his lost love, Amelia.  When they were young, Amelia broke Nathan’s heart and it seems neither of their hearts has recovered.  Nathan wants to know why Amelia ended things so they can have a fresh start.  Amelia is afraid once Nathan knows the truth, she will lose him forever.  Further complicating the rekindling of their romance, Amelia is connected to a suspect and Nathan’s boss wants to use her to gain information about him.  Although Amelia is a civilian, she is tough, smart, determined and capable of handling this subterfuge.  However, there is more at play than it seems and someone has Amelia in their deadly sights. We truly enjoyed Amelia and Nathan’s journey.  Their previous connection gave a foundation and depth to the sizzling attraction we experienced.  Although the reason for Amelia’s abrupt dissolution of her relationship with Nathan was easily figured out, Nathan’s reaction was not.  We liked that what Amelia feared would be an unforgivable offense was neither trivialized nor overly played.  Both showed maturity, though they did lack some open and honest communication, and being privy to their individual thoughts gave credence to their reactions.  Their story is what kept Gikany and Una glued to the page. The story about the missing women, however, was not quite to our liking.  This was partially due to how the plot line played out, but mostly because the motivation behind the missing women was depraved and creepy.  Without giving anything away, it seemed the antagonists did not thoroughly grasp the ramifications of their nefarious plot.  It would have made more sense to have preserved more of the victims, thus keeping their operation better hidden.  The mastermind behind the operation was surprising, however.  Although it is well foreshadowed, it was easy to dismiss this character. Although it is not clear whom the next book will focus on, we look forward to reading the next suspenseful installment in...
Read More
Feb
22

Review: You and Only You by Sharon Sala

Review: You and Only You by Sharon Sala You and Only You Author: Sharon Sala Reviewer: Nima Rating: B- You and Only You was originally published as the stand-alone book, Curl Up and Dye, released in February 2014. It appears that Sala is going forward with this as the first book in her new Blessings, Georgia series, named after the small town where her characters call home.  Unfortunately after a weak opening paragraph, the story really doesn’t get much better.  It is filled with clichés, repetition, and caricatures. LilyAnn Bronte lost her high school sweetheart and then lost herself. Everyone around her treats her like a child and this goes on for y-e-a-r-s. In all that time, no one, including her parents, seems to push her into adulthood.  In the name of compassion, she’s allowed to wallow, let herself go, and drift through her life. Meanwhile, her next door neighbor, Mike Dalton, has been pining for her since the 10th grade.  He does pull off sympathetic, but sometimes crosses over into the stalker zone as he skirts LilyAnn’s world without ever making his case.  There just isn’t a lot of character depth with LilyAnn, Mike, or any of the other townsfolk. It reads sweet.  It’s not a hot and steamy novel although there is some sex in passing.  There is also a rape which felt too harsh for the overall tone of the book.  Either it’s edgy or it’s not. Trying to be both doesn’t really come off well. The overall story isn’t bad.  It has potential which I hope will be realized with some more depth in future books, but this one was just “okay.” My Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues About the Book: Mike Dalton has secretly loved LilyAnn Bronte since they were all children together in the small town of Blessings, Georgia. But one fateful day T.J. Lachlan roars into town and starts showering LilyAnn with his charm, and Mike feels his dream of them being more than friends slipping away. LilyAnn, as anyone in Blessings will tell you, let herself go after her fiancée was killed in Iraq. The attention of the handsome new guy shocks her into a revelation: she’s ready to live again, and maybe the best is yet to come. The thing is, everybody in Blessings is sure it’s Mike and LilyAnn who belong together-and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make LilyAnn realize the love of her life has been by...
Read More
Feb
16

Review: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

Review: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard The Shadow Author: Sylvain Reynard Reviewer: VampBard Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: There’s a few things that will keep me reading a book and/or series. One of them is referencing historical figures in an alternate manner/universe. Author Sylvain Reynard has piqued my interest with The Florentine series. The second full novel in the series, The Shadow, makes reference to a plethora of interesting historical figures I’ve studied either in college or independently (because I’m a geek like that). By putting several historical figures, including William of York and Niccolo Machiavelli, in vampyric roles, my mind tends to wander and easily buy-into the world-building. This is by no means a work of historical fiction—The Shadow, and all of The Florentine series thus far, is set in modern times. Oh. And the series needs to be read in order. Don’t jump around. As vampyres, York and Machiavelli maintain their archaic language patterns, tempered by the modern-day setting. While readers won’t enjoy the hilarious image of either exclaiming, “YOLO!”, those enjoying more formal language will be completely engaged…or maybe it’s only me. I’m weird that way. I found myself flip-flopping a lot while I read The Shadow. I was still completely enamored by William and Raven’s romance, and the fact that William was so besotted by Raven. I still find it interesting, their relationship, because they seem such an unlikely couple. Don’t get me wrong—they’re a believable couple, just not the pairing I’d make. It seems they have a few extremely different beliefs regarding several things. But, I am still in leap-of-faith mode regarding this series, so it works for me. I think one of the reasons the series works so well for me is bits like this: “Love is deep.” His rich voice echoed in the bathroom. “Love is having the power to destroy another person.” William stepped closer. “Are you afraid of being destroyed?” “Destroyed, consumed, betrayed.” She [Raven] fidgeted with the neckline of her gown. William placed his hand over hers, stilling it. “Love creates; it doesn’t destroy.” While these are really global statements that could be made by any two main characters in a romance novel, they’re especially poignant coming from William and Raven. As they navigate the rekindling of their romance, forces beyond their bubble of happiness threaten to blow things to smithereens. I think the parts that were ‘the best’ for me were those involving William and Raven. While I liked learning some of the...
Read More
Feb
11

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Dresden Files Series Author: Jim Butcher Narrator: James Marsters Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Dresden Files #4 Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery Source: purchased Summer Knight After taking some time off from the Dresden Files, I found myself happily re-engaged in the life of Harry Dresden, professional wizard and all around nice guy. Summer Knight starts about eight to nine months after the conclusion of the previous title, when Harry is forced to deal with the outfall from his actions against the Red Court of Vampires. His own kind, the White Council of Wizards, wants to hand him over the vampires to end the war and stop the violence between their kinds. Luckily, Harry has a few friends on the White Council who help him get himself cleaned up and functioning again (he’s pretty depressed over the loss of his girlfriend, Susan). Unfortunately, Harry must stop an impending war between he Summer and Winter Faery courts in order to save himself and the world. I found myself much more engrossed while listening to Summer Knight than the previous couple of titles. The story reaches a balance between dark and light; something that’s been missing for a while. Harry’s life is not an easy one, but he’s finally realizing has and is turning to friends. He starts the book in a bad place, but by the end, he has transformed himself into a happier person who is better equipped to deal with the pitfalls tossed in front of his every turn. I was pleased that the author didn’t lead Harry into a dark place and leave him there, but instead gave him insight and allowed him to grow without changing his core persona. There is a lot that occurs during the Summer Knight. Several new characters are introduced over the course of Harry’s investigation into the murder of the Summer Knight. Yet through it all, we welcome back key characters from the first three titles. His conversations with Police Detective Karen Murphy were among my favorites of the book, and I was glad to see the pair trusting one another again. The mythology of the Fae expanded tremendously, but it never felt overwhelming or confusing. My biggest complaint is that once again, fight scenes seemed to go on forever and overwhelmed the story. As with the previous titles, James Marsters provides an excellent performance which made listening to the book utterly enjoyable. I...
Read More
Feb
11

Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy Midnight Revenge Author: Elle Kennedy Reviewer: VampBard Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: I’ve been reading the Killer Instinct series from the beginning. I’ve been ITCHING to get my hands on D’s story. Until now, he reminded me a lot of J.R. Ward’s Zhadist. I think I’m still processing his character a little, but I’m not quite as inclined to draw the comparison anymore. Here’s the thing, everyone loves a damaged hero. It seems the more screwed up they are, the more we fall for them. While I may have swooned a time or two over D’s jaded innocence, I don’t think he’s my new book boyfriend or anything. Don’t get me wrong—I do honestly super like this book. I’m just not as connected to D as I thought I’d be. We find out a lot of backstory about him. It’s not pretty, folks (and I didn’t expect it to be). While there’s absolutely nothing on-page, there’s pedophilia mentioned several times. I don’t think there was as much character growth as I wanted to see with D, either. It was probably unreasonable of me to have expectations going in for this title and this character. I really like Sofia, though. She has the ability—like most doctors, I assume—to deal with a situation in-the-moment and freak out about it later. When she becomes pregnant after a one-and-done with D, I applaud her for the way she intends to handle it. She’s willing to raise the baby on her own, and feels like she’s totally got this. What surprised me was how bad ass Sofia was. While she may have been shaking like a leaf on the inside, her calm, cool exterior gave her street cred with the baddies. And impressed D. There’s Boston/Sully news, folks. That’s all I’m gonna say. Besides I want the Boston/Sully book. Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy could be read as a stand-alone, I think—but readers would be seriously jonesing for more about this band of mercenaries and inhale the backlist. I look forward to more titles in the Killer Instincts series. My Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan’s black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan...
Read More
Feb
4

Review: Anna and the Vampire Prince by Jeanne C. Stein

Review: Anna and the Vampire Prince by Jeanne C. Stein Anna and the Vampire Prince Author: Jeanne C. Stein Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: For fans of the Anna Strong Chronicles, you will not want to miss the latest novella, Anna and the Vampire Prince.  Gikany and Una liked this glimpse of Anna in transition as she mourns her mother.  It was another chance to see Vlad and gave these two readers something to ponder about what may be next in this world. ****If you haven’t read the series, this novella is not the place to start.  We strongly recommend you read the series from the beginning.**** Anna’s story has had some closure.  Her mother has passed, she is happily married to Frey, and things have settled down.  As much as they can settle down for the vampire who is the Chosen One.  This novella resolves the issue of some renegade vampires and shows how Anna and her family are doing as they continue to mourn.  Although it moves quickly, it was a fun read. What we really enjoyed though, was that this novella gave us another opportunity to see Vlad, the legendary vampire.  He was very intriguing in the previous novel and it was fantastic to see him in action again.  At the close of this novella, we were hopeful that maybe there may be more in store for Vlad.  We would love to see a spin-off following him.  A lot has changed for Vlad and he seems to be in transition. With Anna’s story being nicely tied up (for the moment) it would be great to follow Vlad as he embarks on a new path. All in all, Anna and the Vampire Prince is a treat for Anna Strong fans.  Although it is short, it was a sweet and nail-biting read as we watched Anna save her niece’s friend.  We hope that this is a prequel that will start a new series in this world.  We are going to keep our fingers crossed! Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: Saving her family means saving the world. Vampire Anna Strong should be enjoying life with her new husband, Frey, but she’s too devastated by the loss of her mother to focus on much else. That is, until her niece’s best friend is kidnapped, and Anna leaps into action. Angry citizens blame the recent rash of kidnappings on France’s immigrant population and threaten retribution that could upset the economy of the entire...
Read More
Feb
3

Review: The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin

Review: The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin The Brimstone Deception Author: Lisa Shearin Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Picking up immediately after the conclusion of the previous book, The Brimstone Deception opens with Mak on a date with Rake and Ian on date with Kylie. At the same restaurant. Were Ian is convinced that Mak is only with Rake because the gorgeous goblin enthralled her. However, before anyone can enjoy themselves, another patron suddenly realizes he can see monsters all around him. This puts SPI into action, discovering there is a new drug called Brimstone being circulated around town, and it’s leaving a path of dead dealers in its wake. Lisa Shearin’s SPI Files is a wonderfully adventurous series, pairing dangerous mystery-solving with the bizarre and supernatural. The Brimstone Deception starts with a jolt and the action is nearly non-stop as SPI seer Mak and her partner, Ian, try to find the open hellpit in New York before it destroys the city. I loved trying to piece together the clues as Mak and Ian uncover them bit by bit. While the series is by no means a romance, I found myself hoping for a Mak-Ian pairing because the two make such a great team. However, Ms. Shearin makes it clear from the get go that they are strictly partners, and Mak has eyes for Rake. While I was personally bummed by this, I will admit that by the conclusion of the book, Rake was winning me over. Just a little. Having listened to the audiobook of the first two titles in the series, I felt like I was missing something by reading this one. (I have already purchased the audiobook and will be listening to it soon.) I don’t know if it was that, or the fact that I read the book over the Christmas holidays, and it was difficult to carve out a solid block of time to read, but I never really got into the overall story. It was interesting, but I failed to connect with the tale on an emotional level. One of the things that bothered me was the fact that this book takes place only one day after the prior book, and the SPI agents didn’t have anytime to recover, yet they were ready to go for another round of crime-solving. Additionally, Mak discovers a new aspect to her seer-abilities, and it was never really explained why it happened. It almost felt contrived, but not quite. I suppose...
Read More
Feb
2

Review: SEAL Wolf In Too Deep by Terry Spear

Review: SEAL Wolf In Too Deep by Terry Spear SEAL Wolf In Too Deep Author: Terry Spear Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Allan Rappaport knows the importance of rules. As part of a close-knit wolf pack, he learned early on the need to keep their kind a secret from humans that would hunt them down and destroy them. Being a Navy SEAL taught him how to get the job done in the face danger and keep his cool under pressure. But, nothing could have prepared him for the beautiful, spirited woman he can’t stop thinking about. Leaving her troubled upbringing behind, Debbie Renaud found happiness and purpose as a diver for the police department in her small, northern Montana town. And, after her last breakup, she’d convinced herself that the job was enough. At least, until she was partnered with a sexy, warm-hearted SEAL who fascinates her on every level. They would make a perfect team—if only he didn’t have so many secrets. Although I’ve said it before, I can’t help but enjoy the strong women Ms. Spear continues to create for this series. Debbie is tough, determined, compassionate, and too clever for the pack’s (or her) own good. Between her quick thinking, her skills as both a diver and investigator, as well as Allan’s understandable inability to resist her, I liked her very much. Debbie is extremely swoony over Allan, but no more so than he is for her, and, by halfway through the narrative, I couldn’t imagine them with anyone but each other. Allan is likewise reminiscent of many of the alpha males in this series, though his role in SEAL Wolf in Too Deep was certainly an enjoyable one. He is highly skilled, completely devoted to his pack, and endearingly thoughtful. He also has all the control in the world in every other aspect of his life, but when his heart gets in the way, he’s a fairly glorious mess. Which, of course, just made him even more attractive. To Ms. Spears’ credit, she gives equal consideration to both main characters when it comes to the frustrating, awkward, pratfall-plagued nature of their own inadvisable attraction. In fact, Allan’s inability to hold Debbie at arm’s length has far greater consequences, due to the secrets he’s obliged to keep. By turns, Debbie’s plausible anger with Allan crumbles as quickly as her determination to resist him, making the outcome of the story pleasantly inevitable. Yet another characteristic of the Heart of the Wolf books that...
Read More
Jan
27

Review: Dreamwalker by Allyson James

Review: Dreamwalker by Allyson James Dreamwalker Author: Allyson James Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: After waiting for over three years, I’m so excited to report that Janet and Mick are back! The fifth Stormwalker book opens with Janet and Mick on a date. Their fortune cookies contain dire messages that Janet must go help her half-sister (same evil goddess mother), Gabrielle. From there, things only get more chaotic and dangerous as Emmett Smith, the evil mage from the previous book, is back. As the Ununculous – the most powerful mage in existence – he kills anyone who would be his competition, and he desperately wants Janet and Mick’s magic mirror. Dreamwalker is a wonderful addition to one of my favorite series. Although it’s been a while since the previous book, I was able to submerse myself completely into the world without feeling like I forgot anything. Ms. James does a great job tying in important facts without it feeling like a rehash of the entire series. One of the best things about the Stormwalker series is the ensemble cast of characters who surround the protagonist, Janet. From the love of her life, dragon shifter Mick, to her powerful sister. From her wiccan hotel manager to the vampire resident. From her watchful grandmother to her loving father. From the contrary, mysterious Coyote god to the magically null police officer. The list goes on and on. Each character adds so much to the setting of the story and helps create a home for Janet, as well as the reader. Each person has his/her place in the overall tale; no superfluous fillers. Through flashbacks and present day actions, we learn more about several of the cast, as they in turn learn more about themselves. This time around, Janet spends quite a bit of time in her own past as she dreamwalks, which is different from dreaming. In her dreams, she relives parts of her life, while maintaining knowledge of her current self. At first, I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, to a time before the series began. But after a while, the dreams began to feel like filler to me, and I would have preferred more time in the present. Overall, Dreamwalker is an enjoyable story. I love this series and have missed it greatly. While the book was entertaining, it was lacking the “big mystery to solve” that has accompanied the previous titles. Dreamwalker felt almost like a transitional tale, yet...
Read More
Page 20 of 74« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes