Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Carried Away by Jill Barnett

3.5 Stars
When I read the summary for this book, I thought that it took place “way back when” and if not in Scotland then in England.  However, when it says, “displaced Highland clan” they mean displaced to an island off the coast of Maine.  There are two brothers (very different), Calum and Eachann.  Eachann was married once before but is now a widower with two children he doesn’t know what to do with.  Calum is the chief of this little displaced clan and very meticulous. 
I enjoyed the last 35% the best.  It took a while for the story to pick up because we had to be introduced to both of the ladies separately.  Amy was “new money” and not accepted into the society that her money placed her.  Georgina was “old money” but actually lacked the money part of that equation, so it was just her name and reputation that she had left.  She needed to snag a rich husband to save her family home.  Georgina was actually very unlikeable for most of the book.  It wasn’t until the last 20% of so that she completely changed, but she was very hateful to everyone for most of the book that I’m not sure I like her at all.  Amy and Calum were both likeable, but Calum didn’t quite cut it for a hero/love interest for me.  I struggled to picture him in an attractive light.  Now Eachann, I liked everything about him.  I liked that he just kidnapped the two ladies.  I liked that he called Georgina, George.  And I loved how he didn’t take any of Georgina’s crap.  I didn’t understand why he wanted her though because she was just so awful to him!  The middle part of the book dragged and I could have done without most of it. 
Kirsty and Graham are Eachann’s children and once again I barely tolerated Kirsty.  There were times throughout the book where the reader was in Kirsty’s POV and I think that the author was trying to make us sympathetic to the little girl by explaining that she lost her mother and didn’t get any attention from her father.  I did feel sympathy, but she needed a giant spanking! 
Overall, I enjoyed the plot, but it could have been thinned a lot.  I enjoyed some of the characters but the author missed the mark for me on many of them. 
Favorite quote:  Eachann to Georgina…
“I think you don’t need to pull down your bodice to attract a man.”
“Now, I have to admit it was quite a sight…” He gave her a slow hot smile. “And still is, but I had already decided I wanted you before you pulled your dress down almost to your waist.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann

Wowzers…fans of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series will love everything found in this group of short stories and interviews. 

Frank O’Leary stars in a short story titled “When Frank Met Rosie” which is from the Force of Nature promo book.  This one was one of my favorites.  There were so many snippets and short stories in this compliation that I don’t remember them all until I see the title, but this one sticks out for me.  Frank and Rosie are both very likeable.  We spend only a few hours with them, but it was awesome.  Frank and Rosie meet on a rainy night in New Orleans.  There is a touch of the fantastical in this one, which isn’t necessarily present in the author’s other stuff.

I started out really liking “Home is Where the Heart Is, Part I and II), but it quickly became boring!  I found Arlene Schroeder to be annoying, but I did like her daughter, Maggie, her brother Will, and her lovey, Jack Lloyd.  Arlene is home on leave and Maggie wants to keep her mother home longer than a month and comes up with a bit of a ridiculous plan and finagles Jack into it.  So Jack propositions Arlene, but not the usual proposition.  They also brought in Robin and Jules for a few scenes which was fine and dandy, but then there were a couple superfluous scenes where we are in Robin or Jules head away from the other characters and the scene had nothing to do with this story. 

My next favorite was featuring Sam Starrett in “A SEAL and three babies”.  This is an all star short story with Sam and Alyssa and their son, Ash, Jules & Robin, and Max, Gina and their two children.  Max, Alyssa and Jules are going on a mission in Afghanistan.  Sam, Robin, Gina and the kids are to wait for them at a nice resort.  Both situations have a few major snafus.  I loved how Sam handled his end of the situation. 
I didn’t enjoy the interviews so much.  I can appreciate the creativity that went behind the thought, but it is just a little weird for me.   There is also just a few too many religious curse words.  I would prefer almost any other curse word besides the big “GD”.  Yuke!  Crass and cheap. 

Favorite quote: Sam from “A SEAL and three babies” when he is analyzing his group as only a SEAL would:

“It was a team that consisted of an eight-month-old, a one-year-old, a three-year-old, and two twentysomethings who were hopelessly in love with their partners—partners who’d recently left for a war zone.  And that meant that Sam’s team’s major skill sets were eating, pooping, crying, and/or trying not to cry or otherwise appear worried so as not to frighten the super-short team members.”  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All We See and Seem: A Shifters and Seers Novella by Tammy Blackwell

This is a review for an ARC copy, given with the understanding of an honest review. 

Yes, my children, it is time for another installment of the amazing world of Tammy Blackwell’s Shifters and Seers.  And yes, your hopes and dreams will be answered in the 88 pages of gloriousness that is this novella. 


 I was actually slightly confused when I started reading.  When we left Talley and Jase they were madly in love, but when you start reading you quickly realize that they are not at that point yet.  So how far back have we gone?  The first time we spend in Jase’s head, the reader figures it out.  He is talking to Sarvana (yes the evil queen who was vanquished in Fate Succumbs) and it quickly becomes clear where we are in the storyline.  Scout is MIA with Liam and the reader gets the story of how Talley and Jase become “Talley and Jase”.   Jase and Talley are both at college and attempting to portray loyal followers for the Alpha Pack and the entire novella happens within a few short days.    

We get to meet Joshua, Jase’s roommate (the immortal from Fate Succumbs) from the beginning.  He is quite funny and I am glad I got to meet him in this fashion.  He is sneaky and dramatic and I love him. 

The reader finds out what it cost Toby to stand up for Scout in Time Mends at her trial with the Alpha Pack.  I am really glad the author put that in there because I never realized what happened after he defended Scout.  It was a big deal for Toby to do that and I admire his character more. 

My favorite part of Tammy’s writing is her humor.   Even though this is an ARC copy I will still be downloading a kindle copy so that I can go through and highlight all my favorite parts.  The author has a talent for using humor to lighten situations without making the characters seem irreverent or immature.  I love the references to Mario Bros. and The Princess Bride.  And then there are the scenes when the characters are being serious and I might even love those more.  Ahh…so much to love!   I can’t even begin to pick out a line or scene that would be my favorite, but I will try. 

(One of) my favorite quote(s):

“Jase, you’re standing around in your panties.  Get some pants on. Now”
                                                            -Talley to Jase after he took off his “Pizza Pants of Shame”.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What am I reading?

Currently I am reading a galley copy of The Outcast Prince by Shona Husk.  She also wrote a series about the goblin king which was incredibly interesting.  This one is about fairies (which I happen to love!) and about a mirror which is some sort of portal into their world. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

5 Stars (Can I give it 6 stars?  It’s my blog and I say yes! So….) 6 Stars

Why, oh why do I do this to myself?  I have had this book since very soon after it came out, but when I read about Andrea Nash through the Kate Daniels series, she never inspired me to want to read an entire book about her.  So I put it off and put it off and read some really good, some ok and some bad books in the meantime.  However, I should know better.  Who is my favorite author?  Yes, you remember correctly, it is Ilona Andrews.  I have read everything Ilona and Gordon Andrews have written and loved it all.  I read “Of Swine and Roses” and I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with theirnew Innkeeper Chronicles, which is a free online serial publication. 

So to recap Andrea had been burned badly fighting Kate’s crazy Aunt Erra.  Then the Order of Merciful Aid came for her and they found out their top knight was a shapeshifter and they kicked her out of the order.  Raphael was her honey lumpkins, but after that debacle in which time Andrea pulled away from him for three weeks after a giant fight it seems this was over and done.  Andrea gets called into a shapeshifter murder scene by Jim (the pack’s head of security).  And where do you think this murder took place?  That is right, on one of Raphael’s worksites!  Ugh, that is the worst and there is nothing I love better than some good old fashioned heartache!  I loved it.  I felt Andrea’s anguish with seeing and speaking with Raphael again.  Raphael behaves like a big fat jerk and I just want to hold Andrea while she cries.  So Andrea focuses on work and tries to find justice for the families of those killed.  This was a character that I had no interest in previously, but I was won over.  Andrea is an awesome fighter (not as good as Kate I think) and a person I would want to know.    

This author always knows how to make a great plot.  You think you know where it is going, but it twists so many times before it is over.  It is always steeped in so much history, legend, myth, ancient culture and religion it is amazing to read! 

Favorite quote (there are so many, this is just one):

“You will not pass!” Roman thundered. 

Great.  Now he had decided he was Gandalf.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost

3 Stars

I am going to admit up front that I am probably being harder on this book than I normally am.  Three stars = a good book, but not great (4 stars) and not holy-moly-how-did-I-live-my-life-without-you (5 stars).  I enjoyed the first 15% and the last 15% but the middle was a bunch of blah.  I actually put it down many times and wasn’t excited about picking it back up.  The reason why I think I am being hard on it is that I just read the first two books in the Night Prince series by this same author and they were fantastical! 

This book is a spin off book from the Night Huntress series about Menchares and his lady fair, Kira.  Menchares has lost his visions and believes that he is not long for this world.  This is how Kira finds/meets Menchares.  He is being attacked by 4 ghouls and she walks in on this to try to save him.  After that fiasco, Menchares finds he can’t stop thinking about Kira.  Kira learns that Menchares is a vampire, but instead of being repulsed she tries to find him after he takes her back to her life.  Of course, she lands herself into some more trouble that he must extricate her from and this time she has some consequences she must deal with afterwards.  Radjedef, Menchares enemy, is plotting to acquire Menchares powers and sets into motion some nasty frame jobs to turn everyone against Menchares.

What I loved about this book was that we got to see Menchares flex his vampire superpowers a lot more than in the other books.  We got to see Bones and Vlad again which is always nice. 

Favorite quote:

“Bath toys are reserved only for the oldest, most lethal vampires.  I have a full century to age and another thousand men to kill before I reach that hallowed landmark.”  -Menchares 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Malice Striker by Jianne Carlo

4 Stars
This book was lended to me through Lendle and I am really glad I requested this book.  It is only 180 pages long so it is a quick read, but the writing is good and the story line is awesome.  It is about Vikings! I love Vikings!  But only to read about, I don’t think I would have liked to run into any in a dark alley.  So the Malice Striker a.k.a. Jarl Brokk steals a group of ladies for an Abbey because he has been ordered by King Harold Bluetooth and some other emperor guy to marry King Kenneth’s illegitimate child.  He doesn’t know what she looks like so he just takes the whole lot of women with him back to his holdings in Norway.  He eventually figures out which one is Skatha and marries her.  The rest of the story follows this relationship through the dangers presented.  Others have been searching for Scatha as well because it is rumored that he is the child of King Kenneth and the jotunn goddess.  The reader is left wondering for much of the book whether this book is going to take a dip into paranormal realms or if it is just playing up on superstitions of the day.  That is indeed answered much later.  Other dangers are that Bita Veor (Brokk’s holding) has its own peril that is still hiding in the shadows.  Brokk and his brother Konall do not know from where the danger is coming.  Their sister was taken and they are working to bring her back, but don’t quite know why she was taken.  I really enjoyed every moment of this book.  The hero wasn't a big fat jerk, the heroine wasn't stupid or annoying. 
My biggest complaint is that the end of the book didn’t really bring any answers as to what Scatha is capable of.  Perhaps the second book will expound on this, but I am guessing that “Death Blow” will be about Konall and not Brokk and Scatha.      
This cover isn't the one on Amazon or Goodreads, but I like it better so it is the one I am using.       

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley (Chaos #1)

4 Stars

This is the first book in a spin off series from Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4).  This is the story of Tabitha Allen who is the daughter of Kane “Tack” Allen who is the hero from Motorcycle Man and the president of the Chaos MC (motorcycle club for those of us not down with the lingo).  We met Tab in Motorcycle Man and knew she had a tiny thing for Parker “Shy” Cage.  You must guess that the brothers in the MC get nicknames like Tack, Shy, Hop, Hound, Rush, Joker, etc.  In Motorcycle Man, Shy is called in (along with others) to get Tab out of a bad situation where her (much older) boyfriend hit her because she wouldn't put out.  After that, the brothers were called out many times to get her home safely and Shy was often on the end of the calls.  One night he lays into Tab and says some hurtful things.  Tab avoids him for years and Shy knows she is doing this and that he went too far that night.  She finally lays into him and explains how wrong he was.  More years pass before Shy has his chance to be with Tab again, but this time it might be too late for them. 

Other drama in the book include her best friend Natalie getting in her face about a lot of things, but one is Shy.  Natalie is into a bad lifestyle and Tab offers her help in getting out, but Natalie refuses until she ends up in a situation that needs not only Tab’s help but Chaos as well.  I do hope that Natalie never gets her own book.  I know we were supposed to feel how close and how far back that Tab and Natalie go, but she was unlikable  even when she wasn't be cracked out.  Even her language was a turn off.  She spoke like she was a man (it actually kind of reminded me of Sylvie from Creed). 

Lee Nightengale (Rock Chick #1), Hawk Delgado (Dream Man #1), Brock Lucas (Dream Man #2), and Mitch Lawson (Dream Man #3) all make lovely little appearances in this book.  I absolutely love it when KA brings in people we love from other books.  It really keeps the characters alive. 

There was a bit of drama with Cherry and Tack and Tab where they were mad at her like she was a child again, and I absolutely loved the writing in that scene when Tab broke it to Cherry that she had no right to be mad.  It was so perfect.  Often in arguments I find myself wishing the characters would say this or that, but KA got it so perfect with that scene I loved it!

After saying all of that stuff, there wasn't really anything that happened.  I didn't feel like I felt Shy and Tab grow together.  I didn't feel like there was any danger to their relationship or to Tab.  I prefer the Rock Chick series where the girls land themselves in danger and need to be rescued from bad guys.  I hope the whole series isn't like this one. 

Overall, it isn't my favorite KA book, but there are so so many awesome KA books that I just expect them all to be good and for one to take the lead as a favorite, it will be one that blows my mind that I think about the characters for months after finishing their story.  I read this quick (like all KA books) and enjoyed it, but didn't love it.  I did love the build up in the prologue of the years moving from the four years prior to present day.  I think the prologue might be my favorite part of the whole book though and that is sad.  The ending wasn't quite the normal KA ending.  I felt it was more of a cliff hanger and KA usually does extensive wrap up so that we feel every event is taken care of, every drama address and we know how the HEA goes.  I can see that the cliff hanger is meant to build up for the second book in this series.  I hope that Rush and Joker get their own books.   One thing I did like as a change is that there was pages and pages of description of rooms/pillows/paint colors/decorations/furniture etcetera.  Also I am pretty sure that Tab didn't wear one pair of “strappy spike heels”.  She wore pumps!  Finally!    

I’m not sure if this is my favorite quote, but it is one that is appropriate for the internet so it is the one.  This is Tab talking to Shy’s brother:

“You really need to take him for coffee so I have plenty of time to plot his murder.  You can’t plot murder distracted by hot guys, and now I have two of you on my hands.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Twice Tempted: A Night Prince Novel by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)

4.5 Stars
There is soooo much that happens in this book and I think most of it would be spoilers.  I’m not even sure I can put my favorite quote in because that might have spoilers too!  This book takes up right where the last one left off.  We get the impression at the end of the first book that Vlad is being a bit distant and he continues this way into the second book.  Blah, blah, blah, I can’t even say what happens, but Leila ends up back with Marty, but then something happens and Leila is looking for a killer with Maximus who is supposed to protect her.  We all remember how Maximus feels about her…trouble!  Anyway, just like the last book we can trace all this trouble back to Vlad, the little rascal!  I think that is all I can say…
As I mentioned in the review for “Once Burned,” I forgot how much I enjoy this author’s writing!  I read so many Indie authors (and I still love you guys) that I forget what a good editor and an experienced author can add to the story line.  I think my one complaint is that soo much happened in this novel.  It definitely wasn’t boring, and I am not even convinced it is a complaint.  I didn’t expect it so maybe it’s a good thing!
I’ve decided to put one of my favorite quotes out there, but I am not going to say who is saying it to whom…
“No one feels like you do, so every brush of your skin is a cruel reminder of what I’ve lost.  I can barely stand the sight of you because you’re more beautiful than I’ve allowed myself to remember…”

Monday, April 1, 2013

What am I reading?

You guessed it, Twice Tempted: A Prince of Night by Jeaniene Frost (there is a book trailer at this link which is the author's website...I just love book trailers!)  It is available here: Amazon.com and I am sure many other places...I'm sure you won't have to wait long to read my review, but there were already 96 reviews on Amazon so help yourself!

Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #1)

5 Big ‘Ole Fat Stars
This is another instance of having a book from one of my favorite authors that I just let sit and molder on my kindle.   Can someone please tell me what I am thinking?!  Ugh!  I have made a pact with my kindle that I will read all of my favorite authors that I have stock piled and stop this nonsense.  Of course after I read this, I noticed that the second one just came out so I carried my fingers over to Amazon and snatched the second one up quick and am already hotfooting it through that book. 
I already loved Vlad from the Cat and Bones series so I knew I would love for him to have his own series.  Vlad is thrown together with a human with some special abilities.  Not only can she absorb and release electricity through her body, but she can also get images from the past, present and future from touching someone or something that person touched.  Because of this, she is pursued by some bad guys intent upon bringing Vlad to his knees.  Vlad, of course, has many options for who his enemy could be but can’t figure out who it is.  With so many options he uses Leila’s skills to attempt to figure out who the puppet master is.  There is some intense attraction between Vlad and Leila, but Vlad states that he can never offer her love.  And Leila is ok with this.  She has never been able to have a relationship with a normal guy because of the electricity thing and the psychic thing.  But Vlad is fireproof so perhaps this is perfect for Leila.  Vlad wants to keep her safe and on the side lines and Leila wants in on the fight. 
The end of the book leaves the reader wondering what will happen between Leila and Vlad now that the immediate danger to them both seems to be over.  Jeaniene Frost writes to excellent heart rending books and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the second book.  I loved everything about this book.  Neither the hero nor the heroine did things to annoy me which is always a plus!  I liked Marty and Maximus a lot too. 
Favorite quote:
“I’m not getting anywhere with him,” I said to Vlad.  “Do you have something you want me to relay before I go?”
“Yes.”  Vlad’s voice was pleasant.  “Tell him the next time I see him, I’ll rip off his head and make a new toilet out of it.” 
“He hates you a lot,” I summarized to Szilagyi.

Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark #0.5)

3.5 Stars (again…slightly better than good)
I think this book is a prequel to the “Immortals After Dark” series.  I had actually read the first book in the series a couple years ago, but didn’t connect the dots until ~50% of the way through “Warlord Wants Forever”. 
Myst the Coveted has been captured by Ivo (bad guy) and is in a cell when she spies a warlord (Wroth) with his army of vampires attacking Ivo.  She admires his scars and his strategy in war.  He wins of course and ends up in front of her cell.  However, Myst has been manipulating men for centuries and is just waiting for her Valkyrie sisters to come to the rescue.  When Myst leaves, she leaves the warlord in a compromised state with no end in sight unless he can find her again.  It takes five long years but eventually he does find her, but then decides he can’t live without her.  He finds her Achilles heel and uses this to keep her with him. 
This is a quick read and I enjoyed it.  I liked the story line and the secondary characters (except maybe some of Myst’s sisters).  I would enjoy reading more from this series, but after reading this prequel I remember why I didn’t read past the first book in the series before…there is too much schmexy time for me.  I don’t mind a little, but the majority of this book was about sex and manipulation.  I do, however, know many people who do like that kind of book and I think it would be great for them because the story line is actually very good, and I enjoyed the humor. 
Favorite Quote: (Myst to a minion)
“Psst.  Minion.  I need these laundered.  Very little starch.  Don’t just stand there gawking or you’ll anger my good frenemy General Wroth.  We’re like this.”  He couldn’t see her but knew she was twining two fingers together.