21 July 2011

Review: Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong


Title: Spell Bound
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #12
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Edition: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Blurb:

It's been ten years since Bitten, the first novel in Kelley Armstrong's New York Times bestselling Otherworld series. In that time hundreds of thousands of fans have ravenously devoured the adventures of Armstrong's witches, demons, and werewolves. Now, in Spell Bound, she brings them all together for her most sweeping tale yet.

Savannah Levine is in terrible danger, and for once she's powerless to help herself. At the heartbreaking conclusion of Waking the Witch, Savannah swore that she would give up her powers if it would prevent further pain for a young orphan. Little did she know that someone would take her up on that promise.

And now, witch-hunting assassins, necromancers, half-demons, and rogue witches all seem to be after her. The threat is not just for Savannah; every member of the Otherworld might be at risk. While most of her fellow supernaturals are circling the wagons at a gathering of the council in Miami, Savannah is caught on the road, isolated from those who can protect her and unable to use her vast spell-casting talent, the thing she counts on most. In a story that will change the shape of the Otherworld forever, Armstrong gathers Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jamie, Hope, and other beloved characters, who soon learn that the greatest threat to supernaturals just may come from within.

We were left with a huge cliffhanger at the end of the previous book, Waking the Witch. Spell Bound starts just were it left of. Savanah tries really hard to function without her powers but she doesn't succeed. You can see traces of the teenage Savanah at the beginning but once she confronts her fears, she becomes a much more mature person, and in my opinion, you can finally see that she's an adult.

The relationship between Adam and Savanah is not going that well either and there were times I wanted to hit them both upside the head. They had so many issues that could have been avoided if they had just talked to each other that it got a little tiring. Fortunately, there was some progress on that front.

The main plot Arc, that started in Waking the Witch and finishes in book 13 - which, by the way, is the last book in the series - develops nicely in this one. There were plenty of bad guys and I liked the idea of a new generation of supernaturals that were stronger than ever and had abilities unseen before or extinct.

One of the things I liked the most is that all the previous characters from the other books appear in this one and you get updates on their lives, but at the same time they don't eclipse Savannah's story. You also get to see plenty of Savannah's brothers, who have always interested me.

All in all, this was a great book with a lot of action, character development (especially in Savannah's case), a very interesting plot and the appearence of plenty of loved past characters of the series.
I will admit that I was expecting more on the romance front, but I hope the final book delivers on this front.


Previous Books:
1. Bitten
2. Stolen
3. Dime Store Magic
4. Industrial Magic
5. Haunted
6. Broken
7. No Humans Involved
8. Personal Demon
9. Living with the Dead
10. Frost Bitten
11. Waking the Witch - Review

Next Book:
13. Untitled (Summer 2012)

Rating:

20 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (44)


Title: Ghost Story
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #13
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Roc
Edition: Hardcover
Blurb:

* Spoilers. Don't read if you haven't finished Changes*

When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin.

But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own.

To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...

Review: Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen


Title: Playing Dirty
Author: Susan Andersen
Series: Sisterhood Diaries #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: NetGalley
Blurb:

When high school golden boy Cade Gallari publicly revealed he’d slept with “fat girl” Ava Spencer to win a bet, he broke her heart. Now a decade older and a head-turner with her own concierge business, Ava isn’t the gullible dreamer she once was—and she plans to prove it when Cade, hotter than ever, breezes back into town with an offer she can’t refuse.

A documentary film producer, Cade is shooting a movie about the mysterious mansion Ava inherited. And he wants her as his personal concierge. She’s certainly professional enough to be at his beck and call without giving him everything he wants. Like another shot at having her in his bed. But Ava doesn’t count on Cade’s determination. Because he’s never gotten over her. And he’s not above playing dirty to score a second chance at a red-hot future…

Ada, the heroine, was humiliated and left with a broken heart because of Cade, the hero. When the meet again years later, they both have changed.
At first, all you can do is hate Cade, but as the story evolves you realize that there's more to him than what meets the eye and I really liked getting to know him.
Ada had some weight problems when she was younger, and her friends were the only ones that really accepted her. I couldn't stand her parents but I liked that Ada stood up for herself.

I wanted Cade to grovel more and Ada to fully accept her curves, but aside from that, it was a light and very enjoyable read.
You get to see the heroines of the previous two books of this trilogy and glimpse a little of their lives after their HEA.

There was some mystery surrounding the house the three friends inherited and I have to say that the outcome was very predictable.
This was a perfect beach read with a pair of interesting characters that have a sweet and steamy romance but was predictable at times.


Memorable Lines:
She’d cut him off at the knees the other times he’d sought her out over the years to apologize, but if acknowledging his regret would move him along to a place where they didn’t have to hash over the past, then, fine. She’d grant him his damn redemption.
“You forgive me then?”
No.
Hell, no. That would be a snowboarding day in hell.

Previous Books:

1. Cutting Loose
2. Bending the Rules


Rating:

19 July 2011

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz


Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: -
Genre: YA

Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Edition: Paperback
Source: Bought
Blurb:

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.


I read this book in one sitting. The pacing was fast from beginning to end and I was pulled into the story from the very first page.
I liked that this was a stand alone novel, rare these days, and that while it does involve the paranormal, it doesn't eclipse the rest of the story.

The characters had strong and distinctive personalities and it was very interesting seeing them evolve through the book.
While the romance between Emma and Brendan was sweet, at times it was clich├ęd, including a denial that what was happening was real and the hero giving the cold shoulder to the heroine out of the blue (which, by the way, really frustrated me).

Emma was a strong character and I liked that after all that happened to her in the past she still could be a funny, snarky girl instead of being filled with angst.
As for Brendan, he was at times a really nice guy, but others, he was a jerk. It doesn't mean that I didn't like him, it's just that I'm kind of tired of those kind of heroes in nowadays books.

This was a fast paced book with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of romance.
In other words, to me, it was a perfect comfort read.


Rating:

11 July 2011

Review: Only Mine by Susan Mallery


Title: Only Mine
Author: Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: NetGalley
Blurb:
You can’t win if you don’t play…

Her town’s lack of men may make headlines, but it isn’t news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool’s Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Anderssen will do anything to keep his twin brothers—the perfect contestants—off the show. Despite Dakota’s better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn’t dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.

I really liked the first three books of this series but this one disappointed me a little.
The next three books deal with the Hendrix triplets; Dakota, Montana and Nevada; and it shows. The first third of the book catches us up on what's been going on on the sisters' lifes and that slowed the novel down. The updates on the other characters, while nice, felt at times overwhelming.

The romance between Dakota, a woman who has always known what she wanted and went after it, and Finn, a man who had to give up his hopes and dreams when a tragic accident killed his parents and made him the sole guardian of his twin brothers, was steamy but predictable.
I got really frustrated with Finn at times. There's being stubborn, there's stupid pride and then there's being a blind fool. He was too much of all of them.

There was a subplot running on this book that dealt with Finn's twin brothers, and to be honest, at times their story was more interesting that the main plot. I wish we could have seen more of Stephen and his love story with Aurelia. Truth be told, I think they deserved a whole book instead of bits and pieces of this one.

The ending was nothing new but nice at the same time. This was a quick read, with an amazing cast of characters but had a predictable romance and was slow at the beginning.
Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to read the next two stories about Dakota's sisters.


Memorable Lines:
He glanced at his brother. "What are you going to do?"
Stephen was quiet for a long time. "I don’t know," he said at last. "Not go to Hollywood."
"You’d like it."
Stephen shook his head. "No. I want something different. I want..."
He didn’t complete the sentence, but then he didn’t have to. Sasha already knew. He and his twin might not share dreams, but they still knew everything about each other. Stephen wanted to find a place to belong, whatever the hell that meant.

Previous Books:
1. Chasing Perfect
2. Almost Perfect
3. Finding Perfect

Next Books:
5. Only Yours (August 30, 2011)
6. Only His (September 27, 2011)

Rating:

08 July 2011

Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton


Title: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton
Series: Blood Journals #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: July 7, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Children's
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:
For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood
.

One of the things I liked about this book is that it's a stand alone book. Even though there will be a companion novel; the story of Nick and Silla, the protagonists of this book, is finished. I guess there's a chance they appear in The Blood Keeper, the next book, but it probably will be as guest characters.

The story is told from the point of view of both Nick and Silla, who are both discovering their blood magic. I liked both of them and found their pasts very intriguing. The romance that blooms between them is complicated but sweet.
Both Silla and Nick are dealing with things their parents did and it was interesting seeing how it affects them. Reese, Silla's brother, is an important character in the book, but you don't get to know him as well as I would have liked. At the end, he felt like an stranger, even when I was reading from Silla's point of view.

Usually after a chapter in the present, you get to read a journal entry written by a magic user from a hundred years before. Surprisingly, that was one of my favourite parts of the book. The journal entries are exciting and interesting, especially since they tell that person's story through the years and you discover how the blood magic affects in a long term. Also, I found the person who wrote them twisted and amoral. I always like different personalities from the characters in a book.

The novel is fast paced, intriguing, with very interesting and different characters and a little bit scary, especially towards the end. I will definitely read the companion novel.


Next Book:
2. The Blood Keeper (2012)

Rating:

06 July 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (43)


Title: Water to Burn
Author: Katharine Kerr
Series: Nola O'Grady #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: DAW
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Blurb:
No description available.

01 June 2011

Review: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh


Title: Kiss of Snow
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #10
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Blurb:
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.

This probably was my most anticipated book of the year. We met Hawke and Sienna in the first book and we saw the sparks fly. These two have been circling their way towards each other for nine books and we finally got their story.

One of the most important things you have to know about the heroine, Sienna, is that she's a fighter. She has been fighting for her life since she was little and training under the Psy Council so when it comes the time to fight for Hawke, she never gives up. I think that was one of the things that made me like her the most.

Hawke is a stubborn, arrogant and controlled changeling. He is the alpha of SnowDancer and is used to people following his orders. Sienna has been pushing his bottons since they met and it all reaches a boiling point in this book.
I was interesting seeing Hawke trying to deal with his emotions, but most importantly, I loved that Hawke finally found that one person he could be completely normal with. Their journey towards that was full of angst, action and most importantly, love.

There is a secondary love story, and that's the one between Lara, SnowDancer's healer, and Walker Lauren, Sienna's uncle. I wasn't expecting it, and honestly, I was hoping that Walker would get his own book, but it worked out in the end. Theirs is a sweet story, with Walker learning to let go and Lara helping him along the way.

We also get glimpses of Kit (baby cat alpha, as Hawke calls him), Judd, Sasha and Lucas. This parts were among my favourite too. I just love getting updates on the lives of previous heroes and heroines, plus getting to know better other characters that I hope get their own book in the future.

All in all, this was a fantastic read with an amazing and long awaited main couple, a lot of action and major series changing events.
I had really high expectations for this book and I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint one bit.


Memorable Lines:
"They‘re not dating, but he‘s very protective of her," Lucas said as Hawke was about to rib him on his sartorial elegance in retaliation for the other man‘s quip, "just so you know."
Hawke didn‘t bother to respond to that—he‘d eat the baby cat alpha for breakfast.

Previous Books:
1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed by Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice - Review
9. Play of Passion - Review

Next Book:
11. Untitled (June 2012)

Rating:

Waiting on Wednesday (42)


Title: Hunter's Fall
Author: Shiloh Walker
Series: The Hunters #13
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Blurb:

Nessa lost her memory following a near-death experience. Dominic is a Hunter dealing with his own problems with memory and sanity. When the two are put together to battle the forces of darkness-while trying to restore what they've lost-their all-consuming passion becomes an even greater unknown.

24 May 2011

Review: The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson


Title: The Neon Graveyard
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Series: Sings of the Zodiac #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Eos
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: NetGalley
Blurb:
Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging unseen in the dark corners of her glittering hometown. Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal—still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light . . . still hunted by both—and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forces with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna's ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm where the price of admission is her eternal soul. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose—except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.

This is the final book in the Zodiac series. I recommend you read the first five books of the series or you will get lost reading this novel.
Jo, powerless and hunted by both light and shadow agents, has to rescue Hunter, her lover, from a mad goddess. She has been betrayed and emotionally broken quite a few times and I loved seeing her putting herself back together. She was total kick ass in this last book even though she was only human.

I was expecting much more action than what we got. I wanted to read about an epic final battle between shadow and light or at last a huge fight between Jo and Solange but it didn't happen.
We do get to see all the light warriors and how they have been doing. I would have liked to know more about the grey rogue agents, especially about their leader.

My favourite parts of the book were the ones with Warren (who finally gets what he deserves), the kids from the comic store (in my opinion they are very interesting) and the ones with Hunter.

All in all, this was a good ending to the series, where loose ends got tied and fights were battled. As I said before, I was expecting more but it does have a satisfying ending.


Memorable Lines:
“You don’t understand. I will not love you gently, Hunter.”
“No?” The honeyed softness in his gaze hardened. After a moment, I realized it was done in challenge. “Then how will you love me, Jo?”
Recklessly, I thought, holding that steady gaze. With a rampaging heart, I decided, narrowing my own eyes. “Like a bull loves red.”


Previous Books:
1. The Scent of Shadows
2. The Taste of Night
3. The Touch of Twilight
4. City of Souls
5. Cheat the Grave

Rating:

23 May 2011

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman


Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Genre: YA

Release Date: April 28, 2011
Publisher: Dobleday Childrens
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future–and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

* There are If I Stay (first book in the duology) spoilers in this review. *

At the end of the first book Mia, the protagonist, decided to live. This book is about what happened after she decided to stay and it's told from Adam's point of view.

At first I was disappointed that Adam and Mia didn't stay together but the author managed to convince me that it was the right thing to do for the characters.
There were some sad parts, especially seeing how alone, angry and broken Adam felt and some happy parts, that for me were when Mia tells how she managed to move on with her life.

There were some interesting points raised in the book. I think the most important one was how Adam wasn't "allowed" to grieve for Mia's family because technically he wasn't part of it.

I loved reading about Adam and his life three years after the accident as well as what Mia was up to after she left Adam. As in the first book, music plays an important part. There were parts of Adam's songs at the beginning of some chapters and they make you understand Adam better.

The author managed to make me hurt when the characters hurt and happy when they were happy. I was rooting for Adam and Mia to get back together somehow all through the novel.

This book is all about Adam and Mia, how they grew apart and how they found each other again. It didn't disappointed me one bit and for me it was the perfect ending for these two characters. I loved this book and both the first and this one are must reads.


Memorable Lines:
I slide into my seat and close my eyes, remembering the last time I went to a cello concert somewhere this fancy. Five years ago, on our first date. Just as I did that night, I feel this mad rush of anticipation, even though I know that unlike that night, tonight I won’t kiss her. Or touch her. Or even see her up close.

Tonight, I’ll listen. And that’ll be enough.

Previous Book:
1. If I Stay - Review

Rating:

19 May 2011

Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins


Title: Demonglass
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #2
Genre: YA

Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Edition: Hardback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

I want to start this review saying that I loved this book. I love this series. BUT there is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of this book. And I hated it. A lot of trilogies these days have cliffhangers in the second book and to be honest I'm tired of it. I know authors want to keep the suspense but enough is enough.

Anyway, this time around we have Sophie causing trouble in the UK. We finally get to meet her dad and I have to say that he was very interesting. I loved the scenes in which Sophie and her dad are practicing their magic together.

Sophie makes some tough choices in this book but I think at the end she matured because of it.
For those worried that Archer may not be in the book, don't worry about it. We finally get to know Archer's side of the story and frackly there were moments there where I even understood him.

Turns out that at the end this book does have a love triangle (although I'm pretty sure all of us know who she is going to end up with). Cal is a supporting character in this book and I loved getting to know him.

Then there's Jenna. I was very disappointed when I realized where her story was going. At times it felt like she abandoned Sophie, and I didn't like that at all.

I think the scenes that had Cal, Archer or Sophie's dad were the most interesting and important parts of the book.

This book had a lots of intrigue and mystery but I have to admit that I knew who the bad guys where.

Anyway, this was a solid novel with a lot of character development, a forbidden love and a mystery to solve. I can't wait to see how it all ends up, especiall after that ending!


Previous Book:
1. Hex Hall - Review

Next Book:
3. Untitled (March 2012)

Rating:

17 May 2011

Review: Dark Descendant by Jenna Black


Title: Dark Descendant
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Descendant #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Pocket
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought
Blurb:
Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . .

Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy.

But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . .

I love reading books that have mythology in them, especially greek mythology so I was really excited when I finally got this book in the mail.

Usually heroines in urban fantasy series are powerful, they know what they want and they go after it. Nikki is not that kind of heroine, which made me like her a lot. She has been forced into the dangerous and cruel world of the descendants of the gods and she's trying to survive the best she can. I liked that she was smart and especially that she wasn't naive. She didn't trust anyone for the most part of the book but she also wasn't afraid to show that she cared about what happened to the people around her (she calls herself a bleeding heart).

It was surprising that there really wasn't a love interest for Nikki and I really hope that gets explored in the next book.

The other descendants were interesting but I would have liked to get to know them better or at least see what kind of abilities they got (we only really get to see three descendants in action).

As for the worlbuilding, there wasn't much of it and the bits we get aren't really expanded. I liked the mythology but I would have prefered to learn more about both clans of descendants and why they became what they are.

Anyway, this was a very satisfying and entertaining read with a unique type of heroine and I really can't wait to read the next one.


Memorable Lines:
One moment, I was staring down the barrel of my gun trying to work up the nerve to pull the trigger, the next, I wanted to fling the gun to the ground and tear off my clothes. I had only an instant to realize what was happening before I was under his spell, but that was enough.

Desperation gave me the will I needed, and my finger squeezed the trigger.

Next Book:
2. Untitled (2012)


Rating:

Did you win?



So, I have to announce the winner of the copy of Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison.



The winner is ... Judy L !!!
Congrats! You have 48hrs to answer my email or I'll have to choose a new winner.
Thanks to everyone for participating!

11 May 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (41)


Title: Dead on the Delta
Author: Stacey Jay
Series: Book #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Pocket
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Blurb:

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dre-ams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a sixyear- old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . .

28 April 2011

Interview + Giveaway: Thea Harrison

Next week one of my favourite books of 2011 is being released. Today we have Thea Harison here with us answering a few questions about Dragon Bound.

What can you tell us about Dragon Bound?

Dragon Bound is the story of what happens when you get two people with opposing philosophies together. Pia, the heroine, ascribes to that old adage from Charles Schultz’s Peanut characters: there is no problem so big you can’t run away from it. On the other hand, Dragos believes there is no problem so small, no theft so minor, that he can’t track it down. It’s sort of their version of the unstoppable force meeting the immoveable object. Through the course of the story Dragos discovers he might enjoy being surprised by Pia, and Pia realizes there are some problems she doesn’t actually want to run away from.

The main characters are Wyr (or at least half Wyr). What exactly is a Wyr? Do they all have similar abilities or does it depend on the type of Wyr they are?

Wyr are, in essence, two-natured creatures, or shape shifters. All Wyr have a few abilities that are similar. They have a human form and some kind of animal or “other” form (such as gargoyles or harpies), the ability to shift between the two, enhanced healing capabilities, and they mate for life. Wyr have plenty of differences as well. There are three main different classifications of Wyr. Immortal Wyr came into being at the Earth’s formation. Normal Wyr can be any kind of animal species with a lifespan of around two hundred years old. Unique Wyr have animal forms that do not appear in mundane species, and they may have lifespans that differ from the usual. Individual difference also occur in the Wyr.

Let’s talk about the Elder Races. How long have they existed? What kind of creatures or societies are considered part of the Elder Races?

The Elder Races are essentially any creature or society that existed before the proliferation of humankind civilization. The Elder Races are often long-lived and magical in nature and they tend to cluster in or near to Other lands. There are the Wyrkind and the Elves, the Light and Dark Fae, the Nightkind, and Demonkind. Like the Wyrkind classification, there are many types of creatures labeled Nightkind and Demonkind. Because they have Power and are not mundane, human witches are also considered part of the Elder Races.

In the continental U.S. there are seven Elder Races demesnes. The seat of the Wyrkind demesne is based in New York City. The seat of Elven demesne is based in Charleston, South Carolina. The Dark Fae’s demesne is centered in Chicago, and the Light Fae demesne is based in Los Angeles. The Nightkind, which includes all forms of Vampyres, controls the San Francisco/Bay area and the Pacific Northwest, while the human witches, considered part of the Elder Races due to their command of magical Power, are based in Louisville, Kentucky. Demonkind, like the Wyr and the Vampyres, consist of several different types that included goblins and Djinn, and their seat is based in Houston.

In the world you’ve created the Elder Races and the humans live openly among each other. Was there some sort of revelation in the past or have humans always known about them? Are there any races that remain secret?

Well, secrets and machinations abound in the Elder Races, so you never know! But mostly in this universe humans have always known about the Elder Races. For example, in ancient Egypt and Greece, people of the Elder Races were often considered gods by humans. At some point I think it would be very interesting do more world-building and write about those alternative histories. For now I content myself with telling those histories in bits and pieces as background for the main stories.

The main villains in the story are the Dark Fae. What started the animosity between them and the Wyr? Is there any other type of Fae that is not dark? What are the differences between them if they exist?

There are two types of Fae, the Light Fae and the Dark Fae. Ireland has two demesnes, a Light Fae and a Dark Fae, where the kingdoms are seated in Other lands. In the United States, the Dark Fae are based in Chicago but they have mostly been sequestered in their Other land named Adriyel. The Light Fae are based in Los Angeles.

Aside from geographical and political differences, the Dark Fae and the Light Fae are also different in coloring and in manifestations of Power. The Light Fae is a blond, charismatic race, with either blue or green eyes, and they have an aversion to iron. The Dark Fae are black-haired, with pale skin and gray eyes, and they often have a gift for metallurgy.

What are you working on right now? Do you plan to write a story that doesn’t have any Wyr as main characters? I find Quentin to be a very interesting character ... any hopes on him getting his own story?

Ah, yes, Quentin. His story might well be coming up soon (hint hint). Right now I am working on book four in the series, currently titled Oracle’s Moon. This is my first foray into main characters that are not Wyr. The story is set in the human witches’ demesne of Louisville, Kentucky. Demonkind are also involved. I’m quite excited! There are so many possibilities to explore in the Elder Races universe. In fact, I’m making early plans for a story about Elves soon!

Thanks so much for being here today, Thea!

Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure to visit with you, and to share some of the Elder Races universe with readers!

You can find out more about Thea and her books on her site.
You can also check out my review of Dragon Bound here.


Giveaway

I have one copy of Dragon Bound to giveaway.
US/Canada only / Ends May 5th.
All you have to do is fill out the form.

Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison


Title: Dragon Bound
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.

This book was an incredible start to a fantastic new series. You have a smart, sassy heroine that doesn't let herself be controlled by anything or anyone; an arrogant, always in charge hero who unexpectedly starts caring for someone other than himself; an amazing world building full of all kinds of creatures; and an intriguing bad guy who won't stop until he gets what he wants, the hero dead.

I loved the relationship between Pia and Dragos, especially that it wasn't love at first sight (more like lust at first dream), instead their love story developed all through the book. While Dragos is the ultimate alpha male, Pia never let him take charge of her life and stood up for herself at all times.

I also liked the other wyr. They are Dragos' closest friends but they are also part of the guard. They are bodyguards, they deal with the most important parts of Dragos' business, they are powerful and they trust each other. In other words, they are family. They were one of the things I liked the most about the book and I really hope they get their own stories.

The world building was fascinating and while in this novel we only got to discover the wyr race in depth I hope we get more information about the other races, especially the Fae, in future books.

Overall, this was an amazing book with great, interesting characters, a very creative world building, plenty of action, but most importantly, an incredible romance between the main characters.


Memorable Lines:

I'm sorry, the message said.
The theft was a violation of privacy. It was an unbelievable act of impudence and disrespect. Not only that, it was—baffling. He was murderous, incandescent with fury. He was older than sin and could not remember when he had last been in such a rage.
He looked at the paper again.
I'm sorry I had to take your penny. Here's another to replace it.

Yep, that's what it said.
One corner of his mouth twitched. He gave himself a deep shock when he burst into an explosive guffaw.


Next Books:
2. Storm's Heart (August 3, 2011)
3. Serpent's Kiss (October 4, 2011)

Rating:

27 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (40)


Title: Magic Slays
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Ace
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Blurb:

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

15 April 2011

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper


Title: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .


I've read and loved Molly Harper's previous paranormal series so I had really high expectations. This series is very different from the other one and I personally think that's a very good thing.

Mo, the main character, practically run away from her parents to find some peace and quiet in Alaska. The town doesn't like her instantly, but after a while she's considered a local. I loved Grundy or more especifically the people. They are funny and care for each other or leave you alone depending on what that person needs.

Cooper is the ultimate loner and a first doesn't have a positive reaction to Mo, meaning that he likes her but doesn't really know how to show it. He's keeping a big secret (that he's a werewolf) and that influences most of things he does.

The first interactions between Mo and Cooper are very funny and it was great seeing them develop a romantic relationship although Cooper does some things toward the end that didn't make me like him much.

There are also some murders that need to be solved that eventually tie up to the werewolves, and while they seemed important it wasn't very interesting.

The thing I was missing the most in the book was Mo's parents. We are told several unusual and interesting things about them all along the book and I would have loved for them to get more page time.

By the way, I loved the chapter titles. They always made me smile.

This was a funny romance book with awesome characters, especially Cooper's pack, Mo's parents and most of the population of Grundy. I can't wait to read the next book, who has Cooper's sister as the main character.


Next Book:
2. The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf

Rating:

13 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

I know I'm a little late but I still wanted to post this week's WoW.

Title: Hard Bitten
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Edition: Trade Paperback
Blurb:

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals--and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are ... tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society--a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...

25 March 2011

Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton


Title: Darkness Becomes Her
Author: Kelly Keaton
Series: Gods & Monsters #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: June 9, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.


I'm a huge fan of the author's Urban Fantasy series so I was really excited when I heard she was writing a YA book. I loved the world the author created, especially New 2, the rebuilt strange and supernatural city of New Orleans. The way the society worked was fascinating and I really hope we learn more about the 9 original families in future books.

Ari is a strong willed person who has a very sad and hard past. She's a fighter and doesn't give up and that's why I liked her so much.
Then we have Sebastian. At first he's a complicated and mysterious guy but as the novel develops you get to learn more about him. I liked him at first but something that happened around the end of the book made me hate him a little. He also is Ari's love interest and while they do sound like a cute couple their romance developed way too fast. I would have prefered for them to have more time to get to know each other better.

Another character that I absolutely adored was Violet. She's a strange 10 year old who doesn't act like most kids (she has a small alligator as a friend). I loved that she sees things in a different way and how accepting she was of Ari. I can't wait to learn more about her.

I liked that we don't get a whole bunch of information at once but instead we discover little by little the secrets and rules of the city and the people, although I was frustrated that we didn't get to know more about Ari's heritage sooner.
Also, there is some cursing in the book. That's pretty unusual for a YA but oddly it suited the novel.

All in all, this was a great book with a unique main character, an incredible world building and a very interesting cast of supporting characters.


Memorable Lines:
The gods were real. I didn't know how to react, so I just sat there feeling blank and squeezing the bars as tightly as I could. And even more bizarre, I'd somehow pissed off one of the gods.
It figured.


Next Book:
2. Untitled (Feb 2012)

Rating:

25 February 2011

Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting


Title: Desires of the Dead
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #2
Genre: YA

Release Date: March 17, 2011
Publisher: Headline
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

Violet and Jay are finally dating, but adjusting to the new relationship is not as easy as Violet anticipated. Especially when she has to split Jay's time and attention with his new best friend, Mike, and Mike's pesky younger sister - who happens to be obsessed with Jay. Meanwhile, when Violet's special abilities lead her to the body of a young boy, her tip to the police puts her on the radar of the FBI. Violet tries to fend off the FBI's questions while maintaining the semblance of a normal life, but somebody's leaving her threatening notes and an echo around Mike's house reinforces that all is not right. Violet is forced to admit that perhaps the only people who can help her figure it out are the very people she's desperate to avoid - the FBI.

I loved The Body Finder so much that I wasn't sure if Desires of the Dead was going to live up to it. In a sense I was right, but this keeps being a great novel nonetheless.

Violet still is an amazing character and this time she has to worry about people finding out about her ability to sense the echoes of the death. She struggles a lot with it but I liked how at the end she's the one who decides what to do and who to tell, although she does get some help and advice from her parents and Jay.

Jay keeps being as awesome as ever and while his relationship with Violet goes through some bumps, at the end they still make a great couple. As the story evolves you can see how their relationship matures and becomes more serious.

There are some new interesting characters like Rafe. He's a quiet and intriguing character and I really hope the author tells us more about him in the next book.

To me, the reason this book wasn't as good as the previous one is the mystery. In the first book I didn't know who the bad guy was until the end but this time around it's pretty clear who's to blame. Honestly, I don't know how the characters could have missed it.

All in all, this was an amazing read with a great cast of characters and a interesting plot. I can't wait to read the next one!

Memorable Lines:
“Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?”
“Of course you can—” Jay started to say.
“Probably not—” Violet answered at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.”

Previous Book:
1. The Body Finder - Review

Next Book:
3. Untitled (2012)

Rating:

24 February 2011

Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel


Title: Evermore
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: The Immortals #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: September 18, 2009
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom is the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her family. Exiled to sunny California. Ever is haunted by her little sister and by the ability to see people's auras, hear their thoughts and know their entire life story by touching them. She wants to hide from the world, but when a stunningly handsome guy arrives at school, she can't seem to keep away. Falling in love with Damen is dangerous - he's not what he seems. But if Damen is her destiny, how can Ever walk away?

I've heard a lot of things about this series so I was really happy when I got it. Ever is a very conflicted character. She's been through a lot (mainly the death of her parents and little sister on a car accident that she survived) and her way of dealing with it is shutting people out, especially her aunt. All this changes when she meets Damen, the intriguing new guy at school.

I liked Ever's abilities and how they were explained. What I didn't like was how Ever never got curious enough to search for answers or help about her abilities and how she ignored or tried to live like they didn't exist. One thing Ever can do thanks to her powers is talk to her little sister Riley. She probably was my favourite character of the book and I loved her interactions with her sister. At one point Ever was incredibly selfish regarding Riley and that's one of the reasons I didn't completely warmed up to her.

Damen is supposed to be this mysterious, dangerous guy and while at the beginning it's kind of appealing, as the story unfolds all his secrets and lies just pissed me off. Truth be told, I didn't even know what was so special about him.

Then there's the bad guy. On the positive side he/she was completely evil and I've always like those kind of villians. On the negative side, the bad guy was predictable and at times cheesy. He/she acted like a stereotype villian and I just can't understand why no one caught him/her before.

I especially liked Riley, Ever's friend Miles and Ever's abilities. I was expecting more on the mystery area. Even so, this was an interesting first book and I'll definitely check out the second.

Memorable Lines:
"What happened? You run out of white rosebuds?" I ask, flipping through books and papers, as though I've something important to do.
"I would never give you a rosebud," he says, his eyes searching for mine.
But I refuse to meet his gaze, refuse to get sucked into his sadistic little game. I just grab my bag and pretend to search for something inside, cursing under my breath when I find it stuffed full of tulips.
"You're strictly a tulip girl-a red tulip girl."

Next Books:
2. Blue Moon
3. Shadowland
4. Dark Flame
5. Night Star
6. Everlasting (June 7, 2011)

Rating: