Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breathe by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain Man #4)

5 Stars
I think that this is my favorite installment in this series.  I really like Tate (#2) but man could that guy be mean when he was mad and I thoroughly enjoyed Ty and Lexie’s (#3) beginnings but that guy has got a potty mouth on him, but I enjoyed every second of Chace and Faye’s story.  I loved how they both were pining for each other.  I loved how big of a nerd Faye was (I seriously read as much as her and like nerd shows) and I loved the way that Chace is a seriously good guy, but his protective streak is so big it’s almost a fault.  I loved the dual POV from Chace to Faye.  I loved that Faye was a virgin and how much that Chace appreciated this.  I loved the get-togethers with all the other mountain men.  I loved Deck and hope to get his story too. 
This book picks up where Lady Luck left off and the town is still trying to pick itself up.  The Elite are still out there and their dirt is still floating around and they want it back!  There is a side story with a little boy that brought tears to my eyes (that does not happen often folks).  Chace and his father are not bosom buddies and the night that Faye meets his mom and Chace gets upset and tries to be a turdling to my darling Faye was not awesome, but it was awesome how she handled it.  Perfect!     
That is all I’m gonna say.  It was great.  Loved every second of it. 
There is a little bit too much of the big speeches being made all around.  People don’t generally talk like this.  
Favorite quote:
“You’re beautiful, a good kisser, this is our first date, my bed is in the room, I’m nervous as all heck, and I just thought I was going to die chocking after spitting out gum so no, I’m not all right.”  --Faye Goodknight to Chace Keaton

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley (#3 Colorado Mountain Man)

4.5 Stars

I think the beginning of this book contains my favorite beginning for a Kristen Ashley book and is definitely one of the top contenders for awesomest beginning for a romance book of all time (for me).  I loved every interaction between Ty and Lexie.

This is the third book in the Colorado Mountain Man Series.  Tyrell (Ty) Walker is just released from prison and someone owes him big time.  To pay up, Lexie Berry is dispatched with a bag of stuff to escort Ty home.  Ty immediately likes what he sees but can’t see how the scum who owed him (Shift) was able to send someone like Lexie to pay his dues.  Still he needs Lexie for part of his Grand Plan O’ Vengeance.  Lexie agrees, but soon Ty’s plans are falling apart.  Lexie isn’t sticking to the play book.
Twice Ty hurts Lexie and the way it is written, I can feel her pain.  I can imagine the depth of her pain and how she feels.  While this sounds weird, those times were some of my favorites because it pushed Ty and Lexie beyond what they would have been.

Ty is a bit more crass than some of the other Kristen Ashley heroes.  At times works for him and its hot and at times it is jarring.  I would find it alarming if someone spoke to me the way Ty does Lexie, but it works for them.  I can’t include my favorite quote because it has too many curse words!
When Ty and Lexie make the end of their road trip and end in Carnal.  The Carnal PD is still as crooked as ever and are up to no good.  This is all I can say without giving out spoilers.  It is a long book, typical Kristen Ashley long.      

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

4 Stars
This book is apparently a retelling of a fairy tale that I had never heard of before that goes by many names but most commonly “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” 

The first character we meet is Galen Werner who is a soldier who is travelling to his aunt and uncles house after the war.  He has never met his relatives, but is taken in and soon starts as a gardener for the king with his uncle. 
In the garden is where Galen meets Rose who is the oldest of twelve princesses.  Galen is smitten from the beginning, but he soon learns that all is not well in Bruch.  The princesses have a mystery of their dancing shoes being worn out every morning.  Their maids can never recall anything amiss and soon the king becomes so desperate that he sets a reward to any prince who can discover the mystery (for the princesses are unable to tell what is happening) that the prince may chose a princess to marry and will inherit the kingdom.  Many princes come and go…and this is where the story gets good.

I really did love this story but I felt like too much of the story was spent on building to one moment.  Isn’t that what a book normally does, you ask?  Yes, yes it does, but there was not much in the rest of the book to recommend it except the ending.  I don’t even think that the reader got to see/read about the underworld until half-way through the book.  Having said that, I loved retelling of fairy tales and this was an excellent one!  I liked all the princesses.  The author did a good job of trying to make them each memorable (although there are 12 of them and I kept getting “the younger set” mixed up).  I will definitely read
Favorite Quote:

“In this cruel world kindness should always be repaid.”
--The Old Crone to Galen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis (#1 in The Grey Wolves Series)

3 Stars
I have mixed feelings about this book.  I have never read anything by this author.  I actually got another book lent to me in the middle of reading this book and I thought, “well I can just finish this book up after I get the other one read.”  But in fact I couldn’t get into the loaned book (which shall remain unnamed for its own protection).  So I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and kept thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it.  However, it really really needs to be edited.  The author would really benefit from some good beta readers.  There are many books in this series so I am willing to gamble that the editing gets better the further the author moves into the publishing world.  Also this first book is free so am I really able to complain about typos on a free book?  I don’t know.
My other problem was the character development.  Many of the characters seemed two dimensional and some of them were downright annoying!  I am pretty sure the author was trying to show how close the three girls were but I wouldn’t care if I never heard about them again.  They would say the stupidest things.  And Jacque would also say stupid things and through temper tantrums that were quite annoying.  Perhaps the author intends to show how mature she is able to become over the course of the series, but right now I do not like those girls. 
I’m not gonna give a summary because the official summary pretty much says it all.  I thought that the love story between Fane and Jacque (how do you pronounce that by the way?  Some places it was spelled Jac so is the author saying that Jacque would be pronounced like Jackie and that Jac is pronounced like Jack?).
I am going to read the next book and hope for better editing and less annoying stupid talk from the three girls. This series has the potential to be amazing for me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rebel Heart by Lizzy Ford

4 stars
This book was free on Amazon when I got it, and it was free the last time I checked.  I have in fact read a book by this author before, so I wasn’t taking a giant leap into Indie Author-sphere without some thought that I would probably enjoy the writing.  It is edited well so not a lot of typos (if any, I just can’t remember to promise that it is perfect). 
When the story began I was a little confused, but I just kept reading and eventually everything was explained and made sense.  This story takes place in the future and 60 years ago the United States was split East and West with a civil war.  Now, 60 years later, there is an uneasy truce but there is still the PMF (Poor Man’s F____) to worry about.  There were just too many factions to keep track of at first: East vs West, elite vs poor, elite vs “regular army types”, regular army types vs PMF.  Eventually it all worked out.
So the story starts up with the reader meeting Lana/Angel.  She is a genius with technology and has all the skills needed…well for anything technical.  But absolutely zero skills with anything physical or related to survival.  Her boss connects her to a guy named who calls himself Guardian but his real name is Brady who helps her get out of the city and to a command center.  From there Lana discovers a secret and needs to flee (with her zero survival skills you can see where this is going right?) and she gets captured by PMF.  Brady/Guardian is a double agent and due to damage to his vocal cords when they first meet face to face, he recognizes Lana/Angel but she doesn’t recognize him.  That is all I am saying because I feel the rest of the summary would border on spoilers. 
It was a great read and for $0.00 dollars it is definitely worth it.   I enjoyed the development of characters and the twists that the plot brought about.  I liked that Lana was able to prove herself and that she got her dog back.  At the beginning, I feel like the plot would have been better served if the reader got more snippets of Angel and Guardian’s conversations via phone than of the confusing back history.  At some points I was unsure of the timeline and at others I am pretty sure that there were discrepancies.    

Ilona Andrews Free Online Fiction

So I know I have posted this link before, but I am pretty sure that I am in love with Mr. and Mrs. Gordon (or at least their writing) and this fall they decided to write a serial and post it online for free.  There was a break around Christmas (longer than I appreciated but hey it's free so how can I complain!)  and they just recently updated it.  Please be aware that the newest installment to the story is always first so make sure you start at chapter 1 (duh! I know, but just make sure!).  So the story is about "Innkeepers" and of course they are paranormal innkeepers and not your run of the mill innkeeper.  I've never read anything similar and I love it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

At First Sight: A Timber Wolves Companion by Tammy Blackwell

5 gignormous stars
If you happen to have read any of my other reviews for Tammy Blackwell then you must realize that I am somewhat smitten with anything that comes out of her pen.  It is with that disclaimer that I say, this was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

This entire companion happens during the first two chapters of the first book in the Timber Wolves Trilogy.  We get into the minds of the other characters.  First Liam, then Alex, Talley, Charlie and finally Jase.  And each person took you a little further into the story chronologically.  It was awesome because we get to read about the first time Liam sees Scout, then the first time that Alex sees Scout, then the beginning of when Talley starting “seeing”, then we hear from Charlie and Jase.  I am in love with Liam and thus being in his mind was my favorite to be a part of it all.
It was great, every second.  Buy it, and read it, but only if you have read the rest of the series (I mean it, you must read all three before going back to read this).  And if you haven’t read the trilogy then you are missing out!

Review: Time Mends (#2 Timber Wolves Trilogy) by Tammy Blackwell

Review: Fate Succumbs (#3 in Timber Wolves Trilogy) by Tammy Blackwell

Apparently I wasn't writing reviews yet when I read the first one. 

My only complaint is that I want more about Liam (and Scout).  I know they are supposed to appear in the spin off, but I am not sure that is enough for me. This picture is how that makes me feel...
As you can see, this poor cat is in agony...he can hardly breathe.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter

4 stars (not great, but good enough for a short story prequel).
Apparently this is a prequel to the series.  I have read nothing of the series but bought the “Lords of the Underworld” bundle that has this book and the first three books.  I read a reviewer’s note that said if you get the sample of this bundle that you will get the entire short story/prequel in that sample (word to the wise).  Of course that would only be helpful for people who have read the rest of the series and didn’t want to buy the prequel.  For me, I just decided to delve into this series so I didn’t mind getting it in the bundle.
It has some pretty low reviews.  Normally I would never buy and probably wouldn’t read a book or novella that has 3 stars.  I am pretty surprised it has such low reviews, but perhaps people were hoping for more from this prequel.
This story is about the guardian to the gates of Hell (Geryon) and the goddess of oppression, Kadence who is in charging of maintaining the wall between the human realm and Hell.  The wall has a crack in it and Kadence bargains with Lucifer to allow Geryon to help her repair it.  Only the very end does it bring up Pandora’s box (from what I can gather, the point of the story was to give us the background on Pandora’s box, but I am not sure if Geryon or Kadence play any role in the rest of the books). 

Who is this fellow on the cover?
It is not Geryon, I can tell you.
And what is he doing? 
Is he stretching?

I plan to read the next book, The Darkest Night next.  Here I go…

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

5 Stars
This is definitely the first book in a series with the next book being about Will.  I am so excited!  I am a sucker for steampunk romance! 

There is waaay too much going on in this book to do an adequate job with a summary, but I will attempt my usual super short summary:

Honoria is the oldest of three siblings.  She had to move them to Whitechapel and she is in hiding and on the run from the blue bloods in general and Lord Vickers in particular.  Her brother Charlie is sick and younger sister, Lena is working as well to help support the three of them.   Honor gets summoned the leader of Whitechapel abode and thus begins her tentative dealings with a rogue blue blood.  But Honor keeps her secrets close even as Blade (said leader of Whitechapel) works to learn all her secrets.  They have one common enemy and the problem of a vampire hunting in Whitechapel. 

Seriously, so much more happens to even begin to cover all the bases, but you will love it!  I loved Blade, seriously I loved every second of Blade.  I liked Honor most of the time and could understand her reasoning, but sometimes I just wanted to pull her hair and make her tell Blade all her secrets.  Will wasn’t so loveable and I read the exerpt from his story that is at the end of Kiss of Steel and he still doesn’t seem loveable, but I guess I will just have to trust that the author can make him grow on me. 

The beginning was a bit confusing because there was a lot of new lingo being thrown at the reader, but I soon caught on.  I did think that the whole infection with blood craving virus to blue blood to vampire link took too long to come out in the book.  That should have been explained clearly earlier on. 

Favorite Quote/Scene:  This scene is towards the beginning of the book when Honoria and Blade are still working out their deal.  Blade is at a fight night when three blue bloods show up (one being Leo Barrons) and Honoria shows up. 

“Barrons was watching with his arms crossed over his chest.  Just as he’d suspected.  Blade gave him another chilling smile. ‘Mine,’ he mouthed silently, knowing Barrons could read his lips.” 

Cover: I love this cover however, is it just me or does the guy look like Nick Lachey?  I do not picture Blade looking like Nick Lachey! Anyway, the other problem is that author brings up Honor's skirts about a thousand and one times and there are not skirts visible on this cover.  That is all because I really do love the cover. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright

5 big beautiful stars

I absolutely adored this book!  It has been a while since I read a book that I couldn’t put down.  The writing was funny and perfect in every way.  I loved how the passage of time was shown at the beginning of a chapter by a written invitation to some event or another.  This was my very first Tessa Dare book that I actually read because Tammy Blackwell said she liked this author on her blog and Tammy Blackwell can do no wrong in my eyes (except not put out the little bunch of stories called “At First Sight” sooner rather than later *insert foot tapping*). 
I don’t know how many pages the book is, Goodreads estimates it to be 100 pages and it was a well used 100 pages.  The romance between the two characters was believable because it took place over such a long time. 

Super Short Summary:
Eliza is the fourth daughter of the Cade family and through a situation (that comes out later in the story) she isn’t allowed to be “out” in society until all her older sisters have been married.  She has her first humorous encounter with the Mr. J Harrison Wright.  He is a known rake and is completely unsuitable to be alone with.  The rest of the story is the telling of Eliza and Harry’s various encounters over the years that turn from humorous to amorous and I loved every second of it!  The only thing I didn't like was the title.  It was too long and elaborate to remember. 

One of my many favorite quotes: (This is when I knew I would love this book)
“I’m not a child,” Eliza argued with the closed double doors.  “I’m a grown woman.  With accomplishments and bosoms and everything.” –Eliza to herself

Come Back To Me by Josie Litton (Viking and Saxon #3)

4 stars
This is the third book in this series (and I think it is probably the last book in the series).  The first two followed Wolf (a Viking lord) and Hawk (a Saxon lord) as they meet, marry and woe their brides (in that order).  This book follows Wolf’s brother, Dragon (another Viking lord) and his bride Rycca (a Saxon lady).  These marriages were designed to bring peace between the Norse and Saxon’s.
Like the other two marriages, it doesn’t start off well.  Rycca is running away from her family and the marriage.  Dragon is having some alone time at Hawk lodge in the woods outside Hawkforte.  They meet up but neither with tell the other their real names.  Dragon wants to help Rycca, but Rycca still manages to get away again.  The marriage starts off with a lot of distrust between these two people.  And like the other books there is still danger.  There are people who don’t want the Norse and Saxon’s to unite and they are working in underhanded ways to prevent this.  So the book follows these goings on and we watch Dragon and Rycca work through their difficulties.  We do get to see Wolf and Cymbra and Hawk and Krysta again a couple times in the book and it is nice to see the friendship between the ladies. 
I loved this series.  I had never read anything by this author before, but I plan to read the rest of her books as well now.  I loved all the characters.  I don’t know which is my favorite couple.  Even the bad guys are written well.  You know who not to trust, but you can’t quite figure out all the details.    

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

I was soo excited for this book to come out.  The first book in the series (The Shadow Reader) was so awesome it became an instant favorite.  Perhaps my expectations were too high, or the first book became so awesome in my head that no matter what the sequel couldn’t live up to the image I had in my head.  Either way…I was disappointed and it makes me really sad to say that. 

I felt like nothing happened.  I bought this book the day it came out and starting eating up the pages, but I quickly found that it was a lot of running here, no sleep, no food, no time for Aren or for McKenzie to figure out how she felt and then we are going to hurry up and go somewhere else.  I found it really annoying that McKenzie kept up the whole “I don’t know how I feel yet” bit the entire time until the end.  The ending was the best part, but I only say that because I was for once, riveted.  I had to know what would happen next.  But now that I know the ending I am torn.  I was always Team Aren, but with this ending I don’t see how Aren can move past what happened! 
That is all I have to say for now, the ending was sad and the rest of the book was a lot of action that led to nothing.  I know this is a terrible review, but I can’t bring myself to talk about this book anymore.  I am definitely going to read the next book, and maybe with my expectations lowered I will think it is awesomeness incarnate again.    

Taken by Moonlight by Dorothy McFalls

4 Stars

This was a free novella through Amazon.  I haven’t read anything from this author before, but the tag of “Historical Paranormal Romance” caught my attention.  My three favorite genres combined into one! 

Super Short Summary:
Lady Amelia is an almost-on-the-shelf-woman at 21 years old.  She is restless and bored of the usual social niceties. 

Dimitri we soon learn is a lone wolf who has been called upon by his old pack (the only pack?) to find the missing daughter of the long dead pack’s previous alpha male and female. 
Lady Amelia and Dimitri meet and sparks fly but it appears that Dimitri knows there are other plans for Lady Amelia and struggles with his own feelings about her future. 

This was a novella and I read it in an hour or so.  Sometimes I prefer novellas as I can get a short story: beginning, middle and ending all in one sitting.  I enjoyed meeting Amelia and Dimitri both.  Often one of the main characters will annoy me at some point, but neither did in this case. 

I enjoyed meeting some of the other secondary characters like Aunt Lettie and the Earl.  They were likeable and three dimensional.  I am not such a fan of Dimitri’s sister.  
There are a couple of characters that are portrayed as bad guys but then are either shown to be good guys or just fade into the back ground.  I feel like Vlad’s situation was unresolved. 

Overall, I enjoyed this very much.  The summary doesn’t say much so I can’t tell if explaining which of the various paranormal creatures exist in this book would be a spoiler so I won’t say anything except it is my favorite of the paranormal creatures here. 
Favorite Quote:  Lord Carew to Lady Amelia

“Lord help me,” he whispered, “you are so beautiful it causes me pain.”