Archive | March, 2011

Review: The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson

31 Mar

The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson
HarperCollins (May 2008)
Mass Market: $6.99
ISBN: 978-0-06-089893-9

Favorite Lines: “The need to amputate her smile welled, and I took a step forward before I could stop it.” (p. 7)

On the surface she’s a sexy, sophisticated socialite, at home among the beautiful people of the Las Vegas upper crust. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a place ordinary humans cannot see . . . a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light and Shadow. And Joanna is both.

Stalked by an enigmatic doppelganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing—which is propelling her toward a terrifying confrontation with the ultimate master of evil, the dark lord of Shadow: her father.

Vegas is all about winning big . . . or losing everything. To save her friends, her future, her worlds, Joanna Archer must gamble it all by fully embracing the darkness inside her.

Book three in Vicki Pettersson’s Sign of the Zodiac series, The Touch of Twilight, picks up where book two The Taste of Night ends, with Joanna/Oliva Archer’s arch-enemy dating the love of Jo’s life. Determined not to lose Ben, Joanna is willing to risk everything for him.

This book takes a look into the loss and loneliness involved in being a superhero. Joanna was damaged long before gaining her abilities, but she is determined to find a happy ending with Ben. A happy ending which isn’t going to be simple to achieve with all the drama surrounding her troop. With pissed off teammates who are constantly questioning her loyalty to the light over the dark, it’s a wonder she hasn’t gone postal on their collected asses. There were a few that I wanted to punch several times.

In addition to the long distance “I love you Ben” thread, there is movement between Hunter and Joanna that, while not unexpected, really bothered me. I think the Hunter/Joanna thread kind of stole the story even though the  third sign of the zodiac was fulfilled. Expect to find closure, new possibilities and regrets throughout the story.

The Touch of Twilight is a book which marks a turning point in the series. There are six books in the series and it’s book three. A major storyline carried over from books one and two ends and new characters who are extremely important in the final books are introduced. The sixth and final book, Neon Graveyard, will be released in a few months.

Review: Wicked Lies by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

30 Mar

Wicked Lies by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush
Kensington Books (February 2011)
Hardback: $27.95
ISBN: 978-0-7582-5220-3

Favorite Lines: “Even in my cell, I can smell her sickness. Her filth. Her lust.” (p. 1)

If At First You Don’t Succeed

For two years, Justice Turnbull has paced his room at Halo Valley Security Hospital, planning to escape. Justice has a mission—one that began with a vicious murder two decades ago. And there are so many others who must be sent back to the hell that spawned them. . .

Kill. . .

Laura Adderley didn’t plan to get pregnant by her soon-to-be ex-husband, though she’ll do anything to protect her baby. But now reporter Harrison Frost is asking questions about the mysterious group of women who live at Siren Song lodge. Harrison hasn’t figured out Laura’s connection to the story yet. But Justice knows. And he is coming. . .

Then Kill Again. . .

All her life, Laura has been able to sense approaching evil. But that won’t stop a psychopath bent on destroying her. Justice has been unleashed, and this time, there will be no place safe to hide. . .

Wicked Lies is the result of the collaboration between Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush and is book two in a series about the women of the Colony. The colony is a haven for a group of gifted sisters led by their aunt. The outside community thinks it is a cult, but it’s a safe place for the psychic women to retreat from society.

Wicked Lies is a romantic suspense with a slight paranormal tone, that stands alone despite the many references to book one, Wicked Game. While I’m not a huge fan of the romantic thread, the actual story was excellent and kept me turning the pages. The book has a fast pace, unexpected resolutions and crazy people all over.

I kept wondering how a reporter was going to protect a woman from a murderous stalker. (Yep, I’m totally biassed.) The more the heroine was threatened, the more I thought “should have fallen for a soldier, cop, PI or bodyguard.” However it did force the story to avoid obvious routes and stick firmly in the suspense category as I worried about the hero and heroine’s capacity to stay alive long enough to reach the end of the story.

Would I recommend this book to a friend?: Yep. Nothing is as it seems in this twisted “I’m gonna get you” book. It’s not my top book of the year, but it’s entertaining and well written. I like that I can read Wicked Lies as a stand alone and am not required to read book one in order to enjoy (or understand) the story. If you are looking for crazy stalker/romance story you should check it out.

Giveaway: Trades of the Flesh by Faye L. Booth

26 Mar

Up for grabs today is Faye L. Booth’s Trades of the Flesh. To enter the giveaway just friend me on Facebook, come back and leave me a message that you friended me. Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Good luck! (Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada 18+ till March 31; 1 entry per person)

Trades of the Flesh by Faye L. Booth
Forge (March 2011)
Trade: $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2784-0

Some would call Lydia Ketch’s life immoral and shameful.  After her mother’s  death and with the obscene conditions of the workhouse looming before her, Lydia chooses to enter into “the trade” in a brother to shield herself and her sweet young sister from life’s ravages. Her education at the hands of the men who use her gives Lydia some very unusual skills and an income an ordinary woman could never match.

When Lydia meets Henry Shadwell, a young surgeon with a passionate interest in biology—and the shadowy world Lydia lives in—the chemistry between the two is instant.  Henry desires Lydia’s body, but their relationship deepens when he discovers that Lydia possesses a nimble intellect. He soon enlists Lydia’s help in his underground sidelines; first as a model for pornographic photography, then as an assistant in procuring corpses for medical experimentation.

With the dangers of her own line of work becoming clearer by the day, and with her newfound delight in her own sexuality burgeoning, Lydia becomes disillusioned with her life as a prostitute.

It soon become evident that her trade—and Henry’s—are even more dangerous than either had imagined.

Review: Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman

25 Mar

Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman
Pocket (February 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-4391-5989-7

Favorite Lines: ““Omigod, my underwire worked free and poked you in the eye!” she cried in dismay. Utterly humiliated now, she tried to get up so she could go jump in the ocean and drown herself.” (p. 102)

Maddy Kimble has no time for a suitor—not with caring for her spunky nursing home patients, her shy nine-year-old daughter, her widowed mother, and her rebellious teenage brother. William Kilkenny’s stunning lack of modern dating protocol doesn’t help. The man is uncouth and outrageous—a towering, drop-dead, breathtakingly hot warrior. Who refuses to give up.

William is secretly a ninth-century Irish nobleman formerly trapped in a dragon’s body. All Maddy knows is that lately, she can hardly resist the urge to lose herself in his powerful arms. But as their uncontrollable passion grows, eerie occurrences in her small coastal Maine town begin to rouse Maddy’s suspicions about her lover. He begs her to trust him, but how can she surrender—body and soul—when she fears the danger he poses to her yearning heart?

Dragon Warrior is book two in Janet Chapman’s Midnight Bay series. It’s a satisfying story about an independent single mother and a man who considers himself incapable of love finding their happily ever after. It’s possible to read the story as a stand alone, but the first book, Moonlight Warrior, introduced both characters. It also showed William longing for Maddy at a distance. There are several tongue-in-cheek comments referencing events from book one. Chapman does an excellent job of recapping the high points of the first book, but I think Dragon Warrior funnier having read the first book.

I read the book last night and am still crackin’ up laughing at the clumsy and craziness that seemed to attack Maddy when things were heating up.

Jumping back into the dating scene isn’t easy and Maddy has the broken Wonder bra to prove it. Maddy’s fear of committing to the wrong man keeps her running from William for most of the book. Thankfully William enjoys the chase and does his best to wear Maddy down through the use of her patients at the local nursing home. Those secondary characters are awesome!

They make the story work. Without them I never would have believed William wanted forever with Maddy. A long tumble with her, sure. But it’s his interactions with her elderly friends that showed he was capable of giving and receiving love. He showed an inner beauty that matched his sexy exterior.

Less to my liking were the storylines about Maddy’s brother and that of the harbor seal. I won’t go into details, but neither felt fully fleshed out. I felt like an easy way out was taken, but that could very well be because they will be followed up in the next book, Mystical Warrior.

Overall: I’m glad I read Dragon Warrior and I look forward to reading Mystic Warrior. Would I recommend it to a friend? Yep.

Need a few book ideas?

21 Mar

John at Inside the Blogosphere has posed the question:

“If you had to leave your house in a hurry, and you could only grab five volumes off your shelf, which five would they be and why?”

Find out what books matter to others in the blogosphere by checking out his post.

Books I Want: April 2011

21 Mar

Vampire Dragon (A Works Like Magick Novel) by Annette Blair (April 5)

One the run from the mob, Bronte McBride needs the kind of protection that only the mysterious and handsome bodyguard Darkwyn-a former Roman warrior turned dragon-can give her. But Bronte’s secrets could endanger both of them.

Shady Lady: A Corine Solomon Novel by Ann Aguirre (April 5)

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…

Navarro’s Promise (Breeds) by Lora Leigh (April 5)

In the wolf breed novel, NAVARRO’S PROMISE, Mica Toler’s best friend is the wolf/coyote hybrid breed, Cassie Sinclair. And now Mica is being drawn into her world in ways she had prayed she never would be when the charming wolf breed Navarro makes good on the promise he made her on a dark, explosive night.

The Breeds guaranteed that no harm would come to Micah Toler but they never allowed for her sensual fascination with Navarro Blaine. Aloof, cool, and mysterious, he draws her in as no man ever has. But Micah never wanted this. She had her own dreams, her own desires, and being stalked and seduced by a wolf breed wasn’t part of that plan.

Now she knows her life is in danger. What Navarro knows is that she’s his mate and that the breeding and training that created him is being peeled away in his desperation to claim a woman that refuses to be claimed.

He has her body. She craves his touch. And as the breeds converge the past will rise up to haunt Navarro in ways he never expected.

Hidden Embers: A Dragon’s Heat Novel by Tessa Adams (April 5)

Deep in the New Mexico desert there is a secret race on the brink of extinction—the pure-blood shapeshifters of the Dragonstar clan. And they have one last, desperate hope for survival…

Quinn Maguire is a powerful Dragonstar healer at a tragic loss, unable to cure the insidious disease killing off his people. Yet even in such dire circumstances the conservative Quinn is secretly disapproving of the alternative: Dr. Jasmine Kane, enlisted by the head of the Dragonstar clan to help abort the virus. She is a wild card. She is an outsider. She is human.

Decked out in black leather and a tough attitude, Jasmine clashes with Quinn in more ways than one. And when destiny chooses her for his Mate, he doesn’t know whether to rejoice or rebel. Because while Jasmine makes him burn hotter than any woman—dragon or human—ever has, their differences make a relationship impossible.

But when a rival infiltrates the clan and attacks Jasmine, Quinn becomes desperate. Jasmine is now the first human to be infected with the disease—and Quinn must do everything he can to find a cure, and save the woman he has grown to love.

Savage Nature (Leopard) by Christine Feehan (April 26)

Danger lurks in the shadows and desire shimmers in the sultry heat in an all-new novel of the leopard people from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan…

When Saria Boudreaux finds a dead body in the Louisiana bayou near her home, her first instinct is to go to the police.  But there’s a problem–it looks like the victim may have been killed by a big cat, and her brothers are all shape-shifting leopards.

Sent to investigate by the land’s owner, leopard shifter Drake Donovan is ready for anything—except the insatiable hunger that rocks him when he meets Saria.  Deep in his soul he knows that she is destined to be his mate.  Torn between protecting her brothers and finding the truth, Saria treads warily around the powerful shifter.  Yet as they venture deep into the mysterious bayou on a hunt for the killer, Saria finds herself longing for Drake’s touch and the sweet release of surrender…

Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston (April 26)

When it comes to following her instincts, former Marine Dee-Ann Smith never holds back. And this deadly member of a shifter protection group will do anything to prove one of her own kind is having hybrids captured for dogfights. Trouble is, her too-cute rich-boy boss Ric Van Holtz insists on helping out. And his crazy-like-a-fox smarts and charming persistence are making it real hard for Dee to keep her heart safe…

Ric can’t believe his luck. He’s wanted this fiercely-independent she-wolf from day one, but he never expected teamwork as explosive as this. And now is his last chance to show Dee what she needs isn’t some in-your-face Alpha male-but a wily, resourceful wolf who’ll always have her back in a fight…and between the sheets.

Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel by Sable Grace (April 26) (Was provided a galley through Netgalley.)

The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed — vampyre, demons, shape shifters — and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen… And the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission — to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity — Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort… Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both…

Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, Book 4) by Jennifer Estep (April 26)

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .

Gods & Monsters by Lyn Benedict (April 26)

Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual and unbelievable. When she finds the bodies of five women in the Florida Everglades, Sylvie believes them to be the work of a serial killer and passes the buck. But when the bodies wake and shift shape, killing the police, Sylvie finDark Descendantds herself at the head of a potentially lethal investigation.

Dark Descendant by Jenna Black (April 26)

The old gods have a new weapon. Don’t mess with her.

Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali, who thinks she’s a spy. But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

Black Magic Woman (The Others) by Christine Warren (April 26)

Daphanie Carter is thrilled that her sister Danice finally found her Prince Charming—even though he’s not quite, well, human. Daphanie is trying to keep an open mind. Which is why she jumps at the chance to enter the hidden world of The Others when a friendly imp invites her to a non-human nightclub. Daphanie’s curious to see how the Other half lives—and parties—but soon, one handsome stranger has her bewitched, bothered, and beside herself…

Enter Asher Grayson. As a Guardian, it’s his job to protect humans who get mixed up in the affairs of Others. When he spots Daphanie in a club, going head to head with a notorious witch doctor, he steps in to cool things off. Now the heat is on. Daphanie becomes the target of strange magical attacks, and Asher’s got to undo the voodoo before it’s too, too late. But soon he starts to wonder if this beautiful, beguiling mortal has put a spell on him—because every little thing she does is magic…

Review: Halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost

18 Mar

Halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost
Penguin (February 2011)
Trade: $14.00 (You know there is something wrong when you can buy the trade sized book for $9.27 and the e-book is $9.99.)
ISBN: 978-0-425-23876-9

Favorite Lines: “In this life, Craig, we’ve all got our choices to make. If you act like a man. I’ll treat you like one. If you act like a bad man, I’ll treat you like one. You get me?” (p.95)

Pastry-chef-turned-unexpected-witch Tammy Jo Trask is finally ready to embrace her mixed-up and often malfunctioning magic. Too bad not everyone wants her to become all the witch she can be.

First, there are the local residents who form a scripture-spouting posse and kidnap Tammy to defend Duvall, Texas, against witchcraft. Next, someone saddles her with a secret package chock-full of dangerous visions, just as the president of WAM–the World Association of Magic–arrives with his entourage to investigate her. And who worse to examine Tammy’s entanglement with off-limits and drop-dead gorgeous wizard Bryn Lyons than his ex-girlfriend? Not to mention that the clash between the locals and the magical visitors leads to a series of unnatural disasters that may doom them all.

Will Tammy Jo’s magical synergy with Bryn be enough to help her save the town or will her enemies succeed in putting Tammy out of commission for good? One thing’s certain: this would-be witch is ready to rumble, Texas style…

Kimberly Frost does not disappoint in her third installment of the Southern Witch series, Halfway Hexed. Well, unless you were expecting wanting to see Tammy Jo’s ex-husband return home filled with knowledge of the occult. If you are wanting to read about the craziness following pastry chef Tammy Jo and the sparks that fly when she is around Bryn Lyons, this is the book for you.

Want to know why Tammy is not supposed to date Bryn? Curious about Tammy’s heritage? Expecting Tammy to make a major, life altering decision? Find out by reading Halfway Hexed.

The town of Duvall is filled with whack jobs and they seem to all make an appearance. They do the silliest things, are full of Bible Belt logic even though they are in Texas and just cracked me up. Poor Tammy Jo! There polar opposite were the WAM personnel. Those people were jacked up in a special kind of way. I didn’t expect it all to blow up the way it did and when the storm settled the people left standing…(You didn’t really think I’d tell you did you? lol)

The only thing that bothered me with this book is SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: (Highlight to display text)

Zach (Tammy’s ex) is not in this book. I want Tammy with Bryn, but at the end of the last book she promised Zach she’d wait for him to return home before choosing between him and Bryn. Tammy makes a decision in Halfway Hexed without comparing the two men side by side like she promised. Not that I disagree with her selection, but she broke a promise to a major person in her life and it felt surprisingly like a betrayal.

END SPOILER END SPOILER END SPOILER

That in and of itself wouldn’t be a major deal as I’d expect it to be dealt with soon. However in the FAQ section of Frost’s blog we are told “only three books are scheduled…for the moment I’m working on books in my new series.” So when, if ever, will the loose story lines be wrapped up? No one knows.

Don’t get me wrong. The ending is satisfying, but there are several would-be complications that are mentioned as possibilities. The cogs in the way of Tammy’s happiness are put into play by Tammy’s choice of spouse and her heritage. To have such major plot lines dangling is a little annoying.

Overall I’m pleased with Halfway Hexed. It will join the previous two books (Would-Be Witch and Barely Bewitched) in the series on my keeper shelf. I still would recommend the partial series to people looking for a light-hearted, paranormal romance series. However if you hate it when there is no end of a series in sight and the author doesn’t plan to write more books in the foreseeable future, bypass this one.

Review: A Borrowed Scot by Karen Ranney

15 Mar

A Borrowed Scot by Karen Ranney (Thanks netgalley!)
HarperCollins (March 29, 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 9780061771880

Favorite Lines: “The feeling of happiness was so deep and pervasive; she felt her heart swell with joy. She was herself, yet she was not. The woman who faced her in the mirror was different. Was it age, experience? In that moment, she wanted to be the woman she saw more than the person she was.”(p. 23 ebook)

Veronica MacLeod knows nothing about the man who suddenly appeared to prevent her from committing the most foolish and desperate act of her life. Recently named Lord Fairfax of Doncaster Hall, the breathtaking, secretive stranger agrees to perform the one act of kindness that can rescue the Scottish beauty from scandal and disgrace—by taking Veronica as his bride.

Journeying with Montgomery Fairfax to his magnificent estate in the Highlands, Veronica knows deep in her heart that this is a man she can truly love—a noble soul, a caring and passionate lover whose  touch awakens feelings she’s never before known. Yet there are ghosts in Montgomery’s past that haunt him still. Unless Veronica can somehow unlock the enigma that is her new husband, their powerful passion could be undone by the sins and sorrows of yesterday.

Set in 1866, A Borrowed Scot is a romance that allows two people forced together by circumstances the time they need to fall in love. It is full of lust and yearning for a future that seems out of reach. It is a romance between a woman who had no future and a man who yearned for the past. The romance grows on you and leaves you feeling satisfied with a conclusion that both characters worked to create.

Veronica is a woman not content to hide in the shadows. She has the gift of sight and wants to investigate it, but as a poor relation she is to keep her mouth closed and remain in the background. She had no hope of being married or having her own home. I wanted her to have a life. I wanted her to be happy and to get away from the relatives who treated her like crap.

Montgomery was different though. I didn’t really understand him for a good portion of the book. I never truly knew what he wanted ‘till the book was almost over. I didn’t know who he was or why he acted the way he did. He closed himself off from the possibility of love and the only way for my heroine to have her HEA was for him to come to terms with the past and choose a future.

Montgomery treated Veronica poorly at times, but she wasn’t content to let the slights go by unaddressed. I liked that about her. She was never rude or in his face. She preferred to be the polite, smiley character who returned the treatment. When her hero ignored her, she returned the favor and ignored him. Her ability to not make a big deal out bad situations allowed her to avoid looking hysterical. It caught her hero’s attention without forcing her to sacrifice the actions of a true lady.

A Borrowed Scot is not full of action. It has some, but if you are looking for an action packed book don’t pick it up. The book is like all relationships. There are steps forward and misunderstandings that take it back a step. The book is for lovers of the romance genre who want a story that guarantees a believable HEA.

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, to friends who love historical romances. This story is full of the hangups from the past. The roles of servants, ladies, lords, men and women were clearly defined. Stepping out of those roles created issues and while I had a hard time controlling my temper when the consequences became clear, it was par for the time. Women couldn’t just jump up and run out. There needed to be chaperons and if there weren’t there were consequences. If you are okay with that, then you might have fun reading Ranney’s latest book, A Borrowed Scot.

Supporting a Fellow Blogger

14 Mar

As some of you may remember in 2009 my family and I lost everything in a fire. You all surrounded me with support like I’ve never seen and I hope to return just a tiny portion of the neighborly spirit you all gave me to Fatin.

Fatin was one of many who assisted me after the fire and now it is she who needs our support. According to the Romance Reader @ Heart Blog, on March 8 Fatin’s husband was taken from her in “a senseless act of violence, leaving her alone with four children.” For more information on her loss click here.

An ebay auction to support Fatin will be held the last week of March; show your support by bidding on any of the author, publisher or agent items up for bid. Visit Operation Auction to review a list of items up for bid. Again visit: http://operationauction.wordpress.com/ to learn more about the auction.

Review: Etched in Bone by Adrian Phoenix

13 Mar

Etched in Bone by Adrian Phoenix
Pocket (February 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 9781439137307

Favorite Lines: “He pictured the fallen angels offering him CDs, clothing, and bared flesh to sign. Sign above my boob. A coy flutter of wings. I plan to get it tattooed on permanently.” (p. 54)

SON OF A FALLEN ANGEL. FORGED IN VAMPIRE’S BLOOD. SWORN TO A MORTAL WOMAN. IF DANTE FALLS, THE WORLD FALLS WITH HIM. . . .

THREE LEGACIES ETCHED IN BONE

More beautiful and powerful than any creature the world has ever seen, Dante Baptiste has become the supreme target of the three worlds that spawned him. The mortal agents of the Shadow Branch have tried to control his mind through psychological torture. The vampire elders who guide nightkind society have plotted to use him in their bloodthirsty bid for power. And the Fallen have waited for millennia for Dante to claim his birthright as their Maker. But Dante belongs to no one—except the woman he loves. . . .

ONE PASSION SWORN IN BLOOD

Determined to face the Fallen and the world on his own terms, Dante hopes to piece together his shattered past and claim his future, with FBI agent Heather Wallace at his side. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could rip Heather from Dante’s heart and fill the holes with bullets. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer. . . .

Etched in Bone is book four in Adrian Phoenix’s Maker’s Song series. Do not attempt to read this book without having read the prior three: A Rush of Wings, In the Blood and Beneath the Skin.

I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I want to read it. The stories are always well written and intriguing, but I dread reading about the way Dante was treated as a child. He was brutalized and it makes me queasy and sad to watch it happen.

Etched in Bone is a stepping stone type of book. It’s one of those books that connects story lines and furthers relationships without really covering any new ground. It fleshes out the overall story. We get a little bit closer to where the author wants to take us. Without the information, I think we’d all be complaining about the lack of answers to previously brought up incidents and about the out of character actions taken by the people in Phoenix’s world. But the book still leaves me wanting more and feeling a little bit cheated.

At the end of Beneath the Skin Dante and Heather arrived in Gehenna after the angels discovered the existence and location of the new maker. Their visit doesn’t last long and ends with a promise to return. That promise will need to be fulfilled in another book, as it didn’t happen in Etched in Bone. That is only one of several introductions and promises that will have to be fulfilled in another book.

That said, if I had to select a theme for this book I’d say it’s all about consequences and effects. There are consequences to every action, both positive and negative. Sex can be satisfying, but it can also be so much more. It can lead to or produce more. Killing someone can end something or it can create something new. You never quite know where you’re being led or what you will have when the dust settles. That is what makes the series so interesting. The unpredictability of it all.

Despite knowing what draws me to the Maker’s Song series, I was not thrilled with this installment. The first chapter told me exactly what the book was leading up to. It removed the tension I normally feel when reading and almost made put the book down. The saving grace of Etched in Bone came in the final chapters. The tempting look at what’s in store for Heather makes it impossible for me to stop reading the series now.

If you are reading this series: don’t skip this book or you will be lost in the next one. If you haven’t read this series: don’t start with this book.