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Mar
22

ARC Review: Magic on the Hunt

ARC Review: Magic on the Hunt Magic on the Hunt Author: Devon Monk  Release Date: April 5, 2011 Publisher: Roc Allie Beckstrom Series #6  ISBN: #978-0451463913 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book I received a ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       There aren’t many girls who can say they’ve gone into the realm of death and lived to tell the tale. But to restore her lover Zayvion’s soul, Allison Beckstrom had to pay a bitter price–and things are about to get worse….       It turns out the leader of the Authority, the council that decides what can–and can’t–be done with magic, is being held hostage. But when the trail leads Allie and Zayvion to the secret prison where the Authority locks away magical criminals who are too dangerous to be held anywhere else, they find more than they bargained for. An undead magic user has possessed one of the prisoners, and he wants his freedom–and then some. Now Allie and Zayvion are the first line of defense against the chaos he’s about to unleash on the city of Portland…. What Una is talking about:       Sadly, I am writing this review on my own.  Poor Gikany is ONLY on book 2 and will not, hmmm, corrupt herself by skipping ahead to read this one.  So it is my pleasure to read and review this book for all of you (and Gikany) because she has already been sucked into this refreshing series and it’s driving her nuts that I know what’s happening….*grins evilly* ***Please note that if you haven’t read the whole series, there may be spoilers in the following review.  You have been WARNED!       After finishing book 5, Magic at the Gate, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of this book.  Ms. Monk does not disappoint with this fascinating urban fantasy.  We pick up a few days after the previous book ends.  It seems that Zay and Allie have had a much deserved break and rest.  However, that break is short lived once Dane enters her home, knocks out Zay and shoots Allie.  He does this to force her father, whose soul still stubbornly resides in her body, to reveal where Sedra is being held by Jingo Jingo.       Magic on the Hunt has an explosive beginning and a faster pace than the previous novels.  I was completely...
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Mar
21

Review: No Rest for the Wicked

Review: No Rest for the Wicked No Rest for the Wicked Author: Kresley Cole  Release Date: October 2006 Publisher: Pocket Star Immortals After Dark #3 ISBN: #978-1416509887 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (384 pgs), e-book From the author’s website: A vampire soldier weary of life… Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead. A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him… When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill. Become competitors in a legendary hunt… The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity–as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world–to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either? What I’m talking about: Picking up just after the end of the previous book, A Hunger Like No Other, this story opens with Valkyrie Kaderin the Cold-Hearted hesitating to kill a vampire. Something that she hasn’t done in over a thousand years. But as she looks into the eyes of the once-human-turned-vampire, Sebastian Wroth, she sees something more than vampire.  Within minutes, Sebastian’s heart is beating and both realize that Kaderin is Sebastian’s destined Bride.  Desire overtakes Kaderin – the first feelings she has experienced since the death of her sisters a millennia ago. Ashamed by her lustful indiscretion with Sebastian, Kaderin quickly leaves and heads for her London flat to prepare for the Talisman’s Hie, a “deadly, immortal version of The Amazing Race.” Kaderin is reigning champ 5-times running.  Upon arriving at the games, she is shocked to see Sebastian.  He also enters the competition with hopes of wooing Kaderin.  The two begin a love-hate relationship, working their way through the challenges of the Hie. The third installment of the IAD Series is an action-filled roller coaster ride! With the setting of a deadly immortal adventure game, this story has a quick...
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Mar
11

Review: Dead Waters

Review: Dead Waters Dead Waters Author: Anton Strout  Release Date: February 22, 2011 Publisher: Ace Simon Canderous Series Book 4 ISBN: #978-0441020119 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), ebook I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: With Manhattan’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs in disarray (forget vampires and zombies- it’s the budget cuts that can kill you), Simon Canderous is still expected to stamp out any crime that adds the “para” to “normal.”  And his newest case is no exception… A university professor has been found murdered in his apartment.  His lungs show signs of death by drowning.  But his skin and clothes? Bone dry. Now Simon has to rely on his own powers- plus a little help from his ghost-whispering partner and technomancer girlfriend- to solve a mystery that has the NYPD stumped and the D.E.A. shaken and stirred. What B is talking about: Simon Canderous has it rough. He’s a psychometrist (someone who can “read” the history of an object by touching it) with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs – Other Division, and he’s trying to solve a murder, all while dealing with bureaucrats and budget cuts. Never mind the resurrected victim, a vengeful Naiad, and his girlfriend’s need for extra drawer space. It’ll take everything Simon and his colleagues can do to save themselves…and New York City while they’re at it!  I wasn’t sure what to think about Dead Waters at first. I felt a little disoriented trying to follow all the scene changes in the beginning, which shouldn’t be surprising when starting an established series with a book other than the first one. The previous books in the series, Dead to Me, Deader Still, and Dead Matter, would definitely have been a more solid beginning.  Aside from the learning curve, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud at Strout’s comic skewering of governmental procedure, oblivious restructuring, and fiscal mishandling. Despite these challenges, the D.E.A. (loved the acronym) functions as a secondary character. In fact, Simon and his fellow employees are more like a moderately dysfunctional family than a team.  Simon isn’t cuddly. He’s immature, vain, and obstinate, but he’s got a lot to contend with to be a young member of the Other Division, especially when his psychometry leaves him with some serious emotional baggage to carry around. Simon is also caring, determined, and heroic, though, and Strout makes it all work somehow.  I...
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Mar
1

Review: River Marked

Review: River Marked River Marked Author: Patricia Briggs Release Date: March 1, 2011 Publisher: Ace Books Mercy Thompson Series #6 ISBN: #978-0441019731 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Hardcover (336 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the book dust jacket:      Welcome to Patricia Brigg’s world, a place where “witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people” (Booklist).  It takes a very unusual woman to call it home – and there’s no one quite like Mercy.      Coyote Shifter Mercy Thompson knows that life with her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will never be boring, but even their wedding doesn’t go as planned.  Nevertheless, a ten-day honeymoon camping on the banks of the Columbia River, alone, just the two of them, should make up for it.  But the trip – and the pimped-out trailer they’re using – is courtesy of the fae.  And nothing from the fae comes without strings attached….      Being a different breed of shapeshifter – a walker – Mercy can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her.  Until now.  An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River – and innocent people are dying.  As other walkers make their presence known to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil… What Gikany & Una are talking about:      The wait is over, at least for us, River Marked is here!  Would it be wrong to say that the rest of you poor people had to wait until the March 1?  Oh, wait, today is the first of March…well, what are you waiting for? GO GET IT!  This highly anticipated sixth novel in the Mercy Thompson series was well worth waiting for.      **Please note, if you haven’t read the series, this review will spoil some plot points in the earlier books so please; Go buy and read the first five books (or check them out from your local library) and then come back, read this review and then go get this book.  We are happy to help you out!      The first part of the novel is classic Mercy Thompson.  It has all of the elements of humor and wit that we have come to associate with Patricia Briggs’ writing.  We’ll just come out and say it: Mercy and Adam...
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Feb
28

Review: Moon Called

Review: Moon Called Moon Called Author: Patricia Briggs  Release Date: January 31, 2006 Publisher: Ace Mercy Thompson Series #1 ISBN: #978-0441013814 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): hardcover (reprint 2010), paperback (304 pgs), e-book This book was purchased with their own money. From the Goodreads:      Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they’ll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I’m not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.       Mercy Thompson’s sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.       She’s tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.       But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself … and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble. What Gikany & Una are talking about:      In the first book of the series, Moon Called, we are introduced to Mercedes Thompson the Volkswagen mechanic who lives in the Tri-Cities area of Washington.  The irony is not lost on Mercy.  She has an alpha werewolf for a neighbor, a fae for a mentor, and a vampire for a repeat client.  Weird for Mercy is truly relative.  Living close to a werewolf is somewhat comforting but mostly exasperating to Mercy who grew up amongst the pack of the foremost alpha werewolf in North America.  This gives her not only a unique outlook in life, but a piercing insight into pack dynamics and werewolf psychology.  This leaves Mercy well situated to offer assistance to a lone, lost and very recently turned werewolf.      Mercy knows “Mac” could be trouble when he stumbles into her garage looking for work.  But she cannot turn her back on the kid, who obviously needs more than just a job.  By helping “Mac”, Mercy finds herself getting neck deep into paranormal politics and conflicts, which she had avoided (so she thought) since leaving home.  When “Mac’s” troubles spill over to include Mercy and her neighbor’s pack, she finds herself running home to find help.  While there, she discovers answers to questions she didn’t know she had.   After she returns to the Tri-Cities with a healing werewolf and an old-flame, Mercy realizes that “Mac’s” troubles were just the beginning.      Since this is our first book review, we are...
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Feb
28

Mercy Thompson Series: An Introduction

Mercy Thompson Series: An Introduction Readers: Today I would like to welcome my two newest members to the review team here at That’s What I’m Talking About. You can read more about Gikany and Una in the “About Us” section of the blog. Gikany and I are thrilled to be taking over, ahem, we mean reviewing books here on Twimom’s blog.  We think the best way for us to introduce ourselves is to say that we are book addicts.  There are so many wonderful books out there, and we can say for sure that Gikany and I are not snobby when it comes to a particular genre.  Although, we may have our personal favorite genres (and authors) between the two of us, we cover the gamut.  Books are to be read and enjoyed; they are the ultimate escape from the rigors of our realities.   Today, however, we aren’t going to discuss anything that general, because you’ll be here for hours reading about our loves, opinions, recommendations, etc.  Gikany and I believe that our first post to That’s What I am Talking About *Westcoast Remix* should reflect a book that we feel is a must read for urban fantasy fans.  Have you heard of Patricia Briggs?  She is the author of the fantastic Mercy Thompson series.  She has developed a well-crafted world filled with numerous types of paranormal creatures, all with intriguing associated mythologies.  To prepare you for the upcoming review of her soon-to-be-released River Marked, (Gikany and I are eagerly awaiting this new novel) we are going to give you a quick overview of the series and *hopefully* a review of the first book in the series, Moon Called, if we don’t seriously sidetracked talking about the series.  Please note, to truly understand, follow and enjoy the series, you need to start reading from the first book. One of the most unique elements of the Mercy Thompson series is that the main character, Mercy Thompson, is not only female, but Native American with a most unique ability.  Mercy is a walker; able to change into a coyote at will.  Her abilities are based on the Native American legends of skinwalkers.  Her abilities do not make her bigger or stronger or more powerful, but give her a unique insight into the world surrounding her.  What we love most about Mercy is that although she can change into a coyote and knows werewolves, vampires and fae, we feel like we have so much in common with...
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Feb
24

Review: Moonlight Menage

Review: Moonlight Menage Moonlight Ménage Author: Stephanie Julian Release Date: March 2010 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Lucani Lovers, Book 2 ISBN: #978-1419927485 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:      For eight years, Etruscan witch Tira Belludi has longed for the two shifter men who hold her heart. But visions of death and fears for her sanity have forced her to keep her distance.      Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati are brothers in everything but blood and partners who have each other’s backs. They share a home, a job and had planned to share their life with Tira between them…until she saw their future and built a wall around her heart.      Now danger and death stalk Nic and Duke. And Tira must make a choice—grab love while she has the chance or watch Nic die from afar and lose Duke forever. What B is talking about:      Tira Belludi has inherited the gift of “Praenuntio” (foresight) from her mother, but views it as more of a curse. Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati have loved Tira for years, knew instantly she was their mate, but have all but given up on ever finding happiness together since Tira pulled away from them after she foresaw the death of one of their trio, and the destruction of all that remained of it.      Moonlight Ménage is the second book in Julian’s Lucani Lovers series, and while the sex was hotter, Tira’s evolution left me hoping for a little more. Unlike, Tamra, in Kiss of Moonlight, Tira is overwhelmed and cowed by her circumstances throughout most of the novel. By comparison, Nic and Duke are rich, vibrant characters that bear the weight of the story’s conflict well. I did feel sympathetic to Tira’s situation, but wish she’d fought more resolutely for her heart’s desire earlier on.      As to the sex…while I’ve certainly read naughtier depictions (*blush*), Moonlight Ménage definitely ramps it up a notch. Or two, to be more specific. This is a strictly heterosexual ménage a trios, as Nic and Duke never interact sexually with each other, but share Tira as their mate. They are two straight men sharing a sexual relationship with one woman at the same time. Once they all decide to take what they want despite the fate they’d previously accepted, they have a string...
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Feb
4

Review: Eternity Embraced

Review: Eternity Embraced Eternity Embraced Author: Larissa Ione  Release Date: January 2011 Demonica Series Book #3.5 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book – novella length NOTE: this book was originally released in the compilation The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, published by Running Press (September 2009). From the author’s website:       Desire…       Demon slayer Andrea Cole has always taken down the demons and vampires she hunts without mercy. But when a fellow slayer is captured and turned into a vampire by a sadistic monster, she must choose between loyalty to her family and the man she loves.       Versus Instinct…       Kaden Quinn has dedicated his life to slaying vampires, so when he is turned into one, his greatest nightmare comes to life. And when the woman he loves is thrown into a dungeon with him — as food — he must battle new instincts and old desires, and choose between his life, and hers. What I’m talking about:       This wonderful short from Larissa Ione’s Demonica Series focuses on two Aegis Guardian agents (demon slayers): Andrea and Kaden. When the story starts, we find out that Kaden has been taken hostage by a cell of ruthless vampires. Although Andrea hopes her partner and lover has not been made into a vampire, she is quickly disappointed when she finds him, complete with fangs, in an underground cell in Oregon.       Andrea and Kaden have been mislead their entires lives – believing that demons, vampires and shifters are all evil and must be destroyed. So when Andrea is confronted with the fact that her true love is now something she abhors, she must battle her own beliefs to determine if Kaden is still the man she loves.  Similarly, Kaden realizes that although he is a vampire, he isn’t a depraved creature-of-the-night. Their physical reactions to one another and the emotional upheaval that ensues after their reunion is fabulous and riveting.  Even though this is a novella-length story, it is rich with detail and full of action. I came to care about Andrea and Kaden quickly and enjoyed following them on their journey.       For those that have not read any of Ms. Ione’s amazing Demonica books, this is a great introduction. Although the story has minimal interaction with the series’ regular cast, it is a wonderful example of Ms. Ione’s amazing talent.  For series regulars, it’s a great...
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Feb
3

Review: The Werewolf Upstairs

Review: The Werewolf Upstairs The Werewolf Upstairs Author: Ashlyn Chase Release Date: February 1, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebooks Strange Neighbors Book #2 ISBN: #978-1402236624 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From Goodreads: Desperate for change, public defender Roz Wells decides moving into a new apartment is just what she needs to shake things up. But she’ll get more than she bargained for when she starts dating the drop dead gorgeous boy next door, who just happens to be a shape-shifter…and quite possibly a criminal.  Security salesman Konrad Wolfensen has made a living staging break-ins to spook people into buying his security system, but when he’s accused of a much more serious crime, he’ll have to enlist the help of his sexy new neighbor/girlfriend to keep his cute, slightly wild rear end out of jail. What I’m talking about: The Werewolf Upstairs is in a genre of books I like to refer to as Paranormal Chick-Lit. As those of you that follow my reviews know, I don’t read a lot of “light and fluffy” paranormal stories, so I cannot compare this book to others with a similar feel. But what I can tell you is that this story was a fun romp, and I plan to read future books in this series. Roz moves into her best friend’s (Merry) apartment while Merry is off on her honeymoon. (Merry’s romance was the focus of the first book in the series, Strange Neighbors. You do not need to read the first book to enjoy this book.) Roz quickly finds herself falling for upstairs neighbor Konrad. After just one kiss, the couple are able to communicate telepathically and Konrad realizes that Roz is his pre-destined soulmate. Konrad decides to quit his shady thieving career, while Roz wants a more fulfilling job. Together they set off on a series of “dates” to find a new career.  As each day passes they fall more in love, but with Konrad keeping his true identity from Roz, you know things are going to get messy. The Werewolf Upstairs is a delightful, easy read. Roz and Konrad are not overly complex characters and there are no major twists and turns to the plot. Other than Konrad’s big secret, the two main characters are refreshingly open and honest in their communication and thoughts. Early on in the story, when Konrad carried an injured Roz over...
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Jan
28

Review: Archangel’s Consort

Review: Archangel’s Consort Archangel’s Consort Author: Nalini Singh  Release Date: January 25, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Group Guild Hunter Series Book #3 ISBN: #978-0425240137 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I received a ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…      A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear. An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed… What I’m talking about:       Picking up shortly after the conclusion of second Guild Hunter book (Archangel’s Kiss) this story opens with Hunter-born-made-angel Elena Deveraux back in her home town of New York. She is a different person than when she left – now an immortal angel, and we are witness to the adjustments she must make as she reclaims her Guild Hunter life and reacquaints herself with old friends.       As vampires all over the world begin to rebel and take human lives, Elena and her Archangel mate, Raphael, must work together to determine if the cause is Raphael’s millennia-old mother rising from her 1,000 year hibernation. As they investing the growing crimes, Elena is torn between her loyalties to her human friends and her immortal lover.       One thing that I absolutely love about this story is that becoming an immortal does not give Elena a golden ticket to instantly transform into super-being. The newly-made angel did not gain super-power and an easy life when she was made immortal. She has to train and struggle, learn and overcome with each step.  I also enjoyed Elena’s journey as she learned to balance her former ties with that of her loyalty to Raphael. We witness her emotional struggles knowing the choices she has made, learning when to hold her ground and where her heart truly...
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