Archive | March 2012

Book Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Book Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Crossfire #1)

Format: ebook (an ARC provided by NetGalley)

Published:  April 3, 2012

Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance

Sensuality Rating: Burning!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Our journey began in fire… 

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds… and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Review: 

I’ve not read any Sylvia Day books before but I have a few on my to-read list and I jumped at the opportunity to read this one. I’m so glad I did.

This book in one word? Hot! From the moment the two main characters meet there’s intense sexual chemistry radiating off the two of them. Their intense magnetism is evident from the start and together they provide some of the sexiest and hottest scenes I’ve ever read. If graphic conversations and bedroom antics (that aren’t confined to the bedroom) aren’t your thing – I’d steer clear of this book. But if they are your thing? I can see this book being a favourite!

Eva Tramell has just moved from San Diego with her best friend, bisexual male model Casey, to start a career at a New York ad agency. After a collision with the fantasy invoking Gideon Cross, Eva can’t seem to stop thinking about him – and the way he makes her feel. Determined to get her career on track she tries to reject his not-so-eloquent offer to satisfy her needs but just how long can anyone hold out on Gideon?

That man… he has such a way with words and he’s not shy. I felt myself blushing many times just reading about how he wanted Eva. I couldn’t work out if I was proud of her for holding out or if I wanted to slap some sense into her and ordering her to jump his bones!

Eventually she folds and succumbs to Gideon’s advances but their relationship is not without it’s drama.

Both of the main characters have issues from their past and their families are less than.. stable? Eva does get slightly irritating with her running and with the exception of the sexual chemistry the couple share it’s not exactly clear why Gideon would want a relationship with her.

But the sex? Oh my… this book has both quality and quantity. I loved the steamy scenes – I’m not sure I’ll be able to ride in a limo again without thinking of Eva and Gideon. Gideon is the alpha male that dreams are made of.

I really enjoyed this book. I’ll definitely be reading more of Sylvia Day’s novels.

 

 

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Barnes & Noble (trade paperback) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  July 12, 2010

Genre: Young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, magic

Sensuality Rating: kisses

Synopsis (from Goodreads)When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

Review: 

At her sixth birthday party, Wendy Every’s mother tried to kill her with a cake knife. Way to kill the party vibe…

Since then Wendy has been living with her very over protective older brother, Matt, and her aunt Maggie moving every few months whenever Wendy gets kicked out of yet another school. When not another private school will take her Wendy enrols in a public school but her attitude hasn’t changed at all. Brawling with girls in the bathroom and sleeping her way though History class – that’s literally sleeping complete with drool. Nothing seems to have changed at all. Until she notices Finn Holmes – the only kid in the class that’s even newer than she is – staring at her. Constantly.

The only thing worse than his creepy behaviour is the fact that Wendy can’t help but notice how attractive Finn is. After a disastrous date to the school dance, Wendy isn’t even sure if she wants to see Finn again but he drags her into a world she’s knows nothing about complete with princesses, magical powers and trolls…

I really enjoyed this story. After reading many paranormal teen novels that follow the same formula (girl meets boy, they fall in love for no apparent reason, they have drama but end up happily ever after) I was glad to read a story where the romance isn’t the focus. Yes, Wendy does develop feelings for Finn but that’s by no means the focus in this story.

The world of the Trylle was fascinating. I love the idea of changeling children being “switched” out with the children of wealthy parents in order for the Trylle society to inherit generous trust funds that they then bring back to the society after Trackers are sent to find the changelings.

One of the few things that I did have issues  with in this novel was the pacing – there was a lot of world building and background information that was important to set up the series but I was 50 pages from the end and was waiting for the climax to start. 40 pages to the end I was still waiting. It wasn’t until twenty pages from the end that all the drama unfolded but it was all wrapped up within a few pages – it had to be because we were running out of pages before the novel ended.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a great YA paranormal story that offered me something new. I’d never read a troll story before but I will be reading another  – the sequel is already on my kindle and waiting for me! 😛

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: Midnight Remedy by Eve Gaddy

Book Review: Midnight Remedy by Eve Gaddy

Format: ebook

Published: February 2012 (first published March 31st 1997)

Source: an ARC provided by NetGalley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Sensuality Rating: Hot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)BELIEVE IN SECOND CHANCES . . .

Piper Stevenson’s mysterious “potion” cured one of his patients. Dr. Eric Chambers is determined to unravel the secret of her painful past. Can they heal each other’s hearts?

Review:

Dr. Eric Chambers is on a mission. A mission to find the herbalist who has been treating his patients behind his back. But when he arrives at a farm in the middle of nowhere – Single mother Piper Stevenson is not quite what he has expected. There’s sexual tension between the two from the get-go but both are slightly damaged from their pasts and suspicious of relationships. Piper especially has some history with doctors and everyone in town knows it. In addition to wanting to berate the herbalist, Eric wants the secret formula to what she gave his patient – it could be the cure to mail infertility that would rival Viagra – but Piper won’t give it to him. Firstly she hasn’t given his patient anything. All she has done is given some skin lotion to the patient’s wife. And secondly, she can’t risk the media attention that a discovery like this could bring. She needs to protect her six year old son, Cole.

This is a sweet story that is a light hearted read – just what I needed in between some rather heavy novels I’ve been reading lately. It’s romantic and has a happy ending. The only thing is… I had some issues with Dr. Eric. He’s incredibly rude to Piper at the start. And whilst he does change as the novel goes on, I found myself holding a grudge against him.

But Piper was delightful and I enjoyed her son and grandfather’s antics. I’d recommend this one for anyone that enjoys quick reads that are interesting and have plenty of hot moments.

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Play Hooky With…

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

After having so much fun coming up with my top ten last week (see here for last week’s top ten), I decided to participate again 🙂

And the topic of this week’s ten feels rather appropriate considering that right now writing this list I am procrastinating from studying and other mundane things! 😀

Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With…

1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – I’ve been reading this book since I was 15 and I’m still yet to finish it. My copy is all dog earred and creased because it’s been my constant companion for years. Because I like it? No. Rather the opposite. I can’t manage to finish this book. I find it boring and I think that a day off work and school would be excellent motivation to try and get a little further into the story.

2. Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I love this book. It makes me cry but I love Ash. He is and will probably always be my favourite character from the Dark Hunter series. This book was so sad and heartbreaking but it was great to see that he got his happily ever after.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon– This book intimidates me. I want to read it and have wanted to for so long but because I’ve heard such good things about it I want to put aside a decent amount of time so I can really get into it before life gets in the way and distracts me. It’s my intention to read (or at least start) this book over Easter. I’m actually rather excited. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

4. Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning – I love this series. Highlanders are a weakness of mine. If he’s in a kilt, I’m weak in the knees.

5. The Selection by  Kiera Cass – I know it was on my list last week but I really want to read it. I’ve pre-ordered it and can’t wait till it arrives.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’ve heard such great things about this one. I just need to make the time to sit down and read it.

7. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series – I’m not one for re-reading books. There’s just so many out there that I want to read and haven’t gotten around to. My Goodreads “to-read” list is over 500 and I keep finding books to add to it every day. I think I’ve added 10 already today just from reading other people’s Top-Ten list. But this is a series that I do re-read. Every time I read it I pick up things I haven’t seen before. Sometimes I read it when I’m in a romance mood – other times when I’m wanting something more urban fantasy based… It always manages to satisfy me. Unless it’s Lover Unleashed. That one I try to forget ever happened.

8. Torn by  Amanda Hocking – I’ve just finished reading Switched and I really can’t wait to read the next in the Trylle trilogy.

9. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – This series cemented my love of reading. I was already a bit of a booky person before I read this series but my mother gave me the first two for my 12th birthday and I was hooked. I read the books dozens of times. I forced everyone I knew to read them too. This was the first series that I recommended to my older brother who never took my advice on anything and he read them and said they were okay. That was high praise coming from him! I still love the series. I belong to a Harry Potter forum site and love discussing the books with other fans. Despite coming in at number 9 on my list, they are probably the first book I’d choose to go off and play hooky with.

10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Why? Because this is my all time favourite book. Sword fights and giants, wizards and ROUS – there is nothing this book has that doesn’t appeal to me no matter what mood I’m in, no matter what the weather is like – this is the book I turn to.

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce (Steel #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  March 3, 2012

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Paranormal suspense,

Sensuality Rating: Hot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Aurelia Fridell will always be a freak. Born to werewolf parents, her twin brother Ville can shift forms, but she can’t. Twenty-five years searching for answers yields nothing.

As her thirtieth birthday approaches, isolation creeps in, and worry settles in her gut. She accepted her existence long ago, and yet lately, she’s felt off-kilter. Eyes follow her, prickling her senses. Her headaches are getting worse.

Is she paranoid, or is there really someone, or something, stalking her? Watching. Waiting. Drumming fingers to a sinister beat she can’t hear.

Time will tell. 

Ceithin Starkley isn’t looking for a mate. Especially now. In fact, he doesn’t believe in true-matings at all. While he is being recruited for a new job, a scent on the wind stuns him, and he finds himself fighting an inner battle he never wanted, yet can’t ignore.

Sparks fly, as Ceithin and Aurelia fight fate and race against a clock neither knows is ticking. 

Will he claim Aurelia before he loses her for good?

Warning: This book is sexy. Contains a drool-worthy Alpha male wearing Beta clothing. A sassy and sweet heroine with brains and brothers you’ll adore. A best friend every girl would love to hate. I mean have. And an impossible road no one will see coming.

Review: 

From the very start I liked Aurelia Fridell. We meet her whilst she’s standing backstage at her brother’s bar waiting to be called out for a bachelorette auction that her best friend, Astrid (or Az for short) has roped her into participating in.  There were so many other things I should be doing with my Saturday night. Yet here I sat, nursing my Summer Ale, waiting for the current Barbie Bimbette to be sold. Soon it’d be my turn — I left my cheer meter at home. 

A little snarky and sarcastic – just how I like my heroines!

Aurelia is somewhat of an anomaly among werewolves – able to partially change her features and grow claws but not able to complete a complete shift into wolf form. This ‘defect’ makes her an outsider in her community and – despite their best efforts at being supportive – her family too. Depite this (or maybe because of it) Aurelia is a strong and capable heroine. She’s an incredibly smart, brave and passionate woman.

One year after the bachelorette auction, Aurelia comes face to face (quite literally as he tackles her to the floor of Az’s tattoo parlor) with Ceithin Starkley – a werewolf visiting the area on a business opportunity with Aurelia’s father. From the moment they meet they share incredible sexual tention – I could almost see the sparks flying! – but Ceithin sees himself as a little bit oldfashioned. He won’t cheat. Just Aurelia’s luck to meet the man who may be her fated mate and him be involved in a relationship with another woman. I admired Ceithin for that. I have to admit I get slightly annoyed when just because someone meets their fated mate – all rules and manners fly out the window.

I also relished in the chanced to see Aurelia jealous – and play a little dirty!

Just because Ceithin is in a relationship and trying to fight his werewolf nature and be faithful to his girlfriend doesn’t mean that Aurelia isn’t going to make a play for her potential mate! Her playful, sensual and jealous side made itself known when she was in the club. I didn’t expect it from her but it made me like her more. And made me realize that she wasn’t going to let circumstances stand between her and what she wanted in life. Her lack of shifting ability weighs heavily upon her and I was glad for her to see that she wasn’t going to give up. And this is fiction and a story of true mates! – so I don’t feel bad at all rooting for a woman trying to steal another woman’s boyfriend.

Ceithin unable and unwilling to ignore his desire for Aurelia, breaks up with his girlfriend and starts to court Aurelia. I loved the courting. Ever since I was 12 years old and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion for the first time, I’ve loved letters in novels. And whilst Ceithin’s emails weren’t quite as formal as Captain Wentworth’s, I loved them. He’s blunt and slightly awkward but I felt it was honest and that in itself was beautiful. Despite the chemistry and sexual tension between them – Ceithin and Aurelia got to know each other. The sex – when it happened – was hot but, for me, what made it ever better and that bit more intense was that the characters had fallen in love. This isn’t a story of instant love for no reason – these two knew each other. They knew their faults and their good qualities and genuinely cared for the other.

In addition to the romance plot, Aurelia has someone tormenting her with no apparent reason. Her tires are slashed and her house ransacked. Throw in some nearly incapacitating and blinding headaches

As the story goes on we get to find out more about why Aurelia can’t shift, her special mental bond with her brother, Ville. I thought it was an inventive and creative plot. I really enjoyed how everything unfolded. Many questions I had early in the novel were answered and I was satisfied with the ending. There was a shift in the point-of-view for a few chapters that I didn’t really like. I understand why it was necessary but the main reason why I liked this book was  Aurelia’s sassiness, her cheekiness and how at times she mentally berated  herself. She was a fantastic narrator. I missed that when we switched to Ceithin’s POV.

I really enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot to love about the characters and the storyline. It was interesting and sexy and highly enjoyable.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu (Dirk and Steele #1)

Format: paperback

First Published:  March 6,  2005

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Urban Fantasy, Magic

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)He looks out of place in Dela Reese’s Beijing hotel room- exotic and poignant, some mythic, tragic hero of an epic tale. With his feline yellow eyes, he’s like nothing from her world. Yet Dela has danced through the echo of his soul and knows this warrior will obey her every command.

Hari has been used and abused for millennia. But he sees, upon his release from the riddle box, that this new mistress is different. There is a hidden power in Dela’s eyes- and with her, he may regain all that was lost to him. Where once he savaged, now he must protect; where once he only knew hatred, now he must embrace love. Dela is the key. For Dela, he will risk all.

Review: 

Dela Reese, an artist and sword-maker, is visiting Beijing for business when she comes across a mysterious old woman in the Dirt Market. The old woman insists that Dela buys an ancient little wooden puzzle box and from that moment things get even stranger. On her way back to the hotel Dela is accosted by a man who grabs her but Dela manages to get away. After returning to her room, Dela manages to open the puzzle box only to have a seven foot ancient, shape-shifting warrior pop out. Hari was cured thousands of years ago to do whatever his summoner demands from him – anything from killing to bedding them. Naturally to say, Hari is instantly suspicious and distrusting of his new mistress.

Throw in a few attempts on Dela’s life, the Chinese mafia, some more shape shifters and a few of the agents from Dirk and Steele detective agency and you’ll get a fairly entertaining story.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. Dela was a strong character who was brave and intelligent. Hari was hot and one of those characters that seem to be a little too perfect – he was too caring, too self-sacrificing, too handsome. There’s just something about characters like Hari that rub me the wrong way. I like my heroes to be a bit more flawed in terms of how they treat their mates. He’s just… with the exception of how they first meet and how suspicious he is of Dela, he seems to think she’s perfect. And she’s not. But I liked that about her. I just wish that Hari take off his rose coloured glasses for a little bit.

Whirlwind romances aren’t really my thing and Dela and Hari do fall in love VERY quickly.  I think it’s only a week from meeting to the final showdown. But I liked the development of their relationship. It was a nice progression, just a little intense time-wise.

The members of Dirk and Steele – a ‘detective’ agency where the agents all have special abilities – were a great supporting cast. They’re all a little damaged and should make good heroes in their own books later in the series. There’s nothing I like more than warrior men who have a caring side – which all of these men had.

I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy many parts of it. The romance was sweet, the characters were enjoyable. I will be continuing to read the rest (or at least the next book) of the series. 🙂

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #3)

Format: paperback

First Published: March 6, 2012

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads): They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

Review: 

This book takes place just after the events of River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) and a few years after Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2). In the time that has passed since the last book in the series, Charles has become more and more affected by the job he does for his father – enforcer and assassin. He is withdrawn and even becoming neglectful of his mate and wife, Anna.

After discussion the problem with  Anna and Asil, Bran decides to send Anna off to collaborate with the FBI on a serial killer case in Boston – with Charles along as her body guard. They discover that the serial killer who has recently been targeting Werewolves has been operating for decades – and his targets are not that of the human variety. Fae have been disappearing for dozens of years with none of the supernatural world investigating. Now, with Anna and Charles on the case – with the assistance of a few local werewolves and FBI agents – the killer will be stopped. One way or another…

For me, this is a very hard book for me to review simply because I loved it. I don’t want to come across as a babbling fan girl but I’m afraid I might.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again – I love how Ms. Briggs tortures her characters. Just because she’s let Anna and Charles get mated and married does not mean she’ll let them have an easy time of it. They’re both hurting. Charles especially – not wanting to let the spirits that haunt him to taint Anna but because of this and his pulling away from her, he’s hurting her more than ever.

I love Anna. And I love Charles. But I think what I love most about them is how they love each other. It’s evident in everything they do and how they interact. I think it’s really beautiful and a testiment to Ms. Briggs’ writing that she can write a fairly gritty urban fantasy novel where romance is very much in the background, and yet their love for each other is so prevalent.

The supporting cast in this book were brilliant. I loved the different government agencies and the feelings of forced co-operation between them. I have no doubt that the government would create a new paranormal agency just to handle new issues that would come to light with the werewolves and fae coming out into the world. I also really liked Isaac – the Alpha of the Boston pack. He gave a new insight to a different kind of alpha – you don’t need to be an old wolf to be a good alpha. Alistair Beauclaire also interested me. I feel like if Ms. Briggs ever wanted to write another spin-off with the Fae in the forefront, he would be a great character to have in it. Either as a main or serving a similar role to the one that Bran holds in this series. The fae are so interesting! All their magical powers and unspoken rules. I really would love to get a closer look at them. And the witches? I’m rather glad I’ve never had an encounter with one of Briggs’ witches…. they be crazy!

Pace wise, there was a lot of groundwork laid at the start of this novel. It did feel a little slow to begin with but after things got moving, I never felt like it was rushed. Everything felt like it was at a natural speed.

I loved the action. And I liked that the action scenes showed how Charles has grown as a person since the beginning of the series. He will always be there for Anna – but he now realizes that more importantly for her, she needs to be there for herself. They’re so perfect for each other… *dreamy sigh*

The wait for the next book is going to be painful for me! I might go into withdrawal! At least I have the other books in the series as well as the Mercy Thompson books to go back and re-read whenever I need my fix.

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback)/ Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Read  my review of Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs here
Read my review of Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs here