Archive | October 2013

Homecoming. Cloaked Devices #0.5 Cecilia Robert.

Homecoming: A Cloaked Devices Short Story (Cloaked Devices #0.5)

 

 

Homecoming. Cloaked Devices #0.5 Cecilia Robert.
Arc supplied via Netgalley.
I hadn’t realised when I requested this that it was Steampunk, and that’s a genre I rarely read. I’d thought this was a shifter romance, but it has steampunk elements though barely noticeable and I enjoyed this novel very much.
Levian and his twin are searching for Levian’s mate Sera, who left him at the bonding ceremony. They were in love so he doesn’t know, and neither does her family, why she left or where she went. They’ve tracked her down finally, and are travelling to bring her home. The book is really setting the scene for a full series I assume, about these characters and their homeland, plus the city she’s been living in. The steampunk element came in via the ship they travelled in – I was puzzled at how a boat could fly, now I see its in steampunk genre and I understand it 🙂 Sera has a secret though – a huge one that could affect whether things change tremendously for her and Levian. She loves him, has always loved him but will he still want her when he learns what it is?
Well, its a great read, short but fun and though much steampunk goes over my head this was very shifter orientated, and I was able to follow and enjoy the story. There are some strong characters here, and I’d like to read more when the full series comes out. Its a quick read at around 40,000 words and the Netgalley price shows $0.99. I can’t find out when further books are out nor yet find this on Amazon, so can’t give UK price but its release date is 25th October 2013 so maybe soon….
Stars: hmmnn….hard this one – if it was a whole book with a full plot it would be easier to judge, as it is I like the writing style, it flows easily, and the characters – they seem an interesting mix. Sera’s bookshop partner wolf shifter sounded intriguing, and I do hope he’s in further books. Somehow I don’t feel we’ve seen the last of him, he seems to have more to say yet! So, judgement time…four. A good book, but hard to rate with it being just a prelude and not a full story.

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Mine to Hold. Cynthia Eden.

 

Mine To Hold (Mine - Romantic Suspense)

Mine to Hold. Cynthia Eden.

I loved the first two books in this series. I remembered Noah from the last one, but couldn’t recall Claire at first. Cynthia explains the connection though. The books are all connected but are each stand alone novels, so you don’t need to have read previous ones ( though they are well worth reading). I mostly read contemporary and paranormal romance, though enjoy a foray into romantic suspense every now and then. Having not enjoyed the last two in this genre though I was feeling a bit negative, so it was a real treat to get a novel that does what it should. One with characters who act as reader would expect, who are people I can empathise with, and with a plot that’s believable and keeps me guessing. And this novel did all of that and more. Each time I thought I’d worked out what was going to happen Cynthia threw me for a loop, and took the story in a direction I didn’t expect.
I loved Noah – dark and dangerous and yet so much in need of love, and Claire – she’s been through so much and yet still managed to keep holding on. I really felt for her and understood why she kept herself so closed off from others. She seemed so lonely though – I wanted good things for her. I’m glad Cynthia picked her up from the last book and gave her one 🙂 I do like books which let me feel characters could be real, and that make me want things for them. That’s a real mental escape for me, from the real world into one that’s full of happy endings. As with the other books there’s lots of hot, erotic, sensual sex too, with the attraction between Noah and Claire jumping off the page. Noah makes it clear what he wants very quickly, at their first meeting in the book in fact, but Claire holds him off for a couple of chapters before the attraction and the circumstances make her need of him too great to defy any longer.
Its a hot and steamy read, but with a storyline that takes the reader on a journey that twists and turns, and keeps you riveted to see just what’s going to happen next. After the two that frankly bored me I was reminded of just what a treat a well written romantic suspense is. I’ll certainly read any other books by Cynthia, she’s an author with the talent to write novels that grip the reader.
ARC provided via Netgalley.
Stars: five, cracking read 🙂

Sera’s Gift. Book 3 of the Destiny’s Trinities series. Tracy Cooper-Posey.

Sera's Gift (Destiny's Trinities)

 

Sera’s Gift. Book 3 of the Destiny’s Trinities series. Tracy Cooper-Posey.
I loved the first two in this trilogy so was pleased to get the third for review. Much as the other two there’s lots of hot, steamy, erotic sex wrapped up in a simple plot. The third trinity hasn’t yet formed, and everyone is getting impatient. Then Sera arrives to help her brother and ….bam, as before the other two are instantly drawn to her. There are problems though – Vampire Diego is a cynic about the whole thing, and has been needling his ex flatmate constantly about being part of one. Its payback time for him! Then there’s human policeman Blake who kows nothing of the supernatural world that surrounds him, but has been worried about the increasing weird violence in his city. Both of them need to accept their part for the three trinities to win the war, but they’re not receptive to the idea, and things don’t go as easily as with the other two. There’s a heartbreaking decision to be made too – that was really hard to read and very emotional.
Once again I enjoyed this story and the way it wrapped up the trilogy neatly. As always I’d have preferred a longer book, but the three being connected does allow for the whole story and characters to get expanded. It’s priced at £1.93 for 105 pages.
ARC supplied via Netgalley
Stars: four and a half. BTW – Please take note of the sex warnings – I hate to see books critised for offending readers when they give prior warning. If you don’t like this type then don’t read it.

Escape In You. Rachel Schurig.

Escape In You

 

Escape In You. Rachel Schurig.
Another mistake on my part selecting this one for review. The book is fine, it’s a well written and decent plot – it’s my fault selecting it as its just too YA for my tastes. I found myself impatient with the characters and their actions, didn’t empathise with them. I got irritated at the plots – I know with teens everything is life or death drama, and both Jet and Zoe had a horrible home life, but the way this led onto plots where they made stupid decisions just didn’t work for me.
There is some sex, nothing very OTT, and it fitted the actions and ages of the characters. I like some YA books, and thought this sounded one I’d enjoy but it wasn’t. Thats not the fault of the book, just that it didn’t suit my taste. Those closer in age to the protagonists will probably have a very different reaction to mine, and that good. We all have different tastes in literature. It’s priced at £2.58 for 217 pages
ARC supplied via Netgalley
Stars: sorry just a two – but like I said that a personal view and not a reflection of book quality. What I didn’t like could be just what you are looking for.

Trusting You. L.P. Dover.

Trusting You (Second Chances)

 

Trusting You. L.P. Dover.
I love romance with characters older than teens – though that teen agnst is good, sometimes it seems the market is dominated by them. So looked forward to this. Sadly, though its well written and the characters themselves likeable, the decisions they make – and the plots themselves – are in my opinion too simple, too juvenile to be believable.
I simply can’t see why Melissa went the route she did in keeping things from Brett, it would have been so easy to have just said “Brett, I’ve a problem/I need to tell you….” Of course we need some kind of secrets in order for there to be the big problems when all comes out, but this just wasn’t realistic enough for me. It’s not what common sense would say is the logical action. Then towards the end what happens…it was all too much, would anyone really agree to do what Brett and Melissa did, however good the reason? So the believability factor affected how I veiwed the whole suspense angle too. There were parts I could go along with, and as I said the novel is very well written. It’s just the plot and the way the characters acted that didn’t work for me. The sex scenes were excellent, fitted the characters really well, and provided just the right amount of steam.
Priced at £1.93 for 231 pages is around average VFM for the genre, and if you can suspend your belief in the way I couldn’t its one you may enjoy. Just not one for me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley
Stars: 2.5, good wrting quality just let down by the storyline .

Sex and the Social Network. Victoria Lexington.

Sex and the Social Network. Victoria Lexington.

There’s always scare stories about the dangers of social networks, and Victoria has used that to produce this novel about four ladies who’ve connected with either old friends, or friends of friends. At the start they seem happily married, but the novel shows just how easy it is to get sucked in, first via informal public online posts, then private one to one online chat, phone texts and then…meeting in Real Time. And what can result…
The story is told from POV of each of the ladies, skipping from one to another and revealing their thoughts on their marriage, their friends and the potential lovers. Its shows just how devastating affairs can be, how easy it is to jump into one instead of sorting out one’s problems, and how our pasts and problems from then can affect how we react now. There’s not a woman meets man happy ending, but differing results for all four ladies.
Its an interesting novel. To be honest I’m very strongly against affairs – I’ve never subscribed to the “we just fell in love” excuse. Some-one has to take that first step, and that’s when they should be thinking of outcomes and problems, not just barging ahead. We see here the consequences of doing that.
I enjoyed the novel from the perspective of what happened, but I didn’t really empathise with the characters, apart from one who’d had a bad case of childhood abuse. The others seemed to be quite shallow, looking at their own happiness rather than their family, and what they could lose. The men too were a mix of types, and there were some very hot and steamy sex scenes in the novel. I just didn’t really feel fully connected with the story, more of an onlooker.
ARC supplied by author.
Stars: four, its an interesting read but not one I’d re read.

Dark Angel. TJ Bennett.

 

Dark Angel. TJ Bennett.

Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book – seemed to be a sort of mystery romance. Well, it was, and it was so much more too!
Catherine is the only person from a shipwreck to get washed up on an island off the Irish coast. She’s desperate to return home, but the islanders seem so secretive about her chances of that, try to put her off whenever she raises the topic, and are keen to involve her in life on the island and accept a place there. There’s so much they aren’t telling her, and she needs to know more to get back home. Why are they keeping secrets about her chances of getting home? She can’t understand the rationale as they all seem very keen to help her in other ways and delighted to meet her.
Then there’s Gerard, handsome and inscrutable owner of the castle. He healed her with incredible speed, and yet any questions about that or anything else she’s curious about he deflects cleverly. There’s a simmering attraction between them, but all the while she has in her mind the need to get to London and her responsibilities. When some of the secrets are revealed she simply can’t believe them, passes them off as superstition, but what about the mysterious fog that comes in so quickly, and the dangerous Beast that stories tell roams the island.
Its a great story, enough conundrums and enigmatic secrets to keep the reader guessing just where the story is going, along with the slowly developing romance between Gerard and Catherine. What’s going to happen? Will she get off the island and return to London – and if she has the chance, how will she leave Gerard if the blossoming romance does go further? All questions that get answered – but not at all in the way I expected. The ending came as a real surprise and yet – it fitted the story so well.
When I began reading somehow the style reminded me of the Victoria Holt novels I devoured as a teen, but as the plots moved on it became a much more individual and interesting narration than the stories I remembered. I think its the sort of gentle, historical setting, and the air of mystery about the story that prompted my musings. Certainly the whole of the story is much more personal and interesting, moving and emotional, and with enough mystery to give me the shivers at times, but not to frighten me off – I’m easily scared sadly, so anything more than the slightest hint of spook and my mind is away and summoning up depths that terrify me 🙂 makes my kids and grand-kids laugh when I can’t even watch kids films cos they scare me….
ARC provided via Netgalley
Stars: I’ve had a real roll of good reads recently and this is yet another five!

Hunters Moon. Lisa Kessler.

 

Hunters Moon. Lisa Kessler.

I loved Lisa’s first book Moonlight, so was really pleased to get the next. Its another cracker with story lines to keep reader engrossed and characters that we can empathise with. Its not a single plot book but one with multiple ones, some that get tied up in this novel, and some that continue the theme that begun in the first – a sort of umbrella plot that all others sideline from.
So, we meet Adam and Lana once again from the first book, along with their twins and some of the other characters. This book centres on Adams’ twin Aren. He was in the last book, and was shot by the Jaguar assassin Sasha – what he hasn’t told anyone is that when she touched him he discovered she was his mate. It works differently for Jaguars though – the Wolf one true mate doesn’t happen to them so she will have no idea…
By chance Sasha is in trouble and needs help to protect her younger sister. Aren didn’t tell anyone but he ensured Sasha was saved during that final battle, even though she had shot him. She doesn’t know why of course, but lacking anyone else to help her she turns to Aren. This leads us into another amazing romance, hot and steamy, emotional and full of highs one moment, and lows the next when things go wrong for the couple. The threat to her sister is all too real, and very dangerous and Aren is worried for not only Sasha and her sister, but for the Pack too – and of course what will they think when they know he’s involved with the woman who they think tried to kill him. Along with that there are secrets coming out from all directions that affect how the can protect Sasha, her siater and the Pack, from the characters themselves, from the Pack and from the Nero organisation….
Its a great read, real edge of seat at times, made me laugh, made me almost cry, the very best of books for me – I need all that angst and emotion in a story and not just sweetness and love. Priced at £2.79 for 340 pages its great value and will join my keepers file for re reading.
ARC provided via publishers.
Stars: five – great read 🙂

Undying Embrace Jessica Lee.

Undying Embrace (A Novel of the Enclave) (Entangled Edge)

 

Undying Embrace Jessica Lee.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Undying Destiny, and was pleased to get this one for review. We met Arran in book one as working partner to Marcus, who betrayed the Enclave. He feels he should have noticed something was wrong with Marcus, so has left the Enclave and spent the last two years trying to track down and kill him along with Marguerite, the Master who lured him away, and is frankly a real nasty piece of work. Oh I do love a good Bad female 🙂
At the same time human Enclave employee Elle is in town searching for her sister, who has been missing for three weeks. Elle and Arran have a brief, shared history, a single kiss that reduced Elle to a quivering wreck, before Arran then left suddenly. They’re really attracted to each other, a gritty, internal longing that won’t be suppressed, though Elle still wants an explanation for his sudden disappearance. However Arran feels he’s not good enough for her because of his past actions, that she deserves better and he won’t give in…so far anyway. Elle meets him in her search for her sister, when he spots her at the club he’s been told Marcus frequents and sparks fly – in all ways!
There’s some sultry, sensual, spicy sex between them, taking them two steps forward forward then one step back in relationship terms, with Arran being domineering and protective, saying it’s too dangerous for her to be involved and Elle standing up to him, and arguing for her place in the search for her sister. Of course that brings them into contact with Marcus and the dangerous and mad Marguerite, and their survival is on a knife edge… They need more help, but Arran doesn’t want to get the Enclave involved.
There’s some good interludes with other vampires, extending the characters involved and when that happens I always wonder if some of these will show up in later books. I hope new vampire David does, given a second chance I think he’d make a good addition, as he seems a moral but practical person. Even big, tough vampires – in fact especially big, tough vampires need strong morals if they’re to avoid going the Dark route and join the DEADs…and then of course there’s Elle’s sister – what’s going to happen with her?
So – plenty of action – of the vampire violence kind, and not just the sensual and erotic action between Arran and Elle, and a good though simple storyline. This novel is a great follow on to the first one, and I enjoyed reading it. I have a preference for longer novels, that really mean the story can go in depth in the plots and characters, but I know many people like these shorter books. It’s priced at £3.57 for 175 pages.
ARC provided via Netgalley.
Stars: like book one I enjoyed the story, but a bit deeper and longer needed for my five stars, but this is a worthy four stars.

Captive. The Forbidden Side of Nightshade. A. D. Robertson.

Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade

 

Captive. The Forbidden Side of Nightshade. A. D. Robertson.

I have a well known love of paranormal romance so this seemed a perfect read. Its different from the usual run of paranormals, no vampires, some shape-shifters called Guardians, creatures from Mythology, Succubus and Incubus, and Searchers and Keepers. There are two opposing sides of which the main characters are searchers and keepers.
Sarah volunteers for a risky, no retrieval mission. She knows she may die or be killed executing it, and that the Searchers won’t attempt a rescue. Of course she gets caught, and the Keeper of the Castle and Island Tristan decides on an alternative way of getting information, rather than the usual dungeons and torture…he’s lonely although he doesn’t realise it, and Sarah appeals to him. Slowly they begin to trust each other, and wonder if the information they’ve each been given about the other group is correct. Passions rise and they become lovers but Tristan knows Lord Bosque Mar will not allow them to be together, so they need to plan carefully what they can do.
Its a captivating story with some gruesome moments, and lots of heated passion. I love the way both Tristan and Sarah slowly give in to the first attractions they felt. The Wolves too were interesting, and bitch succubus Lana a perfect evil lady to make a foil for Sarah, and provide some needed jealousy and back talk. Too much good in a romance without some bad to balance just makes it a bit sickly to me. Here we’ve a great mix, along with a vivid story, fabulous characters and scene setting adventure. I want now to know what’s in the next book now 🙂 That always happens, I get hooked and then hate the wait for more from the people involved.
It took me a little while to get sucked into the story and TBH I’m still a little puzzled over the whole Witches War thing, and how it evolved but that didn’t matter once I got hooked into the characters and what was happening. I like the prophecy part too – added to the the fantasy feel of the story, and leads neatly into what may happen next. Having done a bit of searching I found its a move on from a YA series called Nightshade written under a different author name Andrea Cremer. Had I read that series I’d have understood the world building, and its inhabitants better and gone for a higher star rating I think.
I don’t have pricing info but its quite a long novel which I always enjoy, and I’d love to read more about them and what happens next.
Stars: Three and a half. If I’d been able to understand the whole war and the roles each side played I think I’d have liked this more. It took me quite a lot of searching to come up with the connection, though Nightshade is mentioned its not disclosed that the author name is different, and of course Nightshade is a popular book title – 694 currently under that search term on Amazon!
ARC received via Netgalley

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