Thursday, August 28, 2014

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #7)

5 (plus 5 more) Stars
I love, love, love anything these two put out!  They are my number one favorite authors!  (I also love Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Karen Marie Moning, Darynda Jones, but Ilona Andrews is the best!).  I seriously love anything and everything they do.  This is number 7 in the series and I think there are at least 3 more. 

So much happened in this book!  We pick up a couple months after the last book where Kate and Curran traveled to the Black Sea with the promise of Panacea.  What they really encounter is Hugh (Kate’s father’s warlord) who has set up a test/trap for Kate and the shifters.  He wants Kate.  He wants the shifters (and most specifically Curran) out of the way.  After that whole debacle, Kate and Curran are in an uneasy state of watchful waiting back in Atlanta.  They hope that Roland (Kate’s father) doesn’t know she is in Atlanta, but they don’t know anything for sure. 

Curran goes to North Carolina to meet with some shifters about something or other.  How convenient.  Kate is in charge and has a meeting with The People.  Do you think this goes smoothly?  No way Jose!  She has got big problems on her hands and Curran is MIA.  Kate is of course racing against time, fatigue, pain, and a multitude of terrible things.  Hugh makes another appearance.  He is very unlikeable but at the same time I think I secretly like him (not as much as Curran obviously).  It isn’t a villain-you-love-to-hate scenario.  I enjoy his involvement in the storyline and his interactions with Kate.  I love that although the shifters and The People crap on Kate he finds this offensive.  Don’t worry, I am still all for Curran. 

So much happens in this book.  It is like the whole series culminated to this moment.  But there are still 3 more books so we have 3 more wonderful moments in the climax of this storyline.  I think I might have to re-read all these books in preparation for the next release. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jagged by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain Man #5)

2.5-3 Stars

I think this might be my least favorite KA book of all time.  I didn’t connect with any of the main characters and I don’t feel like the storyline that we left off with in “Breathe” was in any way connected.  The only redeeming quality that I found was that someone (the heroine) who had been crapped on her whole life got retribution and a happy ending.

Zara Cinders is the heroine and she comes from a family where her father verbally and physically abused her, her sister and her mother her whole life.  Her mother is a broken women who couldn’t save herself or her children and for this Zara cannot forgive her.  The hero is Graham Reece whom we meet in the The ‘Burg book #1 “For You”.  However, Zara does not call Graham either Graham or Reece.  Either would have been acceptable.  No…she calls him Ham.  Yuck! And do you know what he calls her?  Cookie!  Terrible, terrible names.  KA usually does a fabulous job in picking out both names and nicknames for her characters, but she missed the mark with these two. 

So Ham comes and goes as he pleases and he has women in all the many cities that he goes to.  The women know they aren’t exclusive (except when he is with them) and this is how he functions.  This is how we met him in “For You”.  However when Zara when Ham comes around again she has found a guy who will give her more and he walks away.  Of course, this can’t last.  We know this.  Her husband isn’t a bad guy but he isn’t Ham (yuck!) so it is doomed to fail.  When next Ham comes to town he finds Zara is even more broken than she was before (and that is saying a lot).  They do not have good times and bad things are said.  Beyond the story of Ham and Cookie (I think I just threw up in my mouth) the storyline revolves around a lot of drama and secrets in Zara’s family and these get resolved.  

Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley (Fantasyland #4)

4 Stars

I had really been looking forward to hearing about Apollo and Ilsa.  It sounded heartbreaking and nobody writes heartbreaking better than KA.  The beginning was wonderful and the end was wonderful.  I stopped reading in the middle because it got a little “blah”.  I just recently decided to give it another try and I am super glad that I did.  I feel like the storyline has a resolution, but Noc (Prince Tor’s this world version) is going to get his own story (I am worried Franka is the heroine and she is NOT likeable).  This one takes place in our world so I am not sure if a new storyline will begin with his story.

Apollo’s Ilsa died five-ish years ago and he has paid Valentine a whole lot of diamonds to get the Ilsa of this world to him.  He wants to replace his dead wife.  Oh boy.  He brings her to his world and immediately decided this was a bad idea.  She is not his dead wife, Isla but she looks exactly like her so his pain is immense.  He abandons her almost immediately at one of his estates with his men.  The problem is the Apollo of our world is a bad, bad man.  Ilsa had been running from him for years and had just found her when good Apollo brought her here.  Thus, she can’t go back. 

Of course, the reader knows that it is only a matter of time before Apollo finds that he loves this Ilsa and of course it happens.  This is where I lost interest.  However, not long after this the action picks up with the bad guys from the previous books starting a war.  Ilsa gets to know Circe, Finnie and Cora (I had to go back and read Finnie’s story after finishing this book!).  What I didn’t like about Ilsa (or as she is known in this world, Maddie) is that she is not nearly as sassy as the other women.  She doesn’t stand up to Apollo and is always apologizing.  However, I think this goes with a character who has been terrorized mentally, verbally, emotionally and physically by a bad man for years and then being on the run for years.  I never got a good picture of what she looked like in my head and in fact I feel like I knew Apollo better in his appearances in the other books than in this book. 

I had a hard time thinking that Apollo loving a dead Ilsa and then meeting the living one was a good plot idea.  Too much baggage for him to move past this. In short I am glad I finished for this completion of the story line, but not for the story between Apollo and Ilsa.  

The Promise by Kristen Ashley (The ‘Burg Series #5 )

3 Stars

I have been looking forward to Benny and Frankie’s story since I met them in “At Peace”.  The beginning was spectacular! I love every second of Benny trying to convince Frankie to stay with him.  There is a lot of back story with Frankie and Benny and I feel like it might have been good if I read “At Peace” again before reading this. 

There were actually two books in between “At Peace” where we meet Frankie and Benny and their book but the book takes place right after “At Peace” ended where Frankie is shot.  Benny comes to the hospital and Frankie pretends to be asleep every time he is there.  I cannot blame her with the way the Bianchi’s treated Frankie after Vinnie was killed.  I actually feel like she lets them all off the hook too easily but that probably says more about my poor character huh? 

The ‘Burg series is supposed to be more about crime and (although I haven’t finished #4, I am having a hard time getting into a heroine with the name of Dusty) the rest are about serial killers and the mob and a human trafficking ring.  What is going on in this book is not nearly on the same level as the other books and in fact Frankie isn’t involved or actually ever in any imminent danger.   Which brings me to my next point.  When we meet Benny I felt like he was a typical Kristen Ashley hero (meaning: alpha, macho, tough guy, etc) but I didn’t get that feeling from Benny in this book.  In fact when one of the Hot Bunch (I won’t tell but it spurred me to read his book again) makes an appearance it is abundantly clear that they are not on the same level. 

The best part of the book was that Frankie got her happily ever after.  But when I read a Rock Chick book or a ‘Burg book I want action, danger, kidnappings, near misses, and angst.  The angst was present at the beginning of the book, but that is all I can say.  I was disappointed for how long I had been looking forward to their story.   

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rogues, Rakes and Jewels by Claudy Conn

4 Stars
The Marquis of Lyndhurst is sent to the Isle of Wight by his mother to meet yet another grasping female who wants his money and title.  He is sick of this and devises a plan for his cousin to play the Marquis and for the Marquis to play as his cousin.  He thinks Jewelene will fawn all other the man she thinks is the Marquis, but of course, he would be wrong.  He finds himself very attracted to Jewels and regrets his deception, but Jewels has a deception of her own. 

There is the typical bad guy in the Claudy Conn historicals who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including many nefarious deeds that the Marquis must move to stop. 

This is a quick read and I love them.  Lots of fluff and nonsense, but a wonderful escape for a few hours. 

The Seelie King by Heather Killough-Walden (Book 5 in The Kings Series)

4 Stars

Selene is the heroine in this book and we met her in the previous book.  She is the best friend of The Goblin Queen and we knew she was special from that book.  The Seelie King, Avery is keeping his eye on her as it is suspected she is part fae and that is too much of a coincidence for him to ignore with the queens being exposed.  He doesn’t go straight to her though because he is worried she is part of a trap. 

This book takes place mostly in England.  Selene (like all the queens) is very sensitive.  She is sensitive to environmental toxins and bad attitudes and the injustices of humanity.  Like all the queens and kings at this juncture, she is in danger and Avery must make his move to protect her and in doing so he almost doesn’t survive. 

The storyline with Ramses and his brother continues.  I’m not as interested in that as I am in the individual stories.  Every time the author takes me out of the story between the two main characters in each book it takes me out of the world completely.

I am really looking forward to the Unseelie Kings story.  His lady fair is Selene’s twin sister and it sounds like her story is going on almost simultaneously with this one. Can’t wait!