Archive | August 20, 2013

The Darkness of Shadows Chris Little .

The Darkness of Shadows

 

The Darkness of Shadows Chris Little .

ARC received via Netgalley.
I love paranormal books and thought I’d like this. Sadly it wasn’t one for me.
I found Natalie a strange person for the main character, I just didn’t get much sense of personality from her and couldn’t empathise with her and her situation. She had family problems, and a horrific childhood, with mother and grandparents now dead and her father around but hopefully away from her. She had good friends in the Guerreros, and they seemed to be her substitute family. I understood how she loved them and wanted to keep them out of danger. I got to about 50% in the book, but it seemed to be a confusing mix of events for me, and to be honest I didn’t have that sense of danger, that concern for Natalie that I needed so I ended skim reading to the end, and when I got there I was surprised it was the finish, there didn’t seem to be a sense of closure or anything. That could be because I’d missed vital info through my skim reading, but I just wasn’t interested enough in the plot and characters to read it thoroughly. That may be different for you – thankfully we all want different things from our reading which leads to a great selection of books. This one just wasn’t one for me.
Stars: two – sorry, I’m sure the author worked really hard but it wasn’t something I enjoyed reading.

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Love, Lies, and Deception.L.P. Dover.

Love, Lies, and Deception

 

Love, Lies, and Deception.L.P. Dover.

Arc supplied via Netgalley.

This book was so much more than I expected, a beautiful romance but it also had a terrific suspense angle to it. Marissa was a good character, student, likeable and hard working, had some close good friends but was still shaken from an attack when she started uni two years previously. Luckily she was rescued by another student before she was harmed but it shadowed her and made her careful in her actions.
Then she crosses paths with neighbour Alec, literally as she trips and he catches her. He asks her out and from there they develop into a hot romance, very erotic and sensual. That man knows his way around a woman’s body, and his passion and lovemaking make for some incredibly hot, erotic, spicy scenes. He’s lovely, works for his aunt, and they quickly become besotted with each other. They go out often with her flatmate and her boyfriend and another close friend Kristian. Alec and Kristian don’t hit it off though, Alec is convinced Kristian wants more than friendship, and is very jealous even though Marissa tells him he isn’t like that, but just a good friend with a long distance girlfriend.
Then the action heats up, Marissa’s drink gets spiked, luckily Alec is there when she collapses, but though tapes reveal the perpetrator no one can identify them. She’s walking a tightrope of emotions, this bringing back her fears from the earlier attack. The dangers heat up, Alec reveals secrets about his past and Marissa gets a death threat. Still no one can work out who and where the danger comes from.
There’s some tough times for Marissa, not knowing who she can trust, and what she can do. The police can only do so much, and she’s very on edge. Then she sees something that made me almost cry for her. She was so so upset (and so was I), and still facing danger to her life – it was a very tense section, and I love that bit of edgey danger, and heartbreak. I know, I know – I must be mad, but to me the best romances have that edge, the danger, the heartbreak otherwise they’re just one level dull, dull, dull. There’s no way this book could be termed that. I didn’t guess who was behind everything either – came as a total surprise who it was….
Great book,well written, kept me engrossed right to the end. I’m lucky to have time to read, and finished it on one go, lost in the world of danger with Marissa. Its priced at just 77pence! A real bargain for 280 pages/831kb – well worth getting. Its one I’d happily read again.
Stars: almost five, four and a half.

Breaking the Storm Sedona Venez.

Breaking the Storm (Credence Curse)

 

ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I’d read the sample of this book and was hooked, and on starting the actual novel was convinced I’d hit a five star read. Sadly though it’s not quite that.
I loved the quality of the writing to begin with, felt invested in the characters and the plot and was hoping for more of the same. Then…met the aunts/mums of Storm and Light and we seemed to have pages and pages of what I can only describe as waffle, using them to tell us the background to the curse and the history of the Credence business, but we’d already grasped that, and these endless phone conversations and musings between the characters was just dull, added nothing IMO and I skipped in the end as I was bored…I think that section could have been left out and it dropped the previous high standard of the novel.
Anyway once back on track the plot picked up with break-ins, flashbacks, mysteries from the past that affected the present and the conundrum of how to bring an old romance into the present. I loved Knox, but the hints about him were pretty obvious…and Storm gave in to him far too quickly I felt. She’s a strong person, and would have put up more of a fight – cut that waffle with the aunts/mum and expand this part and I feel it would have read better – for me anyway 🙂 I was puzzled by the sex part – first we are told that the Credence family can’t have sex with humans, then Storm agrees to have sex with Knox, then we’re told the Credence business doesn’t let escorts have sex…but Storm plans sex with Knox…I was a bit confused by that. Still the sex scenes were hot, erotic, and sensual and fitted the tone of the book perfectly. I didn’t guess the whole ending, though I had an inkling of some parts and overall I really enjoyed this book. Priced at £2.02 for 234 pages/426kb its good value on my VFM scale.
Stars: four, almost a five and I’m looking forward to more from the Credence women.

Unscrupulous The Manhattanites 2. Avery Aster.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I’d read and enjoyed Undressed, so looked forward to The Manhattanites. It features many of the people we’ve met already in Undressed, the lovely Lex and her mum Birdie, (as a UK reader she reminds me of Prunella, the batty mother played by Julie Walters in the send up sitcom Acorn antiques) Blake the gay best friend, he great and very sharp, then there Taddy – the main character in this book. Taddy is a typical fashionista business owner, runs a very successful PR firm, always dresses in the latest designs, never wears anything twice, and has given up on men for new years resolution, after meeting who she thought was a fabulous man only to be interrupted at the door by his crazy fiancée…
The characters here are all larger than life, everything is very exaggerated (unless Manhattan really is like this ??) and it makes for a fast paced ,fun read. It reminds me a bit of The Devil wears Prada on speed ,and with much more humour. Its not really a book you read for the plot – though there is romance as the main thread – but one you enjoy for the sheer energy and humour. I love the way the main characters are so effervescent, over the top and full of name dropping, they drink and take drugs but don’t see it as a problem, til once again a clinic stay is needed. It’s a very telling novel of just how people act to survive and stay at the top. Things get lost along the way – among them “real” values, family, and relationships. Taddy thinks love has escaped her, and says she is going to focus on her business and friends, and given up on finding that someone special. However the new year hookup wasn’t as it seemed, and Warner wasn’t engaged. Sadly though he didn’t get Taddy’s number or even her real name as she was using her normal Red pseudonym. He tries hard to track her, he felt they had something special and wants to develop it further….but he can’t find her. Can they find each other? Well, thanks to Taddy’s kindness to her Mormon assistant Kiki, Kiki’s kindness to a pornstar friend, said pornstars’ actions (live feed porn finishing with a special delivery to the audience outside the balcony window!!) they find each other at a French jail…but luckily on the right side of the bars.
Its a tearing ride through a fast paced novel, full of drama and scandal, fashion and name dropping, where not knowing the current “in” designer or celebrity is a major tragedy ( I’m not a design or celeb follower so I’d never get past the doorway 🙂 but it does show the shallowness of the life.) It’s a light, fluffy novel plot wise, it’s the names and actions that drive the story, and the humour and sex that provide the attraction. Taddy does get her happy ending thankfully, but at cost of having to face up to her past, and hope Warner can cope with it.
If this book was a dessert it’d be something like Passion Fruit Fool, topped with whatever is the latest expensive and most sought after berry, and flavoured with some Louis 13th brandy (A 750 ml bottle of Louis XIII may be priced as high as US$34,000, that would suit Taddy!!). Its erotic and passionate, whipped up to a light frothy texture, strong flavour running through, and topped with a sensational decoration.
Its priced at £4.63 for 262 pages so not cheap, but if you love chick lit with some added humour and very erotic spice then this is for you. It made me laugh, loved the over the top characters, but as a non celebrity fan its a one read only for me. For those who like magazines such as Hello, OK etc (UK mags featuring celebrity gossip) will probably enjoy reading this over and over. Its got a lot of content that might be missed on first reading, and picked up on second.
Stars: four.

Bound by Night. Larissa Ione.

 

Arc supplied by Netgalley.

I loved Larissa’s Demonica series, but have to confess * shock * I’ve never read her Lords of Deliverance….I know, I know, disgraceful – but somehow I’ve just never got to them (or Wards BDB novels…)so when I saw this beginning to a new series – with vampires no less – I had to request it.
Larissa seems to take conventional supernatural creatures and give them a different spin. In this novel the vampires are of two sorts, Natural Born and Turned, and some- especially the Born ones – have special gifts. She manages to make the vampires just that bit different in this way and adds in Native American spirits and beliefs, and a bit of Demon blood…and it works to give us something new and fresh ,in a genre that is becoming swamped by sadly bland vampires. These ones kill though, they’re unashamedly tough and practical but there is a little morality there from some. They drink blood from humans too as well as from bags, eat food, and she links their needs for blood to a moon phase so each second moon either females or males have to drink and need sex from a vampire of the opposite sex. Sounds quite complex doesn’t it – but it’s necessary to move forward the story she’s created. It’s a great world, peopled with characters that feel real, and I started to anticipate what they’ll do next as if I really know them.
One of the strengths of Larissa’s writing ( and with most authors who’s work I enjoy) is that ability to take two people with diametric views, who on the face of it should hate each other, they always start that way, and yet they end up re thinking all their emotions and thoughts, and finding each other not only sexually attractive but mentally too. I admire so much the way this is done, as a reader I look at the two main characters and wonder how I’d get them together and – well – I just can’t! When they are rethinking so am I, looking at situations from anothers’ point of view leads to different conclusions usually.
Riker’s mate was captured by Nicole’s family, a leader in Vampire Slavery, and research, using vampires in all sorts of very profitable but horrific ways, some legal and some not so. Nicole has always believed Riker killed his mate, and that he’s a cruel person, his mate was her Nanny and she loved her dearly and was very close to her. Riker hates all her remaining family for their use of vampires, the cruel way they treat them, as commodities and not as people. Nicole has a vampire phobia after being attacked in a rebellion that killed most of her family. She been involved in the research side not knowing about the horrific treatment given to vamps, and assuming the company acts legally. Now she’s inherited the company and finds out all is not as she thought. How on earth will those two ever get together. Well, there’s a complex and riveting story to be read before you’ll find that out, and its one that had me gripped to the kindle, not wanting to put it down til the end. Larissa doesn’t dumb down her writing thankfully, its an intricate work, one that’s long, absorbing and full of detail. There’s not loads of descriptive waffle though, each word belongs and is part of the whole story. There’s the main plot of course but also I can see a myriad of smaller ones that link to things either in this book or presumably to come in later ones.
First novels in series have a hard task, they need to set the scene, show the world and people created and yet still tell an absorbing story. Few manage a five star read from me on a first in series as its difficult to get all three parts at the right balance but this one does. It’s one for my keepers file and at 400 pages for £4.41 it’s really good value.
Stars: five – all the way, and a series I’ll definitely be following eagerly.