Jan 222014
 

Styxx (Dark-Hunter World Book 24) So another year is behind us and in spite of the personal life stuff going on resulting in the dearth of reviews, reading was still going on behind the scenes.

So what books made us sit up and beg?

Grete

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – The fantastic third book in the Demon Cycle.

Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole – Military sci-fi with superheroes.  This second book was an excellent addition to the Shadow Ops series.

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey – This series needs to be on either the big or small screen – any screen!  Until then it’s an amazing sci-fi story and this third book was a brilliant addition to the Expanse.

Parasite by Mira Grant – An amazingly creepy but riveting novel. If you liked her Newsflesh trilogy, you are going to love this!

Kevin HearneThe Iron Druid Chronicles was a series that entranced me so much, I ended up romping through and didn’t take time to review.  It’s a fantastic series and one I will be re-reading, slower this time, so I can actually do reviews!

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione – The first in a new series by Larissa and just as exciting as her Demonica/Lords of Deliverance.  Speaking of which, the next book in that series, Reaver, is on this list too as it was utterly fantastic and had my jaw dropping several times as things were revealed.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones – This is another series I love so much that I keep racing through them and end up not reviewing.  It’s a habit I really have to stop as my memory is just not up to it these days!  Charley Davidson is one of my favourite paranormal heroines and I just can’t get enough of her!

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I loved, loved, loved this book.  I cried, I laughed, I may have shouted a few times.  A worthy companion to Acheron and a brilliant addition to the Dark-Hunter’s series.  It does take you through the wringer though!

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty – I absolutely loved this light hearted approach to the paranormal and look forward to the next one, out this year!

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan – A gritty and powerful epic fantasy debut.  I loved the magic system he devised and I hold high hopes for the second book.

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin – First in a new series by Gail and it’s off to a promising start.  I loved her two previous series a lot so it had a lot to live up to!  Looking forward to book two!

J.D. Robb – Thanks to Tracey, I discovered the In Death series and devoured the whole lot one after the other.  It amazed me how good they are and how, even 35+ books in, they are still extremely enjoyable and great reads.

Watch Your Back by Karen Rose – So many of Karen’s books have characters that appear or are related to people in other novels and this one felt like it had been a long time coming.  It was utterly amazing and prompted me to go back and read ALL the previous books!

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – This book honestly surprised me and I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t do a review after I read it, as it so very much deserved it.  It’s an amazingly gritty fantasy, written with a single focus and I urge anyone who loved David Gemmell’s work to pick this up.  I will be re-reading this (and reviewing this time, dammit)!

Unseen by Karin Slaughter – Every time I think Karin has outdone herself, she releases the next book and raises the bar even higher.  I can’t get enough of Will Trent and Sara Linton!

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward – The latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was hotly anticipated and I was not left disappointed!

Tracey

While my list has some similar ones to Grete, I also have some totally different genres to her.  Being much more of a romantic sap, it will come as no surprise that I have a number of romances on my list.

The books I share Grete’s love for are :

Styxx of course – the most anticipated book of the year for me and one that did not disappoint. Probably my book of the year!

Reaver by Larissa Ione – another eagerly awaited novel that ticked all the boxes for me.

The In Death series by J.D. Robb – I read all 35 books in 4 weeks and absolutely loved them.

For me though the year was all about romance! There were books from my favourite romance authors: Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean and Sarah Morgan.

I really cannot express all the books that I loved this year, I read well over 100 of them! Since I tend to read books I know I will enjoy, it is so hard to only pick a few.

If I was to recommend a few books to other readers I would go with the following:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan – I have been a fan of Ms. Morgan for many years, reading all her Mills and Boon books and it was great to have a longer book to enjoy. This is romance at its best and a great start to a new series.

Nora Roberts has featured heavily in my reading this year but a trilogy I particularly enjoyed was the Key Trilogy – Key of Light, Key of Knowledge and Key of Valour. This has a paranormal slant with Ms. Roberts’ usual excellent romance story.

Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series is recommended reading, particularity if you enjoy historical romance. I have loved all the books in this series and look forward to the next one hopefully coming in 2014!

Will definitely be doing more reviews this year, even if only a few lines, there are so many great books I want to share my love of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 212013
 

Bound By Night (Moonbound Clan Book 1) A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories-along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation-a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

A new series by Larissa Ione??  Yes please!

With the Lords of Deliverance series ending and the characters merging with the Demonica, it did feel like there was now a void that needed filling (until Reaver is released!). Happily we now have Bound by Night and our introduction to the MoonBound Clan Vampires.

Nicole and Riker are just magic together and their interactions are brilliant whether it’s romantic or confrontational.  They have every reason to hate each other but being ‘with’ them as they worked through everything just made me love them more, even when they are being idiots. Such is the charm of Larissa Ione’s characters!  Intriguing glimpses of the other members of the MoonBound Clan give me hope that this series will have a good few books and I am really looking forward to reading the next, which I think will be Hunter’s story.

Initially I was a bit doubtful about ‘yet another vampire series’ but in all honesty, I loved the premise of this one.  Vampires are out in the world but are treated as little more than animals – kept as slaves, farmed and experimented on, yet there are also clans of ‘wild’ vampires who remain hidden and fight to live their lives with honour in spite of the human threat.

The lore is drawn from Native American history and again, while this is not an interest of mine, Larissa Ione made it interesting and added her own twist to it which I loved.

Everything I love about Ione’s clean writing style and visual storytelling is in this book; emotional conflict, characters you want to kick one minute and love the next, tense battle scenes and hot, hot sex.  By the end I was completely in love with the new characters and wish I could pick up the next novel already. The pace of the story was nicely judged and when mixed with fluid prose, it made for an extremely easy to read, but no less enthralling book.

Bound by Night is just amazing – more please!!

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: MoonBound Clan Vampires (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

 

Nov 202012
 

Rogue Rider: Number 4 in series (Lords of Deliverance) It’s always sad when a series comes to a close and in particular when it happens to be an amazing one.  So while I was very excited to start Rogue Rider, I also felt some trepidation because I knew it would have a final ending of sorts.

Now the good news is Larissa Ione has confirmed she is adding more books to the Demonica series so I am *hoping* the characters I have grown to love in these stories will feature.  But either way, yay, more Demonica (and I can’t wait!)

It took me a little while to get into this book but once I did, I didn’t want to put it down.  It starts at a fairly gentle pace and ends at a wild gallop.  I also found it more emotional than the previous three (and I absolutely loved those!).  There are several ‘OH MY GOD!’ moments, one in particular had me shouting in a very unladylike fashion and then I wondered how I didn’t see it coming, it made so much sense.  I give the author a standing ovation for that one!  The others had a lot of impact but I think I was still stunned by the first.

One thing I have to mention is the consistency of Ione’s writing.  Every book I read of hers is well paced, exciting and gripping.  Even the sex scenes which could be so easily overdone, are just the right side of hot and not going over into tawdry and they have an emotional impact because it means something to the characters.  I find that is very important to me.

Her characters are so well rounded you feel like you know them and it was great to be back with the four horsemen of the apocalypse and their families again.  My heart bled for Reseph and it was hard reconciling him as Reseph and not Pestilence after the last book.  Jillian was another great female addition to the cast, different and interesting from the others.  I can’t say more than that or I would be in spoiler territory, but I will just say that I was seriously worried about how it would turn out, as it was the last one.

If you are looking for a brilliantly laid out and engaging paranormal romance, then I can’t recommend Larissa Ione highly enough.  A five star author, all the way.

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: Lords of Deliverance (4)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sep 252012
 

You don’t have to read Erotica to find steamy sexy stories!  Since 50 Shades of Grey exploded onto the book scene there has been a renewed interest in books from the erotica genre. A whole new group of people who may not have picked up a book in years, are now reading again. Anything that gets people reading has to be good!

What I want to bring to your attention is, if you are looking for a story where the sex is hot hot hot, you do not need to buy pure erotica to find it. Have a look through some of my reviews on this website and you will notice I refer to sex a lot in them – yes, I enjoy a good sex scene as much as the next person.

Devil's Bride: Number 1 in series (Bar Cynster) While I enjoy an erotica novel, I often find that the story line is not very strong and too often the book relies simply on sex. I do like a good story with sex which is where your more mainstream novels come along. Surprisingly historical fiction can be one of the best for steamy sex scenes and definitely leave you needing a cold shower to cool down; what those Regency men and women get up to behind closed doors – phew! Authors who I would recommend if you want to delve into this genre are,

If your tastes go a bit further afield, have you considered paranormal romance? This can involve anything and everything from vampires to fairies to werewolves to ghosts.  Authors I would recommend as having excellent story lines as well as excellent sex scenes are,

  • Sherrilyn Kenyon – Start with Fantasy Lover from her Dark-Hunter series!
  • Larissa Ione – Read her Demonica Series before the Lords of Deliverance.
  • J.R. Ward – I highly recommend her Black Dagger Brotherhood series – Dark Lover is the first book.

Dark Lover: Number 1 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood) If you fancy branching out your reading check out the above authors book reviews on this site. we try to ensure there are no spoilers so should not ruin the book if you decide to read it.

Of course, mainstream novels do not generally go down the route of BDSM and group sex (well not the ones I have read anyway!) so if it is that aspect of erotica you are particularly interested in stick with it, otherwise consider branching out into territories unknown, you might discover a whole new world!

Aug 032012
 

Lethal Rider: Number 3 in series (Lords of Deliverance) So Tuesday I spent a couple of hours sorting the books and then toddled to the Post Office with a bag of eight padded envelopes containing Lethal Rider!  They have been sent to their new homes but I imagine some will arrive more quickly than others depending on location ;) I do so hope you enjoy it!

Still yet to hear back from two winners, reminders have been sent so if you were on the winners list, please do check your spam folder!

 

 

 

 

Jul 272012
 

Lethal Rider: Number 3 in series (Lords of Deliverance) Thanks so much for the overwhelming response to our Larissa Ione give-away, the comments were both entertaining and insightful!

The winners have been randomly drawn and are :

Hannah Whitling
Christina Alpe
Pia
A Curtis
Mary Jo
Belva Serrano
Douglas Meeks
Heather Hoover
Ryan Martin
Vanessa N.

Congratulations everyone! I have sent you an email, if you could respond with your postal addresses as soon as possible, I can get your books sent off to you.

Sorry to those who didn’t win this time, but thanks for taking part!

 

 

Jul 192012
 

Lethal Rider: Number 3 in series (Lords of Deliverance) It’s give-away time again and courtesy of Piatkus, we have ten (yes TEN!) copies of Larissa Ione’s brilliant Lethal Rider to go to happy new homes.  Both Tracey and I reviewed it and we LOVED it!

We decided that our readers outside the UK needed some book love too so we are throwing this open internationally.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post and answer this question : What is the most important element for you, in a paranormal romance? Is a sexy hero/heroine a must, good sex scenes to tickle your fancy, maybe a strong storyline is what beguiles you into turning the pages.  Or is it something else entirely?

You must use a valid email address (we are the only ones who can see it and will only be used for the purpose of this give-away), or we won’t know how to contact you and then you won’t be able to read this book and will be sad :(

The give-away will run from today until midnight BST on Thursday 26th July.  Winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 27th July.

Good Luck! (And remember you MUST leave a comment to be in with a chance!)

NB: All comments are manually moderated, so if we’re currently asleep, your comment won’t show up straight away.  Don’t worry, you only need to comment once, and we’ll moderate them again in the morning, thanks for your interest.

Edit: That’s it – give away is closed, thanks to everyone who took part, we’ll do the draw tomorrow and e-mail the 10 winners to get addresses.

Jul 192012
 

What can I say about this amazing author? I was only introduced to her work last year and I have fallen completely in love with her characters.  She has a huge amount of style in her writing that appeals to my heart and can make me laugh and cry with a few simple sentences.  As a paranormal romance author, I rate her as one of the best and if you like J.R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon then you will love her, I promise!  Start with the Demonica Series (Pleasure Unbound is book 1) and if you aren’t hooked by the end, well… I will find a hat to eat or something!

Anyway, enough wittering (I do that a lot!), on with the Irreverence!

What would you be or want to be (or still are), if you weren’t an author?
I’d go back to being a meteorologist. I really loved that job!

Do you have any rituals or processes before you can start writing?
Coffee! Oh, I need lots and lots of coffee, or no words will come…

Describe your working environment right now (desk, sofa, bathroom, etc.)
Ha! I actually work in two places — I have an office, but I usually only work in it when I need quiet and privacy (like when my husband is home and I’m on deadline.) Most of the time I work in the living room with my feet up on the couch. In the winter I’ll have a fire going, and in the summer, the windows will be open. My dog, Hexe, is always on the floor next to me.

How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
Champagne and dinner out!

Whose opinion matters most to you?
When it comes to my writing? My editor….and, obviously, the reader!

Do you get fully dressed to write?
My work uniform is my pajamas or sweats. I shower and get right back into pajamas.

What gets you in the mood or inspires you to write?
Often, music, but also a really good book.

Who would play you in the film adaptation of your life?
Honestly, I have no idea. But I do know it would be a very boring movie! :)

What is the weirdest comment you’ve had?
I once had a guy ask if I write while naked. And he was serious. Bizarre.

What is the best experience you’ve had with fans?
I’ve had so many that it’s impossible to pick just one, but I can say that when a group of readers bought me a birthday cake and brought it to a conference, it was one of the most amazing nights I’ve had with readers.

What do you value most?
My friends and family.

How do you deal with negative comments?
Honestly, not well. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and when they put those opinions in reviews, that’s fair. But when they make those comments to my face or on my Facebook page/blog/Twitter, I tend to see it much like someone coming into my house and insulting my cooking. I think it’s rude, and I’ll make that clear, though I try to be civil.

It’s movie night, the credits are just about to roll, Happy Ever After, Everyone Dies, Or…?
As long as there is closure, I don’t care. I just hate movies that end on a cliffhanger or that leave you to interpret what happened. It’s why I couldn’t stand Inception. Brilliant movie, but the ending killed it for me!

What do you do to relax?
I read, play video games, watch movies and TV, and I go to the lake to either play on the beach with my dog, or out on a boat.

Do you have pets, and if so, describe them?
I have a calico and white cat named Vegas who was abandoned by her owners when they moved out of their house and left her to fend for herself. Horrible. We took her in when we moved, so now she’s a fat, happy indoor cat. We also have a 100-pound King Shepherd named Hexe. She looks like an oversized, long-haired German Shepherd Dog.

What are your preferred conditions for writing, i.e. silence, background noise, TV?
Either silence or TV in the background. I can’t listen to music because I end up singing and not getting any writing done.

What is your favourite type of music?
I’m a country music fan.

Do you have any phobias?
I have terrible claustrophobia. I’m also terrified of spiders, but I wouldn’t quite put it at phobia level. Close, though!

Do you find the time of year makes it easier or harder to write, are you inspired by spring or delayed by the summer heat for instance?
Definitely harder to write in the summer, when I want to be out on the lake!

Slippers, socks or barefoot?
Slippers or socks – in the winter, both!

Many thanks to Larissa Ione for taking the time to answer our questions, and if you want to know more about the author, visit her Website, Twitter or Goodreads!

Pictures provided by and used with permission of Larissa Ione


Irreverent Questions is BookThing‘s fun, feature where we ask a series of random questions that popped into Grete’s curious head. If you are an author and would like to take part, please get in touch!

Jul 172012
 

Lethal Rider: Number 3 in series (Lords of Deliverance) Obeying the orders of her Aegi colleagues and deliberately getting pregnant by Thanatos (Death), seemed like a good plan at the time but now with only a month to go until the birth, Regan is having major doubts.  Not least of which is her fear of the baby’s father and his anger at her betrayal.  With the seals of Limos and Ares safe, Thanatos is the last chance for the denizens of hell to usher in the Apocalypse with the horsemen on their side.  With both good and evil fighting over Regan’s baby, she doesn’t know who to trust and she makes the mistake of thinking Thanatos won’t want his say.

Grete’s Review

I honestly didn’t know how this book was going to go, or even whether it would work.  Both Regan and Thanatos are closed off, prickly, haunted, and based on the events in Immortal Rider, couldn’t be more wrong for each other.  This is where Larissa Ione’s brilliant writing and devious mind comes into play.  She not only makes it work but it’s wonderful and believable and you can’t help falling in love with them.  The way they are together can be so funny as neither know how they are supposed to be with each other, despite their ages.

Larissa really ramped up the tension in this story, with so many things falling apart because of Pestilence and the ruling bodies of hell.  Right from the start it takes off in a breathless race, things happening left, right and centre with threads right from the first book coming in to play.  It’s an emotional roller-coaster as well, my heart was in my mouth so much of the time and even had me exclaiming out loud at certain parts, tears in my eyes at others.

We get pretty much a full cast of characters from both series at one time or another and I feel this was a pivotal story.  Maybe not for the last of this series, but definitely for the universe as a whole.  I absolutely could not put it down, read it in one day and by the end I was in tears of both sorrow and joy.  It had one hell of an impact on me, so much so, I am going to read it again straight away and waiting for the next one is going to be agony!

The best literary emotional roller coaster of my life and I can’t praise it enough!

Tracey’s Review

Wow this was amazing! Definitely the best one yet, even better than the Demonica books in my opinion and if you see my reviews for them that is saying something. There were so many twists and turns, we were blind-sided at every opportunity I did not see them coming. I agree with Grete about this being a pivotal book, do not read this until you have read the previous ones. Having every  character from the previous books featured at some point was great,  it’s always good to find out what previous characters are up to as long as they don’t detract from our main protagonists, which of course they didn’t.

The writing and characterisation was vivid and as always with the authors work I get sucked straight into the world, almost smelling as well as seeing it. As always the sex was hot – and in the warm weather we were having right now my temperature was through the roof!

I could not turn the pages fast enough but had to tear myself away from it because I didn’t want it to be over too quickly. I merely prolonged the inevitable by a couple of hours though and now I am desperate for the next one.

If I could, I would have rated it 6 stars, but unfortunately 5 is the highest we go!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Jul 162012
 

Immortal Rider: Number 2 in series (Lords of Deliverance) The second book in the Lords of Deliverance series kicks off straight after the events in Eternal Rider.  With Arik as the focal character, it doesn’t take long to fall in love with him, after only having seen him as a side character previously.  He is strong, honourable and downright sexy.  Limos is a complex woman, not just because she is one of the four horsemen, but because she was raised separately from her brothers in Sheoul (Hell) by their mother Lillith.  It wasn’t until she escaped and found her brothers that she realised the lies she had been raised with.  Her brothers taught her how to love and be loved but there was one major drawback from her former life.  She is betrothed to Satan and no man can touch her intimately without being injured by a set of interesting and very scary chastity jewellery. If her seal breaks, she becomes Famine as well as triggering the demonic apocalypse.  With a simple kiss, and the other side plotting against them, life drastically changes for both Arik and Limos, and only time will tell if it will be their downfall or their deliverance.

I’m continually amazed by how emotionally engaging I find Larissa Ione’s work.  Right from page one of each book I read, I’m drawn in and engrossed until the end.  The ‘good’ guys might not necessarily be completely scrupulous but they are trying their best to prevent the end of days happening.  The bad guys, well… they are so well written that you actively hate them.  The only exception is Pestilence/Reseph.  After the heart wrenching opening in the first book, you still feel sorrow for him, at what he has become and part of that is seeing how he used to be through the eyes and hearts of his siblings.

The pace is well measured and the action is explosive, bloody and vicious; no long drawn out battles here.  The romance is as complicated as the main characters, painful, often very sweet, and extremely hot and it all adds to the tension inherent in this story. There are several cameos from characters from The Demonica series and it’s always good to see them when they appear.

The plot for the next book is also started in this one, with Thanatos and Regan.  Ione has a wonderful talent for starting or maintaining other plot threads within the main story without it being confusing, it just makes you hungry for more.  The next book is Lethal Rider and I absolutely cannot wait to read it!

Paranormal romance truly at its best.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)