Archive | March 2013

good start to new fantasy series

Syn in the City (A Synemancer Novel) Mertianna Georgia

I received this from the publishers in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

I’ve book two to review and the publishers were kind enough to supply me with book one also so I’m feeling lucky – my love of paranormal fantasy novels getting a real boost recently. Sometimes its hard to get into the world building of a new series but Mertianna manages to keep the world she is creating very clear for the reader to follow. There’s lots of magic, spells, and otherworldly characters but they all gel well together to create an entertaining read and a believable adventure. I guess with any fantasy read there’s always the temptation for the author to take the easy way out fo a hard corner they’ve written characters into by creating some quick magic or rescue creature but Mertianna doesn’t so that cop out but writes a complex and riveting story. Cara the main character comes from a long line of witches and her family are very disappointed when as the potential next leader she shows no sign of any magical powers. The she goes for a night out with her cousin to celebrate their birthday and… everything changes, she wakes up in the bed of Roman – a handsome and powerful Nightkind, and what’s more it seems they’ve become engaged. She seems to have gained mysterious and out of control powers and somehow manages over the next few days to bind not only Roman, but also Paul, a powerful gorgeous Wizard and hunky Tom – a werewolf. Its seems her powers have come in with a vengeance and she’s now a powerful synemancer, a witch who can draw energy from other magical beings and that her magic seeks what she needs regardless of her intentions ( though as it seems sex fuels the exchange of power it helps that the men are all hot blooded and gorgeous!)

add to all the the danger she suddenly faces with weird sub-demons out to kill her and the protectivity she faces from her three men, the lack of information coming her way abut what her power will do next and the threat of an Aztec demon out to rule the world and you have a story that powers through adventures and keeps the reader engrossed.

I really enjoyed this book, felt for poor Cara who for years had faced belittling because of her lack of power and then suddenly thrown into a world of magic and adventure and trying hard to understand it and stay alive. She’s strongly moral about trying to always do the right thing but her powers are only interested in taking what they need and this leads for some hot erotic sex….I’m looking forward to where those powers take her in the next book!

Its well written and edited, the end of the plots tie up nicley and there are no horrible cliffhangers, just suggestions of what could happen in next book. At £1.99 for 244 pages on kindle its good value and its also available at £11 for paperback version.

Stars: solid four from me – almost a five star read and will join my keepers list.

 

 

great start to a new urban fantasy series

Influential Magic (Crescent City Fae) Deanna Chase

I received this from Net galley in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

 

Well, another book from the genre I love, paranormal romance with vampires and Fae. Willow has some special abilities and uses them in her part time work for the Void, as well as owning The Fated Cupcake. She’s still reeling from the breakup of her year long relationship when she discovers her life is in danger, and the void have given her a new partner. Its David, her ex, but he’s no longer human but a vampire – and her special abilities leave her vulnerable to their touch. Double whammy for her….and then there’s the complications of her long time friend and childhood crush Talisen who’s been searching for info on her twin brothers death four years ago and now turns up in New Orleans. Surrounded by two attractive man and with her life in danger willow doesn’t know where to turn or who to trust. Its a riveting tale of mistrust, double dealing and danger and the action doesn’t stop. Its hard to see how things will turn out – every time I thought I had an idea of what was going to happen Deanna threw in another twist to keep me confused. As always I was tempted to have a quick peek at the ending as I’m always so impatient to know what happens but I resisted and I’m glad I did. It came as a total surprise what was going on and just who the bad guys were.

 

I loved Willow – felt so sad for her after the David text breakup – what an ass I thought – but then as always things are not quite as they seem and he seemed to still have strong feelings for Willow. Then there’s Talisen, fairy hottie, knows Willow but until now has always been a player for the girls and simply good friend to Willow. Add in her shape shifting Shih-Tzu/wolf Link and her witch best friend Phoebe and there’s a cast worthy of a great story full of multiple and sometimes complex plots that entertain the reader to the very end. I loved this book – its hard to define what makes the difference between a four and a five star read, I think maybe its the complexity of the story and the world building and in this book Deanna has done it just right for me and although first in series rarely get five stars from me this one does. It’ll definitely go on my keepers list for re reading and I’ll look forward to the next in the sere is. This story is compete – thankfully Deanna hasn’t gone the horrible cliffhanger route that I hate yet so many authors seem to love, so you can feel satisfied with a proper ending at the the finish of this novel.

 

I’ve not read any of Deanna’s other works but will look to see if she has written more like this, as this series looks to become one of my favourites. Its well edited and written and doesn’t leave plots that are unanswered but ties up all loose ends in a way the reader can’t imagine (well, this reader anyway ) and that’s always good to find.

 

Its prcied at £2.86 for the kindle version of 273 pages, a decent length that allows for the author to really flesh out the story and contrive some decent plots. Ist also available in paperback version for £6.99 on amazon.

 

Stars: As I said – full five, excellent start to new urban fantasy series.

exclusive preview of first chapter Down London Road Samatha Young.

Exclusive! Read Chapter one of Down London Road by Samantha Young @SYoungSFauthor #Club39 http://www.samanthayoungbooks.com/2013/03/club-39.html

I loved the first of this series On Dublin Street – its a brilliant contemporay romance for those looking for something other than the eternal US teen romance. this is set in Uk (Scotalnd) and has a great story along with some seriously hot, erotic sex scenes. In the second book we meet Jo, one of the other bartenders from the club Joss worked at.

http://www.samanthayoungbooks.com/2013/03/club-39.html

Start of gripping sexy, erotic shapeshifter series.

Dark wolf Kate Douglas


I received this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

I love books with romance and paranormal elements so Dark Wolf pulled me in straight away. Its also classed as Erotica and has some pretty hot and graphic sex scenes so if you don’t like those take note. I found they fitted perfectly within the storyline and the Chanku are described as very sexual people so to them sex with others, group sex, male, female not just partners is as natural as breathing.

It took me a little while to work out just who fitted where but that’s normal for me at the beginning of a new series – once the world is settled in my mind the enjoyment of the novel flows better which is probably why I tend to rate second and subsequent books higher than the first in a series. Once enmeshed in the world of the Chanku though the story flowed well. They are a race of shape-shifters, usually changing to wolf but capable of changing to other prey species if they wish. Main character Lily is daughter of the current Alpha of the Chanku, and CEO of a very large company – she’s a strong person with close ties to her family but likes her independence so lives alone. She meets Sebastian and things click with them both immediately and Lily wonders if he’s her Mate. However he also appears to have links to someone killing local girls and he seems to have been in the right place at the right time – is he the killer or is someone framing him. Lily hopes he’s innocent because of her strong feelings but won’t let those run ahead of logic. Her parents are excellent at talking things through with her.

The whole pack came together only decades ago having been “outed” by accident, and until then none knew each other, so they have become very protective of each other. The other main character Sebastian only recently found his father who is against Chanku, and would like to see them destroyed. Lily and her parents suspect his father has Dark magic and are therefore worried that Sebastian may share his powers although he says he supports the Chanku. The characters in the story are well written and I felt they were real, and understood their motives and emotions. So often authors put characters into situations that just don’t fit with the person so far described, but Kate manages to make the drama and results mesh well with the characters within it. I loved the way Annie returned from years away and found her Mate and how protective her parents were even though she’s thirty ( to parents you’re always a child to be protected– I know, feel that way about my grown children sometimes ) There were several sub plots within the main one which made for an interesting and complex read and kept my attention firmly on the book. Some authors just write one main plot with lots of filler and I find I’m skipping what to me are irrelevancies to the novel but Kate kept me engrossed right to the end.

I don’t have info in price or length yet as its not yet published (Pub Date   Apr 30 2013) but its quite a good length for me, certainly not a short novella but a book that took me, a quick reader, several hours to get through. I’d guess around 200-250 pages.

Stars: a solid four – and given the quality of the writing I’d expect subsequent ones in the series to be four and a half to five 🙂 If you like a good erotic paranormal romance then this book fits the bill perfectly.

great book but yet another damn cliffhanger ending!

Connected (Connections) Kim Karr

Great love story, well written with characters I felt were so real that I was “in” the novel with them. Its took a while to get going, lots of sweetness and hot romance and I was waiting (as you do) for some action, tear jerking, drama – you kow how the format goes 🙂 and got over 60% and the two leads were still happy, only had a couple of minor hiccups so i wondered…no…the decription didn’t say series, dou, trilogy…surely its going to be a complete novel. But the begining mentioned another character and some strange actions and we’ve gone no further with that yet – times getting short.
Anyway, cut to the chase, yes the big drama happens right at the end and Damn It – cliffhanger ending and autumn to wait til next book out. WHY WHY WHY do authors do this? I feel I wasted hours reading this yesterday as I don’t enjoy book without an ending, and when i know the whole story means more than one book i try to wait til they’re all out before reading.
Ending it in limbo really spoils my enjoyment 😦 unless its a complete book with paret two picking up but proper story closure in part one. So many authors seem to be using cliffhangers and i know i’m not alone in hating them! I even flick to end before starting a book often just to check, of course this one didn’t suggest that may be the case so i didn’t bother…wish I had. I’d have gone for 5 stars if not for the fact its only part of the story. Please Authors – tell us if your book is only part of a story. At least we can chose then whether to wait til its complete rather than wasting time and feeling conned.

disappointing storyline

The Erotic Dark (A BDSM Erotica Novel) Nina Lane

I bought this book after seeing it recommended on another site. Whether I buy books or receive ARC’s the review is the same – always my honest opinion. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

Lydia is seeking escape to avoid being caught for embezzling her firm and embarrassing her family, affecting their careers and happiness. Preston, her childhood friend promises to help her if she gives total control of herself to him. He takes her to a secluded island where she becomes a …not sure what term to use, sex slave doesn’t seem right exactly but in essence that’s what she is. Preston and his colleagues Gabriel and Kruin use and punish Lydia as they wish and she hates it at first but learns that objecting just brings further punishment. They’re a dark trio and each have their own ways of treating her – I wonder what’s in their backgrounds to affect them this way. We learn about Preston and his motives but not the other two. Gradually Lydia finds a sort of peace but them a party is planned….

I didn’t really gell with any of the characters, and I think that’s what’s affected my enjoyment of this novel. The storyline seemed to have been created as a vehicle for sex scenes of submission, group sex, whippings, canings and spankings. To me this is the wrong way round and the story is the main focus. I’m not offended by graphic sex but to be erotic and sensual one needs to empathise with the characters and I felt disembodied from them.

If you just want to read about some BDSM sex and don’t need the emotion that goes with eroticism then this book is fine – for me it didn’t work. The story was promising but thin and the sex very unemotional. The characters had redeemed themselves a bit by the end but that was too late for me – I really didn’t like any of them by then. I’ve never read any works by Nina – possibly this is just a one off and her other books are more erotic, I don’t know but its gone from my kindle now as I’ll not want to read it again. There’s a warning about the sex on the description so please take note – though I don’t agree that its hot, raunchy sex the rest is accurate.

At £1.95 for 197 pages its ok value wise but only if its the type of book you want. If you want a decent story this is not your book, if you want page after page of BDSM sex it is.

Stars: well, sorry but for me its just 2 stars, its well written technically but I simply didn’t like the content.



second in a great paranormal series

Shifting Selves Mia Marshall

I received this from the author in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

I love books with romance and paranormal elements and there’s any number about vampires and shape shifters but far fewer involve people with talents derived from the Classical Elements – air, fire, water, earth. I read first in a popular series some years back that I didn’t enjoy and this put me off until recently when I found the amazing series Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter. Then I saw a description of this book and it hooked me in. Its written very much in the mould of the Hunter series, with people having talents derived from the elements and contains shape-shifters but no vampires..so far anyway 🙂

I loved book one and its not often I rate a five star review to the first in a series but it was just That Good, so when I saw book two on Netgalley I was eager to review it. I wasn’t let down, once again Mia has brought together the basic group and added in some new people. There’s danger and mystery at every turn, gradually the plot emerges but as it dies it brings forward further surprises. The book takes up a month after the end of the last one.

Aidan learned at end of last book that as well as her water element she also has fire – she needs to learn to control her emotions so her Fire element is kept in check – without that control she faces a future of possible insanity, and if word gets out the Kill order will be given. She’s back in the mountain cabin with sister Sera, cat shifter Simon and earth element Vivian. She wants to see Mac (bear shifter) again after their kiss…but he’s so far been avoiding her. A phone call from the FBI secret division sets the team on the path of yet another mystery. What seems like a simple shifter runaway turns into danger for them all and betrayal yet again from someone close. Her family – water element mother and newly discovered, hot tempered, manipulative fire element father get involved in this case. They’re both keen to try to entice Aidan into a quieter life to ensure her sanity but Aidan feels she’s been lied to by them and is determined to keep her independence.

I love Aidan’s sense of humour – where she says she’s fine with bad language but please don’t use the “E” word (exercise) and her snarky comments that often come out at just the wrong moment ( I know just how she feels when the mouth runs ahead of the brain…) Sera is a great foil for her and is trying hard to keep Aidan calm. She and Aiden were best friends for many years and work together really well, seeing to know what the other is thinking and delegating tasks best suited to each other. Sera is also a “take charge” person and yet there’s never any conflict between her and Aiden about what to do, where they disagree they work it out between them. Simon is his usual enigmatic self – I love the way his speech is so oddly formal – its suits him perfectly, and then there’s computer whiz Viv, and once again her skills come into play as an essential part of the novel. The FBI lads are not in evidence mush, but always there in the background The team face life threatening situations yet again but manage to come through – though not unscathed and I want to see how Mia gets them working together in the next book. The characters – despite being supernatural – feel so real with all the petty squabbles and fallouts that real people have. I feel as if I’m there with them.

The POV varies from being written by Aidan at some times to third person at others but it all works seamlessly and never feels disjointed. Once again I was surprised at the culprit and how Aidan and Co resolved the issues. Mia’s writing is so gripping, and the story is very intense and yet she makes it easy to follow what’s happening. There are no horrible plots holes, no awful cliffhanger ending and its a book that will join book one on my keepers list for re reading.

Release date is April 16th 2013, and though I don’t have ebook price I can say the length is great. A nice solid long read for those like me who want a book to really get engrossed in and taken to another world .

Stars: full five again – faultless : )

short sweet romance

Watershed Cd Brennan

I received this via publisher in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

The description gets it pretty right as far as the stories go, and Maggie is a likeable lady. Escaping to Australia for a while sounds like something I’d have wanted to do – my parents were quite controlling too and I was always expected to do what they wanted. Luckily it never got as far as poor Maggie with a husband picked out!!

Sometimes its hard to go against the weight of expectation of family and friends so I feel for Maggie and her story was very believable. Grey – grumpy Grey at first but soon warmed up. Once again its a romance that falters on the weight of misinformation and assumptions and almost escapes creation but true love wins through. I like a good “baddie” in the romance and he ex from Ireland who turned up proclaiming she was to be his wife was a great anti hero. Lizzy – who Maggie thought was Grey’s girlfriend was a sweet girl but she could have been a real bitch and I think that would have added some extra nastiness to counter all the sweetness. Too much sweet needs a balance and though there was some dramatic moments here I think not making her the female Nasty was a missed opportunity… I love a real bitch in a story, too much nice doesn’t cut it for me.

I enjoyed this book but it was a bit too “nice” for me, not enough tears to balance the smiles, and the drama wasn’t very deep. There again its quite a short novel so not really scope for very in-depth plots. Maybe that’s why longer novels are my preferred reading as they allow time to get into the characters and actions. Still if you want a quickish read or want shorter stories this is a sweet easy to read romance. At £2.71 for 127 pages personally I find it a bit overpriced but then I won’t re read it – if you love it and will then the price is fine. As always with Lyrical its edited impeccably. Authors take note – good editing is essential. 🙂 If I get too many mistakes especially when they make the story hard to follow then the book gets rejected. Don’t put all that effort into a story and let it down with bad editing.

Stars: I enjoyed it but wasn’t greatly moved emotionally by the characters or the plot. It was interesting enough to finish but not for a keeper so 3 stars. Better than just OK but not a four star read .

first in a series of BDSM books


Tucker’s Fall: Purgatory Masters Eliza Gayle

I received this via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

I love a good romance and one with a bit of spice in is an added bonus so looked forward to reading this book. I found it quite slow to start though and Maggie was a difficult character to warm to. I didn’t feel her background and present actions matched up very well and she felt to me to be quite a selfish person. Still, by the time I’d got 30% in I was beginning to enjoy the story and realised there was a lot more to it that just a simple BDSM romance. I like novels that have a more complex back story and there were certainly mysterious woven throughout this book about Tucker and his colleagues and as I got nearer the end I wondered just how all was going to be revealed as we seemed to be running out of time – however getting to the end I discovered that this book was actually the first in a series which made much more sense and if I’d known that I’d have been more patient with the slow start knowing there was a lot to introduce. To be honest I felt a bit cheated not realising this til the end when there was a sort of mini cliffhanger about a missing person. We’re taunted all the way through about mysterious things in tuckers and his friends backgrounds, learn a little but there’s still far more to know. I’d have been happier to know at the outset this was part of a series and would have changed my expectations accordingly.

I’d like to have seen more of the other characters in the book – Tuckers sister sounds an interesting character to explore. I feel the beginning where we meet Tucker in the club and his friends and their sub Katie was a bit of a waste of space as it was something that didn’t really seem to do anything expect introduce the club and let us know Tucker hadn’t been in for a while. Somehow it just seems a few pages that didn’t really add to the story. The story itself is neatly done – taking us on a journey with Tucker and Maggie to explore her submissive tendencies and let Tuckers Dom side come out to play – and yes, did they play. Some very steamy scenes in this book : ) One thing always gets me annoyed in BDSM books though – the way the females always seemed to get called Little One (with the caps!) it seems so demeaning somehow rather than just part of a sub term, but my knowledge of this world only comes from fiction novels so maybe its accepted terminology.

Having listed what feels like several criticisms I need to make clear they were just minor issues and really I did enjoy the book, Tucker was a gem, Maggie I warmed to eventually and was glad they got past the angst (needed – all romances need something that brings tears IMO) to understand each other better. I’d like to read more as further books come out and learn what’s behind all the strange un-talked about things going on…and enjoy a bit more sensual scenes..

The book is well written and edited, and at £2.99 for 186 pages its not a bad price, if the rest of the series lives up to this one it’ll join my re read file. I love having a complete series to read one after another and not have to wait for new book release : )

Stars: solid four, would have been half star more if it had been a bit longer and had made it clear from the outset if was not going to end neatly tied up but as part of a series leave me wondering what happens next.

Immune: A Sexy Urban Fantasy Mystery (Rylee Adamson # 2)

another fast paced adventure with Rylee and Co.

Immune: A Sexy Urban Fantasy Mystery (Rylee Adamson # 2)

Immune: A Sexy Urban Fantasy Mystery (Rylee Adamson # 2) Shannon Mayer

I’m always on the look for new books/authors and saw some reviews of Shannon’s first book Priceless on Facebook. After reading the sample I decided to buy given that it was only 77p and sounded right up my street. Loved it so much I had to buy Immune straight after and I only wish Shannon had already written more.

The synopsis gives a pretty good description of what the story is about so I’ll just say what I liked. I loved Rylee – she’s had such a difficult upbringing with special talents that make her different from others and that and her guilt over not being able to save her sister from abduction mean she spends most of her time alone with only a couple of close friends. Alex the werewolf – great character with his loopy sayings, and yes he does sound like an overgrown child. His presence often makes life hard for Rylee and yet she looks after him knowing if she didn’t the Pack would kill him. Then there’s the mostly batty but occasionally lucid Giselle who brought her up after her parents kicked her out and her best friend Milly. Giselle is a great character but Milly – well with friends like her etc. etc. but she provides an excellent evil bitch type persona – all good books need some bad people. We see much more of O’Shea in this one – he’s one hot man and a great foil for Rylee. I hope the next book finds a way of bringing them back together – Rylee needs one person she can fully trust.

The mix of super-naturals from vampires, witches, trolls, shape-shifters is awesome and they all play a special part – no one is is there as a filler.

Its a well written book, plots that pace along easily and give rise to other sub plots, twists and turns taking Rylee to unexpected places…its one of those fantastic books where you just can’t predict what will happen next and is long enough and in depth enough to bear multiple readings (my keeper criteria) At £2.05 for 180 pages in kindle is good value especially bearing in mind I’ll re read it in the future.

stars: full five – loved the book and am really keen for the series to develop into a long running one ( but please Shannon don’t make us wait a year between books if you can..)

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