logo
Currently Browsing: reviews
Jun
10

Review: For Heaven’s Eyes Only

Review: For Heaven’s Eyes Only For Heaven’s Eyes Only Author: Simon R. Green Release Date: 7 June 2011 Publisher: Roc Hardcover Secret Histories Series #5 ISBN: #978-0451463951 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Hardcover (384 pages), e-book We received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.   From the author’s website: The fifth and possible penultimate book in the Secret History’s series.   After the murder of the Drood Matriarch, the family finds itself vulnerable to evil. This time, it’s a Satanic Conspiracy that could throw humanity directly into the clutches of the Biggest of the Bads.   What Gikany & Una are talking about:       We must preface our review by saying that we have not read the series. Gikany and Una have jumped into book five, For Heaven’s Eyes Only without trying to read the previous novels. (See, we are working on our OCD) We can’t wait to read the previous novels in the Secret History’s Series.          From the start of For Heaven’s Eyes Only, you have the sense that the author loves a good cliffhanger. Just based on the beginning of this book, the last book must have been a doozie. This is the first book we’ve ever read where the main character starts off dead. Oh, yes, dead…not a ghost, not some out of body experience, no, he was dead, just like the parrot in Monty Python (for those that don’t get the joke, check this Youtube link for Monty Python Parrot sketch). Gikany has to admit, even though it didn’t really have any bearing on this novel’s plot (however, it may prove to be important in later novels) it is a dramatic way to start a book. Una, at first glance, noticed the allusion to the James Bond series (you must check out the book titles on the author’s site for this series – see html link above) and hoped it would be a witty and lighthearted book.        Una and Gikany were not disappointed. We found For Heaven’s Eyes Only to be a very enjoyable read, even for jumping into the middle of the series. The banter is very witty and the book flows very well. We both found it to be (when Una could sit down without a sick child screaming) engrossing and a quick read. We now have to go out and purchase the rest of the books in this series because...
Read More
Jun
1

Review: Heart of the Highland Wolf

Review: Heart of the Highland Wolf Heart of the Highland Wolf Author: Terry Spear  Release Date: June 1, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Werewolf series, Book 7 ISBN: #978-1402245527 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pgs) ebook         I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Ian McNeill, laird of Argent Castle finds his capital squandered through unwise investments and the wolf clan’s home that has been theirs for centuries is in danger of being forfeit for nonpayment of taxes. When a movie producer contacts him with the notion of using his castle to produce a movie, Ian abhors the idea, but it’s his only salvation. Even worse, his people become extras in this epic Highland movie. But when one American werewolf romance author, Julia Wildthorn, slips into the castle under the guise of being with the movie company, except she is trying to jumpstart her muse with writing a book set in old-world Scotland–specifically about his castle and his people as the characters in her newest book venture–she and Ian tangle. What B is talking about:       Despite her Scottish roots, Julia MacPherson has been building a successful career in America as a writer of werewolf romance novels under the penname “Julia Wildthorn,” and with little wonder. She herself is a lupus garou: a werewolf. Unfortunately, she’s got a novel due but is having a nasty case of writer’s block. So, when her friend Maria heads to a genuine Scottish castle as part of a movie production crew, Julia tags along for inspiration. It should be easy, except that the very same castle holds a family secret: one she’s been ordered by her grandfather to steal and return.       Ian McNeill has given up on finding a mate after the disastrous first attempt he made long ago. Instead, he now devotes himself fully to his responsibilities as laird of his clan, a task that’s become increasingly difficult since an investment scheme left the clan nearly bankrupt. When an American film crew negotiates to use his estate as the location for their movie, he knows he has no choice for the sake of his people but to accept their offer. But he doesn’t have to like it. He intends to fight them all the way, until a beautiful redheaded American changes his mind.       Having read a lot of novels with Weres/shifters of varying sorts, I was prepared for a fairly predictable...
Read More
May
25

Review: Magic Slays

Review: Magic Slays Magic Slays Author: Ilona Andrews Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Ace Kate Daniels Book #5 ISBN: #978-0441020423 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (320 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:      Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.      Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.      So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . . . What I’m talking about:      The fifth Kate Daniels book opens with Kate and Curran in post-mating bliss, being as domestic as one of the most powerful magic wielders and the Beast Lord of Atlanta can be. Taking place shortly after the end of the fourth story, Magic Bleeds (review HERE), we find Kate trying to make a go of her new business. Kate’s best friend Andrea comes home (she took off after the climax of the fourth book), and her “ward” Julie has run away from school, again. Kate is learning her place as the alpha female and Curran’s consort, and things seem to be going okay. And that’s about as calm as it gets in this book. Right away, things go crazy. It starts with a renegade vampire that threatens innocents and doesn’t slow down until you close the book after the last page.      WOW – I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this series! Each book just gets better than the last. And I want to stress to you that if you have not picked up the Kate Daniels Series, you really need to add it to your TBR list –...
Read More
May
23

Review: Kiss of Snow

Review: Kiss of Snow Kiss of Snow Author: Nalini Singh Release Date: May 31, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Psy-Changeling #10 ISBN: #978-0425242094 Genre: paranormal romance Format(s): Hardcover (432 pgs), e-book        I received an ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.      Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.      Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…      A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…. What I’m talking about:      For those fans of the amazing Psy-Changeling series, who like me, have been waiting for this book for a couple of years now… the wait is over and Hawke’s book is finally here. I am going to say right up front that this series is my absolute favorite out there, and I highly recommend to anyone that has not yet picked it up to do so. But PLEASE start at the beginning, and not with this book. This book is so special and amazing because of the emotionally investment in Ms. Singh’s characters and the time spent wrapped up in their world and events. For reading order and more information on this series, visit Nalini’s website HERE.      Kiss of Snow begins where the previous novel, Play of Passion ends (my review HERE). Like the previous book, the primary setting for this story are the territories and home of the Changeling wolf-pack, the SnowDancers. This story focuses on the pack alpha (leader), Hawke, and the young Psy packmate, Sienna. Sienna and her family defected from the Psynet and faked their own deaths...
Read More
May
10

What Makes a Story a 5-Star Book?

What Makes a Story a 5-Star Book? Earlier today, I sent my friends/blogging partners a copy of an upcoming review. At the end, I noted it would either be a 4.5- or 5-Star rating. Una replied back and asked me  What is making you, if you can tell me without spoiling the novel, shift between 5 and 4.5? That got me thinking about how I rate books and what makes a story so special that I give it 5 Stars.  First of all, if you haven’t checked out my rating scale, please do HERE.  I tie my star “number” values to “letter grades,” and a brief description of what the rating means to me. My scale is a bit shifted compared to a lot of others. To me, an average book is a 2.5, not a 3. An absolute wonderful book gets a rating of 4.5 Stars – which is an A.  A 5-Star rating is reserved for only the creme-de-la-creme… it’s an A+.  I don’t give them out very often. Within each rating step (i.e. 3.5, 4, 4.5) there is variable. For example, not all 3.5-Star books are equal in my eyes.  Using this example, let’s look at a couple of books I’ve reviewed and given a rating of 3.5 Stars: Liked it a lot – recommend (B+).  The books I’ve selected are The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter and I Dream of Genies by Judi Fennell.  I did enjoy both books. Gena’s book is the seventh novel in one of my favorite series. Judi’s book is the first in a brand new series. Gena’s books are dark and full of sexual hunger and erotic energy. Judi’s book was light and fun.  Both technically Paranormal Romance.   In the case of Gena’s book, I took a look at the book on its own, but also within the context of the series. It was a good book and a must read because I adore the series, but it wasn’t one of the better books from the series. In my mind, it probably started as a 4, but worked down to a 3.5. I definitely recommend it to other readers, but primarily those that have already started the series. With I Dream of Genies, I’ve never read any of Judi’s prior work, and had nothing similar with which to compare it.  It started slow, but ended up catching my eye.  It was a 3, but moved up to a 3.5 as the story developed. I felt since it was new...
Read More
May
5

Review: Awaken The Highland Warrior

Review: Awaken The Highland Warrior Awaken The Highland Warrior Author: Anita Clenney  Release Date: May 1, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Highland Warrior Series # 1 ISBN: #978-1402251238 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: He’s had centuries to dream of her… Mis-adventurous historian Bree Kirkland discovers a one hundred fifty year old warrior buried in a crypt behind her house. But Faelan, the warrior, isn’t dead. When this chauvinistic Scottish Warrior awakes, he has no choice but accept the help of this modern-day woman who’s rescued him, but she’s more fearsome than the demon trying to kill him. If he’s not careful, she’ll uncover every secret his clan has bled and died to protect.  What B is talking about:      Bree Kirkland is a born adventurer specializing in collecting Civil War artifacts who has just inherited her family estate. The house currently has an archaeological dig going on in the yard, and borders a cemetery and crypt, but the history and unsolved mysteries it holds make it perfect for Bree. When she uncovers a 177-year-old Highland warrior in the crypt, she does what any strong-willed woman would do: she takes him in and feeds him, of course. That he’s been frozen in time for 150 of those years, and is gorgeous (and in a kilt!) is just a bonus.      Faelan Connor was single-handedly trying to defeat the demon he was assigned to lock away in a “time vault” when he was betrayed, ambushed, and locked in the vault himself. Now he’s resuming his quest with a woman he can’t resist, but doesn’t fully trust. He’s got quite a learning curve to contend with, along with the grief of losing his family so suddenly, and Bree’s self-sufficiency completely baffles him. Faelan, for all he’s going through, is an entertaining hero. He second-guesses himself throughout the novel, especially where Bree is concerned, and some of his realizations while he’s coming to terms with the modern world are just funny.      I think with any sort of anachronistic tale, there are certain factors that remain constant, regardless of the author or purpose. More specifically, the familiar “fish-out-of-water” theme, complete with “where am I?” bewilderment, necessary adjustments to a new environment, as well as how the hero comes to terms with the inherent loss of his or her present to the past. What distinguishes one...
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
Apr
28

ARC Review: Bite Club

ARC Review: Bite Club Bite Club Author: Rachel Caine  Release Date: May 3, 2011 Publisher: New American Library The Morganville Vampires series #10 ISBN: #978-0451233189 Genre: Young Adult Format(s): Hardcover (352 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:        After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble. There’s a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville… What Una is talking about:       I started reading the Morganville Vampire Series after discovering it via a short story.  When I read it, I didn’t realize it was young adult, and it wouldn’t matter anyway. Out of the many YA series I read, The Morganville Vampires series is one I truly enjoy.       One of my favorite things about The Morganville Vampires is that the main characters have teenage angst without being overly annoying to the reader.  It helps characterize them and give them a young feel while not alienating adult readers.  The teenage characters also are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.  I enjoy the authentic feel of these kids.  Sometimes, like most teenagers, they are quite intelligent while other times can be completely clueless.  Ms. Caine accomplishes this without making the characters seem like they are bi-polar.       The flow and pace of Bite Club is steady while gripping.  I found myself wanting to yell at the characters about the clues I saw along the way that they just didn’t quite grasp.  It reminded me of watching a stereotypical horror movie, but does so without being cliché.  In this story, the main characters are pitted against each other while dealing with very real elements of prejudice, which I found educational.  As the town struggles to rebuild itself after a thwarted coup in the previous story Ghost Town, it is remaking social policies and infrastructure.  This process mimics that seen in the civil rights movement in the United States, all marauding vampires aside.       I thoroughly enjoy the on-going adventures of Claire, Eve, Michael and Shane, especially now with them dealing with this very real...
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
23

Review: Navarro’s Promise

Review: Navarro’s Promise Navarro’s Promise Author: Lora Leigh  Release Date: April 5, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Breeds Series #24 ISBN: #978-0425239780 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Format(s): paperback (320 pgs), e-book I purchased a copy of the book for my own reading pleasure. From the author’s website: In the wolf breed novel, NAVARRO’S PROMISE, Mica Toler’s best friend is the wolf/coyote hybrid breed, Cassie Sinclair. And now Mica is being drawn into her world in ways she had prayed she never would be when the charming wolf breed Navarro makes good on the promise he made her on a dark, explosive night.The Breeds guaranteed that no harm would come to Micah Toler but they never allowed for her sensual fascination with Navarro Blaine. Aloof, cool, and mysterious, he draws her in as no man ever has. But Micah never wanted this. She had her own dreams, her own desires, and being stalked and seduced by a wolf breed wasn’t part of that plan. Now she knows her life is in danger. What Navarro knows is that she’s his mate and that the breeding and training that created him is being peeled away in his desperation to claim a woman that refuses to be claimed. He has her body. She craves his touch. And as the breeds converge the past will rise up to haunt Navarro in ways he never expected. What I’m talking about:       Once again, I stress to you all… The Breeds Series is my guilty pleasure. You can read about my love in my recent review of the novella “Primal Kiss” HERE.       Chronologically, this story takes place after Styx’s Storm and the recent novella “Primal Kiss.”  The story focuses on Breed Enforcer, Navarro Blaine and human Mica Toler.  Mica grew up among the Breeds and is best friends with one of the Breed protected children, Cassie Sinclair.  Mica is now an adult, but has dreamed of and loved Navarro since she was 16. She guarded her emotions from him for years, but when the evil Phillip Brandenmore threatens her life, Mica and Navarro are thrown together in a dangerous fight for survival.       NOTE: due to some technical issues with the book, I have described a scene that may be slightly spoilerish. In addition, I have mentioned some things about the conclusion of the book that are spoilers.       I’m going to say right up front that this book was a...
Read More
Page 137 of 146« First...102030...135136137138139...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes