Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night

Book: Wicked Deeds on A Winters Night
Author: Kresley Cole
Grade: A

Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night was definitely a really enjoyable read. This is the latest book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series and ties with the first one in the series A Hunger Like No Other for me in terms of the romance and the characters.

Her breathless kiss haunts him...

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed — until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible...

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It's rumored that no one can tempt Bowen's hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

No deed is too wicked for her seduction...

If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul — or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

What you need to know: This book is the third in the Immortals after Dark series. I would recommend reading the first two. A Hunger Like No Other and No Rest For the Wicked before picking this one up. You might be a little lost if you read this one before NRFTW because Bowen's role in that book ties directly into this one.

There is also a Prequel to AHLNO which has the story of Nikoli, a vampire and Myst, a Valkyrie. That story is apart of the anthology, Playing Hard To Get.

Bowen MacRieve is a Lykae that lost his mate, Mariah, over 200 years ago. He hasn't been able to move on past her to another love because Lykae's only get one mate in life. He enters a competition, The Talisman Hie (An immortal version of Amazing Race), after being told by a Valkyrie soothsayer that The Hie is the way for him to find his mate. Bowen hopes that entering will somehow bring Mariah back to him.

When he gets there he finds out that the grand prize is a key to go back in time and change something from the past. This is a light bulb moment for Bowen because he knows that if he wins the grueling race that he will get the key that can take him back in time to change the outcome of the night that Mariah died and bring her back to the present with him.

Problem is, Bowen is immediately drawn to a fully cloaked witch who has also entered the race.

Mariketa the Awaited is a 23 year old witch who is not yet immortal and though she has great power she is unable to use it properly. She stays fully cloaked due to a prediction that basically said that when her mate finds her he will claim her readily and lock her away from her coven. Mari is very valuable to The House of Witches so to prevent loosing her to this unknown male they make her wear a red cloak at all times outside of her coven.

Mari enters the race to prove to herself and her kind that she is as powerful as she is awaited to be even though she hasn't shown it yet.

Circumstances during the race bring Mari and Bowen together in a heated exchange that not only brings about a kiss between the two but also leaves Mariketa and a few other competitors locked in an ancient Mayan tomb via Bowen. He thinks that Mari must have enchanted him since he was so drawn to her and even kissed her; he hasn't kissed another since his mate died (until Mari). Bowen also traps them in there because he is still intent on winning The Hie, and needs them out of the way. Bowen is also pretty sure that the boulder he uses to trap them within will only slow the other competitors down since Mari led him to believe that her powers were strong enough to move the boulder. Little does Bowen know that Mari and the other competitors, *along with 7 nasty incubi* stay trapped in the cave long after the competition is over.

Angry, Mari curses Bowen taking away his immortality leaving him vulnerable to death. The curse ends up making Bowen loose the Hie competition and his eye, part of his head and oh yeah, his hand too. LOL! And he is unable to regenerate them since he is no longer immortal.

The House of Witches are none to happy about their cherished witch being locked away with half dead incubi for weeks without food or water and Bowen is sent back to get her and the others or else the Lore revolution a.k.a. The Accession will go down.
He also needs to save her in order to get the immortal spell and the enchantment spell he believes Mariketa put on him removed.

And this is where things get deliciously complicated..

The Good: Bowen and Mariketa. I loved each one equally, neither outshines the other. Bowen was a strong hero and Mari was just as strong a heroine. Even with Bowen's history of depression, his reservations about Mari and his utter disdain of witches in general he was still a very sensitive yet sexy hero.

Mariketa was funny, spunky, sassy and lively (Everything I love in a heroine) a good contrast to Bowen's more serious demeanor. She even helped him come out of his shell and joke around with her too. She is just beginning to come into her powers and Bowen seems to be the only being that she is able to use them correctly on, which angers her but also makes her feel powerful. She is not taking Bowen's urge to claim her lightly, especially since she feels like she will just end up being second best to his real life mate. She also doesn't mope around about her problems, instead she does something about them.

There were many laugh out loud moments throughout the book. I literally had to put the book down, laugh, pick it back up and reread the part that was so funny and laugh again. I love it when a writer can make me laugh out loud. Nix the soothsayer Valkyrie was so hilarious. I loved all of her interactions with Bowen and hope that she one day gets a book.

The world that Cole is building is very uncomplicated, unlike many other world builders out there. I think that mastering the essence of world building in paranormal romances is a feat because the authors want to advance the world but still convey a good love story in the process. Cole did that with such ease I didn't even realize that I was retaining the intricacies of her world until after I was done reading.

I love how characters from the previous books still show up in the newer ones and still play a significant role. I find too many times while reading a series that the author seems to forget about the previous characters after their story's are done. Props to Cole for not falling into that trap.

The Bad: There wasn't much bad with this book. I honestly can not pick out a single spot that I wasn't engulfed in the story. Even in the beginning when Bowen and Mariketa aren't completely in each others orbits I was still immersed in the story being told.

The Ugly: Hmm... The evil that Mari and Bowen must face. I was totally upset for Bowen and what he'd been put through for years but it makes for a really unexpected and pleasing twist.

Since I stayed up well into the night aching to see the resolution of Mariketa and Bowen's story I give this book an A.

Click here for excerpt

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Hunger Like No Other

Book: A Hunger Like No Other
Author: Kresley Cole
Grade: B

A Hunger like No Other is the first Kresley Cole book I have read. I picked this book up after reading good reviews about the series as a whole and I'm very glad I did.

AHLNO is the first book in Kresley Cole's, Immortals After Dark series.

A mythic warrior who’ll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire Horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebb as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be...?

I'm new to Cole's writing but her style is very smooth and addictive. The characters she developed were especially good and even though Emma was said to be timid and thought herself as such she was still a very strong heroine.

Lachlin was extremely endearing despite his not so endearing acts toward Emma, from time to time. I was really able to feel his struggle with his dark side and his memories and the torture he'd spent decades enduring.

Though things moved relatively fast between Lachlin and Emma their love felt genuine. I wasn't shaking my head trying to figure out when they fell for each other and it didn't have to be spelled out for me either. It was gradual and as strange as it might seem, I just knew. Also (a biggie for me when dealing with possessive heroes in paranormal romances) is the timing of the infamous "Mine" moments. The ones in AHLNO were put in at just the right moments and I really felt the authenticity of them.

For me this novel speaks volumes about Cole's way of weaving a successful love story. She did it with an easiness and a story pacing that is rare to come by in many paranormal romances.

The love story between Lachlain and Emmaline is one of fiery passion, desire and genuine love and just enough adventure. I give this book an B.

Click here for excerpt

Friday, November 23, 2007

Beyond The Highland Mist

Book: Beyond The Highland Mist
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Grade: B-

Yes, I am very late to this series but on the plus side I have a whole seven books that I can read back to back without having to wait for them to be released.

I'm also new to Moning's writing and mystical, historical romances. Those are a lot of "new to's" but I'm down for the ride!

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistibly challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite in her. Not even the barriers or time and space could keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about flowing the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side...

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were pretty fleshed out. I felt for them especially the devastatingly handsome hero, Sidheache "Hawk" Douglas.

Hawk is a charming one; full on Alpha male with bits of Beta in his blood. Hawk is a beautiful playboy who has bedded a many women in his day. His bedroom talents are legendary in the Scottish Highlands and not just there, for a scorned Faerie Queen knows a thing or two about the Hawk and lets it be known.

Adrienne is a woman of the twentieth century (1997) who gets yanked out of her world (By a mischievous "Fool") and thrown back in time to the sixteenth century (1513). So what happens to her as soon as she comes to? Well, she is married off of course, to our delicious Hawk.

Hawk falls hard for Adrienne but she is not falling so hard for him. See, Adrienne has been wronged by a handsome man before and she does not trust them, thus ensues a mystically enchanting tale.

Their road to Happily ever after takes a while but they do make it with lots of speed bumps along the way.

I've already ordered the second book in the series To Tame a Highland Warrior and if I enjoy it as much as I did the first then Moning will have herself a new avid fan. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a well written, light hearted romance. Since I found myself becoming annoyed with Adrienne more than a couple of times during this book I'm giving it a B-. This is a pretty long series so there's always room to grow.

Click here for excerpt

Thursday, November 1, 2007

About Brie

Brie can be found perusing quiet bookstores in search of her next great read.

Hi, and welcome to my blog!

I'm Brie, an avid reader. I'm a 25 year old cosmetologist who (when not styling hair, chasing my two toddlers around or spending time with my hubby) loves to read, blog, blog hop, and think about what I'm going to read next.

I'm from Georgia and I say 'y'all' more than anyone should. I'm a horrible speller and never claimed to be a good one, so if you some across a misspelled word on my blog ignore it or send me an email telling me the correct spelling. I have no problem being corrected!

I live in Hawaii with my two daughters and husband. We are an eclectic bunch, a mixture of Puerto Rican, African American, Irish and Native American. With all those ethnicity's mixed together, I have no idea what my children are, but I like to think of them as little people with big attitudes.

I currently enjoy reading a wide assortment of books: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, and the occasional Horror are all able to keep me up, reading into the wee hours of the night.

Feel free to drop me a line anytime!

If you would like to submit a book for me to read and review, please email me at brie [at] bibliophilemusings [dot] com.

Rating System

As of February 2009 the ratings on Musings of a Bibliophile changed. In place of letter grades are now word grades. Since meanings can vary depending on the reader, I've added short explanations for each rating. Alphabetical ratings are still linked to reviews before February 2009 and can be found below the new rating system.

Exceptional. Blown Away: Exceeds expectations. Not a quibble in sight. Highly Recommended.

Worthwhile. Highly Enjoyable: The story was very good. Recommended.

Mas o Menos. So-So: Readable, but could have been better. Minor problems. Recommended with reservations.

Unsatisfying. Eh: Has some problems, not an enjoyable read, but not a completely bad one either. It sits on the fence. Buy used.

Avoid. Approach With Caution: Has some major problems and was thisclose to becoming a DNF. Save your money and get it from the library.

DNF. Did Not Finish: Not worth the paper it was printed on. Pass this one up.

Grades prior to February 2009:

A: Loved it. Loved the characters. Overall great read. Grade A Reviews

B: Liked it a lot. Good characters. Overall good read. Grade B Reviews

C: Did not really like it. Characters were okay. Could have been better. Grade C Reviews

D: Barely finished it. Characters were unlikable. Not a good read. Grade D Reviews

DNF: Did not finish. Did not like the book at all. Definite wall banger. DNF Reviews

Sensuality: Kisses, Subtle, Warm, Hot or Burning. How each book rates sensually. Sensuality Ratings

All ratings are based on my personal feelings on the books I read and only meant to be a starting point for someone looking to read a certain book. It is always best to do your homework on a book before purchasing, and not take a single review as the gospel.