Archive | April, 2010

Review: Amazon Queen by Lori Devoti

30 Apr

Favorite Lines: “His arm slipped behind my waist and he held me tight against his naked form.” (p. 24)

Zery Kostovska is an Amazon queen who is slowly beginning to realize things are happening behind her back. The group’s new high priestess is questioning her authority and the cast aside Amazon sons have her jumpy. It’s time to discover if Zery is queen enough to bring change to her people or if she is old news that must be swept away.

I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished reading Amazon Ink. Amazon Queen is told in the first person from Zery’s point of view. It has a preface that does a good job explaining all the need to know information from book one. It tells about the Amazon people, their lifestyle and the appearance of the sons they gave away.

Amazon Queen can be read as a stand alone because it is told by a different person’s point of view than the first book which is told by the tattoo artist Mel.

One of the best parts of Amazon Queen is Ms. Devoti’s clever use of words. As I looked at the page holding my favorite lines I read about the “cocky slant of his brow” and there was the “staff” being held. I don’t know if it was intentional, but I loved how both of the examples worked with the visual image of a naked man grappling with a powerful woman.

Amazon Queen is an urban fantasy that forces its heroine to look inside and discover what makes a queen. The journey of the woman comfortable with her own authority to a woman searching for more worked for me. As we age we become different. Sometimes it’s subtle, but most often we don’t surround ourselves with people and situations that haven’t grown or changed for the better. Zery has become complacent and queens must do more than blindly follow directives.

I know a ton of books labeled urban fantasy have big romance threads, but Amazon Queen is not one of those books. However, Amazon Queen is a fast paced story that begins with an action filled rescue and just keeps on going. It has strong women in a variety of positions and well-developed characters you will want to know more about.

Review: Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane

29 Apr

Dr. Megan Chase, head of the Yezer demons, is taking a week off from work in honor of her birthday. Actually she is attending a meeting with the other demon leaders at a hotel for a few days before running off with her fire demon lover, Greyson Dante, who is also head of his own house of demons.

Unfortunately the FBI is investigating the demons, one of her patients is about to have an exorcism, and Megan is being pressured to become a demon. If that weren’t enough she has also been targeted for death. But when a situation is brought to Megan’s attention she becomes consumed by a secret that threatens her relationship with Greyson.

Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane is book three in the Megan Chase series. Written in third person the story follows Megan and Greyson as they try to build a life together and the troubles that plague them along the way. The book is a paranormal romance.

I adore Greyson. He is a sexy alpha who is capable of showering his woman with love. Megan is pretty cool most of the time. Well…when she isn’t over reacting. I wanted to slap her silly and shake her a few times. She really needed someone to tell her to “pull her big girl panties up.” However Megan’s insecurities make her a relatable character. But let me tell you. I could kick her ass towards the end of the book for something she does. Nooo. I will not tell you. It would spoil things.

Just pick up the book. The scenes with Greyson’s guards are great. The brothers are entertaining, but it’s the way they show their love for Megan that I find endearing. For example in one scene they are described as “patting her, stroking her” as they offered Megan comfort. If you haven’t read the previous books, it’s time to do so. Cause Demon Possessed has a twist that will leave you gasping.

Review: Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

28 Apr

Favorite Lines: She came awake with a jagged scream stuck in her throat. “He knows.” (p. 10)

Dev Santos is the head of the Shine Foundation. It is his responsibility to protect his people’s secrets from those who would destroy them. When he finds Katya Haas’ tortured body outside his headquarters, he knows he needs to be careful. She was placed there for a reason. He just needs to find out what that reason is.

Katya’s memories are gone. She has been programmed to murder and is being used as a tool in a game of psychological warfare. With Dev she has a chance of fighting. If she doesn’t kill him first.

I love Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. I love how her tortured characters find love while fighting for freedom from dark adversaries. The newest addition to the series, Blaze of Memory, features Katya, aka Ekaterina. She sat in hell for months where she was beaten until she cracked. But one of the best parts of the Psy-Changeling world is the way people always bounce back. The characters are often badly damaged, almost irreversibly, but always show the ability to overcome. To recover. What more can a person ask?

Blaze of Memory is book seven in the series and like its predecessors is written in third person. I would not suggest anyone read it as a stand alone because there are several characters and past story lines that pop up in the story. As with my other Singh books, Blaze of Memory will go on my keeper shelf for me to enjoy at a later date.

Out Today: “Burned” Book Trailer

27 Apr

I haven’t read this series yet, but have heard good things about it. If you are a fan of P.C. and Kristen Cast you probably know that “Burned,” the seventh book in the House of Night series came out today.  If you haven’t bought it yet satisfy your thirst by reading the first chapter of the book.

Review: Soul Magic by Jennifer Lyon

25 Apr

Favorite Lines: “Keri wanted me to touch your blood yesterday. Your blood is giving her strength. She’s bringing your eagle to life. Keri’s the one who loved eagles. She’s the one who insisted I finder her eagle.” (p. 88)

Once upon a time there were good earth witches who worked alongside the witch hunters destroying bad witches. One day they were both cursed. The hunters began to hunger for witch blood and the good witches went into hiding. A few of the hunters chose to over ride their blood lust and tried to protect the earth witches. Those hunters are the Wing Slayers.

Sutton is a Wing Slayer Hunter on the edge; he is drawn to Carla, a psychologist and earth witch, but worries it will push him beyond redemption. He has pledged to kill himself before he loses his soul by killing a witch.

Carla watched her twin sister Keri die at the hands of a rogue hunter. That is the night she met Sutton for the first time. Several years have passed and she is reintroduced to Sutton when her patient is attacked by rogues. She soon discovers her sister’s soul has been trapped in the knife that killed her and is slowly dying.

Twins have an attachment like no other. Is there a bond between Carla and Sutton? Or is it really a bond between the dead Keri and Sutton?

Book two in the Wing Slayer series, Soul Magic, will take readers on an emotional roller coaster as they wonder if a soul bond exists between Carla and Sutton or Carla’s dead sister and Sutton. It is a painful process that begins early in the story and ends at the very end of the book.

In Soul Magic, readers get to reconnect with Axel and Darcy from Blood Magic, watch new members be inducted into the Wing Slayer Hunters, see drama within the witch ranks, and discover how to fix Sutton and Carla’s family issues. There is a ton going on in this book, but it is clear, easy to follow, and sensual.

The romance is the gem in this paranormal love story. I love how Ms. Lyon went out of her way to end the story in a believable way. I can almost guarantee it won’t be what you are expecting.

Review: Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland

16 Apr

Favorite Lines: “I know he was just trying to get something from me, but y’know what? I wanted something from him too. I wanted to be touched and wanted to feel–for a few fucking minutes–that I was sexy and desirable. And to feel–for a few fucking minutes–a way I knew I’d never felt before and would probably never feel again!” (p. 259)

Demon summoner and cop Kara Gillian is investigating a series of murder-suicide cases with a paranormal twist. Someone or something is yanking the essence out of people then killing the empty shells. To make matters worse all of the victims are high profile people. She is determined to solve the cases, but her personal life keeps trying to get in the way.

After she summons a demon to help her gain access to her aunt’s library, Kara is stunned when the demon shows a strong hatred towards her friend FBI agent Ryan Kristoff. If that weren’t enough, Lord Rhyzkahl has decided he wants Kara to become his exclusive summoner. Demons do nothing without a reason, but with Kara in desperate need of his help she may find herself creating bonds she should avoid.

Blood of the Demon is the second book of Diana Rowland‘s Kara Gillian series. It takes place a few weeks after she was killed, saved by a demon lord and returned to her own plane of existence. She isn’t sleeping well and her work situation is uncomfortable. While some cops have accepted unnatural things happen, others have vilified Kara as an attention seeker. She is stressed, her aunt’s essence is missing and she has no idea how she feels about her FBI buddy Ryan or Lord Rhyzkahl.

Her indecision is shown throughout the story as she wonders what Ryan thinks about her and how he would react if he knew that she had been intimate with a demon. The tension jumps into high gear as the two men express negative thoughts and feelings about each other. Ryan insists to not know why the demons dislike them. His apparent ignorance makes me wonder what is really going on. Especially when you add his partner’s knowledge of the arcane.

Out of all the characters I found Kara to be the most appealing. She is lonely and wants friends, but her ability to summon has forced her to keep others at a distance. She is slowly opening up as people learn of her ability, however her years of being alone have definitely left marks.

Blood of the Demon is an evenly paced, urban fantasy book with a heavy mysterious flavor. It is set in the town of Beaulac, La., is full of magic and another world with demon-like creatures, and has several who-dun-it aspects. A possible love triangle adds to the drama, along with a woman who has potential to be great but lacks the experience to get her there.

Review: In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix

15 Apr

Favorite Lines: “Has my daughter’s humanity been compromised?” (p. 90)

FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace discovered a secret the government did not want her to. She found out that vampires exist and have been used in an experiment called Bad Seed. She also discovered that she cannot trust the government. If they find out what she truly knows they will eliminate her.

Dante Baptiste is a young rock star and a vampire. He is losing his mind while trying to remember the experiments done to him as a child. When his band Inferno stops in Seattle he can’t resist checking on Heather.

Gehenna is the land where the angels live and it is dying. The angels there have heard the wild and beautiful music of a being who can save their land and will stop at nothing to acquire him.

In the Blood is the second book in the Maker’s Song series written by Adrian Phoenix. It begins shortly after book one, A Rush of Wings, ends . (Don’t read In the Blood until you have read book one. You will get lost.) Heather’s manipulative sister and father are in this installment. Both have an agenda that has nothing to do with helping Heather or anyone else but themselves.

Phoenix follows different characters throughout her story and forces them to cross again and again until a cohesive book was formed. There is a battle taking place in heaven, drama in Heather’s life, people who want Dante, people who want to kill Heather and Dante, and people who want to use anybody around. In the Blood is a complex story that looks at book one and chases down its loose ends before returning to Heather and Dante’s story. The agent and the vampire are battling unknown forces, family and my little hang ups on age.

I did not pay as much attention to the age difference between Heather and Dante in this book. If it hadn’t been mentioned I never would have even considered Dante’s age, so I don’t really understand why the author made Dante so much younger than Heather. I’m guessing it has something to do with the mature woman taking care of a powerful but damaged younger man. It really doesn’t do anything for the story as far as I’m concerned.

I loved reading about the angels and the chaotic magic that Dante was capable of, yet I find myself back at a familiar road block. Dante uses hardcore street drugs to control seizures. It bothers me that Heather is OK with it. Book one worked with this issue, but I’m finding it impossible to believe an FBI agent would be alright with her lover using drugs.

The drug issue didn’t scare me off of the series though. Phoenix is a master at pulling her readers into the next book by ending at a point that closes one door, but wedges open another. Book three, Beneath the Skin, was released in December 2009.