Archive | February, 2011

Review: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

5 Feb

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books: (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9832-2

Favorite Lines: “You try having a stick of lip balm half up your ass for forty-five minutes and then we can compare notes.” (p. 190)

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Want to read a dark urban fantasy that makes you laugh out loud? A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang is that book. It’s full of nightmares, other worldly creatures (angels, daemons, fae, unicorns…), and hot and heavy, page burning, “do him do him” lust. Hilarious zingers had me crackin’ up while my daughters looked at me like I was psycho. Stuff like:

“Forgive me if I’m wrong,” I said, my voice strangled. “I mean, I know I’m an idiot and all, but I’m pretty sure unicorns aren’t supposed to hump people’s ankles.” (p. 56)


I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning. (p. 179)

The humor is often countered by the darkness of the world. It’s explained early in the story that if the Other Folk knew the Protectorate was missing they might turn on Abbey. So when Abbey’s associates begin to distance themselves, I was surprised at how painful I found it. For the most part she was left to deal with betrayals, danger and possible death on her own because nobody trusted her. They are physically there, but few are there to offer her emotional support.

The story is told from the heroine’s point-of-view, so we are basically learning about the world as she does. The world building and cast of characters is excellent. The balance of what needs to be told and that which has to be told in order for the story to succeed was perfect. It enticed me to read more.

I especially enjoyed the way Pang avoided an easy ending. When you read the book you will understand what I mean. Often books take us for the instant gratification, but that doesn’t happen in A Brush of Darkness. It’s a great introductory book to a new series that I can’t get enough of. At the end of the story you’ll find a sneak peek at what’s to come in the series.

Review: The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas

4 Feb

The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books: (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9192-7

Favorite Lines: “It was taking forever to get to his rooms—we went through a maze of hallways, and up so many stairs I was ready to fling myself down on the polished wood floors, gasping and panting like a landed fish.” (p. 79)

She was just an ordinary mortal . . .

“You’re dead” is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she’s surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood—and they really don’t want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven.

. . . until death catapulted her into a seductive world she never imagined.

Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel’s orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn’t felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom’s shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness—because Allie may be the Fallen’s only salvation.

The Fallen: Raziel is a paranormal romance between a human woman and an angel. In their world, there are no female angels. There are fallen angels who drink blood and fallen, cannibalistic angels sent to destroy the blood drinkers. The story is told in first person, but the person telling the story is constantly changes.

When I started reading the story I was so confused. The intro is told by Raziel (hero) and Uriel (all important, second hand of God). So you hear a little bit about Raziel’s duty to deliver souls for judgment which is told in the first person point-of-view, before listening to Uriel’s first person account of how everyone needs to be smited.

The first chapter of the book is told by Allie (heroine), the second chapter is told by Raziel, the third chapter is told by Allie, and the fourth chapter is told by Azazel (a secondary character). The book continues like that, so it was hard to become close to any one character. It wasn’t until close to the end of the book that I was able to overcome the challenge and let myself sink into the story.

The instant lust in the book is delicious, but the translation of that lust into love was hard for me to swallow. Raziel didn’t want a mate. Allie just wanted to be skinny and alive. They wanted to sex each other; instead they ended up mated. I never truly believed they were meant to be together even though Raziel’s favorite historical time period was the Renaissance. (Yep, when women were overweight.) And one of the heroine’s major hang ups is her weight.

Don’t let me discourage you from reading The Fallen: Raziel. The story of the angels fall from grace and their possible redemption is fresh. Its take on Lucifer was enlightening. I want to know more about the secondary characters. The cover art is spectacular. Once I got over the POV changes, I enjoyed the blistering hot sex scenes, the brutal action and the possibility of an engaging series. It would have been simple to put this book down at any point during the first half of the book. I’m glad I didn’t take the easy route.

The next book in the series is Demon. It will be released in June 2011.

Discount Books are Wonderful!

3 Feb

Are you ever filled with disbelief at a sale? Multiply that feeling by 10 and you will be channeling me while I shopped at Dollar Tree over the weekend. (Dollar Tree is a store where everything inside costs $1.) I found a few books, some of which I’ll be offering up as giveaway prizes soon.

  1. Bar Mitzvah Bat Mitzvah: Planning the Perfect Day  by Amy Nebens
  2. Key to Conspiracy by Talia Gryphon
  3. To Serve and Submit by Susan Wright
  4. A Pound of Flesh by Susan Wright
  5. Wicked Nights by Nina Bangs
  6. Twice Bitten: Love in Vein II by Poppy Z. Brite
  7. Behind the Shadows by Patricia Potter

What books have you found for a bargain? Hardback books for $1? Ebooks for 50 % off? Hmmmm????? Inquiring minds want to know. (Yep, I sooo stole that.)