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Books I Want: December 2012

1 Dec

The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy (TBA December)

thecatsmeowkennedyIn Charleston, Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby must take the case to discover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven has also sent the sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.

While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the
attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. Libby has good reason to believe that Kale is there to evaluate her performance as a witch, and fears her job is on the line. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock and career stability. Her spells are turning up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, leading her to a threat that could shake the very foundation of her world.

Now Libby lands herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe. Not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her. Continue reading

Review: Night Forbidden by Joss Ware

24 Jul

Night Forbidden by Joss Ware
HarperCollins/AVON (July 31, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780062018649

Favorite Lines: “The sight was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The emptiness billowing inside her mingled with affection and love for Yvonne, and the quiet knowledge that she’d always be an observer rather than a member of a close-knit family. She’d always be a surrogate mother instead of one herself. She’d always have to be on her guard about letting anyone too close to her.” (p. 32, egalley)

The world is ash, destroyed, and now controlled by Strangers. Survivors live in constant peril. But in the heart of Envy, resistance grows . . .

Somehow Bruno “Fence” Washington survived the apocalypse—emerging from a Sedona cave into a strange and terrible new world . . . fifty years later. Now, scouring the ruined earth for answers about the malevolent Strangers, the former extreme sportsman encounters an Amazonian beauty who calls to his every desire, but whose secret could mean his end.

Ana grew up in the ocean, diving far beneath the waves to the remnants of a world she never knew. Try as she might she can’t resist the man who tempts her in ways she never knew possible . . . whose touch elicits truths she swore never to reveal. But the passion between them won’t be denied even though it means facing a new evil rising up from the roiling waters to blanket the world in unending night.

I love Ware’s dark post-apocalyptic world where her Envy Chronicles world is set. It’s violent, deadly and full of passion. Passion for survival and for the unexpected appearance of love. No one is undamaged. No one is who they seem to be. All you can be certain of is the appearance of the zombie like former humans wondering the earth and some form of a happy ending. Warning: Don’t try to jump into the series with this book or you will be lost.

Night Forbidden introduces a new aspect to the world: mer-like people, aka Atlanteans. They aren’t Disney merpeople either. They are the reader’s key to learning about the sunken city of Atlanta. Through the water-loving people the reader learns about the crystals which have been sought after throughout the series. We also get to revisit some of the main characters from previous books. One of them, Zoe, about drove me nuts. I wanted to smack that chick.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the book once I realized the heroine could breathe underwater. I’m not a fan of mermaid books. I should have known Ware wouldn’t let me down. I was fascinated with all aspects of the story. Now there is danger coming on earth and water. It added to the tension which was being built. I want more. Mostly I just want to read Remy’s story, but I’ve a feeling that will be the last book.

If you’re looking for a romance book that involves mutated people, zombies and world building which will suck you in, you’ve got to pick up Ware’s Envy Chronicles. Each book is better than the last and I can’t wait for the next installment to come out.


I Blame Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

3 Mar

Years ago I became obsessed with reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I love the strong women who don’t take shit, but are comfortable with letting their man lead in the bedroom. Most of them are proficient at the art of kicking ass and find the most yummy alpha men ever. But the genres themselves have done things to me.

  • No, they aren't my puppies!

    I randomly fixate on my appearance. I panic because I need to lose weight to avoid spending my undead years chunky. I look at my poor, raggedy feet, then the next time I’m at the store buy a pumice stone. Why? I can’t live forever with feet that need to be pedicured on a daily basis. Picture it with me. Waking up next to my alpha man and running my foot up his leg only to draw blood cause my feet were dry, sharp chunks of flesh. Then there is the obvious, ultimate gross out: hair. I need to shave my (fill in the blank) and shape my eyebrows or it could be quite a lonely future when you live forever and are a hot mess.

  • Occasionally I consider the necessity of an apocalypse care kit. You know when the angels/zombies/shifters strike against humanity I will be a survivor. Maybe. I don’t know about living in a world that doesn’t have running water or television or Internet…But just in case I change my mind. I’d be sure to pack bottled water, lighters, matches, aerosol hairspray (instant flamethrower, duh!), a baseball bat and Hostess coffee cakes.
  • Sometimes I wonder if holy water would work on paranormal creatures. Would it work even though I’m not Catholic? Would it work if I took it from a church since that’s basically stealing?
  • Knowing when I die I will be cremated. Have no fear. This woman is not rising back up as a corpse.
  • Is that cool area of the room the result of ghost? Is it a malevolent apparition? Are wererats in my house?
  • Being thankful that my tubes are tied so I don’t end up like the dumb-ass Lori chick from The Walking Dead. You know, the lady who got pregnant and deserves to be eaten because she got pregnant while dodging zombies.

There are so many other things that I blame paranormal romance and urban fantasy for, but I’ll leave a few for you to express in a comment. Come on! What do you blame those genres for?

Review: A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

27 Sep

A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day
Penguin (September 2011)
Mass market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780451234995
Read an excerpt

Favorite Lines: “Lindsay stirred from her dreams before she was ready. Part of her mind still clung to sleep, longing for another touch of wickedly knowledgeable hands, another whisper of firm lips across her throat, another brush of silky white and crimson wings…Her eyes opened on a soundless gasp, her heart racing and her skin hot. She was painfully aroused, her thoughts filled with flame blue eyes and raw, sexual words spoken in a purring voice of sin.” (p. 86, egalley)

Adrian Mitchell is an angel of immense power and insatiable desire. Leading an elite Special Ops unit of the Seraphim, his task is to punish the Fallen–angels who have become vampires–and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.

But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals–losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her–Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body with no memory of him. Only this time he won’t let her go.

With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson only knows she can’t help being fiercely attracted to the smoldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught in the middle between her angel lover, her vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There’s more at stake than her love and her life–this time she could lose her very soul…

A Touch of Crimson is book one in Sylvia Day‘s Renegade Angels trilogy which focuses on a war between angels and vampires. It is based on the religious belief that angels fell from heaven, were stripped of their souls and wings and transformed into vampires. There are also angels called sentinels who enforce the heavenly punishment given to the vampires. Oh yeah, there are also werewolves who are slaves to the sentinels. The werewolves hunt vampires.

The story is a paranormal romance which pairs Adrian, the leader of the sentinels, with a woman whose body contains the soul of the woman he has loved for thousands of years. Adrian is rich, an alpha angel and extremely sexual. He is a man who loves deeply, but that love is something I questioned. While I read the book I was happy. (Well, until the end.) Later when I thought about it, I wondered about the viability of Adrian and Lindsay. I don’t believe the two can live happily ever after. How can a man who loved one particular woman’s soul for so long fall in love with another woman? His love for his new woman was enough to overcome a lifetimes of hatred and doctrines, and I had a hard time with that. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story, but I didn’t fully buy it. I’m still waiting for a bolt of lightening to strike Adrian and that affects my enjoyment of the book as a romance. Adrian eats the proverbial forbidden fruit without suffering any consequences.

I liked learning about the “good” guys and the “bad” guys. I think they are far more similar than either would admit. I felt drawn to the plight of the werewolves. They work so hard and are given so little in return. They are looked at as scum and it really bothered me to see angelic beings treat others so badly. I guess it shows how alien the sentinels are when compared to human morality. I want them to revolt so badly, but most importantly I want to know more about their alpha. I want to know more about a particular vampire, too. You’ll know who when you read the book.

With the way the Day’s world is set up, I don’t feel anyone can have a happy ending. It is a harsh world. Speaking of which, the world building was slightly confusing. I’ve always had issues with books that have glossaries because I find them disruptive. If I have to flip to the glossary to find out what a word means or who it refers to I’m taking time away from the story. II should be able to infer meanings based on the information given in the paragraph.

In the end, A Touch of Crimson didn’t quite work as a romance. However, when the romance was paired with the paranormal plot it created a story that I enjoyed more than the average book. I want to know more about the secondary characters. I want to watch the world and characters evolve. I also think, now that I know the terminology I’ll be able to read the next two books without continually stopping to research words. Book two will be about Elijah and according to GoodReads it’s scheduled to be released in the summer of 2012.

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Vol. 8–The Last Gleaming

15 Jul

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 8.8–The Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson and Scott Allie
Inked, colored or Drawn by Andy Owens, George Jeanty, Jo Chen, Karl Moline or Michelle Madsen
Darkhorse (June 2011)
Comic: $16.99
ISBN: 9781595826107

Favorite Lines: “You getting this, Breathless? I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and you’re a bunch of whiny thugs. You come after me again–you so much as look at me funny…then I will fight you.” (e-galley)

The season finale is here! At long last, the Big Bad stands revealed–Angel is back, and it’s tearing the Scoobies apart, testing the limits of their friendship. But Twilight’s unmasking is only the beginning, and Buffy must still face the ultimate betrayal.

Series creator Joss Whedon writes the final story arc of Buffy Season 8, taking his greatest characters to places only he can! Teamed with series artist Georges Jeanty, Joss reunites the dysfunctional gang of Buffy, Angel, and Spike, in the thick of it together for the first time since Season 3, and gives the Scoobies their gravest challenge ever, defending reality itself from the onslaught of demons. It’s the biggest Buffy finale ever!

• Collects Buffy Season 8 #36–#40.

• This volume also includes the spy-thriller Riley one-shot by Buffy series writer Jane Espenson and artist Karl Moline.

I gotta admit that I haven’t kept up with the Buffy comics the way I did the tv series. I know I’m not alone, but it seemed like the comics went somewhere I wasn’t ready to go. This final installment goes even further, but ends back where it all started with the Buffy we met in early on who had no one but herself. Kind of “in the end there can be only one” mentality.

The season 8 comics have a steampunk/Japanese demon tone. Spike is master of a huge, metal blimp and the demons invading earth are straight out of manga books. But for me the storytelling is straight up Buffy 101. In the past Buffy has always fought Armageddons without the world knowing what was taking place. In season 8, that is not true. She has been labeled a terrorist and is public enemy No. 1.

There’s something in the book for both Angel and Buffy lovers. I felt a flashback to season three with Angel and Spike can be so damn real when he wants to be. Both vampires have something to offer in the series and I loved it all. I felt a little squicky about Dawn and Xander’s relationship, but hey, that’s what I get for not steadily reading through the series.

In the end I’m glad I read this comic book. It caught me up to where I need to be for season nine and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. You’ve gotta read this one if only to find out which major character doesn’t survive.

Review: Before the Witches by Karina Cooper

18 May

Before the Witches by Karina Cooper
HarperCollins (May 17, 2011)
e-book: $1.99
ISBN: 9780062105172

Favorite Lines: “She didn’t have to fake her tears. One plopped on the burner, sizzled, smoked.” (p. 29) Continue reading