Archive | June 2013

Return of the Fae by Lynn Cahoon.

 Return of the Fae

ARC supplied by Lyrical Press.

Having reviewed and loved the first in this series A Member of the Council, I was pleased to get to review book two. This one picks straight up into the story. Parris’ background is still a puzzle, she needs to focus on learning what she should have been taught as a child, and its hard work catching up in the few weeks she has to learn her magic control. Ty is still feeling distracted with his desire for her but he knows to help her best he needs to keep distance. That’s harder than it seems though when they both feel so strongly attracted to each other. Ty feels they need to seek out a mentor from his past to work out some answers, so they take a road trip….and the action starts. Twists and turns, betrayals and deception – they aren’t sure who to trust any more.

I love Parris of course, and Ty- he’s so determined to do what is right and yet his feelings for Parris have jerked his traditional black and white approach, and made him be more flexible. Parris – well she’s such a lady. Cares for her family and friends, determined to always do what’s right, and yet struggling with this new world and danger she’s been thrust in. We meet a couple of new people this time too – some Fae guardians, (I loved Toki) a witch water statue (she’d been made a statue for punishment) and a troll. Keeps things interesting 🙂 and adds to the feel of fantasy mixed with reality that the story takes. The plots are fairly simple but neatly done, and tightly wrapped up with excitement and drama. They work really well considering the short length of the book. I had a small inkling of who the betrayer was from the clues set up, and was glad to be proved right! However I have no idea what’s going to happen next, something to look forward to – and hadn’t a clue this book would take the direction it did. Lynn likes to keep her readers guessing and that’s good – I want to be interested in what’s going to happen in a series. Though this adventure ties up well, it ends up with Pariss and Ty still seeking answers about Coven X, and setting the scene for their next part in the series. I want to have the next book Now!

As usual its well written and edited, and it’s 113 pages long. I don’t have pricing info yet. Its available July 1, 2013.

Stars: another solid four – great story that kept my interest, will go in my keepers file but a bit short for me. Still, once I have the whole series of novels like this I love to read them back to back and that then isn’t a problem.

Gwynneth Ever After Linda Poitevin

 

Gwynneth Ever After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

 

 

 

A real feel good simple romance here 🙂 I love those, I’d just been reading some dark fantasy and needed something light and loving to counteract the deep emotions I was feeling. Gwyn and Gareth did just that. Gwynneth had been badly let down when her ex left days after she’d had their twins, leaving her with three young children. She’d rarely dated in the four years since then not wanting to give her kids a procession of men through their lives. When she’s at the local theatre one Sunday afternoon sketching a scene for a surprise present for her best friend, she’s amazed to see film star Gareth in the box with her. He steamrollers her into having coffee with him, and from there they start going out “just as friends” Gwynneth insists but Gareth manages to make it more – so much more, slowly wearing down her defences. What he hasn’t and can’t tell her is the real reason he’s in her town, thousands of miles away from his home in England. Of course the truth comes out at a most inopportune moment leaving Gwynneth feeling betrayed and Gareth having to work hard to win back her trust. Can he do it though? Will she just let him go for her family sake despite the love they both feel?

 

It’s a well told story, with surprises all the way and playing on our emotions. I understood Gwyn’s need to protect her family, and also Gareth’s determination not to let go what he felt they could have between them there were some really humorous scenes tucked away in between the drama, when the kids were involved “ mummy, are you and Gareth going to kiss?” The story takes place over a short time period, about two weeks, but there’s a lot packed in. As well as Gwyn and Gareth we meet a few of Gwyn’s friends, Gareth’s cousin Sean, and a couple more people Gareth knows so quite a small cast but that suits the short time span.

 

 

 

Well written and edited, it’s priced at £2.06 for 243 pages on kindle so good value.

 

Stars: good solid four, a great book for traditional romance lovers who want the HEA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Shame Kit Rocha

Beyond Shame Kit Rocha

Beyond Shame (Beyond, Book One)

I received this via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

This book is currently (29th June) on special offer at the bargain price of just 77p

Noelle has been brought up in the pampered but very restrictive city of Eden. Only the elite live there, in an existence strictly regulated where emotions have no place. Noelle feels stifled and when she discovers her Councilman father has planned a marriage for her its a step too far. She’s always known her only use to her parents is as a pawn for power and control but yearns for freedom to live her life as she pleases. She gets caught trying alcohol and fooling around with a member of the opposite sex, both things very much forbidden to girls like her and is thrown out of Eden into the wastelands where other members of the population struggle to survive. She falls into the hands of Sector Four, via the leaders right hand man Jasper, a ruthless cage fighter and enforcer for the bootleg operations that finance the sector. Life outside is harsh and without support people simply don’t survive. Noelle gets lucky in that Jasper is instantly attracted to her, and brings her to gang leader Dallas O’Kane for protection.

The premise reminds me very ,much of the John Wyndham book The Chrysalids ( school reading back in the early 70’s) where only the perfect survived and anyone not meeting the standard was thrown out to scrape an existence however they could.

In this novel outside the City consists of (I think ) eight sectors each headed by a gang leader and some type of farming communes – not sweet gentle 60’s type communes but more a forced labour workhouse type of existence. The Gangs run the Sectors tightly, and violence and death are part of everyday life. Sector Four finances itself by way of bootleg alcohol, and leader Dallas and Jasper – his right hand – have struggled and become ruthless in taking and enforcing control. As in all life other leaders and would be leaders are always looking for weakness to take over. Winning control is one thing – keeping is means being tough and merciless in decisions however harsh it seems. Dallas only allows Noelle to remain because his lady Lex and Jasper want her, otherwise she’d be turned out to try to exist elsewhere.

Jasper has a tough exterior, bearded, battle-scarred and tattooed, and is known as remorseless and unemotional. Noelle touches something in him however and the attraction is mutual. Noelle is innocent though in not just the ways of everyday life outside the city, but in all things sexual and she wants to experience everything to the full. I love the way the romance develops between them, with Noelle wanting to please Jasper as that’s the way she’s been brought up – if someone isn’t happy its her duty to rectify it. Jasper wants her to develop at her own pace and to want to please herself – it leads to some communication issues and to some tough, angsty moments where they both misunderstand things. Be warned: There’s raunchy, raw sex in this book – lots and lots and lots of hot sex…… graphic sex, bondage, punishment, lesbian, public and group sex so if its not for you then don’t read this book! It works though in the context of this novel, and fits the storyline as a counter to the violence. We see how life there is about work hard, play hard and everyone has a part to play in the running of the sector. Its a great story too though of how the gangs work, why they need to be so violent and how Noelle and Jasper finally come to understand each other. We see Noelle grown from a quiet, scared kitten into a Cat with claws – able to stand firm for what she believes in. The dance scene with her and Lex was terrific. Lex becomes a really good friend to her, teaches her not just about sex but about how to live life and not just exist in it. I really enjoyed it and am pleased there’s more to come as I want to see what happens next for them but also what develops between some of the other characters. There’s lots of potential for the main people we learn about to be developed further and I hope this becomes a long series – I’ll certainly be looking out for more from this team of writers.

Stars: four from me. Its got the potential to be a five star series I think – we’re learning a lot in this novel with a totally new dystopian background to learn and so many new characters to get to know. Its tough for a book that’s first in a series to make five star but this one is close.

Book Two, BEYOND CONTROL, will release on March 19th, 2013. I’ll certainly be looking out for that 🙂

The Demon Lovers Boxed Set Kate Douglas.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I’ve read and enjoyed some of Kate’s other works so wanted to try this set. I love fantasy/paranormal romance, and enjoy erotica but I need a good story backing it to really get into the novel and sadly found this lacking here. There’s a supernatural background to the series with demons and demon slayers, and a parallel dimension to our Earth – all good and promising in a fantasy novel, but it seemed to be very quick progress through the stages. We didn’t really get to know any of the characters properly, no real background information on them or the people they worked for . One moment Addie is human and walking home at night, then she’s attacked and within what feels like a few pages she’s embracing her new life, and happily enjoying a ménage with (admittedly hot characters) Jett and Locan. They have what feel like quick forays out to kill a few demons, and then return for some hot and heavy sex sessions. I like books with passionate, sensual, erotic sex, am happy for ménage and m/m scenes but somehow this series seemed to be more sex that story, and as I’ve said its the storyline that’s most important to me. I didn’t get that here and that’s why my rating is low. For other this sort of setting will be perfect of course and will make this a five star read, but its not for me. We’re all different thankfully and what one of us hates others love.

Its priced at £2.62 for 262 pages so on my VFM scale its good – if this is the sort of novels you like.

Stars: sadly just a two from me 😦 I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Kates’ work before ( see my review on Dark Wolf) but unfortunately not this series.

 

Blacque/Bleu Belinda McBride

 

Blacque/Bleu

 

I received this book free via Netgalley in exchange 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 never read any of Belinda’s books before but love both paranormal romance and erotica. This is gay (m/m) romance which I feel is often very touching, and heartbreaking. If you’re offended at work like this don’t read it – but you’ll miss out on a good romance. Its in the LGBT Shape-shifter/Vampire Paranormal Genre, and please take note of the publishers warning “contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Bondage, domination, male/male sexual practices, violence.” I hate reading reviews where people complain about content when its clearly labelled beforehand….

 

The description covers the storyline pretty well so I won’t repeat that but say why I enjoyed this story. Firstly the characters – well written and feel real, and I was able to empathise with the predicament both Blacque and Bleu found themselves in. It was written in a way that the reader could look at the problem themselves and feel the dilemma they were in. Its one that must face many gay people and in the world of fantasy some writers create a world where its accepted and others where especially werewolves males are supposed to be very heterosexual, and anything less is considered weakness. An important part of his Pack, this is the position Blacque found himself in, with his father the Alpha of the pack wanting him to sire the next generation… A word about Those Names though… Blacque and Bleu just sound so twee and I feel they let the story down. Reminds me of why I’ve never read another series where the characters have what I feel are “twee” names – Rhage, Vishous, Phury, so cheesy I just can’t yet bring myself to read the books and looking at reviews others have found the same. Its a shame as readers can miss out on good stories as with this one ( and with the BDB being such a popular series as I’ve probably missed out on that) authors really need to look at both sides when considering names : ) they can be memorable – but in the wrong way!

The story itself is solid, not too complicated but clearly defined and with a number of interrelated plots. So many erotic romance books use the story as simply a vehicle to tie together myriad sex scenes – I read one like that yesterday and TBH its boring. Belinda does more with keeping the undoubtedly explicit sex to its proper place within the framework of a good story. The other pack members are interesting too and I’d like to read more from this grouping – I feel Belinda has created a set of characters that work well together and could prove an interesting series ( note to self – look to see if she has done just that : ) The whole town of Arcada has a contingent of mystical people that deserve to be heard more of and are solid enough to carry further novels.

 

Its priced at £4.48 for 258 pages so not the longest of novels for the price but as Belinda is a well established author I guess her works command a higher price. Its well edited too with few spelling or grammar errors and a book I would enjoy reading again at a later date. Its not a strong enough story to make it to my five star rating but it a well deserved 4 stars.

Luck of the Dragon. Susanna Scott.

Luck of the Dragon (Entangled Covet)

ARC provided by publisher.

Romance and shape-shifters 🙂 always a good hook for me, but dragons are more unusual than the normal wolves we see, so this book sounded interesting. I’ve read a couple now with Dragon shifters, and they all seem to have the dragons with a fascination for jewels and sparkly stuff – me too, maybe I’m really a dragon in another life??

Anyway, Luciana (Lucy) is a great character, loves her twin brother and as its just them left in the family, tries hard to keep him on the straight. Still, he’s a gambler and like most of them the thrill of the big win is too hard to resist. This time its got him involved with a mob enforcer and he’s dragged Lucy in too – they need her help as a professional gemmologist to get them access to the jewels.

Lucy is a great character, intelligent, loving and with a cracking sense of snark. She has some great lines and came across as a really genuine, likeable person. Someone I’d love as a friend as so I cared about what happened to her. The brother, Joey, was a typical jerk gambler, thinking only of himself and the Big Win….not the danger he was placing Lucy in. Lucy needs to get to casino owner Alec, but doesn’t know he’s a dragon (the King actually) so he has a bit more awareness of what’s going on that she realises. He’s attracted to her right from the start, and as he’s sex on legs she can’t help feeling drawn to him. He’s not the arrogant, superior type you’d expect, but a strong and fair man, and he wants to know what’s going on with Lucy. So he lures her in gently and then the fun starts.

The coming jewel theft is a fairly simple plot and the story centres around that, the dragon mating ceremony, and Alec and Lucy’s attraction to each other. It covers a short period and being a short book that works well. Sometimes when short novels try to cover too long timespan the details and personalities get lost, but here they’re well fleshed out and draw the reader into the story nicely.

I did work out the connections fairly quickly but I think that’s inevitable in a short novel as there isn’t the space to write in lots of red-herring type scenes. It was fine though and didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

Overall its an enjoyable novel, with people I can empathise with and felt I understood them. I did feel for Lucy when Alec caught her out, but it wasn’t quite enough emotion engendered from me to make it a higher rating. I need more angst! Its well written and edited, as you’d expect and the characters felt real. Its a sweet, gentle romance rather than a sexy, breathtaking, erotic ride but for people who prefer that sort of book its perfect. It delivers exactly what it says.

Its priced at £2.36 for 161 pages so its still within my personal VFM scale but at the upper end. Of course if this type of romance is what you love and will re read that’s adds value but for me its a bit too sweet and light, good for a quick easy on the mind read, but not one for the keepers file.

Stars: Difficult, this part is so subjective when we all want different things so this is just my personal rating. I did enjoy this book, but prefer something a bit deeper for a high star, but its definitely better than a 3 star OK read. Hmnn…Four stars it is.

Night Blade. (Colbana Files) J.C.Daniels

Night Blade (Colbana Files)

I received this book free via Netgalley in exchange 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 read the first book and was instantly hooked on Kits life and adventures. She’s a great character, flawed and believable, strongly moral when it comes to fairness and trouble seems to find her like a magnet. From the start the interaction between her and Damon was entrancing, sexual tension at its best, with Jude the vampire being a great protagonist. Half Aneira and half human Kits knows her strengths – and her weaknesses, and protecting her lover, Cat alpha Damon, turns out to be a mental weakness for her in this novel. She has to clear his name – quickly – or he’ll be killed, but the catch is she can’t speak about what she’s doing to him or anyone…. trouble in store – yep, bucket-loads! The description is exact and yes – she really faced a huge problem. It makes for a very emotional read at times.

J.C.Daniels is the alter ego of popular novelist Shiloh Walker – I didn’t know this when I bought the first Colbana novel, which was good as I’d only read one Shiloh Walker novel, Tori and Declan, and it wasn’t really one I enjoyed…, good enough but the sex was more than the story and though I like some sizzle in my reading the story always comes first. In the Colbana Files the story is definitely first, with sex and romance there but very secondary. The world building and cast of characters is excellent and plots all intertwine seamlessly. There’s so much to take in it makes for one of my favourite types of novel, one that stays fresh after multiple reads. Great value for money that way as opposed to the Shiloh work which was a one read only for me – that’s personal taste of course and lots of people like light and easy novels. I like something meaty that makes you wonder where the story – and characters – are going next and this novel delivers all that and more.

At £3.31 for 351 pages its excellent value for money and a series I’m totally hooked on. Its well edited, pretty much error free. I’d say totally but we’re human and there’s bound to be one or two somewhere – suffice to say I didn’t see many and that’s a treat considering how full of mistakes many ebooks are : ( If you want a read that keeps you on the edge, plays with your emotions and plays out well this is the book for you. Its not a cliffhanger ending either – I HATE those, but I’m anxious for the next novel to see if Kit can pick up on what went awry in this one – can’t say more without spoiling the novel but J.C – get writing quickly, Please!!

Stars: well, has to be five of course. One for my keepers file and one I’ll happily re read : )

Before Jamaica Lane

Samatha Young has created a book trailer on you bube for Before Jamaica Lane – find it here.

 

Come Alive (Experiment in Terror #7) Karina Halle

Come Alive (Experiment in Terror #7)

 

I sat at my PC yesterdasy refreshng the amazon button hoping this was out. finally got it in the late afternoon and began reading it soon as I’d finshed the review book I was reading. I stopped (reluctantly) at about 7pm as I’m such a wimp and those these aren’t what I’d called Horror they can be scary to wimpls like me. I have weird dreams at the best of times so anything a bit spooky is out of bedtime reading 🙂 I just love this sereis – Dex, what a great guy though he’s a dipstick at times and yet we can’t help liking him seeing the real Dex behind the snark and quips. Perry – love her but I thought in last book she was being a bit tough on Dex, after all she’d done things wrong too. Still, the ending made up for it and I’ve been despate to see if they keep that up. so far I’m at 65 % and just Loving this book. Karina is such a fabulous writing she pulls the reader into the scene and we feel like we’re there with them. The ginger douchebag Maximus is back in this book – learning a bit more about him but i still don’t like him – never been a fan of his and after how he let Perry down that was it – he’s on my hit list.

Anyway once i finsih the book I’ll do a proper review but for those who haven’t fallen victim to the lure of karina halle and her writings and escepically the Experimnt in Terror series – get it now. Book one is free and the rest are very very fairly priced. Its a sereis to read and re read there’s so much in it.

Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1)

Copper Girl. Jennifer Allis Provost.

 

Copper Girl

 

ARC provided by author.

 

Well, I’ve had a great weekend, two paranormal books that have been a real treat to read with both comprising of something very different to the norm. (this one and Relic, Renee Collins. )

 

There’s a straight-into-the-story feel about this book, with further revelations about the worlds being revealed as the story continues. We meet Sara who seems like an ordinary girl, on her lunch break sitting in her car. She thinks she’s dreaming when a beautiful man begins to make love to her. Turns out he’s real, a Silver elf from a parallel world. That’s the best way I can describe it – once humans and those with magic lived together peacefully but then the humans got scared, or maybe it was the commerce problems, whatever- the humans outlawed the use of magic and Sara’s father and brother disappeared, taken suddenly by the government. Now she tries very carefully to hide her magical abilities. Once she meets Micah though, he shows her the Otherworld and they end up fighting to rescue and protect her family.

Its a world peopled with machines, drones that are programmed to spy on every facet of daily life, friends who may be anything but, people afraid to speak or trust and the government controlling every facet of daily life. For breaches – very minor – the penalties can be severe. Being 4 hours late for work leads to loss of job and bad references, and there’s always the danger one may get caught up by something seemingly innocuous that would lead to death being the punishment.

Being with Micah is anything but innocuous but Sara quickly falls for him, feeling a connection beyond anything she’s know before. Its a fight for life, secrets long hidden get revealed, the Otherworld shows Sara things she never imagined, with both good and bad people, and the danger to Sara and her remaining family is escalating throughout the novel. Once she’s accepted that Micah is part of her life though there’s no going back.

Its an amazing world Jennifer has created, I love the idea of simply stepping through into a another world, and of course its easy to believe a government would do something like this. Its almost a 1984 feel in the constant spying and regulation of people’s everyday lives, and the ever present threat of punishment for breaches of rules.

I enjoyed this book – though I love my vampires and shape-shifters its a treat to find something so very different and fresh feeling. Though there is a romance between Sara and Micah its not a huge part of the book, more a (silver!) thread that runs through it, connecting up incidents and providing a forum for exchange of knowledge. I love Micah, the way he was so protective of Sara, “my Sara” he calls her.

The gradual introduction to the alternative worlds worked well, I was able to pick up the story slowly and work out how it all fitted together. Great characters but I did find them a bit hard to really get into, didn’t really understand their motivations and feelings at first. Usually with a book like this I’d get totally lost into another world, but for some reason I didn’t here. I’m not sure why, except maybe its something to do with the lack of empathy I felt for Sara. She certainly grew on my as the story continued but I think I needed to have more of a connection to her earlier – that may have helped. Sometimes when its the first book in a series though this happens to me, there’s so much new information being brought forward that it takes me time to assimilate it, and to get hooked into the characters. Anyway this is book one in a series. It ends neatly with all the plots tied up and with the opening for the next book cleverly introduced. I’ll certainly look forward to reading that, and rejoining Sara and Micah in their next adventure.

Stars: almost a five, if I’d have felt closer to the characters earlier it would have been but it’s a definite solid four.

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