Tag Archives: Trilogy

Review: Edge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler

17 Jan

Edge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler
Harlequin/MIRA (Jan. 24, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9780778313137

Favorite Line: “He began to squeeze, thrilling at the bob of her small Adam’s apple under his thumbs.” (p. 380, egalley)

The collection isn’t complete without her…

The writer becomes the story when crime reporter Mia Hale is discovered on a Jacksonville beach—bloodied
and disoriented, but alive. She remembers nothing, but her wounds bear the signature of a sadistic serial killer.
After years lying dormant, The Collector has resumed his grim hobby: abducting women and taking gruesome
souvenirs before dumping their bodies. But none of his victims has ever escaped—and he wants Mia back, more than he ever wanted any of the others.

FBI agent Eric MacFarlane has pursued The Collector for a long time. The case runs deep in his veins,  bordering on obsession…and Mia holds the key. She’ll risk everything to recover her memory and bring the madman to justice, and Eric swears to protect this fierce, fragile survivor. But The Collector will not be denied. In his mind, he knows just how their story ends.

Edge of Midnight feels like an homage to the classic story Kiss the Girls written by James Patterson, but it has a definite romance angle. It feels like Patterson with a dash of Catherine Coulter. What you need to know: Edge of Midnight is a thrilling romantic suspense told in the third person and the final installment in Leslie Tentler’s Chasing Evil trilogy. Through the “wandering eye” we see events unfold around both the hero and heroine, as well as the villain and his victims. This is one of those books which make you scream, “don’t answer the door.”

The Chasing Evil trilogy all revolve around serial killers, FBI men and female would-be victims. You’ll meet three different types of killers and possibly love them all. I truly enjoyed book one, Midnight Caller, but I was bored with book two, Midnight Fear. I was sucked into the action and creep factor which make up Edge of Midnight immediately, so I’m now two for three with Tentler’s books. I see myself checking her out every time she releases a book.

I know the story is a romance, but it is heavier on the suspense in my mind. This makes the story solid and adds depth. It avoids the instant love trap and allows a “realistic” love to build. Both the hero and heroine have been victimized and traumatized by the serial killer in the story. Neither is looking for love so it was fun to watch their friendship grow. Actually, to be brutally honest, the romance didn’t catch my attention until the final quarter of the story. I was so focused on character’s surviving the drama that I paid little notice to the tension building between the characters.

When you need a book that will keep you on pins and needles, you need to hit the store and purchase Edge of Midnight. It’s one of those books that can be read several times and despite being a romance should appeal to straight up suspense lovers. You’re guaranteed a happy ending (Duh, romance.), but getting to the end is an adrenaline rush. I’m glad I read it.

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: In Seconds by Brenda Novak

6 Sep

In Seconds by Brenda Novak
Harlequin/MIRA (August 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9780778312444

Favorite Lines: “You don’t have to compete. I loved my late wife, will always love her, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love you just as much.” (p. 393, egalley)

They’re back…

Laurel Hodges has changed her identity twice. She’s been on the run for the past four years, trying to outdistance the gang members who blame her for the death of one of their own. She’s finally found peace and stability in the small town of Pineview, Montana. But just when Laurel thinks she and her children are safe…the nightmare starts all over again.

The Crew, a ruthless prison gang with ties to Laurel’s brother, will never forget and they’ll never forgive. And now that they’ve finally tracked her down, they’ll stop at nothing.

Sheriff Myles King, who happens to live next door with his thirteen–year–old daughter, appoints himself Laurel’s personal guardian. His growing attraction to her could change his life—Myles is beginning to picture marriage and family. But it could also end his life. If he can’t save her, everything he’s built, everything he wants, could be destroyed. In seconds…

In Seconds is book two in Brenda Novak‘s Bulletproof trilogy. Book one is Inside, which I did not read.T

The story is a suspense filled journey which focuses on Laurel, aka Vivian’s attempt to keep her children safe from a  gang intent on murdering them all. The tension builds as the reader watches Vivian’s nervous talk with her brother who is also in hiding and her desire to protect her neighbors by not allowing herself to be drawn into a relationship. At the same time, we learn the gang members know the small town she is hiding in and are traveling there.

The story is told in the third person and it jumps from character to character. For example, it starts out in Vivan’s POV, but we eventually see things through Myles, Rex, Ink, L.J. and Virgil’s POVs. There are so many things taking place that it would be simple to become lost. That never happened.

I’m sure I missed out on a few key details and emotions by skipping the first book in the trilogy. However, I never felt lost or confused while reading In Seconds. If anything, I was slightly disappointed with the few details about the past. It felt like details about Vivian’s ex-husband and the setup for the gang’s interest in her were glossed over. I’m assuming had I read Inside I’d know much more.

The romance between Vivian and Myles doesn’t happen overnight, and what started as sexual attraction quickly mutates into affection and love. Thankfully (besides the sex), none of this happens until after Vivian has come clean about her real name and tells Myles she is on the run from a ruthless gang. I believed they were attracted and liked one another, but I didn’t see the love. I didn’t get Myles willingness to insert his child’s life into a whacked out situation which could end with her death. *shrug*

In the end, I’d recommend people read the first book before attempting In Seconds. Sure the story can be read as a stand alone, but there is an awful lot of back story and emotion overlapping from the first book. It prevented me from caring about characters like Rex, Virgil and Peyton, both of whom had major roles in book one. They were explained, but I wasn’t invested enough to care about them.

The story didn’t really make an impression on me. It didn’t really feel like a romance either, though. I think, impart, because it is not a character driven story. Everything is moved by the plot and action. I felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I didn’t know enough about them to understand or care about them. Had I read book one, I’m sure I’d have felt differently.

Review: Midnight Fear by Leslie Tentler

30 Jul

Midnight Fear by Leslie Tentler
Harlequin (July 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781459208889

Favorite Lines: “Caitlyn turned to face him, panting and unable to catch her breath. He stood less than a dozen feet away, his gun trained on her. Crimson trailed down the side of his head where she had hit him, dripping onto his shirt collar.” (p. 393, egalley)

“I trusted you, Caity”

The still of the night is once again shattered by Caitlyn Cahill’s recurring nightmare—her brother standing before her, gripping a butcher knife, his eyes black with hatred. Two years ago, the former Washington, D.C., socialite defied her powerful senator father and risked the ruin of her family by helping the FBI link her troubled brother to a string of horrific murders. “The Capital Killer” was sent to prison for life…and Caitlyn’s entire world fell apart.

Now, FBI agent Reid Novak is forced to rend the peace Caitlyn has found on a rural Virginia horse farm. A copycat killer is on the loose and slowly toying with Caitlyn—his ultimate target—in a terrorizing cat–and–mouse game. Almost destroyed two years ago by Caitlyn’s family, not to mention the Capital Killer’s haunting final murder, Reid vows to save the woman he’s never forgotten or die trying.

Book two in Leslie Tentler’s Chasing Evil trilogy, Midnight Fear, follows a woman’s attempt to move forward after her family name was tainted by evil. I thought I was going to love it, but after trying to read the book for three weeks I gave up. I couldn’t get into the book despite the instant kick of action, the murders and the suspense.

I made it to page 124, before I came to a screeching halt and skipped to the final 50 pages. Why? I was bored out of my mind. I loved the previous book in the series, but I didn’t get this story. I didn’t connect with the hero or the heroine. I didn’t understand why the copy cat killer decided to be a killer. I didn’t feel the romance building between the characters. I was ambivalent to everything which didn’t bode well for the book.

I browsed the Internet and found several people who adored the book. But knowing the book is 400 pages and I had trouble finishing 100 pages, it was time to toss in the towel. Look below for a few links to websites where the book is reviewed.

The Readers Table Smokin’ Gun
A Snarky Space
My Escape
Bad Ass Book Reviews

Review: Baby, Come Home by Stephanie Bond

3 Jul

Baby, Come Home by Stephanie Bond
MIRA (June 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; e-book: $6.99
ISBN: 9780778329947

Favorite Lines: “Kendall had grown from a beautiful boy into a devastatingly handsome man, his shoulders wide and muscled, his skin tanned, his light brown hair streaked by the sun.  He wasn’t quite smiling, wasn’t quite scowling, was, as always, square in the middle of his brothers’ temperaments.  He had the same deep blue eyes as Marcus and Porter, but where Marcus looked stern and Porter, mischievous, Kendall was the calm one.
The cautious one.  The one who couldn’t commit.” Continue reading

Review: The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

28 Jun

The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
Shadow Mountain (June 9, 2011)
Hardback: $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-60908-049-5

There are spoilers included in the book’s blurb and the review posted below.

Favorite Lines: “Because the truth is I chose life–with all its unpredictability and impossibilities and messiness, and with all its joy and beauty and love. I chose you, Abby. I want to be where you are. I want to be by your side as your life unfolds.” (Withholding the page number to leave you in suspense. lol) Continue reading

Review: The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

12 Jun

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum
Shadow Mountain (May 2010)
Hardback: $18.99; Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-60641-635-8

Favorite Lines: “I hated this horrible double vision. I hated looking at something but seeing something else. I hated not knowing what to expect, what to remember. I hated not knowing the truth.” (p. 70) Continue reading

Ruby Red Book Trailer and a Giveaway!

8 Jun

Thanks for entering. The giveaway is closed.

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

The great people at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group have offered to sponsor a giveaway of 1 copy of Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red here at Scooper Speaks. To enter tell me if you plan to read the book, or who you will give it to. To qualify, the winner’s mailing address must be in the USA or Canada. I’ll use a random number generator to select a winner on June 15, 2011. Macmillan will send the winner a copy of the book. Good luck!

Review: The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason

24 Apr

The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason (netgalley)
Harlequin/MIRA (April 26, 2011)
Trade: $14.95
ISBN: 9780778329824

Favorite Lines: “I was a full participatory member in what occurred here. In fact,” she added, spearing him with her eyes, “I do believe I was rather instrumental in them. I did say please, did I not?” (p. 291)

Regency London loves a society wedding— even if there are vampires on the guest list.

Dimitri, also known as the Earl of Corvindale, should be delighted that the headstrong Maia Woodmore is getting married. His mortal ward and houseguest has annoyed—and bewitched—the Dracule nobleman too long, and denying his animal cravings grows more excruciating by the day.
Miss Woodmore’s family has a rather…complicated history with the immortals and she herself possesses a keen sensibility far beyond mere women’s intuition. Marriage will give her safety, respectability and everything else a proper young lady could wish for. Everything, that is, except passion.
In the looming battle between Dracule factions, all pretenses will shatter as Maia and Dimitri come together in an unholy union of danger, desperation and fiercest desire.

The Vampire Dimitri is book two in Gleason’s Books of the Regency Draculia. It takes place at the same time as The Vampire Voss. I’m a little conflicted about this. In general, I don’t like books that take place at the same time because of the overlap. If the overlap is only a few pages…I’ll suck it up and cope with it. Too bad that isn’t what happens in The Vampire Dimitri.

Over half of the book is a retelling of events that took place in The Vampire Voss. While the retelling works for people who haven’t read Voss’s story, it didn’t work for me. Why? Well, the story is told in third person. It’s like a bouncing eye that has focused on the hero and heroine: Dimitri and Maia. In the previous book the bouncing eye focused on Voss and Angelica. The actions happening in the story are the same, only the reactions to those actions are different.  Disappointingly I flipped through over 200 pages of material. I felt like I was rereading The Vampire Voss.

I thought I’d love Dimitri’s story, but I was wrong. I couldn’t stand Maia any more in this story than I did in Voss’s book. I just don’t like her. I understand that Maia’s wish to avoid revisiting a scandalous moment in her past forced her to act prim and pissy prissy. Her past doesn’t excuse her snooping in her sister’s room, reading her sister’s mail and snitching her sister out to their guardian. What a crappy sister! And don’t even get me started on Dimitri.

Well, I guess since I brought it up I can follow through with a little info. 🙂 A decision made out of love cost Dimitri his soul. In order to avoid repeating his mistake he has stopped feeling simple human emotions like love. His inability to feel makes him like a dog which chases its own tail. It makes him stale and unmoving. Unlike a dog, he can change his mind, learn from his mistakes, and make a future. Sadly every positive move on his part resulted in him retreating two steps. Despite the happily ever after the couple is guaranteed to find (Hello! This is a paranormal romance.), I feel like Dimitri never grew as a character.

I still believe that Gleason is a master at making regency romances interesting for those who dislike the time period. Her detailed sex scenes are consistently titillating and her writing is excellent. I just wasn’t captivated by this book.

I think people who are picking up The Vampire Dimitri for their first look into the Regency Draculia series will love it. After reading The Vampire Voss I was predisposed to dislike Dimitri’s heroine. In addition, I hate rereading information that I already know. This combination made The Vampire Dimitri a no win for me.

The next book in the series is The Vampire Narcise. It will be released in May 2011.

It seems the story is receiving mixed reactions in the blogosphere. What others are saying about The Vampire Dimitri:

A Turn of Page
Romance Books Forum
A Book Obsession
My Book Addiction
Joyfully Reviewed