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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 He is withdrawn and even becoming neglectful of his mate and wife, Anna.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

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Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: August 25, 2009

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son- and enforcer- of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

Review: 

Anna is really finding her feet! In this book Charles and Anna represent the Marrok at a werewolf convention. With all the alphas running about the place I was slightly worried for Anna but I shouldn’t have been. She more than managed to hold her own against the century old strong and dominant wolves. I love the characters in this series. Charles is used to being his father’s assassin and because of this he has always been wary of being overly friendly with anyone outside of Bran and his brother, Samuel. Briggs doesn’t forget the history she’s created for Charles (or Anna either for that matter). Charles has many things he has to overcome and in his new relationship with Anna, he has many struggles. I love that. I love that just because he has found his mate and fallen in love with his wife it doesn’t stop his former nature from showing at inappropriate times.

Anna, too, has to overcome her past in order to be with Charles. The problems they’ve both faced (separately and as a couple) are just one of the things that I find unique and refreshing with this series. The author doesn’t gloss over the hideous nature of the beast nor does she simply apply the notion of love overcoming everything. Despite the werewolf and supernatural nature of this series the character I’ve read in this book are more real to me than in so many other novels.

It was nice to see some more interaction between the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series – this time being in the inclusion of Fey and Vampires. The blending of the two series whilst still keeping things interesting and new is very well done. The things that we know about the Fey and the vampires already from Mercy are consistent with what Anna discovers in Hunting Ground. 

The new characters introduced in this novel delighted me. The slightly odd Arthur who believed he was the reincarnation of King Arthur, the blind witch, the Beast of Gévaudan as well as another Omega wolf and a whole range of other wolves were all brilliant. There were so many personalities and little stories playing in the background that there was always something to keep me interested.

I loved this novel. I loved the drama and the outcome. Most of all I adored the evolution of Anna and Charles’ relationship. I find it refreshing that one novel isn’t enough for one couple to go from meeting to happily ever after. This has been my favourite novel I’ve read so far this year. I can’t wait till the third in the series comes out next week. Expect to see a review of it very soon. 😉

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

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

Book Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Book Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #1)

Format: Paperback

First Published: January 11, 2011

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

Review: 

Thea Harrison’s debut novel Dragon Bound both intrigued and excited me. The story starts off a little slow but that’s understandable considering that in the first novel in a series, a fair amount of world-building needs to occur. And I loved the world that Harrison created. This book is set in a complex alternate world. Wyr-shifters, Fae and a whole number of other otherworldly beings  interact with humans in modern society. Within that society there are pockets of Other Land where magic flows more freely and not all modern day technological inventions behave as they should. I found the world fascinating but at the same time it wasn’t overwhelming. There was enough character driven action mixed amongst the descriptions of the world that meant that the story kept moving forward at all times and didn’t get too bogged down in the details concerning the world building.

Dragos Cuelbrre is a dragon-shifter and debate-ably the most powerful and ancient wyr in the world. He controls New York City with an iron fist – noone dare defy him. So when half-wyr Pia Giovanni trespasses and steals from his hoard of treasures, Dragos is furious. Pia was raised to keep her true identity a secret from everyone and has spent her entire life living by the rules her mother instilled in her – 1. Tell noone who she is. 2. Be prepared to run at a moment’s notice and leave everything behind.

When Pia finds herself being blackmailed by her dead beat ex-boyfriend, she steals from the most power Wyr preditor in history in exchange for his silence on exactly what she is. Now her only problem is keeping the power Wyr from killing her.

I loved the characters in this novel. Dragos is a strong, sexy, all powerful kind of hero. He treats Pia more like a possession than a person at first. And whilst this behavior is the kind that would turn me off in real life, in fiction it just makes him all the more delicious. He’s unique blend of the ancient times which he came from and the modern world which he acclimated himself in. Despite his “mine!” and posessive personality, I found him to be incredibly romantic and at times tender and gentle with regards to Pia. Together they had some explosive chemistry and some unbelievably hot sex scenes. Pia was also a strong character. She was brave and determined. I liked how despite not being able to completely comply with her mother’s code, she didn’t completely betray her training. She wasn’t as flighty as a lot of female characters. She was a brilliant match for Dragos – not a complete walkover but at the same time she was willing to compromise and she tried to understand what Dragos meant even when his intentions weren’t entirely clear. Together they were fantastic. I loved the banter between them – it was funny and sexy and at times frustrating but at least it felt natural and not in the least bit contrived.

The supporting cast were another highlight for me. The sentinels were broody and yet cheeky. I’m excited that the rest of the series follows a different couple per novel so I get the chance to know these characters better.

I loved this novel. It kept me up half the night because I couldn’t put it down. It was the perfect mix of possessive, sexy, alpha hero, feisty heroine and fast paced action. The witty dialogue, intense sexual tension, romantic yet steamy love scenes and a fascinating supporting cast kept me hooked right until the lasts page. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Elder Races series.

 

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon FishPond

Book Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole

Book Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Immortals after Dark #12)

Format: Hardcover

First Published: January 2012

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

ALL FEAR THE ENEMY OF OLD

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.

A DEADLY FORCE DWELLS WITHIN HER 

Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.

CENTURIES OF COLD INDIFFERENCE SHATTERED

Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

Review: 

I have to begin this review by saying that I’m a huge fan of the Immortals After Dark series. This instalment was no exception. The major appeal of the series in my opinion is the strong female characters.

I adored Ellie Ann Pierce. She was strong and determined and wasn’t afraid of anything – not even death itself.

It was an interesting concept – to have the heroine sharing a body with another soul who was her complete opposite. Where Ellie was good, Saroya was the epitome of evil. I loved how terrible Cole treated her characters. She tortured them both physically and emotionally and they managed to struggle through it and come out the other side strong for it.

The appearance of some of my favourite characters of the Lore made this book all the better. Nix and the other Valkyrie amused me with their antics and I like how just because many of the other characters in this series have found their happily ever afters it doesn’t doesn’t change them completely. Regin is just as bloodthirsty and upfront as ever.

This book also sort of doubles as a sort of encyclopaedic introduction to the Lore and the Lorian creatures. Having Ellie be completely ignorant to the new world in which she now exists in, Cole was able to have the creatures explained in such a way that readers would have a definitive definition for the different factions.

I have to admit that I was rather nervous that this book wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Lothaire, Enemy of Old, has been a big part of the series up till now and he had a lot to live up to. But his story was even better than I expected. Throughout it all, he was consistent with the character that I had grown to love. Evil and yet completely sexy. And his and Ellie’s steamy scenes? Woah… they’re pretty hot. There was variety and heat. Tenderness and fierce strength. In amongst all the what should be somewhat disturbing blood exchanges were some incredibly sweet moments.

This book didn’t lack for drama and action. From the start there is family rivalry, brutal slaughtering, angst, revenge and romance. I loved everything about this book and can’t wait till the next instalment of the series.

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

Book Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Book Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld #1)

Format: paperback

First Published: 2001

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Shifters/werewolves,

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman, She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She’s also a werewolf.

Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must recon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel.

Review: 

Whilst Elena may seem like the typically overdone blonde, blue eyed, overly perfect character don’t underestimate her. She’s also bitchy and damaged and at times her attitude does come close to a little over the top but she’s real and I think that’s what I liked most about her. This story is gritty and at times dark but wholely enjoyable. Her relationship with Clayton amused me greatly and I loved how they aren’t the stereotypical romantic couple that I come across in most novels I’ve read lately.

The supporting cast are brilliant. Jeremy and the other Stonehaven wolves stop Elena’s drama from becoming overwhelming and also add some much needed comic relief.

I didn’t expect a lot of what happened and I enjoyed the plot surprises. There’s a lot action and a decent amount of romance. These werewolves are the kind who  hunt – often resulting in something ending up dead and bloody.  They are not for the feint hearted. I can’t wait to begin reading the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series.

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

My review for Stolen (Women of the Otherworld #2) can be found here