Archive | October, 2010

Review: Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane

29 Oct

Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane
Mass Market: $7.99
Del Rey (June 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-345-51558-2

Favorite Lines: “All she had to do was wait it out, just hang out for a little longer, and she could go home and get her pills. Just a little longer.” (p. 173) Continue reading

Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

27 Oct

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Mass Market: $7.99
Del Rey (May 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-345-51557-5

Favorite Lines: “Mr. Dunlop’s ghost gave her the finger. Asshole. Why couldn’t he just accept the inevitable? He’d been an ass in life too, according to her records.” (p. 1) Continue reading

Books I Want: November 2010

24 Oct

Inside Out by Lauren Dane: In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, Ella Tipton has spent each day putting her life back together. She doesn’t have any room for romance, but that doesn’t mean she has to stop admiring the scenery. Sexy security professional Andrew Copeland is no stranger to women, but he knows Ella is something different. Determined to get her to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense-and before long, all that skin on skin contact with have them both turning inside out. (Nov. 2)

The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith: In 1870 the vampires rose up and conquered the northern lands of Earth. The northern elites fled south to new colonies, leaving their subjects to the mercy of the predators. By 2020, the world is still divided. Princess Adele of the Equatorian Empire becomes the catalyst of the final human–vampire war when she is lost in vampire territory with only a mysterious adventurer known as the Greyfriar to help her. (Nov. 2)

Afterlight: The Dark Ink Chronicles by Elle Jasper: Savannah’s most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she’s put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley’s beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she’s never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all… (Nov. 2)

Play of Passion by Nalini Singh: In his position as Tracker for the SnowDancer pack, Drew Kincaid must rein in rogue changelings who’ve lost control of their animal halves- even if it means killing those who’ve gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage-to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf. (Nov. 2)

In the Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister: When Francesca arrives at GothFaire to save her mother from the trickster god, Loki, things go from bad to worse. Her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there, full of secrets-and with a new girlfriend. Now Fran must battle a power-hungry group who wishes to dominate both the immortal and mortal worlds-and the woman who claimed Ben’s heart. It’s a good thing Fran’s no ordinary mortal… (Nov. 2)

Bitten in Two by Jennifer Rardin: Jaz Parks here. I. Am. Pissed. Just as Vayl and I arrive in Morocco to secure an ancient artifact, he wakes up calling me by another woman’s name. And it’s not even a good one. But since any form of argument transforms him into an unholy terror, I’m forced to play along until the gang and I can figure out what kind of power has so vastly altered his perceptions.  (Nov. 8 )

Promises in the Dark by Stephanie Tyler: A rugged Navy SEAL, Zane Scott was part of a failed mission to rescue Dr. Olivia Strohm from abduction by the terrorist group Dead Man’s Hand—and her anguished screams have haunted him ever since. So when he gets word that the beautiful physician has escaped from her captors in Africa, he’s got personal reasons to storm the continent and save her. Like her would-be liberator, Olivia carries the burden of a dark secret from her past. Ruthless and relentless, the DMH has threatened to hunt her down—and to systematically hurt anyone she’s close to. The last thing she wants is to be rescued—even by someone as shockingly handsome as Zane. Yet the hotheaded special ops hero has come for her, and together she and Zane just might have a shot at not only stopping DMH’s reign of terror, but also saving what’s left of their souls. (Nov. 23)

Black Wings by Christina Henry: As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package. Maddy’s position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with. Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos. Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell… (Nov. 30)

Devoured by Darkness by Alexandra Ivy: Tane is a Charon, sworn to hunt and kill rogue vampires. His new assignment seems like a waste of his talents – until he catches up with the jinn he’s been sent to capture. Half human, half demon, Laylah has a vulnerable streak that strikes right through to Tane’s cold heart. He should be furious when she uses her powers to bind them together, preventing him from dragging her before the Commission. Instead he welcomes any reason to stay close enough to touch, to taste, to seduce…Laylah doesn’t know why she was chosen to protect a child who may be the catalyst in a war between good and evil. But the mysteries of her past pale compared to the dangers approaching. Tane is devastatingly strong, breathtakingly sensual. And Laylah will have to trust in every ounce of that strength, because her enemies are drawing near, eager to destroy them both… (Nov. 30)

Silver Zombie: Delilah Street: Paranormal Investigator by Carole Nelson Douglas: Zombies and Witches and Vamps . . . Oh, My! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—at least that’s Delilah Street’s hope. With Sin City’s vampire and werewolf mobs wanting to cash in her chips once and for all, she’s retreating with her partner Ric Montoya and half-wolfhound Quicksilver to her Kansas birthplace. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding trouble, there’s no place like home. . . . It doesn’t take long before Delilah realizes she’s not in Vegas anymore. Zombie cowboys and spectral cattle drives are kicking up dust, the local weather girls are total witches who forecast perfect storms, and some Hollywood fanatic is recasting zombies as the greatest stars of the silver screen. And speaking of silver, Delilah’s special affinity for the all-purpose monster-repellent leads her posse straight down a silver brick road—and into a notso- fun house of mirrors—putting her face-to-face with her dicey past and a mystery woman named Lilith, who’s a real dead ringer for Delilah. The key word being dead. (Nov. 30)

Coming Soon: Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre

23 Oct

I’d spent my whole life settling, trying not to attract attention, and generally doing whatever it took to keep other people happy. I didn’t want to do that again. Not when I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Sure, there were certain challenges, like a drug lord who wanted me dead, and the fact that I owed a demon a debt that he could call due at any moment. But everybody’s got problems, right?

Whenever Corine Solomon touches an object, she immediately knows its history. But her own future concerns her more and more. Now back in Mexico, she’s running her pawnshop and trying to get a handle on her strange new powers, for she might need them. And soon.

Then former ally Kel Ferguson walks through her door. Heavily muscled and tattooed, Kel looks like a convict but calls himself a holy warrior. This time, he carries a warning for Corine: the Montoya cartel is coming for her—but they don’t just pack automatic weapons. The Montoyas use warlocks, shamans, voodoo priests—anything to terminate trouble. And Corine has become enemy number one…  Ann Aguirre’s website

Review: Demon’s Fall by Karalynn Lee

22 Oct

Demon’s Fall by Karalynn Lee
Ebook: $2.99
Carina Press (October 25, 2010)
ISBN: 9781426890680

Favorite Lines: “The merchant had trapped the angel in a cage so small she was forced to wrap her wings around herself. She had drawn up her knees and buried her face in her arms so that only her hair could be seen. It held the sheen of pearl, and promised silken softness.” (p. 6)

Jahel is an angel on a dangerous mission. A young girl she was guarding lost her soul to a hellhound and Jahel is determined to get it back. What she didn’t count on was being captured, placed in a small cage and sold to an incubus.

Kenan is a collector as well as an incubus. The novelty of earning an angel’s soul is too much for him to pass up and he finds himself purchasing Jahel. He immediately begins conniving ways to seduce the angel and part of his plan means helping her complete her mission.

Demon’s Fall by Karalynn Lee is a short novella which touches upon the battle between heaven and hell by making it part of a fairy tale. It’s a love story that promises devilry, but pushes the redeeming qualities of love. In true romance style, both the hero and heroine will be drastically changed by their love for one another.

Expect to see souls used for currency, a traditional fairy tale retold from another point of view and constant reminders of the hellish setting.

If you only have a short time, but want to read a Good vs. Evil novella, check out Karalynn Lee’s Demon’s Fall.

Long and Short Reviews
Book of Secrets
Culinary Carnivale

Holiday Shopping: Ready Set Go!

21 Oct

Sure it’s not really time to buy Christmas gifts. But if you can purchase a few good book sets now, why not do it? Here’s what I found.

Lakeside Collection: J.R. Ward 6 Book Set for $18.95.

Lakeside Collection: Your choice of three books from Christine Feehan or Barbara Delinsky for $9.99.

Lakeside Collection: Dead in the Family hardback for $8.95.

Lakeside Collection: Judy Blume book set $9.99.

Lakeside Collection: Set of the Vampire Academy books for $9.99.

Review: Midnight Kiss Anthology

20 Oct

Midnight Kiss by Robyn Carr, Jean Brashear and Victoria Dahl
Mass market: $7.99
Harlequin (October 2010)
ISBN: 9780373837434

The Midnight Kiss anthology was created by combining three stories written by contemporary romance writers. It goes on sale Oct. 26, 2010. The three stories introduce the possibility of love as three couples attempt relationships. I’ll break my review of the book into three mini-reviews, complete with favorite lines from each.

Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr

Favorite Lines: “I could be paralyzed, you know. I hope I was hallucinating, but were you actually taking my picture as I fell?” (p. 33)

It’s been a year, but the humiliation of being stood up at the alter surrounds Sunny Alter like a worn bathrobe. She has no intention of getting involved in a serious relationship again and is licking her wounds in the small town of Virgin River. Drew Foley learned to make the best out of life even after he was dumped by his fiancée. After visiting family he decides to stop at Virgin River’s only bar, Jack’s Bar, for a little company on New Year’s Eve. As he walks inside he sees a beautiful blonde sitting alone and makes a snap decision to get to know her better.

It’s been quite awhile since I visited Virgin River. I loved the town then and this installment reminded me why. Virgin River is an ideal town where everyone knows everybody, but it’s so filled with love that you can’t help but wish you lived there too.

In Midnight Confessions, her addition to the Midnight Kiss anthology, Robyn Carr gives readers enough background to satisfy series readers, but not overwhelm one time visitors. Jack from Virgin River is there, as well as Nathaniel and Annie from Carr’s contribution to That Holiday Feeling anthology. “The price of admission” to the first annual New Year Eve Celebration Party is a resolution. The resolutions are combined in a pot and before each guest leaves they grab one which gives them a new goal to work toward. This is important because Drew’s resolution is one everybody should live by.

Midnight Surrender by Jean Brashear

Favorite Lines: “If only real men were like the ones you write about in your romance novels, Fee.”
“You’d never let them be alpha male, shark girl.” (p. 110)

Jordan Parrish is a man eating shark stuffed inside a woman’s body. She doesn’t believe in marriage or that love is forever despite watching one of her best friends thrive as wife and mother of five. When her friend Marly attempts to play matchmaker, she bucks and does her best to run Irishman Will Masterson off. Ian has other ideas. He sees the loneliness in her eyes and can’t resist trying to make it go away.

Jean Brashear has written a few romance novels for Harlequin, unfortunately I haven’t read any of them. After reading the wood working scene (like Ghost only with wood instead of clay), I think I might read something else she wrote.

Reading Midnight Surrender reminded me of the movie P.S. I Love You. It could just be the biting bantering which takes place between an Irishman and American woman. But it’s more of a feeling I got as I watched two people have foreplay with words. If Brashear wanted to write a story that reminds people that childhood events can have unknown effects on adults, she succeeded. Midnight Surrender shows the healing ability of love, but has a heavy chick lit feel.

Midnight Assignment by Victoria Dahl

Favorite Lines: “She had to slide past his back to fit into the crowded room, and her arm tingled where it rubbed him. The tingle spread through her whole body, like fingers dragging down her skin, but Elise ignored it. The chemistry was…a phantom.” (p. 229)

Elise Watson works for the FDIC. She is a hard woman who needs to be in control and that control has helped her climb the ladder to her position as team leader. But she’s not in control of her feelings toward her second in command Noah James. When the two are forced to work together in Omaha, Nebraska, they will be given a chance to revisit the past and the possibility of making a future together.

Victoria Dahl is the author of several historical and contemporary romance novels. She is not new to novella writing either as is shown in her story Midnight Assignment. In the short story, Dahl maneuvers two would-be lovers into an intimate situation and lets the characters discover if they are compatible or not.

I really didn’t care for this story. It was well written, but I jut couldn’t relate to the characters at all. I felt like smacking Elise as I watched her make mistake after mistake with her budding relationship. I didn’t connect with her at all. However, at the end of the story I was surprised by the way Elise seemed to turn into another person with one single life altering decision.