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)

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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

Booking Through Thursday: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that asks a book/reading related question.

This week’s question is: Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?

My answer?

I don’t think so. Not seriously. Most books that I think could have been a lot better are the ones with characters and stories that just don’t capture my attention. I couldn’t stick with them long enough to write them better. Writing a book takes so much time! And thought! For the books that when I’m at my most judgemental and I think I could have written better – I would not be able to have the sort of long term relationship  with them that rewriting them would require. I think I’d probably lose patience and then end up writing them more poorly than they were written in the first place.

Book Review: The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

Book Review: The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test #1.5)

Format: ebook

First Published: March 1, 2012

Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, teen romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads)A vacation in Greece sounds like the perfect way for Kate Winters to spend her first sabbatical away from the Underworld…until she gets caught up in an immortal feud going back millennia. Castor and Pollux have been on the run from Zeus and Hades’s wrath for centuries, hiding from the gods who hunt them. The last person they trust is Kate, the new Queen of the Underworld. Nevertheless, she is determined to help their cause. But when it comes to dealing with immortals, Kate still has a lot to learn….

Review: 

Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins who are now going by the names Casey and Lux, have been fleeing from the wrath of Zeus and Hades for thousands of years. Whilst still on the run, they come across James and Kate who are spending six months holidaying in Greece. When they find out that Kate is the new wife of their biggest enemy, they’re unhappy and with due cause. The Gods have now found them…

This short story served one real purpose. To show that Kate has no idea just how archaic and strict the Gods (including Henry) are. She has a lot to learn before she takes her place on the throne of the Underworld.

I’m not generally a fan of novellas for books in a series. Especially if they are centred around the main characters that a series follow. Why? Because normally they come in an anthology with multiple other stories for series I’m not interested it. Also, they’re often not long enough for me to really get involved with the story and the characters. Whilst this was a single story (and only $0.99!), it was a little too short for me to really get back into Kate and Henry’s world. I did enjoy the pseudo-love triangle that’s developing with James, Kate and Henry but in the end, consider Kate is married to Henry, I don’t see that little flirtation between Kate and James going anywhere.

I think that you could skip this story and not miss out anything important from the series.

Rating: 

2 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version)

For my review of Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1), please click here

Book Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Book Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett (Acardia Bell #1)

Format: paperback

First Published:  June 28, 2011 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Demons, Magic, Witches

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . . 

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Review: 

Sometimes you wish your parents just would stay dead…

I’d been putting off reading this book for a while. Other series and books took priority. But I’m so glad I got around to reading it. Jenn Bennett might be my favourite debut author of the year. I can not put into words how much I enjoyed this book.

The world that this book is set in is brilliant. There’s magicans who have powers similar to a lot of witches I’ve read about in the past, Earthbound demons who have ‘halos’ in different colours, Æthyric demoms which are mostly pretty scary. Throw in some magical societies and a demon nightclub – not forgetting Cady’s own demon serving bar. I thought the world was written in a way that was so vivid to me. I felt like I was right there beside Cady as she tried to find the evidence that would prove her parents’ innocence. From Ms. Bennett’s writing it’s easy to see that she is an artist.

One of the more surprising things for me whilst reading this book was Jupe – Lon’s teenage son. Normally I don’t like children in novels. They come across to me as either too old for their age, too young, too cute – all it really translates for me as too annoying. But Jupe entertained me. I thought he was written perfectly – he was at that stage where he’s trying to show he’s a man of the world but at the same time he still needs  his dad around. He provided a lot of comic relief which the story needed at times. I hope we see a lot more of him in future books because I think he was my favourite character.

I loved how the story came together. It was in such a way that I was surprised by exactly how it unfolded but nothing new or out of left field was brought in just to create the climax. I loved Cady’s powers and how she used them. She’s a survivor who does what she has to but she has morals and is a decent person. I liked that about her. And the sexual tenstion between Lon and Cady? Brilliant. Their interactions and banter amused me greatly.

The second book is going to be a must buy for me.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming New Releases

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

I’ve never done a meme before (mainly because I have no idea what I’m doing) but I’m trying to post more regularly so here you go.

This week’s topic is top ten books to read from March 20th and June 21st 2012. My list is entirely made up of new releases during the next three months.

So here we go:

1. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10) I know I’ve mentioned how excited I am about this book but I’M STILL REALLY EXCITED. I love this series and after the disappointment of Lover Unleashed I have incredibly high hopes for this one. Only a few more days to go!

 2. The Selection by Kiera Cass – The description of this book sounds right up my alley. Sort of like The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games? I’ve read a few reviews from people who received ARC copies who weren’t thrilled by it but The Bachelor is my guilty pleasure so I’m excited for this book. And plus, the cover is beautiful!

3. Grave Mercy by  R.L. LaFevers – A seventeen year old escapes an arranged marriage and now works as an assassin. Mix in a little romance and this book is one I can’t wait to read.

4. Purity by Jackson Pearce –  Stories about why people decide to pledge purity on current affair shows always interest me and whilst this is a fictional story I have some kind of bizarre curiosity for the topic.

5. Under A Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau #16) – This series is one of the first paranormal romance series I ever read and because of it I’ve been hooked ever since. The stories aren’t as interesting to me as the earlier ones in the series but they are ideal when I’m looking for something that’s not too heavy, some thing funny and something that’s packed full of romance and sexual tenstion. I love these books. And to top it off Christian Notte has been one of my favourite characters in the series for a long time. I can’t wait for him to get his HEA (Happily Ever After)!

6. Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson – Lately I’ve been reading more Urban Fantasy and this book really intrigues me. Voodoo serial killers, magic and New Orleans? I’m there!

7. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries #12) – I love the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. I’ve loved them since I read the first book all those years ago. And in the time that’s passed I’ve also watch True Blood and re-read the series a few times. Sookie may have sort of gone off the rails as far as I’m concerned but I’m going to stick with her till the end and see where everything ends up.

8. Rapture by Lauren Kate (Fallen #4) – I have a soft spot for this series. The first book left me a little cold as it reminded me too much of Twilight (just without all the vampires and werewolves). But it’s really grown on me. I loved the third book and can’t wait to see how the series wraps up.

9. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown – I love mermaids. And this story sounds a little more dark and gritty than your average mermaid tale. When a book mentions revenge in it’s summary – I’m there.

10. Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #3) – Larissa Ione is one of my favourite authors. I devoured the Demonica series and adore the Lords of Deliverance series nearly as much. This next books is featuring my horseman (or should that be horseperson…), Thanatos. And I love the cover work for this series. It’s beautiful.

There are dozens more books that I’m excited about that I couldn’t fit into my top ten. But I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I won’t be able to fit them all into my reading schedule. There’s just so many good books out there! But here at the ten upcoming releases that I’m most excited about.

Book Review: Succubus Nights (aka. Succubus On Top) by Richelle Mead

Book Review: Succubus Nights (aka. Succubus On Top) by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: May 5th, 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Demons, Angels, Vampires

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Georgina Kincaid’s job sucks. Literally.

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy, incredibly gifted Seattle writer she’s been dating, she’ll drain his life force. Georgina is a succubus-a demon who draws her power from other men’s pleasure. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago. But it seems completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can’t get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It’s not just her personal life that’s in chaos. Doug, Georgina’s co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double espressos is at work. She could use help finding out, but Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied with corrupting an ultra-conservative talk radio star-and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one-and fast because soon, Doug’s life won’t be the only one on the line

Review: 

She’s got a killer body… and a kiss to die for!

This story picks up a few weeks after the end of Succubus Blues with Georgina and Seth trying to have a romantic relationship despite the fact that Georgina could kill him at any moment. They are clearly in love butbecause of this they are unwilling to address the challenges of their difficult relationship. Enter Bastien – Georgina’s incubus best friend who is in town to take down a talk-back radio host and save himself from an eternity in Hell -or more specifically Guam… which in his opinion is just as bad.

On top of being roped in to help Bastien with his mission, Georgina has to deal with her friend and co-worker, Doug, who is acting even stranger than normal. Is something supernatural to blame for his currently behaviour and world record Tetris scores? And can Georgina manage to continue her relationship with Seth without accidentally draining him of all his energy and killing him?

I love Georgina as the heroine of this series. She’s modern and yet is centuries old. She’s mostly practical but still manages to be selfish. Her relationship with Seth amuses me. I can’t help but think that their relationship is living on borrowed time. But their love for each other is evident. I like the complexities of it. Yes they ended up together after the end of Succubus Blues but they are not having an easy time of being together. I also love that just because they are in love and currently together doesn’t mean and that everything is going to be okay. Georgina could still kill Seth with just a kiss and they both have to deal with their jealousy issues – him with her still being a succubus and having to have sex with men to supply her with the energy she needs to survive and her with his first love, writing, and him getting too involved with the world that lives inside his head.

The supporting cast are also a highlight of this series – and this book. Carter, the angel who’s best friend is an archdemon, the Vampires, Georgina’s co-workers and Bastien – they’re interesting and entertaining. Even Seth’s family bring a lot to the book. I love how they show the many sides of Georgina. Friend, co-worker, potential sister-in-law, demon. But they’re great characters in their own right too. Bastien was a great addition to the story. He is everything that Georgina is not in terms of a sex demon. He takes pride in what he does and does it well. I really hope he comes back later in the series.

I can’t wait to start reading Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid #3). I’m really glad that I “discovered” this series.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

My review for Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) can be found here