Archive | February, 2008

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

28 Feb

Favorite Lines: “A good salesman fulfills expectations. This is a small town, where people lack exposure to nonstereotypical images of homosexuals. So if I queer it up a little bit here and there -…- and act like those assholes on TV, then people are charmed rather than challenged. I make them feel open-minded because they have a ‘gay friend.’ People who feel good spend money.” (p. 76 ARC)

While trying to turn her life around, Ciara Griffin finds herself running the biggest con of her life. She is going to out a radio station of vampires as a gimmick, in hopes of bringing in the money. The owner of the radio station intends to sell, if the station doesn’t pull itself out of the red. That would make the vampires who live there homeless, and in danger of losing their undead lives.

Unfortunately, the sales pitch pisses off the older vampires in the area and threats begin to fly. Ciara must learn not fail with this con if she wants to live another day.

This is a new series that I’ll be following; the idea is great. Ms. Smith-Ready has created vampires who must maintain a link to their Time or fade into mindless ghosts. They have different quirks sure to crack the reader up, and while they are dangerous, they are endearingly unhuman. They are the many decades of Rock N Roll.

I’m a child of Rap and R&B, but I had a blast with this book. I didn’t know half of the songs, but the idea of different vamps being different times in music is excellent. I don’t know that I agree with the idea of the vamp turned in the 2000’s playing country…but hey I’m not a country girl. The characters are excellent.

One of my favorites is Ciara. I love that she is not a by the book girl. She is a conwoman and constantly runs game on all who find themselves near her. Opportunities present themselves, and she takes advantage of them. It’s great. Just when you think you know what to expect, Wham! something happens to turn it topsy-turvy.

There was one thing that bothered me about this book; it only took me 80 pages to discover what it was. The story is told in the present. It isn’t bad, just different from most books on the market. For example, “I grab a soda. His head jerks back… he says…he closes.” Once I figured that out the story was easy going.

This book is slated for release on May 13. If you want to buy it check out Amazon. The first chapter is online and so is Smith-Ready’s bibliography.

Dawn’s Awakening by Lora Leigh

25 Feb

Favorite lines: ” If you’re insane enough to go through with your own execution, then I want to at least watch. I haven’t seen a good comedy flick in awhile.” (p. 22)

Dawn Daniels spent years being raped and tested on while in Council hands. Afterwards she spent years being victimized by her pride brother, as he forced her to watch her body be violated over and over again. Meeting Seth saved her. Although he’s human, he is her mate and the thought of him comforted her, until he left. Without a word to her, he stopped visiting her home. He gave up on her.

Or so she thought.

When it became clear to Dawn’s pride that Seth was interested in her, they decided to pull no blows and showed him the tapes that recorded her life in captivity. He saw her brutalized and raped through out her childhood and knew that he never wanted to see that look in her eyes. For her, he walked away. Even though he burned with the mating fever, he left her to heal and tried to find a life without her.

I think we all know that Ms. Leigh writes fiery erotic stories. Her breed series is interesting, but for me this is the best one. That could be because I  erratically read the series. I found the emotional ride with Dawn to be exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. I wanted to see her find herself and more than anything I want to know Cassie’s story.

Seth was a human hero capable of handling the strong feline breed. He gained strength from the mating chemical, but he was still human. Despite his being human, he gave as good as he got. He gave emotionally and physically to Dawn, holding nothing back. He let her know that despite the trauma she had experienced, he still wanted her.

While the emotional relationship between Seth and Dawn was being built, two killers were roaming Seth’s island: one of them a ghost from the past, the other a ghost of the future. I was sucked into the past. I was fascinated with Dawn’s battle against an unknown enemy and that, not the sex, kept me turning the pages.

I read good reviews at My Thoughts on Nothing Much at All and at Thrifty Reader.

Howling at the Moon by Karen MacInerney

23 Feb

Favorite Lines: “I mean, it’s tough enough being a single mother, but when you’re afraid to put your kid in day care because there’s a chance she might start sprouting teeth and fur in the middle of story time, it’s got to be a total nightmare.” (p. 21)

Sophie Garou has high aspirations. She’s trying to make partner at an affluent accounting firm and her love life couldn’t be better. At least until she receives a phone call telling her that her mother has been arrested on a preliminary felony charge of  murdering a councilman.

As if matters weren’t bad enough, someone found Sophie’s secret; she’s part werewolf. Because werewolves are elitist creatures and don’t tolerate mixed blooded children, she has avoided them. Then while rushing to her mother’s jail cell, a full blooded werewolf walks by, awakening a strong lust in Sophie.

With the full moon coming, rumors flying around the water cooler and Sophie’s best friend falling for the sexy werewolf, Sophie has her hands full, while tying to not be outed and to find the real killer.

Ms. MacInerney has provided the reader with an interesting look into Sophie’s world. To be perfectly honest, when I first began reading I didn’t get sucked into the book. After the first chapter, I was. I wanted to know what would happen to Sophie and her crazy, mother who happened to be a psychic witch. I loved the witty dialogue, and despite my dislike for the way Sophie behaved with her best friend’s beau, I never stopped caring about what happened to her.

It doesn’t hurt that the book looks at werewolves in an interesting manner. For example, Sophie shaves her legs, so when she is in wolf form the legs are shaved. It’s quite comedic.

One of the downers for me came early in the story when Sophie’s dad is talked about. He was a full blood werewolf and supposedly left the family for their safety, but after the first three mentions of this, I’d had enough. I’m pretty sure that it’s set up for the second book, but it’s a little irritating to keep hearing about a man, who is thought to be alive, but never learning more about him.

I don’t know if it’s Ms. MacInerney doing a great job piquing my interest, or if it’s a bit over load on the information.

Overall, Howling at the Moon is a lighthearted and fun look into the life of a paranormal woman trying to remain in the closet. It’s an entertaining paranormal mystery that was fast and evenly paced, and sure to bring readers back for the second installation. Coffee Time Romance has a nice review of the book for anyone interested in another opinion.

Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn

15 Feb

Favorite Lines: “If felt so good to dish like  normal sisters about something other than Shadow Wing and war and bloodshed.” (p. 103)

Menolly is the youngest D’Artigo sister. Twelve Earthside years ago, while on a mission for the OAI (Otherworld Intelligence Agency), she was captured, tortured and turned by the leader of the Elwing Blood Clan, Dredge.

Menolly has come far since then, but due to the close relationship between lust and hunger, has not trusted herself to enter into any sexual relationship, and the fact that Dredge raped and scarred her, physically and emotionally, is creating more havoc than normal.  Add to that Dredge has come Earthside, and he is hunting her. Continue reading

Changeling by Yasmine Galenorn

12 Feb

Favorite Lines: “Had I suddenly turned into a frog-girl? Or the creature from the Black Lagoon-who, as it happened, resembled the lemurans, one of our aquatic Crypto races back in OW?” (p. 165)

After beating back a demon scouting party, Delilah hoped that things would settle down. The softest sister of three, she was learning to harden herself against the world and coming into her sexuality. Her work as a P.I. and an agent for the OIA, Otherworld Intelligence Agency, does little to prepare her for what is to come.

One day at work, she is approached by a werepuma, Zachery, who requests her aid in catching a killer. Someone is killing members of his pride, removing the hearts and sucking them dry. She agrees to look into it, and promptly finds herself in danger. Continue reading

Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

11 Feb

Favorite Lines: ” “I could carry you off,” he murmured, sniffling my hair. “No one would dare try to stop me. After all, you owe me for my protection.” (p. 223)

Camille is mixed with fae and human blood, and works for the OIA (Otherworld Intelligence Agency). She is also a witch, who calls upon Mother Moon to aid her when she practices magic. She is one of three sisters living Earthside in an effort to prevent demonkind from destroying human and fae alike.

Shadow Wing has taken over the Subterranean Realms and has his eyes set on running Otherworld and Earthside. He sends out a scouting team to find the first of nine pieces to the spirit seal, that will allow him access to the portals separating the worlds, only to find his team faced off against the D’Artigo sisters.

The women are already at a disadvantage due to their mixed blood, but will the demons be able to finish them off or will they prove to be humanity’s only chance?

First of all, marketing has been at it again. This series is labeled paranormal romance, but the book is an urban fantasy. Camille, the oldest sister, tells the story from her point of view. The second book in the series, Changeling, is told by middle sister, Delilah, who shifts into a tabby cat. The third book, Darkling, is told by the youngest sister, vampire/human/fae, Menolly. Continue reading

Reviews that…

10 Feb

Have you ever found yourself tearing apart someone’s review?

I was reading a review of a book I’d recently reviewed, and noticed that the person misspelled the main character;s name. Not only did the reviewer misspell the name, she included a snippet from the book with the correct spelling. This got me to thinking about my reviews.

When I review books, I try to keep the book beside me for two reasons. One, I include a snippet, so I need the book to copy word for word the passage I want to include. Two, I want to make sure that I’m not reinventing cities where things happen. I have a bad habit of renaming locations in books. For example if it happens in Locomotion, Kan., I’ll change it to Locanon, Kan. Stupid, I know, but that’s me.

How do you feel when you read several typos in a review? Do you ever feel like you’re reading a review by someone who didn’t read the book? What would make you boycott a reviewer? (Yeah, I know I have spelling issues myself. I try to reread my posts before I publish them, but that doesn’t always prevent the errors.) So I guess what I want to know is, how much slack to you give a book reviewer?

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Fangs for the Memories by Kathy Love

8 Feb

Favorite Lines: “He wanted to sink into her heat. Devour her. Making her scream for him. And he wasn’t talking about with his fangs.” (p. 27)

Rhys Young’s life was transformed when he became a vampire. The years have passed, leaving him lonely and bitter, preying on the scum of society for his dinner. All changed the night he met and saved Jane.

Jane was having a horrible day. She had just moved to New York from Maine for a fresh start, when she lost her new job. That created a domino effect and left her standing in a seedy bar late one night. Vulnerable and pure, she stood out in the ratty crowd and drew the attention of a would be rapist.

Rhys watched the pure woman walk out of the bar with an evil man and cursed himself as he went to ensure her safety. He interrupted the man before he did serious damage, and walked Jane back to her motel room. He then returned to the alley, and his dinner. Once there, he is confronted by his brother, Christian, who tries to kill him only to be interrupted by Jane’s arrival.

Next thing Jane and Rhys know, they’re at Rhys’ home and Rhys thinks he is a viscount in London.

Rhys’ youngest brother, Sebastian tells Jane to play along and pays her to watch Rhys and help him overcome his selective amnesia. Continue reading

Vampires are Forever by Lynsay Sands

6 Feb

vampires_are_forever_200.jpgFavorite Lines: ” “I’ve just bit my lifemate,” Thomas snapped. “And she’s now locked in the bathroom, probably fashioning a cross out of soap bars and anything else she can find in there.” (p. 60)

Oh, I’m sorry, Inez. I didn’t mean to bite you, my fangs slipped.” (p. 60)

Inez Urso is not pleased when her boss wakes her up to meet his slacker cousin at the airport. She gets there in time, only to watch him get into a taxi and leave. When she catches up with him, she gives him a piece of her mind, in Portuguese, that is.

Thomas Argeneau has been sent to find his missing aunt in Europe. He soon finds out that he will have the vice president the European branch of Argeneau Enterprises assistance. When she shows up at his hotel room ranting at him in a different language, Thomas begins to find himself attracted to her.

Over the course of the hunt for the missing Argeneau, Inez discovers that vampires exist and Thomas finds his lifemate. Danger lurks around the corner though. Someone doesn’t want the couple to find the missing woman and is playing a ruthless game with Inez’ life. Inez might not live long enough to become a permanent fixture in Thomas’ life. Continue reading

Nameless by Debra Webb

3 Feb

Favorite Lines: “Her lips quivered and before she could stop herself she said it. “Nameless”.” (p. 141)

FBI rookie Vivian Grace has been sent to find the former darling of the FBI, Ryan McBride. A kidnapper has demanded McBride be included on the investigative team. If he’s not, the kidnapper will give no clues and the child he’s kidnapped will die.

Grace doesn’t trust anyone and feels little attachment to people. She is hoping that solving her first case will enable her to get out of the town she’s been stationed and into a town she bid on, but was denied thanks to a former mentor and friend. She doesn’t count on McBride triggering hidden emotions and bringing her past to the present.

McBride has never forgotten the case that sent him from the FBI in shame. The scapegoat of a an agency intent on keeping its name pure, he had longed for the day the agency once more needed his aid. Three years have passed and he drinks Jack to forget and his bed filled with women to fill his time. Until Grace appears and gives him a reason to clean up his act.

Ms. Webb has written an exciting book that should appeal to men and women alike. It’s action packed and full of tense drama. The feeling I get when reading it reminds me of the one I had when I watched/read Kiss the Girls. I know that more is going to happen and feel the tension leading to the moment.

McBride is a clever man. He deciphered clues that left me spinning. (Not that I’ve ever been good at riddles.) He is able to compartmentalize, yet become emotionally attached. He doesn’t jump at the idea of working for the FBI after they dumped him, but does it for the missing child. Even when the agency shows itself to be supremely arrogant and self-serving, he sticks around to help out the missing people.

This is enough to satisfy me when he stops his womanizing and drunken theatrics. In a way it seems contrived, but I think that the author is showing the person he was before the alcohol, still exists and is the true hero. She is showing that he is capable of overcoming horrible obstacles and most importantly, that he is human.

A third of the way into the book I began to understand why Grace was the character Ms. Webb wrote her to be. I enjoyed watching Grace end up the person she was at the end of the book. From her lowest point of reliving the past to her highest point after facing her darkest fear, Grace showed herself to be a woman to root for.

Nameless is a powerful story that begs to be read. It is full of revenge, redemption, forgiveness and recovery. The story is dense with emotions is definitely a book to read. It will be released Feb. 5.