Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taking a Break

I'm leaving on a nine hour flight to Georgia for my best friends wedding. TO keep from going completely mad from boredom I have my ipod ready, loaded with music and movies, and a small stack of books to read while flying:

Secrets of Desire by Madeline Hunter. I really liked Madeline Hunter's Rules of Seduction. I'm hoping that this one will be as good, maybe better.

First he'll learn her most intimate secrets. Then he'll arouse her deepest passions. He's the lover she's been waiting for: the man who can rescue her from her wicked past—for a price—in Madeline Hunter's tale of sin, seduction, and irresistible, impossible love.

He catches her eye across the dining room—a handsome stranger who stands out among the lewd noblemen and bawdy painted women. But their worlds are about to collide in a way Roselyn Longworth could never have imagined. For before the night is out, she will be auctioned off to the highest bidder...and Kyle Bradwell will lead her from one kind of hell to another. Yet from the moment he wins her, Kyle treats Rose with a gentleness she hasn't known since a family scandal destroyed her reputation. And when she finally learns what is really driving Kyle, it's too late. For Rose has fallen for the man who knows her most intimate secrets. Now he has stunned her with a proposal of marriage—the first step in a seduction that will demand nothing less than her complete surrender....


First You Run by Roxanne St. Claire. I've been meaning to read this book for a while now.

AN UNSTOPPABLE BODYGUARD ON THE HUNT.

A WOMAN HIDING A SECRET EVEN SHE DOESN'T KNOW. A PASSION THAT BEGINS WITH DANGER....

Bullet Catcher Adrien Fletcher is on a mission to track down a baby given up in a black market adoption thirty years ago. He has a list of possible names and one tantalizing clue: the infant girl had been marked with a tiny tattoo. And since tattoo-hunting will mean getting up close and personal with the women on his list, he's the perfect man for the job. But when Fletch meets Miranda Lang, he knows she can never be just a name on his list. If she's not his target, he should move on and find the right woman, despite their electrifying attraction. But Miranda is on her own mission, and every step takes her closer to a deadly trap. Fletch may be the only man who can protect her...forcing him to choose between duty and desire.


I threw in a fantasy: The Serpent Bride by Sarah Douglas. I picked this book up on a whim, the cover is hideous, though.

Sara Douglass has won legions of fans around the world for her epic tales of sorcery, forbidden love, and heart-pounding action. Now, with the DarkGlass Mountain saga, she reveals her biggest adventure yet.

Rescued from unspeakable horror, Ishbel Brunelle has devoted her life to a Serpent cult that reads the future in the entrails of its human sacrifices. But the Serpent has larger plans for Ishbel than merely being archpriestess, plans that call for a dangerous royal marriage balancing on the edge between treachery and devotion, and an eerie, eldritch warning: Prepare for the Lord of Elcho Falling . . .

And there are other dangers. For while Tencendor is gone, even its fall cannot destroy the Icarii. As the Tyrant of Isembaard reaches for glory, both StarDrifter SunSoar and his son, Axis, are pulled into the deadly dance of intrigue and sorcery. The DarkGlass Mountain—once known as the Threshold—is waiting, and as the Dark God Kanubai rises from his prison in exile, no one will escape unscathed.


And a Sience Fiction: Bright of The Sky by Kay Kenyon. I've heard good things about this series. And I need a break from romance every now and then. Helps me keep from getting burned out.

In a land-locked galaxy that tunnels through our own, the Entire is a bizarre and seductive mix of long-lived quasi-human and alien beings gathered under a sky of fire, called the bright. A land of wonders, the Entire is sustained by monumental storm walls and an exotic, never-ending river. Over all, the elegant and cruel Tarig rule supreme.

Into this rich milieu is thrust Titus Quinn, former star pilot, bereft of his beloved wife and daughter who are assumed dead by everyone on earth except Quinn. Believing them trapped in a parallel universe-one where he himself may have been imprisoned-he returns to the Entire without resources, language, or his memories of that former life. He is assisted by Anzi, a woman of the Chalin people, a Chinese culture copied from our own universe and transformed by the kingdom of the bright. Learning of his daughter's dreadful slavery, Quinn swears to free her. To do so, he must cross the unimaginable distances of the Entire in disguise, for the Tarig are lying in wait for him. As Quinn's memories return, he discovers why. Quinn's goal is to penetrate the exotic culture of the Entire-to the heart of Tarig power, the fabulous city of the Ascendancy, to steal the key to his family's redemption.

But will his daughter and wife welcome rescue? Ten years of brutality have forced compromises on everyone. What Quinn will learn to his dismay is what his own choices were, long ago, in the Universe Entire. He will also discover why a fearful multiverse destiny is converging on him and what he must sacrifice to oppose the coming storm.


Be back next week with reviews. Have a lovely rest of the week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lover Enshrined


Book: Lover Enshrined
Author: J.R. Ward
Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6
Grade: A-
Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself- she sees the emotionally scarred male behind all his noble responsibility. But while the war with the Lessening Society grows more grim, and tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, Phury must decide between duty and love.


Disclaimer: I'm grading Lover Enshrined based on the whole story, because it is romance-lite. If I graded it on the romance alone then it wouldn't cut the mustard. There are some spoilers in this review, you will have to highlight to see them. This review is long, sorries.

My enjoyment of Lover Enshrined came as a surprise. I will admit to not liking Lover Unbound much at all, and before that Lover Revealed wasn't that good of a read for me either. I had also read advance reviews and ended up not being hyped up about it. But then I started reading spoilers and my interest was finally sparked. Because of being spoiled up to my eyeballs, I knew just about everything that was going to happen, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the story one bit.

Lover Enshrined is 534 pages long. There are multiple POV's in the book, I think I counted about 9 but there could be more. There are lots of surprises, much blood shed and some cringe worthy moments along with tender ones. What I felt was lacking in Lover Unbound was full front in Lover Enshrined and then some.

I'll begin with going over Phury and his first mate Cormia's story thread. Those of us who are familiar with this series know Phury as the "hero" the "savior", the "pansy ass" the addict. He is all of that and more in Lover Enshrined. Phury has taken over as Primale for the vampire race. He is to sire children with the Chosen that will go on to become brothers and other Chosen. This is needed for the race to survive. The brothers numbers are dwindling and the Chosen are dying out. They need more young. The problem is that Phury can't bring himself to begin the process. He should have already completed the ceremony by sleeping with his first mate Cormia, but it's five months after he stepped up to the plate, and he's nowhere near close to doing so.

Mentally, Phury is messed up. He has a voice in his head that talks to him. Phury has named the little downer that voices nothing but negatives, The Wizard. The Wizard points out all of Phury's failures and eggs on his addiction. Being in the horrible place that he is, Phury doesn't fight the voice he plays into it. Which causes him more trouble, keeps him from doing what must be done, and makes him nothing more than an addict.

In Lover Enshrined all of his problems, beginning with the kidnapping of his twin, the years of neglect he felt, and his hero complex come to a head, basically bringing him to a sink or swim option.

I wasn't sure how much I would like a hero that was an addict with a low self worth. I thought for sure that I would hate it, and it's not that I liked it, but overall I thought that Ward did a great job of showing the struggle that addicts go through.

Cormia, Phury's first mate, surprised me the most. I wasn't expecting much and luckily, I got a lot. Cormia has already decided that she loves Phury. Since Phury hardly notices her, she adores him from afar. Phury is slow on the uptake and he makes bad decision after bad decision with Cormia because he doesn't feel worthy of her. He doesn't feel worthy of anything, and his addiction and the Wizard don't help matters at all.

Cormia was not the mealy-mouthed heroine that I feared she would be. She had her own fierceness and spunk and she wasn't afraid to show it. She became just as frustrated with Phury and his hangups as I did, and she told him the things I wanted to say. That basically his strength, all of his self sacrificing, and hanging onto the illusion of Bella, and even the root of his celibacy; the reasoning he used behind it all, was a lie. Which it was.

Before reading LEn I wondered if Cormia would be strong enough of a heroine for Phury, but the further I got into the book the more I wondered if Phury would ever be a strong enough hero for her. Eventually things work out, as they always do in romances, but not without a lot of challenges first.

The second thread in this story that interested me was Rehvenge's, the half sympath, half vampire, owner of the club ZeroSum, and Phury's dealer. In Lover Awakened we learned that Rehv was being blackmailed. This book reveals the person behind the blackmail, delves into his twisted relationship with that person, and answers a few questions about Rehv while adding on a crap pile more. Rehv is a complicated character, he's forced to hide his sympath side with the use of dopamine that is negatively affecting his body. Things with the blackmailer add insult to injury in relation to that, and we find out some interesting info about his sexual ... ahem ... technical difficulties or something. Spoiler: (((Rehv has a barb. Yes, a barb attached to his penis. Like a cat. ;o)))

I was hoping that the excerpt at the back of the book would provide an answer to the Rehv's future mate question, it didn't. The excerpt was a snippet from the compendium that deals with Bella and Z. Yawn I'm a little tired of those two. So there are no solid facts on who Rehv's mate will be, but I have my ideas.

Along with Rehv we see more of Xhex, the female half sympath that's a bouncer in Rehv's club. Like all of Ward's characters there is more to her than her outwardly hard-ass appearance. I found her interactions with John intriguing as well as the way she handles her sympath side. We know that Rehv uses dopamine to dull his sympath senses, Xhex uses something a little more archaic. Talk about painful.

We also get more insight into the Sympath side of their world. Which totally freaked me out in ways that left me wanting more. Strange, I know.

Then there is the John, Qhuinn and Blay. These three are really good together. Their friendship came off the pages as they grew into characters that I was able to see more as adult males than boys. It wasn't until this book that I saw John as anything other than a pretrans, even though he transitioned in Lover Unbound. John is still dealing with the loss of Tohr, the vampire that he looked to as a father. He's coming into his own, finding himself sexually attracted to Xhex, and dealing with past demons that find their way to light.

Qhuinn becomes fleshed out in this book. We find out more about the playboy that gives us a deeper sense of his character. Qhuinn's family life sucked and I felt for him.

Sheesh, Ward does tortured males like no other.

Speaking of tortured males, Spoiler: ((( Ward went "there" again with Qhuinn and Blay... totally V and Butch style, ya know? And like Butch and V, it amounted to nothing. I'm not bitter about that because I saw none of the chemistry between Q and Blay that I did between Butch and V. Yes, they love each other, but the attraction was was a little too one-sided for me to become invested. And a good thing I didn't because Ward cut it off at the knees again.)))

Next up are the Lessers. Yup, they have a POV again. The book starts out with a big surprise that deals with the Omega. This revelation makes the Lessers a bigger, badder match against the Brothers than they have previously been. In LEn the blood shed hit it's highest point in the series and things look like they are only going to get worse.

Lastly, I'm going to touch on the relationship between Phury and Z. The twins. Z took a tough love approach with Phury's addiction. He pretty much admitted that he couldn't deal with facing Phury's death. He had his own worries with Bella's pregnancy, so he had to quit worrying about Phury. I had mixed feelings about this, mainly because Phury gave a lot to Z, did a lot for him. Sure, Phury was messed up in the head, but for Z to pretty much wash his hands of him ... I didn't know if I liked that angle too much. But after thinking on it, I've come to the conclusion that not only is that who Z is, that is, in a way, what Phury needed. Z never tried to be the savior, he's not made up that way, so expecting him to act the part for his brother, the way Phury had for him wasn't a realistic expectation.

Aside from that I still found their interactions to be touching. What it all boils down to is that they love each other. How they show it may be different but they do love each other.

Overall, Lover Enshrined was a good book. But if you're looking for a big romance, you will be disappointed. While Phury and Cormia are the romance story in this book, they were not the only focus. They are two of many. The book has a "Love during war time" vibe, with a lot going on but a thread of romance seaming through at the same time. If that makes sense.

All in all this is a way better book than Lover Unbound, at the same time it's very different from the previous books. It is the start of something new and I have a feeling that the rest of the books in this series will play out in this same vein. For me, Ward proved that she hasn't lost her edge or her writing skills, if anything they have improved and expanded. If I was rating this book based on the romance then the grade would fall somewhere around a low C. Because I'm grading this on a story scale, Grade A-.


Lover Enshrined Giveaway!


In the spirit of the books release, I will be giving away a copy of Lover Enshrined. If you want to be entered in this giveaway simply drop a comment telling me who your favorite BDB shellan is and why. Why shellan? Because the males always get love, what about the females, huh? Since I want to be as fair as possible, the winner will be picked randomly using a number generator. First commenter is number 1, second number 2, so on and so forth. Contest ends May 30th.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Giveaways

The ladies at Book Binge are having a book give away. The prize is a copy of the first book in Jessica Anderson's new Final Prophecy series, Night Keepers. The cover quote is from J.R. Ward, which is always a plus.

And...


I had the pleasure of reading Lover Enshrined recently and (this may end up being an dissenting opinion, but I'm putting it out there now) I liked it a lot. A review for that will be up real soon. And for the hell of it, I'm having my first giveaway. The winner will get a copy of Lover Enshrined. So look out for that with the review.

That is all.

To Taste Temptation


Book: To Taste Temptation
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Category: Historical
Series: The Legend of the Four Soldiers, Book 1
Grade: C-
The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they're giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn't know, though, is that Samuel is in London because of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won't rest until he finds the traitor.

Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother's death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood--and Emeline's fiancé. Despite Emeline's belief in Vale's innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel's investigation?

The synopsis sums this story up well enough for me to not have to, so I'll focus on my thoughts about this book.

To Taste Temptation was just an "okay" read for me. There was nothing special that stood out to me about either Emeline or Samuel. Samuel was kinda of boring and self centered. And Emeline was very up tight. The only time that I was able to look past their major differences and not be annoyed by either one was while they were sexing up the pages, which sucks because I was intrigued with the differences between the two in the beginning, but all of that fizzled out as the story progressed.

Emeline not only lives under the strict rules of the ton she also enforces them on herself and those around her, including her son. This left me feeling cold towards the character. I guess that it was hard to warm up to her and I never really did. She had resigned herself to propriety, becoming the perfect specimen of it, and I was totally unimpressed with that and her character.

My dislike of Samuel came from his inability to see how much that his sister idolized him. She secretly yearned for a deeper relationship with Samuel, but many times he brushed her aside in favor of his advancements on the uptight Emeline. After his disregard for Rebecca occurred again and again I began to see Rebecca as more of a tool to get Samuel what he wanted: Emeline, rather than a sister that he truly cared about. Yeah, I wasn't feeling that.

I did find the story of Rebecca and the footman to be a bit interesting. I'm assuming that she will get a book of her own and the footman will be her hero. Hopefully in that book the problems Rebecca had with her lack of relationship with Samuel will be dealt with.

I thought that the mystery plot was overdrawn with Samuel running the streets at night in moccasins, peeking into people's windows. It also didn't help that I easily figured out who the leak was.

Hoyt's writing was good but I wasn't engrossed in the book. Her style came off as dry to me, something that I never experienced with her previous books. Maybe it was the characters' dryness that dragged the writing down, I'm not sure. I'm not giving up on Hoyt, even though I'm not amped up about To Seduce a Sinner, the next release in this series. I wasn't particularly taken with either Melisande or Vale; heroine and hero of that upcoming book. Their appearances in To Taste Temptation weren't impressive. Still, I hope for a better read with them. And far as TTT goes, Grade C-.

Excerpt

Dark Desires After Dusk


Book: Dark Desires After Dusk
Author: Kresley Cole
Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: Immortals After Dark, Book 6
Grade: A-
A seductive beauty he can never have, yet can't resist...
Cade of the rage demons will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she should fear, but can't deny...
Raised as a human, Holly Ashwin never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon’s wicked touch.

Surrender to dark desires...
Yet just when he earns Holly’s trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs—and claim his heart?

This was another enjoyable read from Kresley Cole's IAD series. Going into this book I was a little wary. I knew that the heroine had OCD. I struggled heavily with the condition for six years, roughly (and still have my quirks). So reading a book about an OCD heroine worried me for two reasons:

1) I worried if Cole would do a good job portraying an OCD character.
2) I worried if Cole would do too good a job of portraying an OCD character. As I'm always concerned about something triggering my compulsions.

Suffice it to say, Holly came off very realistic to me. After I got past her fixation on multiples of three, which bothered me at first because I like symmetry and even numbers/multiples of two, it was smooth reading and a fun ride with no nasty side effects on my side.

Holly is a halfling: Half human half Valkyrie. She was raised by humans totally unaware of her Valkyrie lineage until she is kidnapped by demons with the intent to impregnate her with their demon seed. See, Holly is the Vessel. She is coveted because impregnating her will guarantee a child of either pure evil or pure good, depending on the father. Of course, the bad guys want her because they want that evil child, and the same could be said for the good guys wanting a purely good child. And Cade wants her, not only because he's positive that she's his mate, Holly is also the key to him righting his long ago wrong.

Holly is thrust into this new world where her Valkyrie side, powers and strength are new to her. She is without her medication and traveling with a Demon that throws all of her careful planning and meticulous living out of whack. She is attracted to him and scared of that attraction. Plus she has claws and fangs that sprang overnight. In short, she is on a thin string ready to snap at any moment. She handles it well.

It was really great having a Demon hero. Cole has given us Vampires and Lykae's before so it was nice to have a deviation from that with a sexy Demon. Cade was responsible for his brother Rhydstrom losing his place at the throne of the Woede Demons. His goal since then has been to get Rhyd his rightful place back. But he never thought that the only way to do that would be to give up the mate he has waited 900 years for.

Once Cade turns Holly over to The Groot, this nasty dude who wants the "Vessel" and holds the key to killing Omort the Deathless--the demon who stole Rhyd's kingdom--the power of the kingdom will be relinquished back to Rhyd. Only one problem: Cade is not so sure that he will be able to turn his mate over after finally finding her.

Dark Desires After Dusk was a good read for me. The characterization was great on Holly's part. There was no miraculous freedom from her OCD. She just learned how to deal with it better. Cade was a great hero with horns. He is totally action where Holly is think first, act second. They were very yin and yang so to speak, and made quite the duo. Cole did a great job with this book, it's one of my favorite's of the bunch now. Grade A-.

Excerpt

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guest Review + More


Book: Mistress
Author: Amanda Quick
Genera: Historical

This one is up as a guest review at The Book Binge. Check it out if you like.






------

Upcoming Reviews:

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (Classic Romance Challenge Book for May).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Queen's Bastard Review


Book: The Queen's Bastard
Author: C.E. Murphy
Category: Fantasy (Political)
Series: Inheritors Cycle, Book 1
Grade: B+

{A femme fatale (plural: femmes fatales) is an alluring and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. She is an archetypal character of literature and art.}

I posted previously about Meriam from Rape and Adverbs bringing up the subject of femme fatales. At that point I was yet to read a book featuring a lead female character that fit the mold of a femme fatale. After reading The Queen's Bastard, I have changed my tune.

Belinda Primrose is by all intents and purposes a femme fatale. The definition fits her character perfectly. Belinda, trained to be an assassin from birth, is a woman that uses her wiles to gain political secrecy for her country and unacknowledged mother, The Queen of Aulun, Lorriane. Under the command of her father Robert, Belinda is sent on missions that range from gathering enemy intelligence to killing those who threaten the Queen's throne.

Her most recent mission sends her to Lutetia where she is required to gain information that will prove that Sandalia, the Princess of Lutetia, wants to have Lorraine killed. To gain this information Belinda must align herself with people in high places, and she happens to do that more easily than she had planed by catching the eye of a merchant, Marius. Marius goes on to introduce Belinda to his best friend, the Prince of Luticia - and son of Sandalia - Javier.

Javier is taken with Belinda immediately, he recognizes something in her that he has found in no one outside of himself. An alien power that he refers to as witchbreed. Belinda's witchbreed power was taken from her at a young age when her father (a carrier of the power as well) realized how strong it was. But with the help of Javier, Belinda is able to cultivate her power again, in ways she had never imagined. While Belinda is quickly coming into her witchbreed, she is still on a mission to gain the intelligence that will take Sandalia down.

The Queen's Bastard reads much like a chess game. Each player: a part of the game, working strategically for and against the queen. All vying for a coveted seat at the throne. This aspect alone held enough intrique to keep me turning the pages but the heroine(?) in this book is what made it so interesting.

I mentioned above that Belinda is a femme fatale. 'Tis true. Some of the acts she commits during this book are cruel, and most of them involve the use of her body. A lot of her sexual dominance can be attributed to her coming into her power so quickly. The strength that she gets from it acts also as desire inside of her. Unlike Javier, who was able to come into his power gradually over time, Belinda's came almost from nowhere, and her power appears to stretch further than Javier's is able to. Even still, Belinda used her sexuality far before she came fully into her witchbreed as a means to the information she had to gain.

What I found most fascinating about Belinda is that in spite of some of her actions and cruelty, she is a likeable character. She is somewhat sympathetic. I credit Murphy greatly for this. Writing a female character as strong, confident, and dominant as Belinda, and still making her vulnerable could not have been easy. I appreciated that Belinda never harps on the fact that she is a bastard, and in employ of a mother that will not recognize her as a daughter. Too often a sore spot in a character's life is used as an excuse for their actions. Belinda has no excuses, she is even loyal to the woman who birthed her where many wouldn't be. This made me like her all the more.

Something I wasn't sure about in the beginning of the book was the large host of characters that inhabit the pages. I wondered if they each served a real purpose, and how I would keep them all in order. I was happy to find that each one was bright in their own way. Not one fades to the back of my mind. I can remember each by name, and I remember what their purpose was in the book. With a large cast, I find that commendable.

My only complaint is that the book ended without giving much insight to the witchbreed, other than what we gain from Belinda's assumptions. I would have liked a bit more expansion on the matter, especially after finding out that there is another witchbreed out there with a mother at the throne. That makes three young witchbreed's with Queens' for mothers. Very interesting.

I have been waffling between an A grade and a B. After writing this review I still don't know where I stand with it. I enjoyed the writing, the characters were all drawn remarkably well, and I was left wanting more answers; much like Belinda is at the end of the book. I guess that will have to wait for book 2, The Pretender's Crown. For the first book in the series, grade B+.

Excerpt

Friday, May 2, 2008

Blogging Around

I started reading Demon Moon and realized that Savi and Colin are featured in Demon Angel. Gasp! I must read Demon Angel first. I can't stand reading a book out of order. Plus I need a better grasp on the world Brook is building. So yeah, Demon Moon must wait.

While blogging around I came across some fun stuff I must share.

Photobucket Meriam from Rape and Adverbs has a great post up about women in fiction and the definition of a femme fatale. After much thought I couldn't come up with a heroine that I've read that would count as a femme fatale, maybe you can?

Photobucket Rachel from What I Am Reading is Paying it Forward and giving away a box of books:

See No Evil by Allison Brennan
Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen
You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Noone Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
Away by Amy Bloom
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kid
Confessions of a Wicked Woman by Susanna Carr
Hands on by Amie Stewart
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Cop by Cara Summers (Blaze)
Packed with Pleasure by Lori Wilde (Blaze)

Enter this contest here.

Photobucket Katiebabs from Ramblings on Romance will be posting a review of Lover Enshrined this weekend. I'm eager for this review, especially since J.R. Ward's not giving out another excerpt for this book before its release. Apparently sharing another taste of the book will give away too much. :(

Photobucket On a much happier note, C.L. Wilson has an excerpt up for the upcoming King of Sword and Sky. It promises to be everything that the previous two were, nothing short of great.

Photobucket Also, Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers have a great interview with C.L. Wilson posted on their blog.

Moon Called Review


Book: Moon Called
Author: Patricia Briggs
Category: Fantasy
Series: Mercedes Thompson Book 1
Grade: B+
(No Synopsis)

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a skinwalker with the ability to shift from human form to coyote. She works as a mechanic in her own shop where she repairs Volkswagen's and a few other models here and there. One day while at work, a young werewolf shows up at her shop. The werewolf, Mac, is in pretty bad shape. Not only does he appear to be homeless, but he's not in full control of his wolf; something that wouldn't happen if he was in a Pack. Taking sympathy on him and his situation, Mercy offers Mac a job helping her out with the car repairs.

Things are going relatively well until Mercy makes a trip to her shop late one night and finds Mac in a serious conversation with a human and a werewolf she doesn't recognize. An altercation breaks out and Mercy ends up mistakenly killing the strange werewolf while the human gets away.

With a dead werewolf to clean up and no other options, she calls in the help of her neighbor, and local werewolf Pack Alpha, Adam. Curious about the situation she stumbled upon, Mercy questions Mac and finds out that after he was turned he was taken away, locked up, and experimented on. Mercy turns that information along with Mac, over to Adam.

Her life should have gone back to normal after that, but Mac's dead body shows up on her doorstep, and Mercy finds Adam drugged and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Jesse, gone. Realizing that the people behind Mac's torture and eventual death are the same ones who attacked Adam and kidnapped Jesse, Mercy sets out to find the culprits. But not without the help of a few other fae that range in existence from an werewolf ex boyfriend, eccentric witch, oddly friendly vampire, and a wise gremlin.

My thoughts:

Moon Called was an enjoyable read for me. Mercy is a cool chick. She's strong but still womanly. In a world where most of the fae are powerful she's just a little coyote, not much of a match against the other fae but still a force in her own right.

Something that I really liked about this book was the world building. It's simplistic enough, but fascinating at the same time. Mercy lives in a world very much like our own, but at the same time it's totally alternate history/universe- where most of the fae live out in the open with the human population.

I usually steer away from books written in first person. For me, they tend to give off an exclusionary feeling, like I'm not getting to know all of the characters well. I'm happy to say that I didn't feel separated from any of the characters that Mercy encounters during the course of the story. The writing was smooth enough that I forgot that the book was first person and became lost in the story being told.

Moon Called was an overall good read, it left me anxious to jump into Blood Bound, Book 2 in the Mercedes Thompson series. B+


Excerpt