Archive | October 29, 2013

Close to you.. Stacia Kane

Close to you.. Stacia Kane

I love Stacia’s Downside novels, have read them all so far so was keen to review this novella even though shorts aren’t my usual choice. As I know the characters and how they are linked and work, it was easy to follow. Its a topical tale, featuring Chess and Terrible, with a Christmas theme. Great fun, action and danger as usual and I enjoyed it. Its not cheap at £1.85 for 35 pages, but is a fun read and for downside fans a nice pick-up while waiting for the next book.
Arc supplied via Netgalley.
Stars: four – fun read but very, very short for the price.

Vampire Games.Tiffany Allee


Vampire Games.Tiffany Allee
I loved Tiffany’s Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid, it made me laugh and I enjoyed her easy and effective writing style, so although this was a different sort of novel I thought i’d enjoy it – and I was right. I hadn’t read her earlier OWEA books, didn’t realise there were any (slapped wrist for jeannie for not doing research!) but its not essential as each has a loose connection, but is also a stand alone novel.
Beatrice, she one of those people who are very moral in that if they can help they will, regardless of the cost to themselves. Using her gift does come at a great personal cost though – she touches things to get impressions from them, and as they’re usually involved in some kind of crime it means she gets some pretty horrific impressions, leading to nightmares from which she can’t escape. Still, when Vampire detective Claude needs her help she can’t say no. He’s sexy too – and they had a past romance, which still burns her with memories of how hot it – and he – was…
Claude thinks he’s past his feelings for her, but they quickly re-ignite and soon they’re sharing much more than just the investigation 🙂 I loved Claude, but was cross that he knew of Beatrice abilities and yet just couldn’t believe what she saw, because he didn’t want to believe it. I understood how frustrating Beatrice found that, and how dangerous it made the investigation for both of them.
There’s a nice mix of characters, plots that flow seamlessly and tie up neatly. I hate loose ends when I finish a novel. This took me in places I hadn’t worked out, involving people I hadn’t guessed and that’s always the best – when the ending comes as a surprise. Priced at £1.85 for 146 pages it’s a shortish read, and although I prefer longer novels I know many people with time restrictions like something they can actaully finish!
ARC supplied via publishers
Stars: four and a half – a great fun, well written read

Playing Dirty. Jennifer Echols.


Playing Dirty. Jennifer Echols.

Having just finished a paranormal I was in the mood for some light romance. I began this as it sounded fun, well it was fun but…for a simple standalone romance it seemed to have just a bit too much effort. I liked Sarah and the channelling of the vivacious and confident Nitsyuko (well her name is something like that!) was really effective – when she was feeling lost she’s think “what would N do?” and then follow that example. That an excellent technique for those of us without bags of supreme confidence in our abilities.
I was a bit confused about the whole Nine Lives issue – not why she was upset and frightened, but why she would be held to blame? Maybe its that I don’t know much about PR and the music industry..anyway – Sarah, I was rooting for her and could see her attraction to Quentin, and the way he’s described well who wouldn’t be. But the whole band double dealings, cover ups, fooling each other, Sarah and the band label issues got very complicated. Along with the way one moment Quentin was on the edge of death and then back on stage, ditto Sarah and the bee sting, one sting and she’s ill in hosp and yet towards the end something far more serious happens but apart from feeling ill she’s seemed too unrealistic for me. Just too OTT when it wasn’t needed, and too blasé when it needed to be dramatic.
There was some great humour, some terrific lines and funny plots but – the whole novel just felt overly complicated, with plots that really added nothing to the story, and just padded out and spoiled the rest for me. I really wanted to love it, the description sounded great and I thought I’d get a humorous light-hearted romance. Sadly though there were so many mini dramas that the effect was one of apathy once the big one hit, and it just didn’t make me feel emotional, scared or any of the things I expected. So an OK novel but not the great once I was hoping for. Priced at £2.99 for 416 pages its good value if its the sort of read you enjoy – for me its was a one off read only.
NB: ARC provided by Netgalley.
Stars: 3 it was ok – not good not bad.

Bad Cop Angela McAllister


Bad Cop Angela McAllister

ARC supplied via publishers.

I loved Angelas’ first book in this series, Bad Mouth so was keen to read this. I wasn’t disappointed 🙂 Like the first book we’ve a female lead who doesn’t like the male lead, this time because he’s a Cop and she has personal reasons for disliking the police. He’s hot, she’s attracted but as she tells him she’ll never date a cop….famous last words.
Anyway, they get off on the wrong foot when she takes a new murder case, as the victim is newly turned she says he’s classed as human so under her jurisdiction, and Ian says he’s vampire so he should have been informed. They get thrown together on it; Ian suspects its connected to one he was involved with in the past, but if its the same killer then the person he killed in his job as a Tracker was innocent possibly, so he doesn’t speak out til he knows more. Of course secrets worm their way out, and Alice is furious that he’s not sharing. There’s the attraction constantly sparking between them, along with the irritation they both have for the other. As they learn more about each other, and the reasons why they hold these preconceptions their attitudes change, and they become closer – much, much closer with some very spicy, sexy situations cropping up!!
Things heat up – not just between them, but with the case too and the danger to Alice increases. Ian’s determined to protect her but he can’t cover all dangers. There’s a hard choice at one point, and the whole scene changes with some devastating blows.
Alice is great, but very opinionated and set in her views. She’s willing to be open minded though once another scenario is put to her. Though she faces tragedy she also learns more about events she thought were different, and it makes her look at her past in another light. Ian too has demons from his past shaping his present actions. He skates close to the line when doing his job, too close sometimes and though in the past he’s not been worried about what happens to him, now he’s attracted to Alice he needs to toe the line more. Can he change his old habits though, or will his actions mean he faces sanctions that could mean his death.
I really enjoyed this story again, it was good meeting some of the people from book one, and I love the way the story builds on what happened then and sets up for the next book. It can be read as a stand alone, it has a proper conclusion but the background is suggested for more action later. Its priced at £2.05 and though I don’t have length info I’d guess at around 200 pages so good value and one for the keepers file.
Stars: five once again 🙂

Trancehack. Sonya Clark


Trancehack. Sonya Clark
I loved Sonya’s Mojo Queen and Red House so looked forward to reading this. I was a bit concerned over the world setting. Its reminded me a bit of the way the Psy-net works in Nalini Singh novels, and though I love and count her Angels works among my favourites I struggle with the Psy ones. I needn’t have worried though, the Net part of things here is an essential part but doesn’t dominate the novel. And even as a real Tech Nerd I could follow how things worked and what Calla was doing.
So about the characters, Calla, I loved her from the start. A real independent and strong woman on the surface, she’s far more underneath, and along with club owner Vadim (?) and some other volunteers she ran an underground dangerous rescue mission. Its a horrific world – again reminded me of another novel, The Chysalids which I read and loved at school. Its the way in this novel those with magic, different and therefore deemed dangerous, were isolated from their families and from society in general, having to live and survive on the outskirts (the Fringes from what I recall of the Chysalids) with no rights to vote, mix with normals, own things, marry etc. Normals having children testing positive for Magic via DNA tests had to give the baby up. Then there’s Nate, the Normal policeman, who’s been brought up to dislike Magicborns, through a family history tragedy. He’s a great guy, I love his lines “that’s detective as-shole to you”…. and he’s so genuine. Despite his upbringing and parents t Nate is a decent character, learning things all the while from his recent move to the city, and seeing Magicborn people for the first time at close quarters. Nate is a fair man but naive, and when he’s put on the track of a murderer he gets suspicions that shake some of his long held beliefs. Add to that the attraction he feels for Calla, that grows as the novel progresses, and the futility of it just because she’s Magic born he starts questioning things. And that dangerous – very dangerous for him….
Its a terrific read, very different world, with Magic users, Normals, criminal and political manoeuvrings, love and danger. I really felt for the Magicborns, the people caught up in the unfairness. Its seems its a US based thing thus leading to a sort of resistance movement being formed to help people get to other more welcoming countries. The romance too was really well done, sensual and erotic in the right parts but not overtaking the storyline as so often happens. Just the right balance of sex and story for me.
Vadim – I really hope Sonya plans this as a series, and there’s more from him. He’s got the sort of mystery feel about him that makes him a natural leader, and I’m sure he’s strong enough to take a greater role in the next book. I’d like to know more too about how Calla and Nate work things out, what happens after the resolution and reveals we got at the end of this book. Its not a cliffhanger thank goodness – I so HATE those, and the story ends properly but isn’t completely finished – there’s bits left open that whet my curiosity to know more. The world building is certainly strong enough to carry lots more from these and new characters. Please Sonya 🙂
Priced at £1.91 for 231 pages, 89,000 words, its a bargain and will sustain re reading especially if its going to be a series 🙂 I also like it that word count is included, sometimes books appear to be 300-400 pages and yet are a quick read, and if word count was given would be only 60-70,000. Word count is a good, fair way for readers to judge, rather than page count which is format dependent. Thanks Sonya or publishers, whichever decided to include it.
NB: ARC supplied via Netgalley.
Stars: five, great read and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Four Weddings and a Werewolf. Kristin Miller


Four Weddings and a Werewolf. Kristin Miller

ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I’ve enjoyed some of Kristin’s romances before so knew I was in a for a light paranormal read. This is a sweet romance, light and gentle, some drama but nothing edge of seat, and perfect for when you just want a book to relax with and not have to think too hard. Its got some morality too where Veronica is judging a whole section of people based on the actions of one – and we’re all guilty of things like that some times.
Logan doesn’t want a wife – he’s a real settled relationship/wedding avoidance person and he makes that clear. Veronica is in no way out for a romance with a werewolf…but when they first meet, and for some time after she doesn’t know he is one…
She has a stalker, a werewolf and Logan has been hired by her soon to be brother in law to protect her. He and her sister are werewolves, so with lots of them coming to her sisters wedding that she’s arranging, Veronica is going to be totally enmeshed with a section of people she despises. Even though her sister is one through an attack she can’t take to them – perhaps because of the attack, and despite her sisters pleading. She sees Leah as the exception to the rule….and wants nothing to do with more of them if she can avoid it.
There’s lots of emotion here, from the developing romance between Logan and Veronica despite both them fighting against it – to the relationship between the sisters. And …pussy willow – that’s all I can say there but its a silly, funny moment! Appeals to my schoolgirl humour I guess. …
So a sweet romance, a little light, dramatic action keeping a side plot going, and a lot of heat from Logan and Veronica! Overall a decent read, its a bit too light and is a one off for me, but I know lots of people who love light and fluffy, for whom this would be a keeper.
Stars: three and a half.

Isn’t She Lovely. Flirt New Adult Romance. Lauren Layne.


Isn’t She Lovely. Flirt New Adult Romance. Lauren Layne.

ARC supplied via Netgalley.

The New Adult genre is a fairly recent phenomena, and I think an inaccurate label; fun romances such as this one appeal to all ages, and I’m certainly long past the New Adult label 🙂 Anyway – this was a fun, romantic, easy to read novel. The description tells you pretty much how it shapes out – for me it was a fun way to spin an old topic. I’ve read books that are very similar to each other and this Pretty Woman/Pygmalion ( read the G B Shaw one years ago at high school ) theme is one that’s been done over and over and still appeals when its done well.
Stephanie – grunge girl in Goth black, spiky, prickly, and at times almost rude meets Ethan. They’re both just out of a breakup, and at film studies together when the tutor gives the class an assignment to do with a partner – of his choosing. Of course they get partnered and learn a lot about each other over the next few weeks. They decide to do a Pygmalion screenplay based around their experience where Stephanie pretends to be Ethan’s new girlfriend when he has to attend several family functions. She has to get “dressed up” to play the part, the hair gets cut, the make-up gets lighter, the black Goth clothes and piercings go, and slowly more than just her appearance changes. He needs a girlfriend to stop his mother matchmaking and trying to get him back with his ex, long term girlfriend and daughter of parents long time friends and business acquaintances. Stephanie is temporarily homeless, so he offers his second bedroom. Game on, and they play the part so well they begin to convince themselves. Is there more to it than that though? I love the way both are afraid to come out and say they care, for fear the other one doesn’t. Ethan’s mum; at first she’s a real classic bitch in the clever ways she tries to put Stephanie down, but Stephanie is tough – she’s faced greater enemies that his mum and she’s very clever at the game played. I loved that part, a good bitch is always an asset in a romance.
They’re both hiding secrets that slowly come out as they get closer. When things go wrong -as they need to in a good love story IMO, we readers need the angst and tears 🙂 can they pull it back? They’ve both made mistakes and Ethan’s mum has some surprising advice for him. I just loved the way it all fell together in the end. Perfect, and a satisfying ending. Its sweet but not sickly, has enough drama not to make it that way, and is a really pleasant read to escape from reality for a couple of hours.
Stars: not quite deep enough for a five from me but a very well deserved four.

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