Sep 162014
 

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy 3) It’s finally here!  The final instalment of the All Souls Trilogy!

I thought I was prepared for everything coming together but oh my, I didn’t know the half of it!  The blood rage becoming more real and more defined was worrying, especially where the twins were involved.  From almost the start I was in tears  and as the book progressed, other things made me emotional. The surprise from the past – YES!  I admit I cried with joy ;)

The Book of Life is written as beautifully and as cleanly as the first two books.  Sometimes the pace was slow but it’s something I have come to expect and there was always something interesting going on so it didn’t feel like wasted time.  Diana, oh I just love her and everything she does and, without giving away spoilers – Ashmole 792 – WOW, I expected something spectacular but I didn’t see that twist coming.

If I have one problem it is that the De Clairmonts are seen as so powerful but they don’t seem to actually do anything.  Eventually however they hatch a plan – and once they do you kind of see why they took a while to get to it!

Matthew is much better being back in the 21st Century and away from the time when women should be seen and not heard.  He seemed much more together and aware of his tendency to overprotect and try to reduce it.  Diana always gave as good as she got, mind you, which is one of the things I love about her.

The birth scene was just perfect – everything I had hoped for, with humour as well.  Poor Gallowglass!

I’m really sad the series has come to an end but I can’t wait to see what Deborah Harkness will bring us next.

Book Information
  • Author: Deborah Harkness
  • Series: All Souls Trilogy (3)
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
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Rating: ★★★★½ 

Sep 132014
 

Dragon Bound: Number 1 in series (Elder Races) Pia Giovanni has spent her life trying to keep a low profile, so why did she steal from one of the most feared members of the elder races? She is running for her life knowing it is only a matter of time before he catches her, but she doesn’t plan on making it easy for him.

Dragos Cuelebre is a very powerful dragon and is furious to hear someone dared to steal from his hoard. He has only one thing on his mind – to kill the thief, that was until he caught her.

This book was absolutely fantastic, as good as any other paranormal series out there, and with so many characters there will clearly be lots of books in this series.

I was drawn in pretty much from page one and was glued to the book until I finished it. The descriptions were vivid, the sex was smoking hot, and the female protagonist doesn’t take shit from anyone.

Dragos is your typical alpha male but I loved the way his character developed the more time he spent with Pia especially as she verbally slapped him a few times. The author’s imagery was very good and I had no problem imagining Dragos as a dragon soaring through the sky, but it was equally easy to picture him very clearly as a man.

Pia is fantastic, she was able to hold her own with both Dragos and his sentinels, although the latter probably because they didn’t dare go against Dragos! Her inner dialogue was at time very funny and I did have a few chuckles to myself while reading. We get an indication at the beginning of the book that she is something special among the Wyrkind but I definitely did not see the revelation coming.

All of the secondary characters are brilliant and I am already invested in them and their stories yet to come. The world building was superb and I look forward to finding more about the different elder races.

If you enjoy paranormal series’ like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Demonica and Midnight Breed you will love this. Sorry for the gushy review but I cannot stress enough how good this is – buy it, read it and fall in love with a whole new world – I did!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Thea Harrison
  • Series: Elder Races (1)
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Apr 222014
 

Opal Fire (A Stacy Justice Mystery Book 1) Stacy Justice is an investigative reporter related to the Geraghty Girls, older women who are known around town as the local witches/nutters.  Stacy would rather concentrate on her everyday life than being branded a witch, but her aunts just won’t let up.  Her life takes a turn for the bizarre when her cousin’s bar is torched, seemingly to hide a sinister secret. Stacy’s curiosity gets the better of her and before she knows it dead bodies are turning up everywhere she goes, and her witchy powers just keep poking through.  With the help of her faithful Great Dane, well meaning if irritating relatives and to the annoyance of her chief of police boyfriend, Stacy follows lead after lead in an effort to find out what the hell is going on.

It took me a while to get into this book but once the story took off I enjoyed it. Not a romance which is my preferred genre but it had a good smattering of comedy and suspense so the story line kept me interested. The plot-line kept me guessing although I did suss who did it before the reveal, but not by much!

The female characters were generally good, although some of the decisions they made beggared belief and I found the male characters very irritating at times. Stacy’s boyfriend might be the chief of police but he really seems to have no way of maintaining order and Mario made me want to puke! I think I agree with Stacy in that the only male she can rely on is her dog! I loved the older Geraghty girls who seem totally nuts in their own way and Thor is so cute!

This was an easy read and although a lot seemed to happen it was easy to keep up with the plot, the ending was satisfying and threw up a new mystery that made me want to go get the second book – so I did!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Barbra Annino
  • Series: A Stacy Justice Mystery (1)
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)

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)
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Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

 

Sep 092013
 

Styxx (Dark-Hunter World) Tracey’s Review

This is the story of Styxx, the twin brother of Acheron – prepare to have everything you know about him turned on its head. As Acheron says “there are always three sides to every event – yours, theirs, and the truth that lay somewhere in the middle.”

This book is absolutely amazing. I expected that I would grow to love Styxx eventually but had no idea it would come within a few pages, when he was just a five year old boy!

I would definitely recommend reading Acheron just before reading this, as many events from that story are retold here but from a very different perspective. Ms. Kenyon is a genius with her writing, and the retelling of events throws a very different light on Styxx, Acheron and in particular, Ryssa, but the events are very recognisable from Acheron. Suffice to say this story paints a very different Ryssa to the one we know from Acheron’s memories and not a nice one!

It soon becomes clear that Styxx has had a much harder life than we were previously led to believe, he suffered even more than Acheron due, at least in part, to the way their lives are linked.

We get to see a lot of the Gods from both the Greek and Atlantean Pantheons and how their interference in the human world can have devastating consequences. I thought Artemis was horrible but hell, with Apollo you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I was emotional in a number of places and yes, I did cry for Styxx. His emotions simply fly off the page, and If possible it’s even more heart wrenching than Acheron.  As with Acheron, the first part of the book is raw, violent and graphic in places – so not for the faint hearted but everything is appropriate for the setting and story.

The majority of the story is set in ancient Greece with only the last quarter or so being set in present day but it doesn’t matter, the ancient Greece part of his life is by far the most important. We get to see lots of Ash and Tory, and of course Simi who is absolutely adorable in the latter part, even if she does cause total chaos by trying to do a good turn. Savitar also makes a larger than usual appearance and I am hopeful this means we may be getting his story soon, there is so much he is hiding!

I have been disappointed with Ms. Kenyon’s recent Dark Hunter offerings that focus on the Mayan prophecy but she is definitely back on form with this book, it’s by far the best one since Acheron and I am still amazed how quickly she managed to transform Styxx from a hated character to a very much loved one.

Grete’s Review

I’m honestly a bit speechless.  I’ve been thinking about what to write since I finished the book at 2.30am and I’m still struggling.  Mainly words flash into my head; raw, brutal, profound, sublime, honest.  Without much context though, those words say very little but mean a lot.

I agree completely with Tracey at the skill Sherrilyn Kenyon has for turning what you think you know completely around, causing you to love a character you thought you hated, to want to punch your favourite character for being a complete bastard only to fall in love with them all over again when they set things right. I am in total awe.

More so than in Acheron, I found Styxx’s history very hard to read because of the emotions Kenyon displayed so nakedly.  Some people will feel it’s too much, or a trigger, and anyone who has experienced those emotions, through whatever cause, would be right – I did have to take some reality breaks, but I will also say this with complete honesty – she got it right.

If you can work your way through Styxx, it is completely worth it.

The story itself was the perfect complement to Acheron and again I agree with Tracey that it’s SO worth reading that book first so you come into Styxx with a fresh eye.  Events I’d completely forgotten are examined in detail, so for me, it helped having the knowledge without having to rack my brain for it.

I can’t really say much more than that without spoilers or repeating what Tracey has said but if you love the Dark-Hunters and loved Acheron, you HAVE to read this book.

I’m in love with this series all over again, every dark, gritty, sexy, violent and romantic part of it.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Series: Dark Hunters (23)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Sep 022013
 

Acheron (Dark-Hunter World) Grete reviewed this book back in 2008, so I will not go over the same ground.  Having just reread it in preparation for the release of Styxx on the 3rd September though, I really wanted to add my thoughts.

I have read this book five or six times since I first got it in 2009 and it remains one of my favourite books ever and is definitely the best in the Dark Hunter series. I had not read it for a year or so however, and I had forgotten just how truly brilliant it is.

If you have never read any of the Dark Hunter series DO NOT pick this book up as a starting point, you need to read previous ones to get a feel for Ash and the world he now lives in. Jumping straight into this book will not give you the right background to truly appreciate this amazing character.

Acheron’s story is gut wrenchingly emotional and if you have come to love him throughout the series, I defy you not to cry numerous times during the first half of this book (and in the second half but for totally different reasons!) Every time I read it, I cry!

The first part of the book focuses on Acheron’s life as a human in Ancient Greece and is dark and violent in places, but you can’t stop reading. The second part takes us to the present day and is much more the sort of writing we associate with the Dark Hunters, including their trademark humour. Seeing Ash get his happy ending after everything that happened to him is even sweeter.  If I could, I would give this book 6 stars!

I am looking forward so much to reading Styxx. He is Acheron’s twin and played a major part in his suffering and humiliation as a human. While there has been some indication that he is not as black as he was painted, I am intrigued as to how Ms. Kenyon will justify his treatment of Ash, to allow us to love him like all her other heroes.

Thanks to Grete for introducing me to the Dark Hunters back in 2009, and an even bigger thanks for refusing to let me read Acheron until I was at the right point in the story.

If you enjoy paranormal romance then I am sure you have read some of this series, if you have not, go and do so now!!! If you have never tried paranormal romance but enjoy romance give this series a try, you will not regret it I guarantee it. Fantasy Lover is the first book.

Roll on the 3rd September!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Series: Dark Hunters (15)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Jun 202013
 

All That Bleeds (Novel of the Etherlin) Alissa North is a Muse, one of only a few - her magic has the power to inspire humans to achieve greatness for the good of mankind. The Muses are protected in the Etherlin community and have little freedom to be themselves.

Merrick is Ventala, a half vampire, and thus forbidden to fraternise with Muses. Since meeting Alissa years ago he has not been able to forget her and they strike up a secret friendship communicating via letters.

Alissa finds herself betrayed to her enemies by someone in her inner circle and does not know who to trust. With nowhere else to turn she places her trust and faith in the one person she should never be alone with.

The world this novel is set in was never really fully explained and although we were given a very brief  history lesson, I didn’t feel fully invested in it. Having said that, I found myself being dragged further in the longer the book went on and by the last third I was  enjoying it much more.

Alissa is clearly used to getting her own way and as a result is a strong heroine who surprisingly does not come across as spoilt. Merrick is obsessed with Alissa but not in a creepy way, although he does find it impossible to say no to her! There were a lot of characters in this book who played quite major roles and I would have liked more information on them. However, I suspect some of them will get their own books in this series and therefore we will find out their secrets then. There were plenty of twists and turns in the book and as I stated above, it got better as it went along.

There was a lot of action and not as much romance as I would have liked, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I will probably look to read the others in the series as they are released, in the hope I will find out more about this world.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kimberly Frost
  • Series: Etherlin (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

May 212013
 

 This can’t be happening to her.  A random break down…an isolated mountain road, a seemingly chance meeting with a hotter-than-hot stranger. Tatyana is a modern gal who can handle any crisis, but before she knows what’s hit her, she’s sensing a hideous threat, not to her but to this man who draws her like a moth to flame. Hunter.

“I know things…I saw it.”

When the attack comes, she is his protection from a diabolical enemy, even as he initiates her into a startling world of magic, sorcery and sensuality. For in a moment of terrifying danger a spark has been struck, and neither can escape the erotic fire to come…

Wow this was hot and steamy but still had a great plot! There is so much going on that the description above doesn’t do it justice. I understand that this is hopefully the first book in a new series but oddly, it read as if there should have been one before and I felt like I was missing the story that set the scene for this one. There were a lot of references to it and in all fairness, I thought that even if there had been a previous book, then I wouldn’t rush to read it because most of it is given away here.

There are a lot of characters all living in a coven together that there is a lot of potential for future books, which I would definitely be eager to read. What little I learned about the secondary characters, I loved.

Hunter – sex on legs, gorgeous and to die for, I think I am in love with him myself.  Tatyana is a very strong character and definitely no shrinking violet when it comes to sex! The banter between the two of them is good and the sex is explosive – it has been a while since I have said this, but get a cold shower ready!

I love the world, the concept and the characters but I do have one criticism in that there was a lot of sex and it did detract a little from the story. While the plot was very good, it did seem to get rushed along a bit; one minute they were talking about what to do and the next it was in progress with no preparation. I would have liked a bit more explanation but want to keep the sex too, so really the book needed to be double the size.

Overall a good book, steamy, sensual and erotic – works for me!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jacquelyn Frank
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)

Apr 212013
 

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and the only Grim Reaper this side of Mars.

When I started this book, it was with every intention of writing the review before moving on to the next one. The problem is (if it’s actually a problem) is that I adore these books, they are such fun, and I love every last thing about them. Which of course means I couldn’t help myself and tore straight into the next book!  But anyway, here we are now.  This is the second book in the series so if you haven’t yet read First Grave on the Right then do so quickly!

Charley herself is a wonderful character, flaws and all.  Her habit of naming things makes me laugh every damn time.  Danger and Will Robinson (Left and right breasts) are two of her major assets and quite often come up in conversation.  Her inner monologue is hilarious and while this series isn’t intended to be comedy based, Darynda Jones has a natural flair for making Charley extremely funny.  It’s not all laughs, there is a serious side to her as well.  The penchant for people trying to kill her as well as the often poignant duties of her unchosen career as the Grim Reaper.  Most people cross when they die, but those that stay because of unfinished business can see her as a bright beacon from wherever they are and sometimes that can be quite sad.

The side characters are just as good – Cookie, Garret, Uncle Bob – all have a special place in my heart and their involvement is what make the books such a complete read.  Then there is Reyes Farrow.  Hottie extraordinaire and a supernatural being like Charley.  Along with the main case there is usually a side plot running and it’s usually to do with Reyes.  He has a plan that will keep Charley safe, only it means he will die.  She is not on board with that idea at all.  Their interactions leave me breathless… half snarky conversation, half red hot passion.

I loved the plot in this one – A friend of Cookie’s has gone missing and she is frantic to find her.  As the investigation continues it unearths a secret from high school decades ago, that will affect some very powerful people.

I can’t help but make a comparison to Stephanie Plum but Charley Davidson, with her paranormal issues, wins hands down for me!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Apr 162013
 

Blood Born Luca Ambrus is a rare breed: vampire from birth, begotten by vampire parents, blood born. He is also an agent of the Council – the centuries-old cabal that governs vampirekind, preserving their secrecy and destroying those who betray them.

When a cryptic summons leads him to the scene of the brutal killing of a powerful Council member, Luca begins the hunt for an assassin among his own people. But instead of a lone killer he discovers a sinister conspiracy of rogue vampires bent on subjugating the mortal world. 

All that stands in their way are the conduits, humans able to channel spirit warriors into the physical world to protect mankind. Chloe Fallon is a conduit – and a target of the vampire assassin who’s killing them. When Luca saves her life, an irresistible bond of trust – along with more passionate feelings – is forged between them. As more victims fall, Chloe and Luca have only each other to depend on to save the world from the reign of monsters – and salvage their own future together.

This is a great book with the promise of leading into a fantastic series. There was quite a lot of description and character introduction which meant the pace was a bit slow at times. This is only to be expected with a new series and will hopefully lead to having further books following the various characters. When the pace picked up and the action kicked in though, it was worth waiting for.

Luca totally rocks, I loved him a lot and while he had his happy ending here, I hope he will feature prominently in future books too. Chloe was funny, spirited and quite pragmatic when it came to her life chances! The other characters were interesting and even the ‘bad vampire’ won his way into my heart – not the bitch vampire though!

There was some sex but this book was not as heavy as most other paranormal romances.  The romance was also on the light side when it came to the plot, but I have to say it didn’t need any more than there was. Stopping the uprising was much more important than hearts and flowers!

I was on the edge of my seat in parts and I think I physically jumped at one point! The ending seemed a bit rushed after all the build up, but I got my happy ending and was left salivating for the next book. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Linda Howard, Linda Jones
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)