Sunday, December 8, 2013

Caller of Light by T J Shaw

4.5 stars

This is the first book I have read from this author and indeed I believe it is the first book published by this author.  I will continue to follow her whether she continues this series or not. 

Carina McKay is the half royal daughter of King McKay known in this series as “half blood”.  He has a full blood that he dotes on.  Carina, he treats like a servant.  King Duncan has come to King McKay to court the full blood daughter, but ends up meeting Carina first.  It is believed that Marissa (full blooded sister) is the next “Caller of Light”.  The Caller is someone who can call to critons.  Critons are, from what I can understand, essentially dragons.  King McKay’s land has an abundance of unbounded critons which is why it is thought to be Marissa and this is why King Duncan is courting her.  But he can’t resist the half blood sister and ends up taking her for a mistress.  Half bloods, and especially Carina, are treated poorly.  Everytime Carina turns around he finds an enemy: her father, her half sister: Marissa, the King’s captain of the guard, King Duncan’s mother.  But for all this she does make allies and they are good and powerful allies. 

There were times I wished Carina would stop getting pooped on, but alas this was not to come to pass.  I did read this book in one day.  It was very good and kept my interest, but I was also having a lot of contractions and trying to rest so I found myself with an abundance of time.  I think my favorite part was all the emotion pent up in Carina’s past.  She believed herself lower than everyone else because that is how she was treated and that pain came out clearly in the story.  She apologized for things beyond her control when she felt unworthy.  These parts brought tears to my eyes.      

One more thing,  that cover is so hideous it would normally stop me from even reading the summary.  I'm pretty sure King Duncan has a mullet! 

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.  

Lhind the Thief by Sherwood Smith

3.5 stars

I liked the story line of this book, but it was lacking some of the usual Sherwood Smith intensity.  The author relates it to A Posse of Princesses.  It has been too long since I read that to agree or disagree.  I do know this isn’t among my favorites from this author. 

Lhind is obviously a thief as the title states, but she is also so much more.  We don’t find out exactly what until much later in the story.  The other main characters are Rajanas, Hlanan, and Thianra.  Thianra is immediately likeable, but the other two aren’t the same.  Even at the end of the story I am still not sure how I feel about Hlanan.  He is obviously is a nice person, but there was something lacking from his character that Smith’s other heroes possess.  Not sure I can say what it is. 

So Lhind is abducted by Rajanas and Hlanan and want her help procuring an item of power.  She doesn’t trust anyone and in fact can be quite annoying in her attempts to drive others away.  There are so many other plots afoot here that even at the end I am not sure who all the different players and what their intentions are. 

I will read the next installment in this series.  It seemed to end a bit abruptly, but its works.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Bit Sinful: A Forbidden Love Novel by Robyn DeHart

 3.5 Stars

I am apparently reading this series backwards.  There is no designation in the title to indicate this, but I first read the third book in the series.  I didn’t realize this until I started reading this book and realized that this one takes place prior to the one I had just finished and that there is another one which is the first book.  Not that it has ruined anything for me.  It is obvious when reading this type of book that you will get a HEA for the hero and heroine. 


Clarissa is the little sister of Justin Rodale’s best friend.  She is off limits.  Justin is the owner of a gaming hell in London and the illegitimate child of the Duke of Chanceworth.  Being illegitimate puts him just on the fringe of proper society.  Clarissa is bound and determined to marry herself off to George Wilburton whom her deceased sister-in-law recommended.  Clarissa realizes she needs some help and goes to Justin for guidance.  Both Justin and Clarissa agree they are unsuitable, but they can’t keep their hands to themselves. 


The third book has more action/adventure than this one did.  They are both short and sweet so I enjoyed that.  Overall, the writing was well done, but the storyline could have used a bit more fleshing out.  Like we never learned what happened to Lady Manchester’s will and her nasty cousin!  It also took me forever to finish.  I would read a bit, then read another book, then read a bit more.  

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Hmmm…how many stars…I’m torn…I’ll go with 3.5 stars

I’m torn because the writing is really good and the idea, while not original was very interesting.  The problem is that I kept switching to other books.  There didn’t seem to be anything pulling me back to keep reading.  I think the problem was the main character.  I didn’t find anything in her personality or character to identify with.  I would rarely have made the same decisions and found her interactions with others (especially Eli) annoying. 

Brief Summary:

Scarlet Bernard is a null.  This means that the three main factions of supernaturals (vampires, werewolves, and witches) become human again when they are within her null radius.  Nulls are rare and Scarlet is the only one in L.A.  Her job is cleaning up crime scenes for this supernatural community.  I’m not really sure why her being a null has anything to do with her cleaning up their messes, but that is that.  In the beginning she is called to a crime scene that is so brutal she is caught off guard and ends up there when the police show up.  This is how she comes to be connected to a L.A. detective named Jesse.  She has to bring him into her world and soon they are teamed up to solve this and other cases with a deadline. 


As mentioned above I just didn’t connect to Scarlet.  I’m also not a huge fan of love triangles and there is a small one in this book.  I’m not sure if I want to continue reading this series.  I’m not against reading other books from this author though because I said at the beginning the writing was good and the idea was good.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hatshepsut’s Collar by A.W. Exley (Artifact Hunter’s #2)

5 Stars

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.  

This is the second book in this series.  I hadn’t read anything else from this author and indeed I don’t think there is anything else except for a short story in an anthology.  When this happens I know I have either just found a great author or the first book is going to be their best work.  For A.W. Exley this second book was just as good as the first and in fact I might have loved it more!  After reading this second installment it makes me want to go back and read the first book again to glean more information.

The summary for the book is very vague so I am going to do my darnedest to keep all spoilers out.  This book takes back up with Cara and Nate shortly after the end of the first book.  Cara is always the narrator, but due to the bond of the heart forged in the first book we get rare glimpses into Nate’s psyche/emotions which make it feel like there are two narrators.  I really liked this because Nate still has a lot of mystique surrounding him and this allows the reader to understand his feelings for Cara without having it spelled out. 

Nate gets tossed in the Tower.  Cara only moments prior to his arrest finds out about a betrayal from Nate that occurred years before they ever met.  Before she gets to decide whether to keep or discard Nate for his treachery he is arrested.  Because of their bond, if he dies, so does Cara so she must rescue him.  Queen Victoria is wearing Hatshepsut’s collar and Cara begins to suspect something sinister is afoot. 

We get to see all our favorite characters from the first book too (well my favorites anyway) like Loki, Miguel, and Jackson as well as get to meet some new favorites like Natalie, Nikolai, and Sergei.  We get to do a bit of traveling in an airship and get a better understanding of what this bond means for our heroine and hero. 

I pretty much loved every second of this book and can’t wait for the next one.  While I understand Cara’s distress over Nate’s betrayal I can’t say I got as worked up about it as she did.  Obviously, her past taints her view of the situation, but I think I like Nate more because of it. 

The end of the book has an excerpt from a new series for this author and I must say that I don’t usually read those, but it was ~12% of the book so I thought I would give it a try and it has me hooked.  I hope it gets released soon.  Wardens, gargoyles, naturals…interesting and not done before as far as I can tell.