Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: Harker's Journey

Harker's Journey Harker's Journey by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I guess I was at a slight advantage because I ended up reading the second book in the series prior to the first one. This first book is really more of a short story that sets up the world of the Dalakis men.

The Dalakis are cursed with only ever loving one woman and being able to mate with them to share eternity. It sounds romantic, but there are some logistical problems when one finds his mate when she’s still only 18. Cris is a gentleman, though (mostly), and lets her live her own life for way 13 years before luring her into his castle for some real life seduction.

There was a lot of smut, sexy times, and a great start for a series. Even if I hadn’t read the next book already, I’d be interested in seeing how the remaining men end up paired off. Things only get hotter from here on out!


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Review: Salem's Curse

Salem's Curse Salem's Curse by Sydney Bristow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book kind of took me all over the place. Soon after starting the book I began to wonder – is this book a spinoff? Did I miss another book that set up this series? I don’t think I was missing anything (after some investigation online), but it was still a little confusing to dive in with not much explanation. Once I got the hang of what was going on, though, the story did start to take shape.

Celestina is a girl who is missing a week’s worth of her memories. During that week, apparently a lot of stuff happened that is vital to who she is/has become. She was raised in an abusive household, first with a drunk mother, then with a physically abusive grandmother. Turns out, however, that her grandmother might not have been that bad (?) and that her mother was worse than she remembers (?). Still a little confused on those parts. Oh, and she’s got magical powers, and there are vampires, and demons, and … werewolves, I think?

Somewhere along the way, while we run from drama-filled reunion to the next, we get introduced to a troubled demon who is (of course) a hottie, a vampire with hurt feelings, an estranged and possibly murderous aunt, and a spunky new friend. There’s some other characters, but at some point I had to focus on only the important parts, which was a little difficult.

The larger story is about stopping the end of the world, because isn’t it always? Some preconceived notions are thrown out the window and Celestina ends up being pretty awesome in her own right. Not sure it sends the right message that all her abuse was helpful, but that’s where we end up. Needless to say, there are tons of questions I still have, most revolving around the love interest that never got answered. Lots of questions still surround Celestina and her powers, too. As a start, I am definitely left wanting more information.


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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Review: Blake's Pursuit

Blake's Pursuit Blake's Pursuit by Tina Folsom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say, the Blake that we get in this "fast-forward" set of Scanguards books is totally not the Blake that I used to hate on in the original set. He's grown up in a big way, and thank goodness, because this book was 100% him (OK... maybe there was a little Wes, too, but that's probably just because he had to set up the crossover).

In the previous book we learned that Blake moved his way through security and is now the guy in charge of guarding everyone's children. It seems like a momentous task, but he appears up for the job. We also learn that he is somehow plugged in to their side business, Vuber, the vampire ride company. When one of the drivers goes missing, he immediately tries to help locate the missing woman. That's where his path crosses with Lilo.

Lilo might be a famous writer, but she still keeps in touch with her longtime BFF. Said BFF also happens to be the missing woman that Blake is trying to track down. When she finds out that her friend missed her mother's birthday, she knows something is wrong and immediately flies out to try to figure out what is wrong. After sort-of breaking into her apartment, she's quickly attacked, then just as quickly saved by Blake. While there is a little bit of tension between the two of them, they are willing to put aside differences to track down their mutual friend. The only problem is that Lilo is not exactly "in the know" about vampires.

While hiding his secret isn't anything new to Blake, it quickly becomes an issue as their earlier tension grows into attraction. Blake even begins to recognize the signs of Lilo possibly being his mate. There is a whole lot of sizzle from this couple (as is to be expected from a Scanguards book) but we also get a larger mystery in the form of some new crime-spree happening in the city. As the two stories converge, don't worry, we still find our way to a happy ending for everyone.

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Review: Lucian's Delight

Lucian's Delight Lucian's Delight by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book takes a little bit of fated mates, some vampire romance, and twists it around a little to come up with a unique love story. Full disclosure: I haven't read book 1 in this series yet, but I don't think it's really necessary to enjoy this one on its own. Oh, and another warning, there are some near-rape scenes in here that might prove problematic if you're not expecting it.

Delight has some surprisingly realistic dreams, so it's not a shock to her when a vampire ends up seducing her in one, asking her why she's in his dreams. Sure, it's a change to her typical frightening nightmares, but she's willing to accept it if she gets a break from them. She's a hard working guardian to her younger brother and is determined to save up enough money to send him to art school. This means that she's working two jobs which puts her out dangerously late at night. It's here that her nightmares begin to become reality.

Lucian is a vampire who has been cursed to only get one love. Said love will be able to share his dreams and bond with him, if he can find her and convince her to become his. Lucky for the both of them, Lucian ends up living out their rescue dream/nightmare in real life, which appears to bode well for their romance. Oh, and the attraction is just as good in real life as it is in their dreams. Maybe even more so.

So, things can't be super easy, or we wouldn't have a real story, right? The big bad is still out there and determined to make Lucian's job of keeping Delight and her family safe even harder. There's action, some really really stupid moves on Delight's part, but ultimately we get a solid HEA. If this is an indicator for what the rest of the series is like, I'm in!

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Review: The Untamed Vampire

The Untamed Vampire The Untamed Vampire by Kate Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you think this book will be your typical werewolf/vampire love story, you will be disappointed. Chelle, my new fave of the series, is anything but typical, so it only makes sense that the story of her finding her mate would be filled with surprises.

Chelle is a witty, sarcastic, danger-loving, unique vampire. OK, so she has one other vampire similar to her, but as the head of her own vampire line, she's a bit of an anomaly. Her powers are stronger than anyone else, and she's still keeping most of that a secret from almost everybody. Her latest obsession is finding answers about her powers and exactly what the creepy relic did to her when it transformed her into what she is now. The way into her location for answers, however, is guarded by a three part key, one of which is with the leader of a werewolf pack. It's on her trip there when she shockingly discovers her mate.

Gunnar is exactly what you'd expect a werewolf viking to be like - he's rough and crude, ruling by his own strength and eager to fight any battle that needs to be fought. Most packs don't accept mixed race matings, so when he identifies his mate in the form of a vampire, he knows it must stay a secret until he can inform the pack of a law change. As if their Romeo/Juliet romance isn't hard enough to keep under control, there's also a big power play going on with the remaining supernatural factions and it might be time to choose sides.

There's a lot of action, romance, and sexy times all jammed into this fast-paced read. I think you might be able to read this one as a standalone, but it was nice to watch all the characters and larger storylines grow from book to book. It will be interesting to see where everyone ends up at the end of this building battle. I'm especially interested in seeing some of the side characters get some more development along the way.

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Review: Dating The Undead

Dating The Undead Dating The Undead by Juliet Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holy smokes, this book is sizzling hot! It had two things that will instantly make me love a book: snarky tough chick and sexy vampires.

Silver (I know, you get over the name) is still reeling from her latest dramatic breakup on New Year's Eve when she finds herself face-to-face with a super sexy vampire. Yes, in this world vampires are "out of the coffin," but that doesn't mean they are universally loved. Silver, however, is willing to take a walk on the wild side, especially since this vampire is giving her more chemistry than her latest date. This unlikely couple ends up being the key component to both their worlds, whether they want it to or not.

For Logan (the sexy vampire), it appears that Silver is somehow linked to a police undercover operation that he has been tasked with forcibly removing from her memory. After their meeting, however, it is simply impossible for him to do so. Silver, for her part, hides her own secrets from Logan, while continuing to live in denial where there relationship is concerned. Oh, and there's a bad guy (or girl, rather) that's looming over Logan's head (more secrets). I think that about sums up the odds against them. Of course, I loved every second!

If you're looking for a super sexy and super smutty paranormal read - you'll love rooting for this unlikely (and completely snarky) couple. I couldn't get enough of Logan and Silver, flaws and all.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Silence Fallen

Silence Fallen Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This latest installment of the Mercy Thompson books has really become one of my favorites. I love when Mercy can show how independent and strong she is, and what better way than to separate her from Adam for a short time?

The book obviously needs something to separate Mercy and Adam, and that comes in the form of a kidnapping of sorts. More a maiming and kidnapping, but I genuinely think they assumed she was werewolf tough. Once separated, she’s thrown into some dramatic power play by a European vampire with oodles of baggage and grudges against, well, a lot of people. One seriously old vampire isn’t really a match for Mercy, but the odds are definitely stacked against her. I love that her uniqueness comes into play so much in this story, to show that while she isn’t necessarily the physically toughest supernatural in the room, she can still hold her own.

From Adam’s side, it was refreshing to get into his head as he deals with Mercy’s disappearance. He’s forced to work with some familiar vampires, and even throws in the goblins for good measure. This was a who’s who from the series and the twist at the end had my head spinning. It also makes me want to go back and re-read this one just to catch all the hints. No spoilers, but this book had a certain… fun, that I really like about these stories. Sure, there’s a bad guy (or guys, or girls, or … OK, there are a lot of people out to get Mercy), but there are even more interesting scenarios that Mercy manages to involve herself in. She’s a chaos magnet, and it was really fun to watch it play out in this story. I didn’t want it to end!


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