Friday, November 29, 2013

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell

 4.5 stars

Normally anything that Tammy Blackwell writes gets an automatic 5 big stars, but this book was slightly different than her previous series with Scout and Liam.  Without Scout narrating we lost some of the humor from her sarcasm.  The narrators were Charlie Hagan is so very broken and a new addition to the group: Maggie McCray.  Because of this the tone of the book is different.  Not bad…just not what I had come to love.  Of course if it was the same I would be thinking, “Ok, so all your characters have the same personality huh?” So Tammy can’t win with me is what I am saying…

This book takes off with the Alpha Pack having a headquarters in Kentucky in a university town.  Scout is going to Sanders University and ends up sitting next to Maggie.  She knows Maggie is something supernatural and assumes she is a Seer.  She invites her to a hustings, but Maggie doesn't show up.  Scout and Talley then find Maggie on campus and convince her to come to a picnic.  The picnic is interrupted by something terrible that lands Maggie in the company of the Alpha Pack until it is resolved.  This is when she meets Charlie…and Charlie immediately doesn't like or trust little Maggie and makes this known.  He is assigned her bodyguard as she continues with her classes on campus and the pack continues the investigation into the crimes that keep happening.  I am thinking that the next book has Joshua in it and I am looking forward to this.  

Maggie just wasn't as likable as I wanted her to be.  I think it was very real to make her jealous of Scout, but knowing what Scout went through and what Scout and Charlie went through it was distasteful that Maggie had animosity towards her.  I am sure that if I was Maggie I would have those same feelings towards Scout.  I know...once again poor Tammy can't win.  Charlie was Charlie and I enjoyed reading about his growth and thought processes.  They made sense just like Maggie, but perhaps the Hagans just can't do any wrong.  I really did love reading about the Liam/Scout saga.  It wasn't quite enough to satiate me, but it was more than I thought I would get.  Beggars can't be choosers.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blind Salvage (Rylee Adamson #5) by Shannon Mayer

5 stars

I’ve been waiting for this book…it feels like forever, but it’s really not been that long.  Just a few months since #4 came out.

This book takes up with Rylee, Liam, Pamela and Alex in London and trying to get back to North Dakota.  As usual their little group runs into problem after problem.  The entire book takes place in about a week.  We get a glimpse into the Orion business.  Rylee acts like a jerk to Liam at times because of this and she is definitely in denial.  Milly is back and seeking redemption.  This is very confusing for Rylee.  She still doesn’t trust Milly.  It is quite a feat that Liam doesn’t kill her on sight.  Rylee has enemies coming out of the woodwork in Farris, Berget, and Orion, however she also has many allies coming out as well. 

I found this book to be one of the sadder installments in this series.  I don’t think I will be able to handle it if my favorite character, Alex gets killed in this series. 

Favorite Quote:

“To the end and back, I will stand with you.”  --Liam

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Third Kiss: Dorian’s Dream by Heather Killough-Walden

4 Stars

I actually loaned this book out before I read it myself.  I was looking forward to reading it, but I was in the middle of another book so you will just have to deal with the lateness of this review from the release date.  Also a word to the wise…another reviewer (either intentionally or unintentionally) had spoilers in their review and the Heather Killough-Walden fans on facebook had a crusade to “say that the review wasn’t helpful” on Amazon.  Seems a bit harsh…so don’t make these ladies mad!  They will come for you and your reviews!  Anyway…

Dorian is the main character in this book.  He is the half vampire/half human brother of the French Vampire King.  These brothers do not get along well…beyond normal sibling rivalry.  There was a prophecy that for the many vampire kings of the world that they would have a human queen who would be able to give them half vampire/half human children.  This is desirable for many reasons of which we won’t get into here.  So these kings have waited.  Julien (French Vampire King) had a dream about a woman and many things are revealed to him, but he does know that Emma is his queen.  So he sends Dorian after her.  There is a whole lot more going on here that just two brothers fighting over a woman.  There is dissention (other than Dorian’s) within the ranks.  Other kings are aware of Emma and making their own plans.  Friends are foes and foes are friends. 

I really liked the storyline.  Emma at times wasn’t very likeable and Dorian was just “blah” at times.  Julien was an awesome bad guy.  You will love hating this guy.  And I actually can’t wait to read the next book…I don’t think I can say who the next vampire king will be to get his book without revealing something about the storyline so you will just have to read it!  I was hoping the epilogue was going to be about him though. This author’s book are always such a good deal for the money you send.  The editing is well done and the storyline is always interesting.  I’m pretty sure I own all her books.

P.S. Heather: I am still waiting patiently for the next book in the Neverland series.  I need some more Hook!   

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Heller by JD Nixon (Heller #1)

3.5 Stars

This was a fairly entertaining and quick read.  I liked the storyline, but the writing was just ok.  I suspect that further books in the series will be better as the writer gets the hang of her characters.  I was looking for a book/series to read after reading and re-reading the Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley.  It had all the right parts: an alpha hero bad boy, a girl in need of saving who ends up taking care of herself and good secondary characters. 

Tilly is a down and out actor…however, that term might be a little too generous a term for her career.  She is struggling to pay rent and feed herself.  Her best friend, Dixie, isn't very likeable (I couldn't tell if the author did this on purpose or not) and is her roommate.  Tilly ends up interviewing for a position with Heller Security that is disastrous, but she ends up with a trial position with the company. 

What I loved: the idea of Tilly getting a break with a good paying job, plenty of food, etc.  It is every girls dream to be handed a job with all those bonuses that she gets, but perhaps it was a bit much.  I actually loved how much trouble Tilly always ended up in. 

What I didn't love is the on/off idea of Tilly and Heller.  In this book, it held a lot of appeal for me, except for Heller’s excursions out on the town for his “manly needs”.  I have read further excerpts and I am not sure I want to read about all the twists and turns their relationship is going to take.  I know, that is a not fair of me to read all those spoilers but that is how I roll so just deal!   

I think it was finally at 75% that I surmised where the book took place.  Due to the language I had suspected it was London from the beginning, but then kept waffling back and forth at times.  It was very frustrating.  Just say the name of the darn city!  

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dream Thief by Shana Abe (Drākon #2)

I loved this book as much as the first. I am bit sad because the reviews for the third book weren’t that great.

This book follows Zane whom we meet in the first book and the youngest child of Rue and Christoff. She is the only one of the children who can’t Turn and hasn’t shown any Gifts yet. She has always been a little different than the rest of the family and has heard the song of Draumr her whole life.

Zane is sent on a mission to find Draumr in Transylvania. I will admit that I have a weakness for anything taking place in Transylvania. Along the way he finds out that Amalia (the youngest child of Rue and Christoff) has also made the journey to find this stone. She convinces him to let her travel with him so she can help him find this diamond. The journey is perilous and wonderful. Amalia gains a lot of confidence and Zane gets a little humility. I LOVED the ending.

I did wish there was a bit of an epilogue or something to let us know how her family took the issue. The one thing I did find odd is that there appears to be journal entries of perhaps Amalie telling the story from her perspective for small bits or someone else telling their own opinions. I never understood those passages. Who is talking?  I will still read the next one in the series but with low expectations.  The next one is about Maricara who is 11 when we meet her in this book and the hero is Amalia's older brother, so what is the age difference there?  I thought it odd that they never discussed the age difference between Amalia and Zane so I probably won't know the age difference for the next book.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (Drākon)

4.5 Stars

This book not new and had been in my TBR pile for quite some time. Now I am wondering what took me so long because I pretty much loved every second of it. There is a lovely prologue. For me, prologue are hit or miss. Sometimes they are essential, sometimes they are just annoying. This one was essential and wonderfully done. It is the history of the drākon done in very brief but important passages.


Clarissa Hawthorne was a half breed. Her father was human (or as they are called in this book, “other”) and her mother was drākon (dragon…obviously). Because of this half breed status she is not treated well by any except her mother who is sick. This is all we know of young Clarissa.

Christoff Langford is the alpha of the drākon and also a marquess in the ton. Word comes to the tribe that there is a thief in London who can walk through walls and disappear. They know instantly that this is one of the drākon who has managed to escape. Escape is forbidden and punishable by death. They take themselves off to London to catch this thief and instead find a surprise. No female has been able to make the turn from person to smoke to dragon in centuries, but it appears there is one living in London in secret. Christoff, naturally, decides he must have her. The rest of the story is about a diamond that must be recovered as it is the heart of the tribe, the female dragon that is more obstinate and elusive than the council predicted and catching the smoke thief.

After finishing this story, I immediately purchased the second book. I assure you its life in my TBR pile will be short lived. I didn’t find any of the characters to be annoying which is a big plus for this author. The next book appears to be about the next generation of drākon.

Favorite Quote:

“No, love. From now on, your home is with me.” –Christoff Langford

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #5)

 5 Stars

Obviously, as the name alludes, this is the fifth book in this series.  I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D!  It is awesome and funny and we learn so much in this book in one scene my mind is still reeling.

As always, Charley is funny and makes multitasking look easy.  She has an apartment full of dead blonde women who are scared out of their minds and won’t talk to her.  The arsonist is still on the loose and Charley still thinks it is Reyes.  One of her cases seems open and shut, but as usual comes back to haunt her (not literally).  Angel’s mom suspects something and wants answers and Garrett is hiding something. 

I loved Reyes in this book more than in any other book.  He opens up a bit more each time and we learn more about Charley’s heritage as a grim reaper.

That is all I am going to say because I don’t think I will say anything that 397 other people haven’t already said in their reviews…but it is five stars so I need to put my 2 cents out there.      

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Luck of the Dragon by Susannah Scott

3.5-4 Stars (I can’t decide)

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and indeed I am not even sure if she has written anything.  There were a few minor grammatical issues, but nothing bothersome.  The writing was still good.  I enjoyed the storyline. 

Luciana de Luca has a Ph.D. in gemology, but this is a far cry from her past.  Her father was/is in prison, I can’t remember what happened to her mother, but she didn’t fare well when their father left and her twin brother is a conman.  He has gotten himself into trouble (again), this time with the mob and has pulled Lucy into his trouble.  To get his debt paid off she has to steal the keycard from the owner of one of the new casinos opening up in Las Vegas.  Of course, once she does this they want another favor and Lucy realizes that she would never be able to get out of the mob connection, but she still wants to save her brother.  However, the owner to this particular casino is actually a king…of the dragons.  There is a big ceremony coming up for the dragons to find their mates and Alec’s nemesis has been spotted in town.  He has a lot on his plate when he realizes that Lucy is his mate…his very human mate.  This would have been difficult to win his mate right now, but the fact that she is a human makes it even harder. 

I enjoyed that the action didn’t wait until the end.  It was interspersed throughout, and this actually made the book a little less predictable. 

What I did not enjoy was Lucy’s reaction after the fight between Gino and Alec.  I understand that it would be difficult for an author to attempt to write a realistic reaction to finding out that dragons exist and the man that you have been getting it on with is their king.  Having said that, Lucy’s thoughts and actions during this time were very frustrating.  I don’t have an answer on how to write that scene better because if she is too accepting too fast then that would also be unrealistic, but as a reader I wanted to shout, “Don’t do it, Lucy! You are gonna regret this!”