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Sep
28

Review: "A Tangled Web" – Harvest Moon

Review: "A Tangled Web" – Harvest Moon “A Tangled Web” from the Harvest Moon anthology Author: Mercedes Lackey Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Luna (Harlequin) Five Hundred Kingdoms series ISBN: #978-0373803224 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): paperback, e-book I received an electronic galley copy of this book from the Net Galley for the purposes of an honest review. NOTE: I only read the first novella in this anthology. After reading the first (review below) and starting the second, I found the stories complex and difficult to follow. Due to time constraints, I did not finish the book. I am not classifying this book as a DNF because I did complete the first story and have a review.  If I find time to read the other stories, I will finish the review for the entire book (they do seem interesting!) From the author’s website: Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But in the Five Hundred Kingdoms, nothing’s ever simple and the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake, leaving Prince Leopold without his new bride. At least until he braves the realm of the dead to get her back… What I’m talking about: This is an interesting and fun re-telling of the famous Persephone and Hades tale from Greek Mythology.  In this story, Persephone and Hades are in love and try to find a way to be together. Hades sends Thanatos, the god of Death, to “kidnap” Persephone and bring her to the underworld-reasoning that her mother, Demeter, could not take her away if “death” claimed her. Well, unfortunately, Thanatos claims the wrong goddess which causes plenty of grief for everyone. While the story was simple, cleaver and cute, it was tough to follow. I know a little Greek mythology and no Norse mythology – both of which are prominent in this story.  Names are tossed around and situations inferred as if I should have an understanding of it all.  I felt completely lost at times, especially at the beginning.   Although I never fully overcame some of the confusion, I still enjoyed the tale.  Ms. Lackey’s portrayal of the Greek gods is entertaining and refreshing… They are still self-involved, but more simple and oafish than their usual vindictive depictions. The Norse goddess Brunnhilde and her husband Prince Leopold are a welcome addition to the tale. They are logic and order to the chaos of Olympus when Persephone (and Brunnhilde) are taken to the underworld.  This is an enjoyable story. My Rating:  Liked it, there were...
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Sep
23

Review: Sins of the Flesh & GIVEAWAY

Review: Sins of the Flesh & GIVEAWAY Sins of the Flesh Author: Eve Silver Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Otherkin Trilogy Book #3 ISBN: #978-0373774845 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): mass market paperback, e-book I received a copy of this book from the Net Galley for the purposes of an honest review. From goodreads: Torn between lust and loyalty…  The blood of the Underworld lord of evil runs through soul reaper Malthus Krayl’s veins.  Raised to fight for survival and to kill for victory, he can destroy anyone who poses a threat. As he searches for the one responsible for his brother’s murder, he refuses to succumb to any distraction…until his sworn enemy crosses his path and tempts him beyond all reason.  Calliope Kane, a Daughter of Aset, has a personal hatred for soul reapers. Their savage attack against her family still haunts her. But only Malthus can help her find the traitors of her kind, and only she can help him hunt the source of betrayal amongst the reapers. As they unite, the danger grows closer…and the passion between them ignites. What I’m talking about: The three books of the Otherkin Trilogy together tell the tale of the sons of the Egyptian underworld god, Sutekh and their quest to discover the identity of their youngest brother’s murder.  There are clues and hints that help are woven into each story (especially in the first book) that are necessary if you are like me and want to figure out “whodunit” before the author tells you.  The third book, Sins of the Flesh, picks up after the second story finishes. The focus of this book is the third son, Malthus Krayl. He watched his two older brothers fall head over heels for women (in the first two books) and he knows that will not happen to him. He picks up the quest to discover more about his brother, Lokan’s killer by following clues on the “topside” (human realm). While staking out his latest lead, he sees a mysterious woman and is drawn in – wanting to know more about her and why she is also after his lead. Calliope is a solider for the Asetian Guard, sworn enemy of Sutehk, and her hatred of Sutehk’s sons is also personal.  When she first meets Mal, she is vicious and I LOVED it. There is no “love at first sight.” An attraction, yes, but she is hard-core and will not let him stop her from following her orders. She...
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Sep
20

Review: Taken By Midnight

Review: Taken By Midnight Taken By Midnight Author: Lara Adrian Release Date: September 28, 2010 Publisher: Dell Books Midnight Breed Series Book #8 ISBN: #978-0-440-24527-8 Genre: paranormal romance Format(s): mass market paperback, e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From GoodReads:      In the frozen Alaskan wilderness, former state trooper Jenna Darrow survives an unspeakable breach of body and soul. But with her narrow escape comes an even greater challenge. For strange changes are taking place within her, as she struggles to understand–and control–a new hunger. To do so, she will seek shelter in the Boston compound of the Order, an ancient race of vampire warriors whose very existence is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the most mysterious of them all is Brock, a brooding, dark-eyed alpha male whose hands hold the power to comfort, heal . . . and arouse.       As she recovers under Brock’s care, Jenna finds herself drawn to the Order’s mission: to stop a ruthless enemy and its army of assassins from subjecting Earth to a reign of terror. Yet in spite of their resolve, a purely physical relationship without strings soon binds Brock and Jenna together with a desire fiercer than life and stronger than death itself–until a secret from Brock’s past and Jenna’s own mortality challenges their forbidden love to the ultimate trial by fire. What I’m talking about:      Taken by Midnight picks up immediately where the seventh installment, Shades of Midnight, ends. After surviving a horrific abduction by one of the evil (and thought to be extinct) alien Ancients that spawned the Breed race, Jenna is rushed to the Order’s compound in Boston for protection and observation. There she sleeps for 5 days – but while unconscious speaks an alien language.  After Jenna wakes, she feels good – too good – and wants to go back to her home in Alaska. The fact that there are “vampires” in the world (and she is being cared for by these creatures), is unsettling to Jenna and she just wants to forget it all.  Unfortunately, she learns that the Ancient implanted some sort of alien device in her and it’s changing her body in ways she cannot comprehend.      In addition, Jenna is frighted and horrified to realize that she is drawn to one of the “vampires,” Brock. She wonders if her feelings are true or a by-product of her internal metamorphosis. This...
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Sep
13

Review: Atlantis Betrayed

Review: Atlantis Betrayed Atlantis Betrayed Author: Alyssa Day  Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Warriors of Poseidon Series Book #6 ISBN: #0425238105 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book From the author’s website: Poseidon’s warriors have learned that the battle to protect humanity produces unexpected enemies–and alliances. And one of the most powerful of all Atlantean warriors will soon find both…in one daring beauty. A warrior’s mission, a woman’s desire…What could Christophe, powerful Warrior of Poseidon, have in common with Fiona Campbell, prim and proper Scottish illustrator of fairytales by day and notorious jewel thief known as the Scarlet Ninja by night? Answer:  The Siren, a legendary Crown Jewel that Fiona has targeted for her next heist. It’s said to be worth millions, but to Christophe it’s invaluable. For the Siren also happens to be one of the missing jewels from Poseidon’s trident. And the unnatural evil that could destroy them both.But breaking into the Tower of London is a two-person job, so Christophe and Fiona team up to commit the crime of the century. As newfound passions fire their motives–and cloud their judgment–they realize they aren’t the only ones after the priceless gem. A dark force is shadowing their every move, and threatening to shatter their trust with revenge, betrayal, and a haunting revelation about the past. What I’m talking about: In the sixth full-length book (and eight installment) of the Warriors of Poseidon series by Alyssa Day, we journey to London. This is the first book that is set outside of the US and away from the on-going and familiar vampire versus human rebels story arc, and it was a refreshing change of pace. This isn’t quite Ms. Day’s typical Poseidon story, but has a lot of  familiar similarities. Although it primarily centers on Fiona and Christophe’s story and leaves out most of the on-going story arc, we still see shifters, vamps and some new supernatural beings. Self-segregated warrior, Christophe, is hanging around London and is tasked to obtain one of the seven sacred jewels from Poseidon’s trident. His heart isn’t really in the game, but Christophe is looking for a change of pace from the everyday dredge of protecting humans from the power-hungry vampires.  While on a scouting mission to steal the famous gem, Christophe meets the Scarlet Ninja, and after she shoots him and leaves him for dead, he follows her home. He worms his way into her life and the two begin a tentative and passionate...
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Sep
10

Review: Burning Up

Review: Burning Up Burning Up – Anthology Authors:Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, Meljean Brook Release Date: August 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: #978-0425235959 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback, e-book “Whisper of Sin” – Nalini Singh (Psy/Changeling Series prequel story)      From the author’s website: “Whisper of Sin” features Ria, who, as Lucas’s executive assistant, has appeared in a number of previous books in the series including Slave to Sensation and Mine to Possess. This novella is set back in time, and tells the story of how Ria met her changeling mate, Emmett, and became part of DarkRiver. It also shows us another glimpse of DarkRiver’s past.      What I’m talking about:  Ria (a human) is attacked and nearly raped before DarkRiver enforcers step in.  Changeling Emmett is immediately attracted to Ria and serves as her protector.  The story follows the couple as they learn about one another, and learn to trust each other.      This is story set in Ms. Singh’s amazing Psy/Changeling series (one of the best PNR series out there). It is set back in time, so you do not have to have knowledge of the series to enjoy this novella. Ms. Singh does a fabulous job of drawing me in by creating characters I care about. The story moves quickly, but doesn’t skimp on plot development or hot romance. My only issue was the final “hurdle” placed in front of the couple, which felt forced and unnecessary. The couple was already together and in love. I did not see the purpose in tossing them one more issue to deal with – especially one so minor and silly. But it was just that – silly – and the story is still a good one.      My Rating: 4 stars. Really enjoyed – strongly recommend. “Blood and Roses” Angela Knight      My summary: “Blood and Roses” is a vampire and wizard story with a mediaeval setting. Evil wizard Korban is a traitor to the king and plans to break the magical barrier that holds back the human-eating, lizard-skinned Varil race. He holds 3-year-old Marin captive and forces sister Amaris to do his bidding – which includes seducing the king’s investigator, vampire Raniero, and convince him to betray the king.      What I’m talking about:  Unfortunately, this story did not have adequate space to develop a solid romance between Raniero and Amaris. She seduces him, at the direction of her captor, but then feels an...
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Sep
7

Review: DUST

Review: DUST DUST Author: Joan Frances Turner  Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: The Berkley Group (Penguin) ISBN: #978-0-441-01928-1 Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal/Zombies Format: Hardcover I received this book from the publisher for purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Nine years ago, Jessie had a family.Now, she has a gang.Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian.Now, she eats very fresh meat.Nine years ago,Jessie was in a car crash and died.Nine years ago, Jessie was human.Now, she’s not. After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs. But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life… What I’m talking about: I’m going to start by telling you that this is my first zombie book. I didn’t know what to expect, but my ideas of zombies were formed by horror movies. This is NOT what Jessie is about. She is a teenage girl that died and was reborn into a new life of the “undead.” The undead don’t feed on human brains (unless they want to), but rather the freshly killed flesh of any animal.  The story, told in the first person POV of Jessie, opens with a hunt for a deer and slides into Jessie’s memories of being “reborn” and meeting her gang. It took me a while to adjust to reading the gore that is zombie. It’s not that this is a gruesome tale or a horror show, it’s just that well, these characters are undead. They are missing body parts, full of bugs, black-bloated gas-bags and turning to dust.  Ms. Turner does a wonderful job provided detailed descriptions of her world and its inhabitants. Just be prepared to see maggot-infested bodies...
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Sep
2

ARC Review: Cruel Enchantment

ARC Review: Cruel Enchantment Cruel Enchantment Author: Anya Bast  Release Date: September 7, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Dark Magick Series Book #2  ISBN: #978-0-425-23637-6 Genre: Paranormal Romance – FaeI received a copy of this book from the Author for an honest review. From the author’s website: Even the most powerful hands need a delicate touch… Emmaline Gallagher is a master of wielding personal glamour. As a free fae who lives among humans, she must hide her true self at all times as she works undercover within the powerful Phaendir—for if certain factions within the Phaendir gain control, the fae will be wiped from existence. Now, an object of fae power lies within a locked ancient box. And there is only one fae who can forge the key. Known as “the Blacksmith” Aeric O’Malley can create or destroy almost anything with his forging skills. Emmaline has come to him in need, but he and Emmaline have a past—and he has spent centuries wanting to take revenge on her for her transgressions. But now that he has her within his grasp, something about her keeps him from exacting his vengeance—or is it merely her glamour blinding him? Trapped by fate, Emmaline must hope that she can reach Aeric’s furious heart before it’s too late… What I’m talking about: Welcome to an alternate Earth where humans have learned all about the magical fae races. Back several centuries ago, humans, with the help of the magical Phaendir, imprisoned the fae, forcing them within a land known as Piefferburg City.  Emily is a pious, fae-hating human that works for the Phaendir, and she is about to enter Piefferburg for the “greater human good.” BUT in reality, Emily is Emmaline, a free fae living outside the prison walls of Piefferburg. She is working undercover as a human for the HFF to free all fae-kind.  The two primary characters in the story, Emmaline and Aeric, share a past and have not seen each other since the night that Emmaline, working as the Queen’s assassin, killed Aeric’s fiancee over 300 years ago.  Their emotional baggage is the basis for a highly volatile and passionate affair. They start this book as enemies – with Aeric driven for brutal revenge against Emmaline. However, this isn’t the typical “I hate you-so I’ll fall in love with you” romance storyline, for Emmaline has been in love with Aeric all of these years. It is through Emmaline’s desire that Ms. Bast marvelously exposes the depths of...
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Aug
31

Review: Sins of the Soul

Review: Sins of the Soul Sins of the Soul Author: Eve Silver Release Date: August 31, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Otherkin Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0-373-77483-8 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy I received an ebook (galley) from NetGalley for review. From the Goodreads: Alastor Krayl’s world shattered when he learned that his father was the Underworld god of chaos and evil. All that saved him from self-destruction were his newfound brothers and the bond they shared as soul reapers. So when one of his brothers is murdered, vengeance becomes Alastor’s obsession. And the enigmatic Naphré Kurata, a witness—or is she the killer?—has the answers he seeks.  A reluctant Underworld enforcer, Naphré trusts no one, especially not a seductive soul reaper who makes her burn with lust. Torn between duty and desire, she fights to keep her secrets safe from Alastor, even as she longs to surrender. What I’m talking about: This is the second book in Ms. Silver’s Otherkin Trilogy and it picks up immediately where Book #1, Sins of the Heart, finishes. This book centers on Alastor Krayl, the second son of Underworld Egyptian god, Sutekh. The story focuses on Alastor’s committed drive to discover who murdered his youngest brother, in hopes of reanimating his lost soul. This mystery started in Book #1 and does not finish here. Alastor meets Naphre quite by accident, but is immediately drawn to her. He survives in the harsh Underworld by letting out no emotions, so when Naphre stirs up feelings within him, he’s not sure how to react.  As he follows the clues to discover the truth about his brother, he learns that Naphre is more involved that he could imagine. This feeds his obsession for Naphre and he cannot figure out why he is so attracted to her. But as he grows closer to her, he keeps deep (and important) secrets from her – which in the end could destroy any chance of a relationship. Most of the story is spent on Alastor and Naphre and their mutual desires. We learn very little about the overall “whodunit” storyline, which frustrated me at times. The story is filled with wonderful details and descriptions. I enjoyed following their love story, which is touching (although at times I wanted to strangle Alastor for keeping so many secrets!) The mythology and players are fascinating. But I felt that there was too much time spent on all of the descriptive details and not enough on the action. I want to know what’s going...
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Aug
20

Review: Sin Undone

Review: Sin Undone Sin Undone Author: Larissa Ione Release Date: August 24, 2010 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Demonic Series Book #5 ISBN: #978-0-446-55681-1 Genre: Paranormal Romance I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. From the author’s website:       HER TOUCH IS DEADLY       As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she’ll die before she’ll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin’s innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.         HIS HUNGER CAN’T BE DENIED       Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she’s no stranger: He’s bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld’s most wanted and Con soon learns he’s the only one who can help her . . . and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own. What I’m talking about:       Picking up right where Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica Series book #4) ends, the gang at Underworld General Hospital (UGH – hospital for demon/paranormal kind) face a plague that has the potential to eradicate all werewolves. At the center of the outbreak is tough-skinned Sinead (Sin), the sister of Lore – hero from book #4. She recently learned that she is the only female Seminus demon (a true “freak of nature”) and has 3 half-brothers that run UGH. She has been used, abused and all alone for pretty much her entire life.  She feels horrible about what’s happened, but cannot express any emotions on the matter, for as a master assassin, Sin cannot afford emotions or morals.       Even though this is the 5th (and final) book in the Demonica Series, it is written in a way that can be enjoyed by both long-time fans and new-to-the-series readers alike. (Of course, if you haven’t read any of the earlier books I recommend them all!) Ms. Ione gives just enough background to help new readers understand her amazing mythology, without completely rehashing the first 4 books. In addition, the story lines are fairly self-contained to this book. Sin is pretty much new to the Demonica...
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Aug
18

Review: Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

Review: Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between Author: J.A. Saare  Release Date: available now Publisher: Eternal Press Rhiannon’s Laws Series Book #1 ISBN: #1770650229 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal From the author’s website: One bad corpse can ruin your whole day. No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her – until now. The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no. But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block. What I’m talking about: The story opens with our heroine, Rhiannon, working as a bartender in an exotic dancer bar. She knows the ropes and keeps the place running smoothly. Unfortunately, she is being pursued by not only Disco, but other vampire families because of her ability to see the twice undead (dead vampires) – a very rare gift. The only way to protect herself from the undesirables is to “join” a vampire family… but which one? And after a rough childhood, Rhiannon doesn’t want to be “owned” by anyone ever again. Rhiannon is a heroine that I can get behind! She is smart, tough, looks out for herself, but doesn’t say no to help and helping others.  I was worried that she would hem and haw in her decision making about joining a family, but she is smart and makes a great decision. She weighs pros and cons at each step of the way, knows how to compromise, but stays true to herself. She is a joy to read.  The beginning of the book was a bit tough for me to understand. The first chapter especially was chaotic and thoughts seem to jump all over the place. I wasn’t sure who was who, and I stumbled a bit. While...
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