Saturday 31 December 2011

Review: Twice Bitten - Chloe Neill

Series: Chicagoland vampires #3
Genre: It does not feel like UF anymore so UFR
Pages: 355
Published: 2010
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: Library

Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission. 

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

My thoughts:
I am going to make this short because everything I hoped this series would be fell apart in this book and right now I am just annoyed for having read it.

I am annoyed at Ethan because he is an arrogant jerk and I can't see why Merit likes him, cos he is hot? Aye, but he is a jerk and I want to kick him in the crutch. I am annoyed at Merit because she no longer felt kick-ass, she felt weak and she should have known better. I am annoyed at them together because I honestly could not feel the attraction. They like each other a lot..yes but I no longer feel it.

I am annoyed at the tone too, I should be not be. I like it light, but right now it felt like her saying it is a vampire frat house just is too true. No one is acting like adults anymore, they are kids in one big house. It even felt a bit too YA.

As you can see I was not that happy about this book, and still the writing was so much better than other books that have gotten a higher grade from me. But the difference is that I enjoyed those books, while here the word for the day is annoyed and I am sad. If I can't respect the characters I got nothing left.

*sad reader*


Happy New YEAR I wish you all a great new year and many more good books to read. I am also grateful for all the new bloggers I have met this year, and the old ones that have gotten to know better. My blog would be nothing without you all :D

Thursday 29 December 2011

Review: Rise of Empire - Michael J.Sullivan

Series: The Riyria Revelations #2 (3 and 4)
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 656
Published: Dec 2011
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Xmas pressie :)

The adventure continues as Royce and Hadrian aid the struggling kingdom of Melengar as it alone stands in defiance against the newly formed empire. War approaches and a desperate gamble behind enemy lines is their only chance at forming an alliance with the Nationalists to the south. 

But Royce has plans of his own as he uses this opportunity to discover if an ancient wizard is using Riyria as pawns in his own bid for power. To find the truth, Royce must unravel Hadrian's hidden past. What he discovers will lead them to the end of the known world on a journey rife with treachery and intrigue. 

My thoughts:
Here is where you hear me swearing because I do not have book 3 ready *insert curse*. I seriously need more, and this coming from someone who has done pretty much nothing else than read for 2 days straight. Sp sorry if nothing I say make sense in this review.

Ok where to start? That is always the question, I am still high on good book, I do love fantasy, I just love to read without stopping and just feel that I am getting lost in another world, that nothing else exists anymore. And that is what this book manages to do for me, it is old school fantasy, and I adore old school fantasy. The adventure, the intrigues, the fact that I just feel so at home in whatever world is created. It feels like coming home.

Hadrian and Royce are the best, to have friends like that, now that would be something. I do admit to liking Royce a bit more, but that is cos of his origin, I have always had a soft spot for his kind. And Hadrian is so sweet, I do hope he finds the girl I want him to find.

As for the rest, Arista has grown a lot. Poor Empress, her I fear for, the baddies, omg, the baddies are so evil! Just like they should be. I truly hate them because they are so set in they ways. I really want more info about the elves. And then there are a bunch of others we meet in this story, all good to love or hate.

I am rambling again, why do I always ramble? I kind of wanted to hug this book when it ended cos I was happy. There is nothing better than a book that leaves you happy. And with this I mean it was a good bool because the end, yes bad things are going to happen in the next book if people are not stopped.

If you have not noticed by now I liked this book, and i can't wait to read book 3. It is pre-ordered and it should arrive in a month or so. And I really need my pretty print copy cos this is one big bool.

Well duh, yes of course I recommend it. Just let yourself be swept away by this fantasy adventure

Something is going on in those pants, seriously check on a bigger pic, it looks weird.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Review: The Summer of You - Kate Noble

Series: The Blue Raven #2
Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 352
Published: 2010
Publisher: Berkley
Source: My own

Lady Jane Cummings is certain that her summer is ruined when she is forced to reside at isolated Merrymere Lake with her reckless brother and ailing father. Her fast-paced London society is replaced with a small town grapevine. But one bit of gossip catches Jane's attention- rumors that the lake's brooding new resident is also an elusive highwayman. 

Jane must face the much discussed mysterioso after he saves her brother from a pub brawl. She immediately recognizes him from London: Byrne Worth, war hero and apparent hermit-whom she finds strangely charming. The two build a fast friendship, and soon nothing can keep this Lady away from Merrymere's most wanted. Convinced of his innocence, Jane is determined to clear Byrne's name-and maybe have a little fun this summer after all. 

My thoughts:
I did not like it as good as book 1, or book 3 for that matter, but it was still a very good book. And I truly loved the hero. I can't put my finger on what made it slightly not as good since the couple was great, the village quaint, the plot good, and, oh it is a mystery.

To the story then. The couple met briefly in book 1, but do not worry, this one can be read wonderfully on its own, and I must also say that I like that I read book 3 before this one. Because Jason was sure a child at the beginning of this one, not yet grown up mentally to take over the estate, even if he is 24. Anyway, it is not his story, it is Jane's. Jane who I did not like that much in book 1, and now suddenly, yes I liked her. She has a lot to think about, with her father being ill, and her mourning her mother, and she has also grown up. I also liked that she has a streak of rebellion in her. Cos I sure would not want to find a highwayman and put him behind bars.

The hero, oh, yes I loved him. Byrne is broken, and I do like a broken hero. He is the village hermit who scowls at everyone. He does not want company, he does not want pity and he is in pain after the war. To see him smile as she brought out the best in him was the best in this novel.

And then we have the whole village who does not like Byrne. A young Miss who thinks she is in love with Jason, Jason who just want to have fun (and not meet the village ladies), and a nice look at the daily life of them all. Together it brings out the best in everyone, and the worst.

The sweetness, it is the sweetness that I like about these, and the fact that they wait and not jump each other at once. 

Cute, but a want a face and the colors are a bit...

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Interview and contest; Phillipa Ashley - Carrie goes off the map

Today I have Phillipa Ashley over for an interview and at the end of it there will be a giveaway of her new book, Carrie goes off the map.


1. Now who is Phillipa Ashley?
My PR blurb reads:
Phillipa Ashley loves writing lively, sexy, funny romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist. Her first novel, Decent Exposure – titled DATING MR DECEMBER for the US – won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. She lives in an English village with her husband and daughter.
It’s true I do love writing sexy, funny emotional stories but I also love escaping to the great outdoors, swimming, hiking and body boarding. Unfortuinately, I also love biscuits, crisps and wine so you would never know I like to keep active to look at me!

2. Could you tell me about your new book Carrie goes off the map?
Carrie Brownhill, recently dumped by her fiancé, is determined to get away from men forever. Yet she finds herself stuck in a VW camper van careening through the English countryside with the intriguing Matt Landor, MD, and he seems to be just what the doctor ordered for a broken heart...

3. What give you the inspiration to write this road story book?
The idea came time one morning when I was working with the radio on. The DJ played the old Yvonne Fair song, It Should Have Been Me – that’s the song about a jilted woman who stands up and objects in the church at her ex’s wedding. In fact, the book was called It Should Have Been Me in the UK and the story is partly about the characters regrets about what might have happened if events had taken a different turn –and how they can move forward to a new life. I thought a road trip would be the perfect vehicle to get the characters up close and personal – and help them work out their new paths in life.

4. Give me three reasons why readers will fall for your book.
1. Matt – referred to as ‘a Dirty Mr. Darcy’ by one of the characters. He’s gorgeous and infuriating, funny and very very sexy.
2. Carrie – she’s a bit of a drama queen anyway and losing her fiancé, home and livelihood in one fell swoop almost tips her over the edge. I hope her journey back from a very unhappy place will make readers laugh and cry.
3. Dolly. The bright orange vintage campervan which Carrie and Matt use for their road trip. We hired a vintage van (called Bill) for research and let me tell you, they are fun but very quirky vehicles…

5.  Who would play Rowena and Matt if a movie was being made?
Do you mean Carrie? She’s feisty, funny and a bit of a firecracker so I think she’d have to be played by an actress who can do comedy and poignancy – someone like Sophie Winkleman (who is married to a minor royal called Lord Frederick Windsor!) As for Matt, as he was inspired by a photo of Richard Armitage that appeared in the Sunday Times magazine, so I can only say that Richard has to be Matt! I know who’d be perfect for Rowena, Carrie’s best friend – a very funny English comedy actress called Katherine Parkinson.

6. Could you tell me a bit about your other books too since you have published a few?
I’ve had five books published so far. Four of them were previously published in the UK and are now being released by Sourcebooks, including Carrie Goes off the Map. I think the best way of summing up my books is to use a quote from my Sourcebooks editor, Deb Werksman, who sends every one of her authors a Happy Holidays greeting via the Casablanca blog.  My greeting read:
 “Phillipa Ashley - just the right amount of fun, poignancy, snark and British wit”
That makes me smile whenever I see it!

7. Last question, any advice to writers out there?
There is so much conflicting advice that I hesitate to add my own in case I’m sending someone down the wrong path. That’s the whole crux about writing, you have to find your own way in terms of your voice, your genre and creative process. However, it’s a given that you should try to be true to your own personality when you write and work hard at honing your craft. Oh, and never give up (and most writers, even multi-published ones feel like giving up at some point, even if they’d never let on!)

Thanks for inviting me onto your blog and Happy Holidays to you and all of your readers!

1 copy of Carrie goes off the map

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends Jan 5
3. Just enter :) There is nothing more to it than that

Good luck!

Carrie Brownhill, recently dumped by her fiancé, is determined to get away from men forever. Yet she finds herself stuck in a VW camper van careening through the English countryside with the intriguing Matt Landor, MD, and he seems to be just what the doctor ordered for a broken heart...

Monday 26 December 2011

Review: Wanderlust - Ann Aguirre

1.) Reasons you chose this book 
I read book 1, perhaps 2 years ago and enjoyed it.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book 
I disliked it for the stupid reason that it was just too long ago I read it. I remembered what had happened but who and what everyone did was another thing. And I felt kind of confused. Because if this I can't say if it was only that or if there was something else that bothered me too.

I also felt that the Jax I remembered from book 1 was not around, and I did not like March either in this one.

I liked it because it felt different, sci-fi, a bit of romance, evil aliens, and new things for our Heroine to do.

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book 
Even if I did not have the best of times with it I would still recommened it to Aguirre fans and readers who want to try sci-fi that aren't that I mean it is girly sci-fi with romance in it.

Sirantha Jax doesn’t take chances…she jumps at them… 

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for the Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now the word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and their stranglehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled—which means that Jax is out of a job. 

She’s also broke, due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax takes it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince them to join the Conglomerate. 

But Jax’s payday is light years away. First, she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive

Pages: 312
Published: 2008
Publisher: Ace
Source: My own
Genre. Sci-fi, romance
Series: Sirantha Jax #2

Friday 23 December 2011

Friday Fiction Flash

I usually post these over at my LJ account but since it is close to xmas and I got nothing else for you all today I will post it here :)

Dottie over at Tink's Place has come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge.  Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to  participate - you post your story on Friday - 350 words, give or take. 

The Eve before Christmas
by Blodeuedd

Miranda shivered as more snow fell this dark winter night. It was the Eve before Christmas and she was alone and tired. But mostly she was cold, so very cold that it felt like her skin was solid ice. Her nose was redder than Rudolph’s, and she no longer felt her toes. But still she stood still in the deserted park. When she was about to give up she heard the crunch of snow beneath shoes and she looked out from behind her lamppost.  A man dressed in black slowly came out from the woods. He was not dressed for winter, instead he wore a suit that would have worked just as well on a cool summer night. His dark hair flowed in the wind and small snowflakes made it glisten in the moonlight. His face, no, she could not even describe it.

“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas little one.” The man  her said and she looked at him with hungry eyes.
“Do you have it?” she asked and came closer. His beauty made her skin even colder but she braved it and now stood before him. The Winter Prince himself.
“Of course.” He gave her his wrist and she no longer knew reason or fear. She grabbed it with cold fingers and sunk her teeth in it. She struggled as always as her teeth would not break the skin but she got there. And she drank the sweet nectar of the Gods.
The prince laughed and petted her head.” Oh ye silly humans, “ he murmured while she drank greedily. The he took his wrist away and she whimpered.
“More,” she begged and fell to her knees.” Please my lord.”
But he just shook his head.” Only if you give me something in return.”
Now she started to cry and he gave her his wrist again. Just a few drops more and she knew she would make it through another year. The strength of the fairies would flow in her veins and nothing could stop her. She would be beautiful and powerful, and not the empty husk that she always turned into in December.
“My price.”
She nodded and hurried to the bench nearby.
“Hush hush,” she whispered and took out the child hidden underneath it. She then gave it to the prince whose eyes showed what the child would be for. But she closed her mind from the truth.
“Freely given of your own blood is feely taken,” he said and walked back into the shadows.
Miranda stood still in the snow for a while before heading back home. Blood of the gods always came with a heavy price.


yes I told Dottie I would go dark again, and dark I went, mouwahahahah

Thursday 22 December 2011

Review: Wolfsbane and Mistletoe anthology

Genre: Urban fantasy 
Pages: 384
Published: 2010
Publisher: Penguin
Source: I won it :)

The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone- particularly lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest, saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand. 

Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

Sookie finds a wounded shifter in the forest, it's Christmas and she is all alone and takes him home. This one had a little heat in it, a tiny bit. But it was a good and surprising story.
Edit: I read this one last year actually in another anthology

The Haire of the Beast by Donna Andrews 
This was a short one (but then they all are short) and I liked what the heroine did...and I am not telling you ;)

Lucy, at Christmastime by Simon R. Green 
Not much happened in this one except for a surprise that was thrown in, and which made me like it.

The Night Things Changed by Dana Cameron 
I am not sure about this one. A vampire sister and brother tracks down a baddie, but I was just not that interested.

The Werewolf Before Christmas by Kat Richardson 
Poor reindeer, lol. A werewolf starts munching on them and Santa is not happy. Good enough.

Fresh Meat by Alan Gordon 
I liked this one and mostly because at first I did not know what to make of it.

Il Est Ne by Carrie Vaughn 
Would this one make me read the Kitty books...ok perhaps not, but still ok.

The Perfect Gift by Dana Stabenow
I was a bit confused but this one, it should be fleshed out more.

Christmas Past by Keri Arthur 
Eh, boring.

SA by J.A. Konrath 
This one was freaky, and you know I like also got poop in it..yup, poop.

The Star of David by Patricia Briggs 
Perhaps cos I always expect so much I got disappointed.

You’d Better Not Pyout by Nancy Pickard 
I had not guessed that about Santa, I liked the twist and yes I could see it ;)

Rogue Elements by Karen Chance 
I'd read a book by her, enough said.

Milk and Cookies by Rob Thurman 
At first I was not sure but the end, oh that messed up ending was the best. Christmas joy.

Keeping Watch Over His Flock by Toni L.P. Kelner 
And I can't remember a single thing about this one...

Some good ones, some not so good ones. But that is me and anthologies, I never like all the stories. Because in the end I want long stories and things are never really fleshed out in these and it is hard to connect. But as an xmas anthology it works well.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Review: Christmas in Lucky Harbor - Jill Shalvis

Series: Lucky Harbor 1 and 2
Genre: Contemporary romance
Pages:  684, print
Published: Nov 1, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: netgalley

Simply Irresistible
After losing her boyfriend and her job, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim her inheritance-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. She sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if she can give the inn the makeover it needs. Enter Jax, a tall, handsome contractor who knows exactly what Maddie needs...

The Sweetest Thing
Helping her sister set up the family inn is just the thing to make Tara forget her ex-husband and focus on her new life. Until she meets a sexy, green-eyed sailor determined to keep her hot, bothered, and in his bed. When her ex reappears, Tara must confront her past and decide what she really wants.

If the sisters are lucky, they might just find that everything their hearts desire is right here in Lucky Harbor.

My thoughts:

Simply Irresistible 
Two books in one, now who can say no to that. Therefore I will also try to make this a bit shorter. 

Maddie comes to Lucky Harbor to take over an Inn. She meets her sisters again too. Together they are the Steel magnolia, the wild child and the Mouse. And yes poor Maddie is the mouse. She has taken some crap in her life and it was nice to see her learning to stand up for herself in this one. She grew stronger. 

In comes Jax, the hottie on a motorcycle. Oh yes sparks fly there at once, but Maddie has been hurt and always takes a step back. Which makes sense, but I also liked how Jax did not give up. He took his small steps forward and showed her that he wanted more. I do like a man who knows what he wants. 

The chemistry between these two are sizzling and there is a lot of smexing going on in this book that is so sweet. The chemistry between the sisters also works well, and I do want to read their stories next. 

I liked the book and it was just sweet you know (and hot). I closed it with a smile. 

The Sweetest Thing 
In the second book time has passed and it is now summer. Tara is trying to make the inn work, she is bonding with her sisters and avoiding local hottie Ford. I knew at once why there was tension between these two in book 2 so the answer sure did not come as a surprise. But I guess not everything needs to be a secret. 

Tara is the uptight one, but she is not nearly as uptight at people think. She felt normal. She worried, she was human. The love interested, Ford, is a nice guy who really wants her. And it was nice seeing these two struggle to make it work. It was not easy considering. 

But I think what I liked the most was the local gossip who had a facebook page and the news about Tara and Ford was all over it. It had such a warm small town feeling that you just wanted to visit and never leave. 

The triangle, oh that I did not see at all. Her ex comes to town and wants her back. Not  that I never felt he even tried, and that I would have liked to see. So there really is none, this is about Ford and Tara and there lovestory, and the hot passion that burns between them. Yes they do get around. 

Sweet is the word, I really can'y say much more than that. Sweet :) A feel-good book.


*happy* I can't wait!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Review: Touch of Power - Maria V.Snyder

Series: Healer #1
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 394
Published: Dec 20, 2011
Publisher: Mira
Source: Netgalley

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

My thoughts:
I liked Poison Study, though not the two books that followed. But then I heard that this one was good and I wanted to give it a go. And it was a good, YA fantasy where everything is nice and sweet, even if there is war and death around. 

I liked the idea of a bad bad plague sweeping through the land, killing most people and now people are struggling to survive while a few leaders are trying to conquer and bring peace in their own way. And I also liked that healers have been killed to extinction, to not get me wrong, it is awful. But it sure brings drama to the book. 

And the heroine Avry, is one of those healers and she is running for her life. I must say that the more I learnt about healers the more I thought their job seriously sucked. I have no idea how she did it. 

Out merry bang of soldiers then, they were a good cast. And of course I knew at once who would become a love interest even though it took a long time. 

Now on to the negative things. Honestly, how is this woman still alive?! She was sarcastic, snarky and bitchy towards the wrong people. She should have been lying in a puddle of blood, every bone in her body broken. How am I am supposed to take the baddies seriously when they let her get away with things like that? And then there was the baddy who stole kisses from her, oh please, he is a baddie, you all know what would happen. But this is YA, and that is what I meant at the beginning that everything is so sweet and nice. Then some bad things are thrown in and am I supposed to be shocked? No way, I was still waiting for someone to beat the crap out of Avry. 

And the baddies then. Yeah, was I supposed to think that Tohon was evil? Sure he was. But Estrid persecuted people cos of religious views and kidnapped people. And the king that Kerrick wants her to save is just as bad as the rest of them. I can't like him them. Either be bad, or not. And I liked Tohon, actually the best of all the characters in this book. 

The world is also different, so very medieval, and then not. Suddenly modern things are thrown in. It works because of the way they are used. I guess some people there just hide technology better. Or, I do not know.

In the end this was a good book, even if a bit too nice, considering events. There was no major cliffie and I do want to know what happens to this world.

it works

Monday 19 December 2011

Review: Unclaimed - Courtney Milan

Series: Turner #2
Genre: Historical romance
Pages: 425 (ebook)
Published: October 2011
Publisher: HQN books
Source: netgalley

Her only hope for survival…
Handsome, wealthy and respected, Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in all of London—and he's known far and wide for his irreproachable character. But behind his virtuous reputation lies a passionate nature he keeps carefully in check...until he meets the beautiful Jessica Farleigh, the woman he's waited for all his life.

Is to ruin the man she loves…

But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark's enemies make her an offer she can't refuse: seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she's sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs…and the love she knows is impossible.

My thoughts:
This is book 2, but do not worry I could easily read this book without having read the one where the hero's brother found love first.

A hero who is a virgin, yes I do like that. So refreshing from all those rakes who are running around and surely have an STD or two by now. Instead I get a hero, Mark, who is a virgin, he has got a few issues, and at the moment he is sick of the praise put upon him. He may be a virgin, but he sure still is a man. 

The heroine on the other hand is a courtesan, so she has gotten around. And sure she has got her reasons, but to try to seduce poor Mark and ruin him, so not cool. But as we learn she does have her reasons, and I do understand those reasons and why she does feel like she does not have a choice. 

Thrown together it becomes a nice little tale, ok I should not call it nice. It's a tale about lies, feelings, and a woman who feels broken inside. 

Of course I disliked Jessica at times, who could not, she would ruin and break his heart. But it was obvious she was falling so I had to like her. And their situation was also so hopeless. A courtesan and London's most famous virgin? Not gonna happen! But of course we all know it will happen and I am was happy when it did. 

It was a different sort of romance. You know there is trickery at the start, you want them to still be together, but Milan sure makes them work for it. And in the end everyone lives happily ever after.

I like the yellow

Sunday 18 December 2011

Review: Deacon's Ark - A.E.Stanton

Series: The New West #2
Genre: Western, Apocalyptic wasteland
Pages: 64, ebook
Published: December 8th, 2011
Publisher; Musa Publishing
Source. For review
Josie and Deacon have left Horsetown and are back in search of The City. Joined by Josie’s youngest sister, Sadie, they decide to travel on the riverboat The Green Goddess to save travel time.

My thoughts:
Josie, Deacon and Sadie are looking for a mystical city. Most of the book takes ship in a ship and they will face some pretty bad things. And since this is a short one I will not say what those bad things are. I want to leave something as a surprise even if you get an idea from the longer blurb that can be found. 

This land is sure going to hell, I have a hard time seeing a future for them. Well it does not take many to start anew but still, as long as they survive what is coming. It's a nice apocalyptic western series. Hope is not something you find here (well except when talking to Josie and Deacon), and I do like that it is dark.

The book ends with somewhat of a cliffie. I fear what they will see next, and I am hoping for some good news.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Review: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, The Last man in the world - Abigail Reynolds

Genre: JA variation
Pages: 288
Published 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: My own

What if-The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry-is her husband?In Jane Austen-s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn-t marry him if he were the last man in the world.But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes?In this installment of Abigail Reynolds-s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both-What readers are saying-A highly original story, immensely satisfying.--Anyone who loves the story of Darcy and Elizabeth will love this variation.--I was hooked from page one.--A refreshing new look at what might have happened if---Another good book to curl up with- I never wanted to put it down.

My thoughts:
I think I never posted this it works well in a Saturday

I have a weak spot of Jane Austen sequels, variations and just about anything. I never get tired of the story, and I do love the What if’s. I have read some wonderful ones, some strange ones, and they are always witty and amusing. 

This one was actually rather heartbreaking in a way. Lizzy and Darcy got married because she never turned him down after that first awful proposal. Colonel Fitzwilliam showed up and saw Darcy kissing her, and they were married. Mr Darcy is in love with her and thinks she loves him too, but here comes the heartbreaking part, she doesn’t. She is not happy in their marriage and tries to do her duty. And to see him so in love and clueless just tugs on my heartstrings when she doesn’t share his feelings. It’s horrible to read. 

That is the beginning of this novel, but the author would never leave us with a mess like that. The truth will come out and hearts will break. But there will also be a chance for them to build something new, something lasting and fitting the love they are supposed to share. As for old characters, this is mostly Lizzy’s and Darcy’s book, but we do meet Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgiana, Wickham, and Bingley shows up too and he wants his Jane back.

The thing I liked best about this story was actually this great twist just because it brought so many feelings into the mix. And it gave me as the reader a chance to really root for them, and hoping that they somehow could truly fall in love as equals. Because this twist meant that Darcy still was awfully pride and looked down at her family and Lizzy also had prejudices against his sister, whom she thought of as proud. And then there is the whole Wickham angle, yes she still thought of him as the good guy.

There are many JA variations around and this one was one of the more interesting ones that I have read. I would happily recommend it to fans of variations, or anyone with a love for Jane Austen. If you haven’t tried one by now then take a chance on them. They are fun to read, and it does not make the original any less of a book. 


Friday 16 December 2011

Review: Phoenix Rising - Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris

Series: Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1
Genre: Steampunk
Pages: 402
Published; 2011
Publisher: EOS
Source: My own

Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian. 

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray. 

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!

My thoughts:
I had hoped to like this one more, sure it was good and all, but you know, those hopes ones have. First it looks so cool and it sounds so good too. 

Eliza was a good kick-ass heroine who liked explosives and sometimes acted a bit too soon. While her new partner in crime, Books was a the nerdy guy from the cellar who does not act and who would rather read books. Oh yes what a couple. He is also upper class, while she is from the colonies (though he is a decent fellow). Together they made a good miss matched couple. 

There is action, mystery and strange things going on. The steampunk angle was there, though in a different way. She had her guns, there was talk about machines, but it was never really out there. Perhaps I had wanted a bit more. 

It did fail to catch my attention a few times, and I just do not know why. I liked them, I liked the banter, I liked the sparkle of true English phrases, but it never got my heart. Still it was a nice addition to the genre. 

I do wonder why she is dressed like that on the cover though, she prefers pants and not looking like a streetwalker


Thursday 15 December 2011

Review: Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha & Omega #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 294
Published: 2008
Publisher: Ace
Source: Bought

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer- and son- of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life. 

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna's inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf- a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

My thoughts:
I am giving it a 4, but is is not a full 4. Mostly because I did not love it as much as the Mercy books, but I still really enjoyed it. 

The funny thing was that it was not Charles and Anna I liked the most. Sure they were ok, poor Anna all scarred from her horrible time in an evil pack, and Charles being a good little assassin. Together they tried to find a way to be together since she had lots to work through. But here it comes, when Bran showed up now and then I forgot all about these two. I was totally crushing on the Marrok in this book. And I demand he gets a series of his own and a good woman so that he is happy and so that she is happy, cos like it is now it is just sad. 

So what have we learnt then, I love Bran, oh right about the book. Well it was a nice little mystery about who is going around killing in the mountains. I liked Asil, the old wolf who longs for death and there was a nice backstory. 

And yes do read the short story before reading this one. 

I will continue this series of course, Briggs rocks and Bran, now look there I go again, major crush alert.


Wednesday 14 December 2011

Review: Carrie Goes off the Map - Phillipa Ashley

Genre: Contemporary romance/Chic-lit
Pages: 304
Published: Dec 1 2011 (2009 It Should have been Me)
Publisher: Sourcebooks 

Carrie Brownhill lets her best friend talk her into a scenic European road trip as the perfect getaway from a nasty breakup with her fiancé. Unexpectedly along for the ride is the gorgeous and intriguing Matt Landor, MD, who sorely tests Carrie’s determination to give up men altogether. Careening through the English countryside in a VW camper van, these two mismatched but perfectly attuned lonely hearts find themselves in hot pursuit of adventure and in uncharted territory altogether.

My thoughts:
I do love the English, all those words I do not hear that often when I read so many American novels. But here I get them all and I bloody love it.

Carrie is dumped by her fiancé (who I thought was an utter ass, but later I did change my mind. He was just a man after all.) Poor Carrie is  hurt and angry and I like her, and I like her even more when she has a little revenge. Her new leading man is Matt, but things move slowly along and that is a good thing. I really like how it works out in the end. Nothing fast and furious here. As for Matt, oh, he is a doctor out in the jungle, and to top it off, he is hot. She also calls him a dirty Mr-Darcy and that sure caught my attention.  Sometimes I liked him, sometimes I wondered about the woman he was seeing. But all in all I liked him and I thought these two should hook up.

Much of the book is about the roadtrip. Carrie needs to get over Huw, Matt has his own issues why he is in England. So there will be sun, sand, kisses, arguing between them and realizations.

I liked this one because it was sweet, but it was not too sweet since Carrie made her fair share of mistakes. It's life. Cute, happy and a page-turner.


And a message from Sourcebooks:

Jane Austen’s birthday is on Friday December 16th so we are once again going to be celebrating in a big way!

We will be running an eBook promotion called A Darcy for Everyone! There are 14 Austen inspired books that will be a part of the promotion (listed below) that will be $1.99 from Tuesday December 13th – Friday December 30th


A Darcy for Everyone! Sourcebooks Celebrates Jane Austen’s Birthday!

From Tuesday December 13th – Friday December 30th the following eBooks will be priced at $1.99 at all online e-tailers. Whether you like Darcy as a tortured vampire, a modern day rock star, a Texas rancher or anything and everything in between! There truly is a Darcy for everyone!

A Darcy Christmas – Carolyn Eberhart, Sharon Lathan and Amanda Grange

Darcys & the Bingleys – Marsha Altman

Darcy’s Voyage – Kara Louise

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star – Heather Lynn Rigaud

The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice – Abigail Reynolds

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One – Sharon Lathan

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard – Belinda Roberts

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife – Linda Berdoll

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange

Pemberley Chronicles – Rebecca Ann Collins

Pemberley Ranch – Jack Caldwell

Searching for Pemberley – Mary Lydon Simonsen

Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy – Sara Angelini

Darcy and Fitzwilliam – Karen V. Wasylowski

You can find all of the titles and information here:

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Review: Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 346
Published: 2009
Publisher: DAW
Source: Bought

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas... 

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

My thoughts:
It was one of those books I couldn't put it down books and suddenly I have yet another series to read.

It was my kind of UF, a rich setting, lots of fairy history and a heroine I liked from the start. And what a beginning, poor Toby. About Toby, I liked how she is getting caught up in the fairy world again, and these are fairies as they should be. Some nice (if you can call it that), and many nasty ones. Everyone wants something in this world. A favour for a favour. So yes I like this broken heroine. 

It was a nice mystery too about who killed the Countess and Toby has a lot of detective work to do if she will find the killer, before she is killed herself. Action, treachery, something is rotten in fairyland. 

I am not going to mention it now, but something broke me a bit and I hope Toby can sort that out. She has lost so much. 

A nice bunch of side characters too in this one. Devin, who I would not trust because of the way he used her when she was younger. But she has feelings since he saved her. Tybalt, oh I loved him, but then i really like cats and he is the king of cats shifters. Old friends, new friends, and the question of whom to trust. 

And of course me wondering who might be the romance interest *fingers crossed for my guy*. 

Yes I want book 2, so this is another series I recommend. Dark Uf like it should be.

Her face looks a bit weird

Monday 12 December 2011

Review: First Grave on the Right - Darynda Jones

Series: Charley Davidson #1
Genre: I would like to call it.. UFR
Pages: 310
Published: 2010
Publisher: St:Martin's Griffin
Source: Won

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

My thoughts:
Oh no! what? you all think, is it bad? The opposite actually, the oh no comes from that I now have another series to read, luckily I do not have much to catch up on. 

I liked the sense of humour, I liked the heroine, I certainly liked the hunky dreamlover she had, and I liked the plot. I had actually judged it a bit harshly from the cover, it looks so chick-lit, no what is wrong with that? Nothing, I adore chick-lit, but here it felt strange. Luckily I do not always listen to my brain and went for it. 

Charley is a great heroine, she takes chances, and she wants the best for the dead around her (well almost for all). I liked her from the start. The plot is fast paced as she has a bunch of dead people around her and she is trying to figure out who killed them. She is also dreaming about a hunky guy who seduces her, and she is seeing something big and bad in the shadows. All is not well in her reaper world. 

And then there are the questions and the thing that made me go all "wicked"! Haha, yes I loved that part, sadly I can't tell you anything about it, but it was good. So freaking good!

So yes recommended and I need book 2.

I do like it, but yes chick-litish

Sunday 11 December 2011

Review: Nights of Villjamur - Mark Charan Newton

Series: Legends of the red sun #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 497
Published: 2009
Publisher: TOR
Source: Bought

Beneath a dying red sun sits the proud and ancient city of Villjamur, capital of a mighty empire that now sits powerless against an encroaching ice age. As throngs of refugees gather outside the city gates, a fierce debate rages within the walls about the fate of these desperate souls. Then tragedy strikes—and the Emperor’s elder daughter, Jamur Rika, is summoned to serve as queen. Joined by her younger sister, Jamur Eir, the queen comes to sympathize with the hardships of the common people, thanks in part to her dashing teacher Randur Estevu, a man who is not what he seems. 

Meanwhile, the grisly murder of a councillor draws the attention of Inspector Rumex Jeryd. Jeryd is a rumel, a species of nonhuman that can live for hundreds of years and shares the city with humans, birdlike garuda, and the eerie banshees whose forlorn cries herald death. Jeryd’s investigation will lead him into a web of corruption—and to an obscene conspiracy that threatens the lives of Rika and Eir, and the future of Villjamur itself. 

But in the far north, where the drawn-out winter has already begun, an even greater threat appears, against which all the empire’s military and magical power may well prove useless—a threat from another world.

I am gonna do this in the 3 reasons review format because honestly I got nothing to say at all. (well nothing nice at least).

1.) Reasons you chose this book 
It sounded good. An ice age is coming, the dead are walking, intrigues and an interesting sounding world. 

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book 
*I disliked it because I could not connect with anyone, I did not care if they lived or died. 

*It bored me, it had so much potential but for some reason it never sucked me in. I noticed it already on page 20 but I soldiered on. I am a sucker for punishment and well I had a free evening when I was home alone. So I finished the book, but I do admit to skimming a lot. 

*There was romance too, now that was really bad. One who had a relationship he hid, one couple who suddenly fell in love, no no no, please. And one guy who lusted after his ex-wife. He could have left the tension but the rest should have been skipped. It was not very well done. 

*I feel so sad now cos I can't say anything good about it, but when you do not connect it is not easy. 

*The only reason I did like the book somewhat was that it had potential and that the end was a bit interesting. So I can give it an ok since I did skim on, it was not truly bad thanks to the hidden gems. 

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book 
Sadly I can't since I was bored by it, but if it sounds interesting then get it from the library and have a go at it. 

Saturday 10 December 2011

Review: Chill Run - Russell Brooks

Review by Anna
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 242
Published: December 2011

Eddie Barrow wants to be an author, but has problems finding a publisher who is willing to publish Eddie’s books. So he must sell them online himself, but doesn’t make a lot of money on that. He is the black sheep of his family, the only one who failed. He has a perfect sister and even his parents doesn’t hesitate to tell him how much he has failed in everything. 

He thinks that he need a publicity stunt, so the publisher will know his name. It doesn’t matter what kind of publicity stunt it is. He is willing to do anything. So with the help of his friends Corey and Jordyn, he gets himself a little work that is sure to give him publicity.

Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, and Eddie soon finds out he is wanted for murder, all over Canada. His friend Corey is supposedly his partner-in-crime. What’s even worse, Eddie and Corey is accused of kidnapping Jordyn.

”Chill Run” is a good thriller, pretty short, but intense. I liked the book, although it did have some elements that I didn’t quite like. One of them being the language. The characters in the thriller use quite a foul language. Also, some of the characters speak with a very heavy French-Canadian accent. Just a little example. ”I want to see your hidee”. It took a while before I understood that the word ”hidee” means ID (identification card). In several places of the book, some characters speak French. I can not understand many word of French, so it was difficult to read those parts. The author did, however, translate the French sentences to English, which was good.

But, as I wrote earlier, it’s a good thriller and well worth reading. 

Friday 9 December 2011

Review: Heart of Steel - Meljean Brook

Series: Iron Seas #2
Genre: Steampunk romance
Pages: 311
Published: Nov 2011
Publisher: Berkley
Source. Shelf

Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen, has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew-until one man comes along and changes everything...Treasurehunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in the Lady Corsair-just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco- and straight into enemy hands.

My thoughts:
I liked it, I just did not like it as much as book 1. In that aspect I felt rather disappointed.

I still liked the steampunk angle, the zombies and the adventure. But this time I felt the romance was lacking, I actually never felt that Yasmeen and Archimedes liked each other. I felt no sexual tension, it was more that he said how much he wanted her but I did not feel it. What I did feel was her heart of steel and how she did not want or need a man in her life. That I got. And when she did fall, yes I am saying it again, I did not see it.

The book was still good, do not get me wrong. Steampunk rocks, Yasmeen was cool in her tough shell, Archimedes is a true adventurer and hey it has zombies. One has to like that.

But in the end I just wish I had liked it as much as I liked book 1. I hope book 3 will be better because I'd like to read more.

Eh, he looks, thin


My flash fiction for this week

Thursday 8 December 2011

Review: My Fair Succubi - Jill Myles

Series: Succubus Diaries #3
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 340
Published: 2010
Publisher: Pocket
Source: my own shelf

Living as a succubus has a bit of a learning curve, but with sexy fallen angel Noah to scratch her sensual Itch, Jackie Brighton is finally starting to feel ahead of the game. She almost doesn’t miss her gorgeous vampire master Zane – or his sinful, teasing mouth. She’s trying to convince herself of that, anyway. 

But Jackie’s past mistakes catch up with her, spinning her life out of control once more. Just as her friend Remy’s inner demon comes out to play, Noah and Jackie are arrested by the angelic Serim Council. When Jackie seizes the chance to escape, she falls right into Zane’s waiting arms. As she’s pulled into a game of cat and mouse between vampires and angels, she finds she must also finally choose between the two men in her life. Can she decide between Noah and Zane, or will she lose everything she’s ever wanted? Because there’s more at stake than just her heart..

My thoughts:
This is how I like my PNR, funny. It is the perfect mix for me when you also put in lots of passion and a love triangle that truly works. And I am all about team Zane since Noah bores me.

Anyway this book starts with Noah and Jackie at a dig. Noah sure likes her, but Jackie, oh Jackie, we both know the vampire is a better match. How I missed Zane. Still the book is good with its drama and Zane will show up again. While Noah is a nice little boyscout, Zane is just so very mmm yummy. And I will not tell you how it end or how or if my feelings change after the big reveal that I have been waiting for. Why she was made. 

As for the story, we got evil Joachim popping up again, Jackie gets a new sidekick named Ethan (I did like him), and can she get the halo before the Serim get her? The race is on and I am never bored, especially not when you throw in an itch or two here and there.

The book left me happy, but there is more to come. Sadly no deal for another book but Myles is selfpublishing and I just read the blurb for book 4, thrilling.

I do want more, I like this word and I like the vibe in it. Here is one pnr series that I can recommend


Wednesday 7 December 2011

Review: Theft of Swords - Michael J.Sullivan

Series: The Riyria Revelations #1 (1 and 2)
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 704
Published: Nov 2011 
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Shelf

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles—until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom. 

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires in order to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know? And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend. 

My thoughts:
I think I would like to start with a damn, damn that I do not have book 2 ready. It was not like it ended with a cliffie, now, it was just that I need to freaking know!It is just the kind of fantasy I like. Quests, kingdoms, baddies and a great cast.

Our “heroes” are Royce, a thief and Hadrian, a mercenary. Together they form the band Riyria, and steal their way through life. The chemistry between these two is just great; you can feel that they have been friends for a very long time. They are also so funny together, one wanting one thing, the other one another thing, but they are friends and the trust each other (even if the other one has a stupid plan for instance.) That is truly what is good about this book Royce and Hadrian.

And once more, I just do not feel I can do it justice. It started off ok, then it got better, then it got even better, and I was hooked, and even though I was nowhere near the end I lamented the fact that I did not have book 2 ready (getting it for xmas). The books grabs hold of you and won’t let go. And you do not want it to let go either.

I could say a lot of things, of the banter between them, of the two quests they had, of Myron the monk they met, but I will just say that it had a solid plot. It was originally a 6 book series, and now it is a 3 book series. So this book is about 2 things, but they are connected since everything will lead up to one thing in the end. The world is looking for someone, and then we have an evil church too (they always make good baddies.)

So yes just read it. I am SO glad Melissa got me to read this book because it was well worth it. My review may not amount to much since my mind is all “want book2!”. But in the end that is all you need to know, it made me want book 2, and I that book is as good as ordered already. I can’t wait to read more.

Now this is my kind of hunk ;)


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