Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Unforgettable Lady By Jessica Bird (J. R. Ward)


This is the story of Grace Hall, a rich socialite who is also a recently married Countess. What the public doesn't know is that her marriage is on the rocks already. She has been separated for months and is trying to get a divorce without the newspapers finding about it. Her father had passed away a few months back and she is trying to keep herself as the head of the Foundation that he was part of. On top of all this, someone is killing women who have been featured in a Times article. All of them are famous and known to Grace. She is one of the six females featured in it.
Could she be the next victim of this serial killer? Her friend Carter thinks so. Carter's husband, Nick Farrell (featured in another book) calls John Smith. John is the owner of Black Watch LTD, a private security company. He hires seals, marines and rangers. He is also a  "ghost". Has not used his real name is so long, he may have forgotten it. In his line of work, he needs to be able to disappear, leaving no trace behind.
He takes the position as Grace's bodyguard and moves into her Penthouse. Here is where the romance starts. John is trying to continue with his self impose rule of never falling for a client, which Grace is making it very hard to do. On the other hand, Grace is trying to stay away from trouble and keeping herself alive.

This book was very entertaining and I enjoyed tremendously. John is a classic alpha dominant but Grace doesn't intimidate easily. I like how Mrs. Bird connects her characters from other books. They are all tied together even if it is just a quick cameo. It reminds me of her other series, the BDB which I love, you feel me?
You could see some of Zsadist or Wrath in John and some of Bella in Grace.
4/5 Fangs

Sunday, June 26, 2011

That Which Bites ( The Julia Poe Vampire Chronicles) by Celis T. Rono

Julia Poe has been alone since the age of eight. Her family was murdered by vampires after the Grey Armageddon occurred, a poison that killed most humans. She has survived on the streets of Little Tokyo, hiding in a bunker. Her first kill happens at this age and she was left with a reminder for life, a scar on her face.
Fast forward to age twelve she meets a nun, sister Ann and "Goss" who showed her how to protect herself and kill vampires. She is a great shot and has learned combat from her friend Goss and the movies that she has watched to keep her company for so many years.
In this world a Vampire Council exists. Two master vampires have divided the city. QuillonTrent who has turned the beautiful people and cops and Kaleb Sainvire who has created the Human Cattle society. Humans are treated as cattle and their blood is the milk that gets distributed.
After one of the cattle rescues goes wrong, they decided to stay low for a month, they are to meet for a late birthday celebration for Poe. When her friends don't come back, Poe goes out looking for them. She gets captured and at the end saved by Kaleb who takes her to his home. There she learns that not all vampires are equal and there is a way to help the remaining humans.
This book is full of action, sometimes unnecessary violence. Julia gets hurt so many times, that you wonder how can she still be alive. She attacks Kaleb and his friend Jonathan without a second thought as to if she may be wrong about her conclusions. The end leaves you with a notion of a second book.
2/5 Fangs

Saturday, June 25, 2011

British Bad Boys by Nancy Warren

Three short stories about three American Girls falling in love with British guys.

George and the Dragon Lady
Maxine Larraby is a documentary filmmaker doing a series called Great Estates, Grand Titles. She goes to interview the Earl of Ponsford, George Hartley, at his ancestral home. George's Castle and the grounds are in danger of not surviving without more income. The Earl decides to accept the reporter into his home knowing that this will attract more visitors and the needed revenue to keep Hart House going.
They meet and like each other instantly. But, will she give up her career and stay with him or return to LA?

 Nights Round Arthur's Table
The second story is about Meg Stanton, an American writer. She writes thrillers and flies to England to find some needed inspiration for her next novel. What she finds is Arthur Denby, pub owner of the Royal Oak and a friend of George and Maxine. She pictures him as her next imaginary villain. The villains in her stories usually died at the end of her books. Is he going to have the same fate?
The attraction is mutual and this dangerous looking man can take her heart as well. After all, doesn't she have a soft spot for villains?

Union Jack
 The third story is about Maxine's sister, Rachel Larraby. A chef, recently divorced and unemployed. Maxine invites her to Ponsford to distract her and get her out of the depression she has sink in after loosing her job.
Once she arrives to Hart House, she agrees to cater for a wedding at the Castle. The bride's brother, Jack Flynt, comes to oversee the preparation for the wedding.
Jack has not committed to a woman before. Rachel doesn't think she will be the exception.
Maybe a fling is all she really needs. But, what if Jack wants more?

All three stories are fast paced, light reading. No major disappointments. No major obstacles.

Does make you want to fly to England and enjoy a darts night at the local Pub.


2.5/5 Fangs

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Afterlight (Dark Ink Chronicles, Book 1) by Elle Jasper

Riley Poe is the owner of a tattoo parlor. She lives in Savannah with her brother Seth. She is a reformed junkie. Her life is very stable.
One night Seth and his friends (all teenagers) enter the crypt were vampires have been resting for years.They unleash two very powerful vampires, the Arcoses. These vampires start using them as minions. Seth and his friends are forced to obey them and take humans to them as new prey and if not stopped the kids will become vampire themselves and will be ruled by the desire to kill humans. The quickening or transformation takes one month to complete.
When she finds herself in trouble she seeks her friend and guardian, Preacher who takes her to meet the Dupre family. They are vampires who had a pact with the Gullah for years. She meets Phin, Luc, Josie and Eli.  Eli, the oldest son is assigned as her bodyguard.
It turns out that Riley possesses a special type of blood that vampires crave. The Dupre family has been using certain herbs and Gullah blood for centuries. This controls their hunger to kill.

I enjoyed this book very much. The music Riley plays, the description of her artwork made me want to get dragon tattoos myself (even though, I am ink-less), I want to get pink and red highlights like her. I love the cover and I thought Eli and Riley were a great team.
The addition of Victorian as one of the Arcoses and his interest in Riley will make a great second book.
3.5/5 Fangs

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dark of kNight (kNight, book 1) by T. L Mitchell

Julie kNight has been away for four years attending college in Virginia. This is until she receives a phone call from her father's best friend telling her, Julie's father passed away.
She returns home to Spring Place, GA. She stays with Casey, her best friend growing up and her family.
Casey's brother and Julie's father partner in a DNA company, Daniel Maxwell returns home and makes his attraction to Julie crystal clear. She has known him her whole life but didn't know how he felt until now.
Then, the animal attacks begin and she starts dreaming of werewolves, vampires and Lycans.
Lycans are the sworn enemies of Werewolves. In this mythology, Vampires are also enemies of the Werewolves.
When Casey is taken, everyone joins forces to find her. Julie must make a decision about Daniel and her future as his mate.

I had problems keeping interest in this book. I just felt like the romance was not there and the action didn't grab me. It has a good premise but Julie and Daniel's love felt forced.

2/5 Fangs

Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares, Book 1) by Lisa Shearin

In the city of Mermeia, in the Kingdom of Brenir we found a royal family, the Mal'Salin with a new goblin King, Sathrik Mal'Salin and his exile brother, Chigaru Mal'Salin who is trying to steal the crown from the King.
In the middle of this power struggle we find Raine Benares, a seeker, who can find objects or people. She is an elf, a sorceress of moderate powers.From her mother's side the Benares family are known as smugglers or thieves, but her father's side remain a mystery for a while.
In one night, Raine becomes the center of attention when a friend of hers steals a necklace which turns out to be a beacon  for the Saghred. An ancient object protected by the Conclave Guardians which can steal souls and has limitless power. Once Raine wears the necklace, she can't remove it without risking her life. Somehow she is linked to it and it gives her new powers and magnifies her own.
Sarak Nukpana is an evil goblin who is also the King's chief counselor shaman. He is after the Saghred and won't stop at nothing to be able to yield the power.
The elven Guardin, Mychael Eiliesor is sent to retrieve the beacon and hide it from evil. But, he finds himself wanting to protect the bearer of the necklace as well.
Raine's other love interest is a goblin by the name of Tam Nathrach, a nightclub owner but also a goblin once related to the royal family.
Magic Lost, Trouble found was an entertaining book. The secondary characters were well described. Phaelan and Piaras were my favorite. The action was enough to keep me reading. I will read the next one in her series.
3/5 Fangs

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, Book 5) by Karen Chance

Cassie is preparing for her coronation as Pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world. She is learning to use her abilities to defend herself. Although, being thrown from a cliff maybe to much, Pritkin!
In an earlier book, Cassie's life has been in danger through Mircea's survival. If Mircea dies no one will protect Cassie as a child and she will not survive. In this book, through time traveling we meet  Cassie's parents. If Cassie's mother is killed, she will never been born. Cassie's mother is being attacked by Dark Mages -on steroids. And just because Apollo is dead, it doesn't mean the other Gods are gone too.
We learned more about Mircea's and Pritkin's past.
Marco, her bodyguard is extremely funny and tender at times. Specially, when he just holds her while she is crying.
The book is action packed but also has many tender moments. The balcony scene, the shower scene, Mircea's declaration, Ruth's death, the last chapter.
Karen Chance gives both love interests plenty of time. To me, Mircea is more like a father figure, security for Cassie. Someone she has known her whole life. But, he also treats her like a child and can be over protective. On the other hand, Pritkin believes in her. He thinks she can be the best and beyond. She is her equal. They disagree but they trust each other. In most UF books is easy to pick an HEA, Mrs. Chance makes it very difficult but not impossible. My heart goes out to Pritkin.
I hope the next installment  comes out soon. I just can't wait to see what Cassie does. Who will she take with her?Is Prtikin and Cassie going to be together?What Mircea will do if she chooses Pritkin?
A taste:


And yes, I still want to touch Pritkin's hair

4.5/5 Fangs

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, Book 5) By Ilona Andrews

Disclaimer : I love this series, so I may not be impartial about this review.

The fifth book in the series starts with Kate Daniels opening a new company called The Cutting Edge Investigations.  It is conveniently located between the pack and the Vamps territory. Unfortunately, it is hard for her to get new clients, due to the Order's rumors against her.
Andrea returns to the city after a two month absence. She has lost her job with the Order of Merciful Aid. She becomes Kate's first employee. Thanks to Curran she gets two more in the form of a young Bouda(Ascanio) and Derek.
Her first client is looking for a missing scientist, Adam Kamen and the device he created. We soon learn the device is able to kill anything magical and it is in the hands of an extremist group, The Lighthouse Keepers.
Kate is in a race to find the scientist who has been kidnapped and to stop the extremist group from hurting anyone she cares about.
The action scenes, the banter between his Furriness and his Consort, Kate's love for Julie and Curran are what makes this series wonderful to read.
Many times, a writer will try to delay the love between the heroine and HEA and then some of us will loose interest in those books. Ilona Andrews knows how to keep the action and love alive. She is proof there is no mistake in making them a couple earlier, this may be because Ilona Andrews is really a team (Ilona and Gordon).
I love the way these two characters interact with each other. Between babycakes and sugar woogums this book will make you laugh and will make you cry.
If you haven't read this series you need to start today. I recommend reading them in order and Gordon Andrews writes the Curran's POV. 
A taste:

We walked to the car. I was so tired, I could barely move.
“Curran?”
“Yes?”
Today was apparently the day for finding out what mating with me really meant. I nodded at the men. “One of them has my blood on his forehead. The blood must be destroyed or it can give me away if someone scans it.”
Curran gave me a look usually reserved for the mentally challenged. “Someone would have to find the bodies, first.”
Behind him the sounds of enraged boudas tore through the silence, followed by a cacophony of screams.
“In that case, cut off his head,” I said.
Curran gave me a look like I was stupid.
“My father made the damn vampires. I don’t know what my blood will do to a dead body. Cut off the guy’s head before you bury him.”
“Should I stuff his mouth with garlic?”
“Curran!”

Just as a side note I want to say how nice it was of Gordon and Ilona to thank Noa on the acknowledgments.
5/5 Fangs

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Curse the Dawn( Cassandra Palmer, #4) by Karen Chance

Book 4 is full of action.
Cassie has a meeting with the Silver Circle, against Mircea's wishes. She gets kidnapped by the Silver Circle and someone wanting revenge wants her dead. Pritkin follows her into the ley line and jumps after her just before it breaks and destroys MAGIC.
She helps save many prisoners with the help of Rafe, Marlowe, a new mage, Caleb and Pritkin.
While trying to save the kids who are taken by the Silver Circle she unknowingly switches bodies with Pritkin, which leads to many funny moments. Cassie also gets bad news, she learns her dad may be a dark necromancer. Pritkin is there to say just the right thing.
Mircea is present in this book, but seems to keep Cassie in the dark to protect her.
The secondary characters are always making this series fun. We have Casanova, Kit, Francoise, Tami, the kids, Billy Joe, Augustine (the designer), Marco( the new bodyguard), Jonas Marsden (ex chief of the Silver Circle) and his demon dog, Sal and Alphonse.
Apollo is also back and wants her dead. She is betrayed by someone close to the family.
Pritkin gets badly hurt but feeding from Cassie saves him.(It is hot in here)
Funny lines are all over the book.
"Caleb looked at Prinkin. "Did she just tell me not to panic? "
"She doesn't know you "
"Guess not "

He finally noticed my expression and frowned. "Are you all right "
"fine "
"You don't look fine "
'I am trying to remember all the reasons you are indispensable and can't be killed slowly and painfully "

In some ways, this book reminds me of Kim Harrison's Rachel. Always in trouble. I enjoyed this series and can't wait for book 5. Luckily  is almost here.
4/5 Fangs

Embrace The Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3) by Karen Chance

Cassie, is Pythia. She can time travel and her job is to protect the timeline. She has to be careful not to change the past which will affect the future. She already made a mess when she encounters Mircea in the past and doubles the geis on him. Because of it he is dying.
She meets with Rafe and he tells her the truth, she shifts to Mircea's bedroom where he drinks from her but lets her go.
She knows she needs to find the Codex Merlini to get the counter spell. She takes Mircea with her (the one from the present but before he gets sick). She learns in Paris who Pritkin really is and what he is.
Rosier, a demon is after her because she is looking for the Codex. He needs to get in line. The Silver Circle is after her and Pritkin. The Senate is after her. They have captured Tami, who has a son, Jesse, who can start fires. Tami was the person who helped her when she was a teenager. Her house was full of misfit kids. They all had powers.
In this installment we see more of Alphonse (Tony's second), his grilfriend Sal. Also, Saleh, a demon spirit and Apollo.
Cassie has to stop the geis and prevent her from becoming Mircea's servant or vice versa.
At the end, with Prtikin's help she is able to find a solution and breaks the geis.
The secondary characters make this book fun to read. The two love interest Mircea and Pritkin are both likable guys in very different ways. I don't know who I want as the HEA. Usually, I root for underdogs, but which one is it? I'll guess I'll side with Prtikin. I just want to touch his hair.
3/5 Fangs

Claimed by Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, #2) by Karen Chance

Cassie is back. Part clairvoyant (mother's gift), and ghost communicator (father's legacy).
The book starts at Dante's. We meet Casanova (an incubus) who has information on Tony. But, he can't release the information without getting in trouble with his master. He however, alerts her of the geis, a powerful spell cast on her that binds and claims her to Mircea. This spell makes her sick if she tries to have sex with anyone else except Mircea or someone approved by him, like Tomas. She learns this the hard way with some Pritkin interaction.
The Dark circle is still after her and Myra is trying to kill Mircea in the past which will leave Cassie unprotected.
She comes to an understanding with Pritkin and they travel to Faerie. Things don't go well there and they are captured. She is able to get the full mantle of the Pythia power by loosing her virginity to Tomas. But the geis is not removed by this. She makes a deal with the Dark Fey and promises to find the Codex. The book has a spell to remove the geis. She leaves Tomas in Faerie(yay!). She brings with her Francoise and Radella.
In the end she gets help from Agnes (Lady Phemonoe) her predecessor.
This was a reread for me. I stopped reading this series two years ago. I was upset that she slept with Tomas. Thankfully, friends told me to keep reading. I did and I am not sorry.
Mircea and Pritkin are great characters. I love how Pritkin can be annoying and wonderful at times.
3/5 Fangs

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1) by Karen Chance

First book in the series.
Cassandra Palmer is a clairvoyant who is trying to survive the day.
She was brought up in the vampire world by Antonio. He is ruthless and runs his family as a mob. He is also responsible for the murder of her parents and using her power as a seer to his advantage. At fourteen she has a vision of this and runs away. Cassie returned to him in order to get revenge in the form of taxes. She escapes and has been in hiding for the last three years.
She gets an alert on her computer with her own obituary. She knows her time is up but she can't leave without telling her roommate Tomas to be careful. She goes to his work and they get attacked by vampires.
Turns out Tomas is a master vampire and has been sent by the Senate (made out of the most important vampires) to protect her. Rasputin is killing the senate members and they want her help.
She has the ability to communicate with ghosts, in particular with Billy Joe. He is able to draw energy from her. She can also possess a vampire, she can time travel first in Spirit and then as herself. She is the new Pythia, which Cassie has a hard time dealing with. But the power has chosen her instead of the apprentice.
During her childhood she had a governess she loved and well as Rafael (Rafe) a father figure. She had a crush on Mircea, Dracula's older brother. And now, that she is an adult it seems that his interest for her is much more than owning a seer.
Mircea is interested in protecting his brother, Radu, in the past. For this, he needs Cassie.
A War Mage, Pritkin is sent to evaluate her and if necessary destroy her. He tries several times without success. He is confused by her powers, her tolerance of vampires and her similarities with demon creatures. Pritkin is part of the Silver Circle.
This will be enough for Cassie to deal with but she learns that the Dark Circle is after her as well the rogue sybil, Myra.
I like the series, the heroine is smart and funny. The attraction to Mircea and Tomas is believable. This was a reread for me. I enjoyed it the first time around too.
3/5 Fangs

Ghostland (Ghostland World #1) by Jory Strong

Shamaness Aisling McConaughey is taken from the safety of the only home she has known, to help find the mistress of a wealthy man. She knows her life will never be the same after she leaves the safety of the farm for Ghostland.
She is able to use her power and spirits to find the woman, Elena. When she finds her, she is about to be sacrificed by dark priests. Her pet ferret/Spirit guardian, Aziel is able to communicate with her while in the spirit world and he gives her a name to call. The help comes in the form of a Djinn Prince, Zurael en Caym. He is livid at being summoned and after disposing of the dark priests tries to kill her. She is able to survive. He vows to find her and make her pay. He is also instructed by his father to find an ancient table in the human wold.
Elena convinces Aisling to help her find her kidnappers. She tells her about a drug called Ghost that can take you to the spirit lands. Elena was under the influence of Ghost when she was taken. The Spirits want Aisling to find the makers and destroy them.
Zurael joins forces with Aisling to discover the makers of the drug and to stop the dark rituals involving human sacrifices.They also have to fight their attraction for each other.
In this post apocalyptic world, no one is safe after dark, supernaturals are frown upon or taken advantage off.

This new world is enticing but I thought that many of the sex scenes were unnecessary.
2/5 Fangs