Echo Prophecy (Echo Trilogy, #1) Lindsey Fairleigh.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
As you’ll have guessed from my reviews I love paranormal romance, especially when there’s a solid, strong storyline. Echo gives all that and more, I was entranced by this book, and luckily started it on a free day as I couldn’t put it down til I’d finished. It’s one of those where you’re dying to know what will happen but then when you finally get to the end you feel sad, lost without the world and people that’s so gripped you for the last few hours.
This books starts in an innocuous way, we meet Lex as a post grad student and then….she gets recruited for a dream expedition, meets the delicious sexy director Marcus, and learns more about her past. She starts to have weird dreams, finds out they’re not dreams as such but insights into her past and present, and possibly her future…and its all allied to her strange parentage, which in turn connects closely to her interest in ancient languages and Egyptian mythology. There’s some massive shocks in store for her, and a steep learning curve if she’s to stay one step ahead of the people out to capture or kill her.
Lex was a terrific character, always been slightly alone with few friends, and as she learns more some of her past begins to make sense. When she meets Marcus there’s an instant attraction between them and that was done so well, the way they flirt and always stop just this side of the line, both knowing they will cross, but prolonging the initial stages and enjoying it. Its really erotic but with so much of the overt in-your-face tasteless stuff that proliferates. Its how to make just a glance or a touch feel simmering, smouldering, sexy. When Marcus learns who she really is he’s – well, frankly there’s only one way to describe him – an ar*se! I understand why of course, he was in shock, but his behaviour – like I said – ar*se 🙂
Lex runs through all sorts of emotions, love, hate, sadness, happiness, loves her family but is distraught at what she learns about her parentage…its shock after shock after shock for her. She goes through some terrible trauma, after a date with a new friend, but finds out its all part of the parentage she has. Marcus is a real sex on legs Hottie, but has an arrogance that I suppose comes from his years, he’s a seductive, very independent womaniser, and yet when he meets Lex he’s taken by surprise at how strongly he feels for her, and not sure he likes that.
The other characters were good too, all had specific parts in the novel and fitted perfectly. Lindsey has the ability to create characters that feel real despite our knowing they aren’t human, and the way she outlines the story, the mythology and how it related to Lex real world is brilliant. Enough information for the reader to understand the world and the problems, even if their knowledge of Mythology is shaky, and yet not so much that the reader feels overloaded and switches off. I’ve read novels like that where the story is brilliant, but there’s so much info that’s over my head I feel detached from the story. I need to feel I’m there, feeling what Lex feels, happy when she is and crying when she’s upset. I did all that, not quite tears but a real lump in my throat at times.
I love, love, love this book, its to me very like, in writing style not content, to Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches or Fairwick Chronicles by Carol Goodman. I loved those, good books for thinking readers, who want to work out the puzzles and not have them spoon-fed to them. There’s times when you want to enjoy something light of course, but a real treat is a book like these where you feel transported to another world, where you get to the end, blink and realise you’ve been engrossed for hours.
Priced at £3.99 for 384 pages/675kb/115,000 words (hurrah for the longer novel!) it’s a real bargain and one to read and re read. I’m waiting impatiently for the next two books 🙂
Stars: its one of those where I wish there was a special 5 plus selection, I’m picky about my fives but some books really need a special category and this is one, still, having to comply with standard I’m going for a five of course.
ARC supplied by publisher.
I love paranormal romance, and was eager to read this book. What I hadn’t realised though was its the second in the series. I had some trouble with the different groups and how they interacted, which if I’d read book one I’m sure I would have picked up sooner, but never the less I really enjoyed this book and would love to continue reading the series. Its one of those that’s deep enough to carry a lot of different plots within one overall arcing big plot, and I love those. Fabulous characters too – boyfriend Dan, sweet man and he represented the normalcy that Emma Jane missed and wanted to get back. Trouble was the only way she could do that was to find and kill her Angelic father…then she’d be human again, but wouldn’t be with Eli her angelic mentor. And he’s someone that’s become very close to her….though a romance is not allowed or he will become one of the Fallen, the ones she was born to kill.
Its one of those novels full of people that have their own agenda, backstabbing, jealousies, and where the heroine wonders just what it is she’s doing, and what should she be doing. All seems clear cut to begin, she’s on the side of Heaven and therefore killing the baddies for the sake of Good, and then things slowly gel and make her wonder – just why are the Fallen bad? Is it right to assume they’re all the same, becoming evil with their Fall. And what about Demons, she’s told they’re all evil and yet one saves her life, and continues to help. She wants black and white answers ( well, that does make life easier, ) but is learning that maybe its not so simple and there are shades that edge onto each other and lines that blur. With the angels referring to her as “it”, and making it clear that she’s like something they’ve trodden in, not even speaking to her directly if they can avoid it, and being so different from Eli why is it she’s fighting for them? Are they really telling her the truth? And what about the way they say the Father loves humans, and yet they seem to see them as disposable for a greater good?
It’s a novel that makes you think just who is classed as evil? And why? And what about the means they use to fight evil? Like Emma Jane I began to question what was going on. I loved Eli right from the start – even not knowing what happening in the first book I could see how close they were, and just why her boyfriend Dan was jealous. Some parts like that were clear, and yet others full of surprises, jolting me along a ride where I had no idea what was going to happen. Now at the end I’m uncertain just which side is good and which is bad, yet started off assuming it was clear and I knew who was good and who was bad… poor Emma Jane, she now has to choose and if she’s like me, puzzled and confused how the hell will she make that choice?
Its not a romance totally but more a suspense/thriller type with romance under-laying it, so don’t expect sex, sex and more sex…though when there is some it is Hot! I think maybe that side may develop more in later novels, its definitely a series for my keeper files, one that will bear re reading over again – its got so much content I think I’d get even more from it on second reading, especially now having a greater understanding of the characters and how they fit together.
Priced at £3.79 for 400 pages/593kb it is excellent value for money.
Stars: loved it – full five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I love romance, but…it has to have a good storyline, with lots of “ups” and some “downs” that have me on the edge of tears. Reckless didn’t quite do that, but came close.
I loved Lexi – she’d struggled to make it to the top with her couture wedding dress design business. She had a very poor background, and had clawed her way up inch by inch, and wasn’t going to take help from anyone, even her best friend billionaires daughter Rubi. Independence was so important to her, and she was so proud that everything she achieved she’d done alone, by sheer hard work. Then there’s Jax…cynical ex actor, he wanted a more normal life, so gave up acting for the stuntman business he runs. Jax annoyed me at first, cynical, assuming everyone wanted to rip him off, he treated women as disposable sex objects, but I learned more about him and realised those women who went for him used the sex – and sex- to get what they could from him I began to see where he was coming from.
The attraction between him and Lexi was incredible, sizzling tension and steamy erotic sex, but they both had such emotional hang ups that I wondered if they could ever trust anyone. Jax though is the epitomal sexy, tattooed, biker bad boy, and Lexi needed to be seen as whiter than white to protect her business, someone like Jax hitting the press as her boyfriend would do irreparable harm to her. Jax wonders if, like all the other women in his past, Lex is really just covering up the fact she wants to use him as a quick stepping stone to success. Of course things happened that mislead them both and fosters their fears, and there’s get-togethers that sizzle off the page, and then tears as emotions run high and everything seems different from what it is.
Its a great mix of emotions, a good storyline and the sex scenes were sensual and erotic but…somehow it didn’t quite translate to a five star romance for me, but it was well worth reading, and I certainly lost myself to the story for a while.
Priced at £1.97 for 280 pages/607kb its excellent value for money. It won’t join my keepers list but was fun for a one off read but if you favour a lighter romance this may be one you want to read and re read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
Since the runaway success of 50 Shades there’s been an avalanche of duets and trilogies, but many of them are beginning to feel very “samey” – swap the names but the plots are almost identical. C.L.Parker doesn’t fall into that trap but brings us a two part story based around a successful, wealthy man and a girl needing money for her sick mother.
What’s different about this novel to so many of the others is that the basic premise of rich man poor girl is used but in a new and different way. Its a believable story that she uses to explain how come rich, suave, attractive Noah is trawling the sex club Foreplay to buy a girl for sex for two years. Lanie too has what seem like real reasons for putting herself and her virginity up for sale – she wants to save her mothers life but doesn’t want her parents to know where the money has come from so the anonymity of the club suits them both.
I liked the premise of the story, it was executed well creating a plot that was believable, and not the thin, easily dismissed ones found in too many books. Some seem to create a barely conceivable story purely for the excuse of selling sex. Sex on every third page doesn’t make an erotic book – actually it gets boring 😦 and I’ve read a trilogy just this past week like that. Needless to say my rating for that was pretty low….In contrast the sex scenes in this book suits the people and the plot. They’re hot, steamy and very erotic. Noah is a kind man, it might seem like he’s being hard hearted buying someone like a slave but he has his reasons, although soon he starts to feel a bit of a heel. Lanie is lovely, cares deeply about her parents, and tries to help them in the only way she can. She starts off resenting Noah and he’s quite impatient with her, but soon the attraction between them becomes more than just sexual and the story starts to build. They have a very volatile relationship with Noah liking control at all times and Lanie not being a natural “yes “ girl. What will happen when he finds out why she’s doing it, what will he feel about her then? What can Lanie do to protect her heart thinking that he isn’t interested in someone like her, especially when she seems some of his past ladies. She feels very much down-market from them but incredibly jealous of them too. Noah isn’t always aware of how she’s feeling and unintentionally creates more jealousy through his actions. Oil and water, fire and ice – that’s how their relationship runs.
Its a good plot, well thought out and executed, and though it’s a two parter (out autumn this year) and ends on a sort of cliffhanger its not an abrupt ending and there is the beginnings of book two showing us the direction they will be taking so it doesn’t feel like the reader is left in limbo – that the type of cliffhanger I’m always complaining about, especially when it can be up to a year before we get next part. Well done Ms Parker for promising us part two quickly 🙂
Like I said I really enjoyed this book, well written with a storyline that’s a different slant to those we’ve been used to seeing in this genre. The characters are great, there’s some interesting supporting casts too – Polly for one! She’s like a whirlwind. Its a book well worth the £4.49 price and its strong enough to join the keepers file for re reading. I’m looking forward to more from Noah and Lanie.
Stars: a solid four – great book 🙂
ARC provided by publisher.
Wow – what a book!! It totally blew me away. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew the book was in the paranormal genre, and thought I recalled in being classed as romance too. I hoped so because I do love a good romantic angle in my reading.
It begins with Maggi,e at home in what seems to be a small shack, with her brother and young sister. There’s a smell of burning and they realise that they have to run to safety before their home is burned, and not wait for their parents to return from the town. There’s mention of the family relic, a sort of mystical gem/fossil that has magical powers and Maggie takes it with them as its the family’s most precious possession.
We learn a bit more about Maggies’ background and the Relics. The world it’s set in is a sort of 17-1800’s wild west type scenario, with Maggie and her family scraping a living from the land, and mention of the neighbouring Apache Indians. The relics are remnants of a time in history long gone, where magic and mystical creatures lived and roamed the earth. After the biblical flood they were all wiped out, and all that remains are bones that are ground and polished and carry residuals of the magic from the original creatures. This part was fascinating, Renee manages to weave it into what reads like a slice of history as we know it, but where everyone accepts that magic is real. There are books written about relics, their different types and purpose, and there are specialists who buy and sell them. The Relics command a high price and Maggies’ family paid dearly for their precious water relic, hoping it would enable them to keep growing things on their lands despite the droughts.
Quickly the main people emerge in the story, Maggie and her little sister Ella, the Indian Yahn, Alvar, a rich landowner and Landon, the cowboy Maggie is very close to. Then there are her friends Moon John, relic specialist, and Adelaide, showgirl and reluctant whore at the Desert Rose, who befriends her when she works as barkeep/cleaner there. There are others of course, but these characters make up the bulk of the story. There’s magic in the way Renee weaves the legends about the Relics, the way they are mined and sought after, the way power and money control so much and cause such corruption in the search for more. We can’t work out who is good and who is bad, I kept thinking I’d grasped something, and then an incident would change my mind. I loved the way Renee describes how the relics work, the horse with ties back to Pegasus, the fire, air and water Relics, the Goblin stones that allow people to move unseen. Then there’s the strange creatures, the Ghost coyote and the fierce poison spitting Rock Devils, and the banned shadow Relics which are used for eveil intents. There’s so much detail to take in throughout this book its one that I know I’ll enjoy even more on second reading. I just love the idea of these pieces of magic from history that are used in the present. The fairy dance at the Hacienda was wonderful, where the dancers were sprinkled with fairy dust which allowed them to float in the ballroom. The descriptions of the costumes too were wonderful, and all contrasting with the poverty in which Maggie and so many others were living in most of the time.
Its like reading a slice of the wild west with the addition of magic turning reality as we know it into something entirely different. Of course as well as the way the relics are used for good magic, there’s the other side, the way its used for power and control, used to kill and hide evil doings. The book covers how its involved in the burning of not just Maggies’ home-town but other towns, the way the Indians are always an easy target to blame. Then throughout the story there’s the thread of potential romance for Maggie, but with Landon, Alvar or Yahn? Its a close run event and just when I think one is in the running for favourite, something happens to overturn that and leave it wide again.
Its a wonderful story, lovely and long at 400 pages in paperback which means Renee really gets the chance to let us know the characters in some depth, their emotions and motives, and the constant struggle for Maggie of what is the right thing to do. Its a gem of a book, weaving history, reality and magic into a seamless blend of a magical, wondrous story that will remain with the reader long after its finished. One of my favourite types of books, the type where we really get to feel for the characters and even some of the “bad” ones have had excuses and motives for what they did. I loved it and that ending! Just superb, I really didn’t expect that. Its a book to read to escape into another world for a few hours.
Its pretty clear the story of the Relics and Maggie can continue and I’d love to read more of them once its done.
Stars: well, its a cracking magical story with that gentle thread of romance twisting throughout and for me its a five star gem.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
Keri Arthur was new to me until I recently had the first Nikki and Michael book Dancing with the Devil for review. I loved it and so was keen to get book two. It doesn’t disappoint, once again Keri’s writing is clear and concise, and filled with action packed moments, drama, and yet the thread of Nikki and Michaels romance runs solidly through it. Michael left her without even saying goodbye at the end of the last book. Forced by Nikki to drink her blood when he was dying and didn’t realise what he was doing, he has to fight again the demon that makes him crave human blood and is scared he’ll accidentally give in and kill Nikki if he stays. She’s hurt but understands in a way, though doesn’t agree and when they’re thrown together in a new adventure she warns him she’s not taking No for an answer. He says he understands but will hold out, but Nikki – not only is she a tough investigator but determined not to give up on their love.
Again a brilliant story with them fighting the unknown with unknown powers yet. I was gripped – I love this sort of story and the romance threading it adds to the attraction for me. Not just will they get out of this tight corner, but will Nikki win out on her ploy to reel Michael in…I’m rooting for her – they need and are perfect for each other. Jake is in hospital fighting for his life from an early part of this book so we don’t see much of him – he’s one of Nikki’s only friends, having taken her from the streets years ago and given her something to live for. He and his wife are like surrogate parents and Nikki fears Mary will persuade him to give up if he pulls through, and move far away leaving her jobless and friendless. 😦 Poor Nikki – life is tough for her, and just when it looks up and she meets and gives in and let Michael into her life she loses him….
Anyway, they have to pose as a honeymoon couple to trace people who’ve mysteriously gone missing from a popular resort. You know bad things are in store when they meet a vampire driver for the hotel at the airport and he looks sick, and then melts to nothing in front of them. That’s just doesn’t happen to vampires, and they suspect that what they are dealing with is once again something other than the norm, and they are going in virtually blind fighting one of more unknown foes with powers they can’t imagine. Oh and along the way a very beautiful vampire lover from Michaels history comes along. Poor Nikki, and just what will meeting her after so many years do to Michael. Does he still love her? All questions Nikki asks herself.
A great novel for fantasy lovers, it has danger and adventure along with vampires, fire sprites, and dark magic. Then there’s Nikki trying to persuade Michael he won’t kill her, that their love is worth a risk. He’s really a lovely man – I love it when he says “stay here” in a commanding voice and Nikki replies with the equivalent of “ in your dreams” 🙂 she’s not one to shrink from danger, always wants to do what is right and Michael knows really he can’t protect her but it doesn’t stop him from trying…
Well written and edited, priced at £4.98 for 288 pages, its not the cheapest but its definitely one I’d read over and over especially as I love to go through a whole series back to back. This series has just been extensively edited and is being re released July to Oct 2013. Its a great series for lovers of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Stars: Cracking book, kept me glued, has to be a five 🙂
The Awakening: Liam. Abby Niles.
ARC supplied by publisher.
I’d read and enjoyed the first in this series, Aiden’s story so was keen to review this one. We met Liam in the first book, where he was deep in a state of grief as his Mate had rejected him. It’s a lot to take on though as a human, being told your lover is really a shifter. Although we saw brief clips of Ava it was really just as part of the scene setting for Aidens story. This time Ava comes to the fore, and we learn more about her rejection of Liam. There’s kidnapping, escape and lots of very real danger to Ava, her young sister and to Liam, and the conundrum of how much the shifter officials can cover up from the human police as they strive to protect the secrets of their world.
As more is revealed to Ava about shifters and the Mating bonds it also allows the reader to learn more about the world, the reason for some of the decisions and how difficult it is to integrate while keeping the secrecy so necessary. I really liked Ava once we knew her reasons, she loves Liam but needs to keep away from him. The more that is revealed the more she knows she needs to stay away, and she finds it a struggle having to lie to the police, her friends and family about the kidnapping in order to protect the shifters, and yet if she and her sister are ever to be out of danger she has to let them take control. Its a dead end so far though, tracing who is responsible, he clearly has a hatred of Liam and blames him for something, and yet no-one seems to know what it is he thinks Liam did. Ava can’t help wondering what happened, especially when she can see that the shifters, and Liam, are still keeping secrets from her.
Its a great read, not too dark or deep but enough to keep the reader engrossed for a couple of hours.( I am a quick reader though, s may take others longer) It links well with the first book, and I feel it’s the sort of series I will enjoy reading back to back in a “paranormal-fest” day. I love to read my way through different series once they’re all out, I can immerse myself into another world. Its easy to follow, you won’t need to read the first book, though of course that gives a deeper insight into the history. The biggest problem I had again, as with the first book, is the terms used, remembering exactly what each stage was. A glossary explaining that would be useful, as apart from a couple of obvious ones such as dserted they are such strange words. Priced at £1.89 for around 158 pages/253kb its good value.
Stars: excellent read, five stars.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, I was drawn by the beautiful cover, something I usually don’t even look at, and it was classed as New Adult romance. I thought that would mean, hopefully, a good story – a romance to savour and enjoy – and not one of the thinly veiled sex scenes parodying as novels that proliferate the market. I like, no – love – erotica but sometimes I just want to read some romance, some characters with a real story that don’t simply take one look and rip each others clothes off :0. Well, Me, Cinderella? filled my expectations and delivered much more. Its a beautifully written slow burn romance. We can feel Brynn and Eliot’s attraction for each other right from the start, but they are both cautious, to the point Brynn gives him a false name and he exercises his usual prudent avoidance of too much personal detail. Brynn doesn’t know who he is when they first meet, and is shocked when she sees him overseeing the test for the prestigious internship in Hungary she really wants to win, and he’s shocked to see Brynn there.
Things heat up once they get to Hungary. Eliot is still telling himself she’s just a student, even as he makes arrangements for her to travel in a private plane, and buys her clothes suitable for the weather. They become closer, but each are so guarded because of past troubles that its a beautiful, slow dance. Brynn realises much sooner how much Eliot means to her, but she is scared he doesn’t feel the same. He’s older, and has a totally different life and upbringing to her, and she can’t see why he’d want her. There’s tiny steps forward, and then huge leaps back, problems from their past that haunt their present, interference by others and it all adds up to a wonderful love story that had me gripped right to the end. There’s a sample of the next book there – more from Brynn and Eliot – and I desperately want to see what happens to them next.
Priced at £1.99 for 234 pages/404kb its one to savour and enjoy, one to re read when you want a break from all the clothes ripping, sweaty sex novels around. It does have sex, beautifully done and in the appropriate place for this book. It was a real treat to read.
Stars: five – I just loved this story.
Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and LIKE their Facebook page.
Today I’m happy to be featuring Covet’s August releases!!
The Awakening: Liam by Abby NilesThe Awakening #2
Shifter, Liam Doyle knows Hell. At least he believed he did. The night he feels his mate die, he learns how very wrong he was. Nothing he’d struggled with since Ava’s rejection compares to the emptiness that fills his soul by her death. Lost in his grief, he’s taken by surprise and drugged. When he wakes, everything changes. Nothing is what it seems, and someone is dead set on making him pay.
When Ava Michaels is taken captive, she’s thrust into a dark and terrifying world along with the man she was forced to leave behind. While being near Liam again is heartbreaking, the motive behind her kidnapping is gradually revealed. The more she learns, the more she worries Liam isn’t the man she believed him to be. He has enemies willing to do anything to extract their revenge. Can their love survive a crazy man’s vengeance?I’ve not yet read this one – will do this week but here’s my review of the first in this series. https://jeanniezelos.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/the-awakening-aidan-abby-niles/
The Demon’s Desire by Kendra Leigh CastleHearts of the Fallen #2
He’s as dark and dangerous as the storms he once commanded…and she can’t get him out of her heart.
Dru has spent two thousand years fighting to keep the people of Terra Noctem safe. In all that time, she’s only opened her heart to one man, with disastrous results. But when her city takes in a group of renegade Fallen, she finds herself drawn to the brooding and tormented Meresin, despite the fact that he seems to be the least redeemable of them all. When his instability hits a breaking point, Meresin’s only chance at survival is a perilous journey into a place from which few ever return. What he never expected was that confronting his demons would mean risking not only his future, but Dru’s as well…and that one stubborn vampire might give him back not just hope…but his heart.You can find my review of this book here. https://jeanniezelos.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/the-demons-desire-a-hearts-of-the-fallen-novel-kendra-leigh-castle/
Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.
In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her though. She found herself some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.
And eventually sold a short story, then a novella, then a novel, and now a series.
Today, she juggles work, home life, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?
In her downtime, which isn’t often, you can find her playing ‘Just Dance’ with her kids or trying to catch up on her never-ending to-be-read list. She also loves Zumba, and refuses to admit she looks more like Animal doing his Muppet flail than a sensual Latin dancer.
Kendra Leigh Castle was born and raised in the far and frozen reaches of Northern New York, where there was plenty of time to cultivate her love of reading thanks to the six-month-long winters. Sneaking off with selections from her mother’s vast collection of romance novels came naturally and fairly early, and a lifelong love of the Happily Ever After was born. After graduating from SUNY Oswego (where it also snowed a lot) with a teaching degree, Kendra ran off with a handsome young Navy fighter pilot and has somehow accumulated three children, three dogs, and one enormous cat during their many moves.
While stationed in a remote corner of the Nevada desert, Kendra penned her first romance, and a career often spent working in fuzzy slippers and pajamas was born. Her work has garnered both critical praise and award nominations, but the best part has been connecting with readers who share her love of dark romance (not to mention heroes with sharp, pointed teeth). Kendra currently lives in Maryland, and can usually be found curled up with her laptop and yet another cup of coffee working on her next book. She loves to hear from her readers, and can be contacted via email or her Facebook page.