Monday 31 December 2012

Review: Sanctuary - Rowena Cory Daniells

The mystic Wyrds have been banished by King Charald, whose descent into madness grows ever steeper. Exiled and forced to set sail on the first day of winter, Imoshen’s people are packed onto seven crowded ships. Tensions flare under the pressure and the all-fathers and all-mothers are put to the test controlling their hardened warriors. Ronnynand his sister Aravelle have been separated, just as they feared, and look to an uncertain future. Sorne is betrayed and captured on the seas. Tobazim faces a confrontation with the bloodthirsty All-father Kyredeon and his notorious assassin, Graelen. And, while Imoshen has promised the T’Enatuath a home with the Sagoras, the enigmatic scholars have not yet replied to her plea for sanctuary.

My thoughts:
The problem with this book was the end. It was all good up to that, but, there was no conclusion. There was nothing that left me feeling good and that everything would turn out ok. It was more, they are fine for today, but hey today they might all die. And for me that is not a good feeling. I like conclusions, while this felt like more is coming. But is more coming? No.

Anyway it was still a good book even if it felt unfinished. There are lots of characters in it..yeah lots and all with names that I can't remember how to spell except for Imoshen. The woman who tries to lead her people into exile. Humans are bad, idiots most of them. The T'en are better, but only cos they do not kill humans, just each other. So yes in that aspect they are no better. But it's a fascinating society even with it's flaws. I would sure not like to be born into it. Men and women do not trust each other and the half bloods are just lessers.

A fascinating world as I said. A good thrilling story. I just wished for more of an ending.

Not someone I wanna meet in the dark

Series: The Outcast Chronicles #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 559
Published: 2012 by Solaris
Source: own

Sunday 30 December 2012

Review: The Girl who chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen

Emily Benedict has come to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, not only wishing to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also dreaming of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

My thoughts:
 I have only read one book by her before but it was lovely, and this one was just as lovely. I could just say "it was wonderful, everyone should read it" and leave it at that. But I will try to say more.

The magical realism makes this book and it feels so real. Yes I do believe that the things happen could happen. In a Southern small town, with quirks of its own.

The book is about two people, Emily who comes to live with her grandfather and tries to solve the mystery why her mother left. She finds friendship, not so nice people and magic in this town. And herself.

The other main character is Julia, Emily's neighbor. She bakes with the windows open, why, well you will find out. Her story is sad, but there is hope and she becomes friends with Emily. Two different people in age and situation.

There is also a dash of romance, and that is never wrong.

What more can I say? Allen knows how to write, I got sucked into the story and did not want to leave. A wonderful tale.


Genre: Magical realism / fiction
Pages: 261
Published: 2011 by Hodder and Stoughton
Source: Own

Saturday 29 December 2012

Review: Firewalker - Allyson James

Janet Begay's Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural from the day it opened. Witches, Changers, and a mouthy magic mirror have decided to make it their home. But a new, dark power is rising—this time inside Janet herself. 

Her boyfriend, Mick, a sexy dragon shape-shifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, knows what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe. 

But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel—and Janet becomes Sheriff Nash Jones' main suspect. Trouble is, even she can't be sure she didn't do it. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives: Mick must choose between protecting his own people or guarding Janet, the woman he loves, from the many forces amassing against her.

My thoughts:
As it is the holidays I will write shorter reviews..well try to.

This time around Mick is having problems with idiotic dragons, yes those guys are not cool. I am unsure about Mick though, I like him...or do I? he is good, but, something was mission this time around.

And Janet is trying to solve a murder. Now she is kick-ass and is dealing with her powers that are tough to handle. Sure the passion is there between these too, but...

Coyote is mysterious and cool. The Magic horny mirror is awesome. Nash is an ass as always.

I still can't think of this as just pnr, I am naming it PNR UF mix. And I do want more even if it was not fantastic.


Series: Stormwalker #2
Genre: PNR with a dash of UF
Pages: 329
Published: 2010 by Berkley
Source: own

Friday 28 December 2012

Review: The Restorer - Amanda Stevens + The Abandoned

My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer--and to his other victims--lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

My thoughts:
 I really do not understand how I rate. Here I wondered if I should give it a 3 or 4. It was good, a compelling story, chilling feelings, and great writing, still I felt unsure. But the good writing tips it over to a 4 this time. Which is the best you can get.

I do not really know how to classify this one, southern Gothic mystery? With a touch of romance and yes of course paranormal. I like the mix, I like how it stands out.

Amelia can see ghosts, but she must NEVER let the ghosts know. Which gives the whole book an eerie feeling. Ghosts are present a lot, but she can't acknowledge them. That would open the door to unknown dangers. Not to mention that ghosts here are not kind. They suck the life force out from those they haunt. It did make me look over my shoulder. I hope no ghosts are around me, looking over my shoulder.

There is also that hint of romance, just a hint as it can not happen. I shall not say why. But the pull of passion is there and I wonder...

The mystery is good. A body in the cemetery where Amelia is working, dark dealings going on and in comes Devlin, the officer who tries to solve the crime. All while those ghosts are there. And the setting is of course perfect for this.

A book that made me want more.

Cover: Works

Series: Graveyard Queen #1
Genre: Southern, Gothic Mystery, ghost-story, paranormal suspense, romance ;)
Pages: 376
Published: 2011 by Mira
Source: Own

There are rules for dealing with ghosts. Too bad Ree Hutchins doesn't know them.

When her favorite patient at a private mental hospital passes away, psychology student Ree Hutchins mourns the elderly woman's death. But more unsettling is her growing suspicion that something unnatural is shadowing her.

Amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest believes Ree is being haunted. Even Amelia Gray, known in Charleston as The Graveyard Queen, senses a gathering darkness. Driven by a force she doesn't understand, Ree is compelled to uncover an old secret and put abandoned souls to rest--before she is locked away forever....

My thoughts:
I remembered I had this book while reading The Restorer so I quickly changed books. But, I did not think the stories went hand in hand. I would have had a story from long before. Than a story about a girl haunted by a ghost and looking into a shady society.

It was still good, as it was. But when I then think about The Restorer I find holes.

So it works better as it is, than as a prequel.

Series: Graveyard Queen 0,5
Pages: 73
Published: 2011 by Mira
Source: Own

Thursday 27 December 2012

Review: Ashes of Honor - Seanan McGuire

Toby’s not ready to get back to work, but now she must search
for a powerful changeling with the potential to destroy all of Faerie. She quickly finds herself drawn into a web of kidnappings, political intrigues, and attempted assassinations. Toby must travel farther than ever before—and what she’ll find might not be what she expected.

My thoughts:
What to say..I have always loved Tybalt but now I love him even more. He has my heart and he is my favorite m of ale character the year.

" When you turn from me, it hurts. When you think badly of me, I think badly of myself. When you do stupid, suicidal things, I want to slap you upside the head and demand to know how you can be so brilliant and so blind at the same time.” Tybalt’s expression was calm. “If that’s not love, what is it?” 

Awww, be still my heart. Oh Tybalt how I love you. Yes this could be one review praising Tybalt to the skies. But I will try to tell you a few other things too.

Toby is looking for a teen tearing holes into fairie. All could collapse and Toby will be hurt like never before. She also throws herself into battle as she is still missing Connor, but she is getting over it too.

It was a great book, action filled and something nice on the horizon. But blood flows, a lot.

I recommend this series to all and I can't wait for the next book.


Series: October Daye #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 353
Published: 2012 by Daw
Source: My own

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Review: Knife of Dreams- Robert Jordan

The Re-Read Challenge Continues and I am close to the end.

The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, when Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity’s only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One’s prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers. There are those among the Forsaken who will go to any length to see him dead—and the Black Ajah is at his side...

Unbeknownst to Rand, Perrin has made his own truce with the Seanchan. It is a deal made with the Dark One, in his eyes, but he will do whatever is needed to rescue his wife, Faile, and destroy the Shaido who captured her. Among the Shaido, Faile works to free herself while hiding a secret that might give her her freedom or cause her destruction. And at a town called Malden, the Two Rivers longbow will be matched against Shaido spears.

Fleeing Ebou Dar through Seanchan-controlled Altara with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, Mat attempts to court the woman to whom he is half-married, knowing that she will complete that ceremony eventually. But Tuon coolly leads him on a merry chase as he learns that even a gift can have deep significance among the Seanchan Blood and what he thinks he knows of women is not enough to save him. For reasons of her own, which she will not reveal until a time of her choosing, she has pledged not to escape, but Mat still sweats whenever there are Seanchan soldiers near. Then he learns that Tuon herself is in deadly danger from those very soldiers. To get her to safety, he must do what he hates worse than work...

In Caemlyn, Elayne fights to gain the Lion Throne while trying to avert what seems a certain civil war should she win the crown...

In the White Tower, Egwene struggles to undermine the sisters loyal to Elaida from within...

The winds of time have become a storm, and things that everyone believes are fixed in place forever are changing before their eyes. Even the White Tower itself is no longer a place of safety. Now Rand, Perrin and Mat, Egwene and Elayne, Nynaeve and Lan, and even Loial, must ride those storm winds, or the Dark One will triumph

My thoughts;
First omg the blurb is so FREAKING long.

What can I say that I have not said a million times before? So boring reviewing a big series.

Rand will loose something in this one. Oh and the power is cleansed by no one believes it, idiots.

Egwene is better in this one as she is a prisoner and talks back and gets birched.

Tuon is still a bitchy little thing, I mean Pet pet pet! Yeah I would have slapped her. She does get a bit, a tiny bit better in the end. But I still hope she dies in the end.

While Mat is annoying as he just tries his best, but then in the end, yes then he is cool again.

Perrin is looking for Faile. Oh you idiot, you should know better!

Faile is being all Faile and making plans.

Nynaeve is not seen around a lot but she does rally the forces.

Elayne is totally being the MOST boring person in the book, babies yada yada whatever.

Oh and I hate how the Seanchan is all "oh you superstitious people". Drives me bonkers, I wish some trollocs could come and eat them.

But this book is better than the last few. Things are happening ;)

Series: the wheel of time #11
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 784
Published: 2005 by Orbit
Source. My own

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Review: Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan

Fleeing from Ebou Dar with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, whom he is fated to marry, Mat Cauthon learns that he can neither keep her nor let her go, not in safety for either of them, for both the Shadow and the might of the Seanchan Empire are in deadly pursuit.

Perrin Aybara seeks to free his wife, Faile, a captive of the Shaido, but his only hope may be an alliance with the enemy. Can he remain true to his friend Rand and to himself? For his love of Faile, Perrin is willing to sell his soul.

At Tar Valon, Egwene al'Vere, the young Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai, lays siege to the heart of Aes Sedai power, but she must win quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible, for unless the Aes Sedai are reunited, only the male Asha'man will remain to defend the world against the Dark One, and nothing can hold the Asha'man themselves back from total power except the Aes Sedai and a unified White Tower.

In Andor, Elayne Trakland fights for the Lion Throne that is hers by right, but enemies and Darkfriends surround her, plotting her destruction. If she fails, Andor may fall to the Shadow, and the Dragon Reborn with it.

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn himself, has cleansed the Dark One's taint from the male half of the True Source, and everything has changed. Yet nothing has, for only men who can channel believe that saidin is clean again, and a man who can channel is still hated and feared-even one prophesied to save the world. Now, Rand must gamble again, with himself at stake, and he cannot be sure which of his allies are really enemies. 

My thoughts:
Ok so I love this series, therefore I can say this, arghh, so bloody boring! Honestly, it works when you read it for the first time but these middle books are NOT re-read books. By the Gods no.

Rand did..something.
Elayne and Egwene makes me sleepy as always. Totally skim chapters
Perrin is trying to rescue Faile, it sure takes time.
Mat kidnapped the Daughter of the Nine moons. Whatever the snakes said I would just tosh that little bitch overboard. He has the patience of a saint.

1 million other characters plotted and did things. 

So yes, not a book that was fun to re-read. Some parts yes, but then the boring peeps come and have like a 100 pages and then in the middle are all those strangers that also have a POV.

Still WOT IS THE BEST fantasy series ever!

Series: Wheel of Time #10
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 846
Published:  December 7th 2003 by Tor Fantasy
Source: My own

Monday 24 December 2012

Review: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor - Lisa Kleypas

One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.

The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.

Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.

Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…

My thoughts:
This book is short, short, short and utterly lovely. Longer than a novella but still only 200 pages. It does work, because it's a holiday story and things get to move fast then.

Mark is, well, quiet, I liked him. He takes good care of his niece. Sure he has some silly ideas, but he is good. Maggie , whom he meets is sweet, but has mourned her husband for 2 years. Things just click, and even if things do not happen then at once, there is just magic and love in the air. These two fit, and the would be excellent parents to Holly.'

It's a fast friendship turned into a fast romance. It's a cute book that I read in a day, in one sitting. It's light and lovely.

After having finished it I also wanted more about this family, his brother Sam who works too much, and Alex who is getting a divorce. Yes I want them to find love too. A nice holiday book.

Eh, nice I guess

Series: Friday Harbor #1
Genre: Contemporary romance
Pages: 211
Published: 2010 by St Martin's Press
Source: My own

As we celebrate xmas on the 24th here up in the north today is the day where I wish you all


Saturday 22 December 2012

Lady Scoundrels' Saturday: A night like This - Julia Quinn

Welcome to Lady Scoundrels' Saturday. We are re-inventing the whole idea so today you will get two full length reviews. Both Sense and Sensitivity and when 2013 comes around we will be back with new ideas.

Lady Scoundrels review A Night Like this

And now Part 2. Sense
I wish I could upgrade the rating from suckity-suck to the theory-good-practice-not level, but I can’t. This book read like someone, after having written one historical romance too many, decided to fake it and throw together an endless string of period appropriate sounding platitudes. When I start paying attention to the language and platitudes, you know the story sucks.

Annelise Sophronia Sawcross - Anne Wynter is a governess at the Pleinsworth household. She’s very lucky to have such a good position after being forced to live on her own and slave for her only two letters of recommendation. Of course someone is going to walk into her life and ruin it for her. The disaster comes in form of Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead, recently returned from three year exile on the continent.

The heroine, at sixteen, was a vain and self-absorbed nitwit who got herself into trouble with a man she loved. After eight years she’s grown up a bit; I just don’t think she’s grown up enough. She’s a wishy-washy thing who on a theoretic level recognises the boundaries of her station in life, but in reality fails to show any kind of moral backbone and act accordingly. One minute she’s begging the oh so high above her earl to kiss her and another she’s pulling away, telling him to leave, and saying sorry for things she’s only half responsible for. Anne Wynter isn’t a woman who has learned to clean up her own messes.

What of the hero then? He’s another precious aristocrat, a babe in a man’s body, an adolescent who has given up alcohol but failed to fix whatever got him into the trouble with the Ramsgates and forced him to flee England in the first place. One minute he’s acting like any other man with a woman—stealing kisses, copping a feel—and another he’s a virginal youth dreaming of holding hands with his very first sweetheart ever.

Nothing of this story comes across convincing or consistent let alone appealing.

The whole book is basically about Anne thinking she shouldn’t but doing it anyway, and Daniel flying off the handle but failing to harm the one person most deserves to be harmed—himself.

Without the costumes and dates mentioned, I wouldn’t have thought I was reading a historical romance. The characters don’t exactly talk and act like people from the 1900’s. (I swear to all things holy Anachronist is brainwashing me because I never used to notice these things.)  Of course I’m not an expert on the language but some of the expressions Quinn uses feel too modern for the context. There were good quotes and an odd scene or two that were almost entertaining, but nothing in the way this author writes is especially attractive to me.

This was my first attempt reading a Julia Quinn novel and it looks to be my last.

Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #2
Pages: 373 (paperback)
Publisher: Piatkus Books
ISBN: 0062072919
Published: May 29th 2012
Source: Bought

Part 3 Sensitivity
I was disappointed, there is no other way to describe it. I was about to give this book a 3, solely cos of my love for Quinn and the last 30 pages...yeah. But hey I need to be harsh, if it does not work is does not work. It was sadly just ok (except for those last 30 pages that is.)

What was my first complaint? Insta love. I mean come on! Daniel comes home, spots a woman and falls in love. Ahem, no sorry Daniel, that means you fancy her and wants to throw her down on the rug and have your wicked way with her. You are not in love. He then tracks her down and jumps her, she just lets him. Again, what? This doesn't really fit her back story.

For me the insta love just did not work here. He chased a dream and she was cold and I never felt that she liked him  back. I never felt anything from her. She was a ghost, a very pretty ghost who changes the air in the room. Yes we get it, she is Miss Universe. And all of this ultimately means that the love story just fell short for me. On the one hand there was lust from our earl ( I refuse to say love) and from her...nothing.

I did like the mystery. Who is trying to hurt him. That was exciting. While her story, is someone after her was silly. Just get over it.

And then we have the epic last 30 pages. The chase is on. What will they do? Those were sadly the best pages of the book.

But something did  make me want more, Hugh, I want Hugh to find a girl. I really liked Hugh. Yes the person I liked the most was a side character that  shows up 4 times or so.

The only thing that would make me want more Smythe-Smiths, is that I heard that Hugh does in fact get a book. Because else, then this series would go from autobuy to maybe. And it still might.

Cover Snark
The Blue one is nice but when is she running at night, and wearing pink shoes?
The Second is cute, but not memorable

Friday 21 December 2012

Review: Grave Dance - Kalayna Price

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

My thoughts:
Was it as good as book 1? Truth be told I do not remember, I just felt I needed to read this one. And even if this one was not awesome, I still want book 3.

Alex is a cool witch, she also has hidden talents that comes to play here. I like secret pasts.

Falin, oh I do not know, I do not like him all the time. He is not the man I want for her.

Death, I mean I read this for him, I love him *swooooooons*.

Now where was I? I do not have a lot to say about this book, I swooned over Death, I liked Fairy Land, I do want more. felt messy at times.


Series: Alex Craft #2
Genre: urban Fantasy
Pages: 371
Published: 2011 by Roc
Source Own

Thursday 20 December 2012

Interview and Giveaway: Anne Elizabeth and A Seal at heart

The Holidays are around the corner, and I am celebrating early with an interview with Anne Elizabeth and giveaways.


1. Who is Anne Elizabeth? 
 I am a romance author, a comic creator, a monthly columnist, a wife, a step-mother, a grandmother, godmother, a friend, a mentor, a fur-mother, and an adventurer.

2. Could you tell me about your new book, A SEAL AT HEART?
 Being a Navy SEAL means everything to Jack Roaker, but a mission gone wrong has left his buddy dead, his memory spotty, and his world turned upside down. His career as a US Navy SEAL is threatened unless Dr. Laurie Smith’s unconventional methods of therapy can help him.

3.  Give me 3 reasons why my readers will fall in love with the hero, John... 
John "Jack" Roaker is a not a typical guy. He's stubborn, tender, determined, spontaneous, and purposeful. He loves strongly…as if this is his last moment on earth…and he never gives up.

4.  How did you come up with the idea for this book? 
My husband, who is retired from the Teams, was sitting at the table one night and we were chatting about romance and Navy SEALS. One of my sister romance writers was there and the idea suddenly popped out. I knew it the moment I said it aloud.

5.  I see that you have written comics too. Is there a big difference on how you work on a comic and working in a novel? 
There is definitely a difference. Strangely enough, comics take longer. You have to use a different part of your brain and you have to boil everything down to one detail or visual that moves the action along. It takes a lot of work to really hone the concept and images. Alisa Kwitney (romance author, former editor from DC COMICS, and talented graphic novel author) has given me a ton of advice and she is brilliant!

6. What can we expect next from you? 
I'm working on edits for BOOK II of the SEAL series and writing BOOK III. Also, I've been scripting the next graphic novels and comics for the PULSE series. Oh, then there is my monthly column at RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine, I'm working on the next interviews for that, too.

Giveaway 1:
BTW, to winners of your choice, I'd be happy to give away TWO autographed copies of my latest graphic novel, THE POWER PLAY-A Story From The PULSE OF POWER World. Thank you for asking about A SEAL AT HEART and the PULSE comics. HOOYAH!

Giveaway 2:
A copy of A seal at heart

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends Dec 30th
3. Just enter :D

And yes be free to enter both contests!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Early Review: Low Down Dirty Shane - Sierra Dean

Thick-skinned vampire assassin meets smart-mouthed druid archer. Run, Cupid, run.

Shane Hewitt has been many things—failed husband, supernatural punching bag, and now a bitch to the vampire council of New York City. He thought killing rogue vampires was the hardest thing he’d ever do. Until a hot redhead smashes into him, shouts orders and announces she’s saving his life.

The sole female warrior in a family of druids, Siobhan O’Malley knows how to take care of herself and protect the big city from beasties who breach gateways from the fae realm. The last thing she needs is a misguided, leather-clad hottie’s help to get the job done.

Except maybe he’s exactly what she needs. Siobhan is expected to be a willing, virginal sacrifice on her twenty-fifth birthday. Sex with Shane to stay alive? If he can pull his foot out of his mouth long enough and stop driving her crazy, no problem.

Now if only the bad guys would leave them alone long enough to get the deed done.

My thoughts:
Shane is out hunting vampires when he meets a hot woman who is running for her life. Now who can say no to that?

As it's a short novella, about 70 pages, there is not much to say. They meet, they fight monsters and her family. Her messed up family who wants to sacrifice her, a virginal sacrifice, well there is one way to solve that problem ;)

Shane is cool, Siobhan is kick-ass. They make a great team and I think that they can be fun together. I would sure like to read more, they could have some action filled and hot adventures for sure.

Series: Misfits & Mayhem #1, Secret McQueen
Genre: urban Fantasy
Pages: 92
To be published: Dec 25th 2012 by Samhain Publishing
Source. For review


Discussion Point

I will ask this again tomorrow so I can get as many opinions as needed.

I have posted the Lady Scoundrels thing now for a few weeks. The questions is:

* Do you like that there are 3 reviews of the same book?

* Or should we just have one discussion post / or 3 short reviews in one? (with links to longer reviews if there are, goodreads for example)


Tuesday 18 December 2012

Review: Black Night - Christina Henry

Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her... 

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.

My thoughts:
This is one of those books that are just so compelling that you need more, but at the same time I find it to be badly written. Well what can I say, a compelling story trumps that.

Why do I find it badly written? It's the dialogue, it's not good, it does not always flow. And the thing is this book feels mostly like dialogue, there are never really any descriptions. Things fall into place way to easily too.

But, yes here comes the but. I finished the book in a day cos I could not put it down. When I did finish I wanted more, I need to know what happens and I even squeed a bit.

Maddie is very kick-ass, and she is Lucifer's grand daughter, way too cool. She has an awesome side-kick, she wants a guy she can't have and her dad wants her to marry this idiot. *jumps around from joy*. It's all so juicy so even if the flaws bugged me, the end turned me around like it did in book 1.

Exciting even with its flaws


Series: Black Wings #2
Genre: urban Fantasy
Pages 277
Published: 2011 by Ace
Source: Own


Discussion Point

I will ask this again tomorrow so I can get as many opinions as needed.

I have posted the Lady Scoundrels thing now for a few weeks. The questions is:

* Do you like that there are 3 reviews of the same book?

* Or should we just have one discussion post / or 3 short reviews in one? (with links to longer reviews if there are, goodreads for example)


Monday 17 December 2012

Review: The Bridegroom wore plaid - Grace Burrowes

His Family or His Heart -- One of Them Will Be Betrayed...
Ian MacGregor is wooing a woman who's wrong for him in every way. As the new Earl of Balfour, though, he must marry an English heiress to repair the family fortunes.

But in his intended's penniless chaperone, Augusta, Ian is finding everything he's ever wanted in a wife.

My thoughts:
Grace Burrowes has a new series out, one with sexy Scots in it, and who am I to say no to that? ;)

Ian is in need of a wife, a very rich wife. He is a good guy and all that, but to support his people he needs money. I did feel sorry for him, as we know from the start that the woman in question is sure not the one he is going to want. No, the pretty young girl has her spinster cousin Augusta with her. Ok so here I think, why go for the older spinster? Well the rich girl in question hides in her room and does not want to get married. While Augusta is near and nice. They fit so good together, they can talk, but yes that dark cloud hangs over them. He needs money. 

There is another thing in this book (besides the when when when!? They must be together!), that makes it thrilling. Augusta's uncle is a real piece of work, I just grew more and more angry with him. Grrr, you'll see, and you will hate him too.

And on top of that there are more hints of romances in this one. Yes passion afoot everywhere. Which made it fun. Whether those will get happy endings or not I will not say, cos I am evil that way ;)

A good romance with a hint of suspense and mystery.


Series: MacGregor Trilogy #1
Series: Historical romance
Pages: 375
Published: Dec 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: For review

Sunday 16 December 2012

Review: Devil's luck - Carolyn Crane


No wager is too outrageous for Simon Fitzgerald, the most reckless of the Disillusionists. His dark secrets drive him to take increasingly extreme risks, but he’s never lived so quite so dangerously as when he hooks up with Midcity’s most powerful prognosticator. 

Fawna Brady is tormented by the destinies she sees for those around her. To Fawna, knowledge of the future is a cage she’d do anything to escape. She’s stunned to discover a taste of the freedom for which she yearns at the side of Simon, the one person in the world who despises everything she is, everything she stands for. 

Simon’s defiant attitude toward destiny captivates Fawna, but will her love destroy him? And will Simon rush headlong into the delicious doom she offers?

My thoughts:
This is why I do not like writing review of novellas. They are so short, what can I say?

So Fawna (yes I do feel you have to read the trilogy first) and Simon meet at a fair. Yes they know each other from before of course. She is weird and wounded and he is reckless (ha, well duh ;) There is no love between them but there is something.

She needs to let go, and he needs to live.

A short story, I do prefer the longer books as we see the world more clearly then. Still, I love this series.

Series: The Disillusionists #3.5
Pages: 105
Genre: urban Fantasy
Published: 2012

Discussion Point

I have been wondering, ok I wondered yesterday, should I mention DNFs? They do not happen that often. Even the most boring books can still have something compelling in them. But yesterday I started and finished a book, because honestly, I was bored by the end of page 1. I could not soldier on. The sentences were also way too long, I had no time to breathe, and yes page 1 still! I have no time to force myself to read books anymore, my TBR pile is killing me as it is.

So mention or not?

Saturday 15 December 2012

Lady Scoundrels' Saturday: A night Like this - Julia Quinn

Over the next 3 Saturdays we will be taking on A night like this by Julia Quinn.

Lady Scoundrels Review A Night like this

Part 1 Scorn:
The revenge will be bloody
Once upon a time an English aristocrat called Daniel returned home from three years of wandering abroad. You see, he was hiding from another aristocrat who wanted to kill him. Ok, never mind.  As soon as he returned he saw a beautiful girl. "She was petite, small in that way that made a man want to slay dragons". I don't doubt she looked like this:

Oh no, sorry, wrong picture. She was of course looking like this:

Nononono, wrong picture again. Ok, I am pretty sure she looked more like this:

Here you go. She was playing the piano and, as soon as he saw her and she saw him they fell in complete insta-lust. It was as if his inner self kept whispering into his ear:

WRhawwwrrrr....Of course, being a young man and an English aristocrat to boot he had to check whether that claim was more or less true. His beloved was called Anne Wynter and she was employed as a governess in the house of his female cousins who, being unbearably shallow and sweet, all looked the same :

They tittered and quarrelled and giggled...Well, they had every right to be similar and stupid, it's not their story, right? Anyway Daniel started to visit them very often just to be in the blissful presence of their governess her hand from time to time.

Still the governess had her own secrets and, being very sadly experienced when it comes to the close contacts with the so-called gentlemen she wasn't that willing to let him touch anything. Daniel also had a bunch of problems on his own. 

No, dear ladies, there is nothing to laugh about. English aristocrats do have serious problems and English governesses always have a secret or two hidden in a drawer right next to their underwear. Do you want proof? Here you go, a direct quote:

"He wanted her. He wanted her completely. But his family was waiting for him at supper, and his ancestors were staring down at him from their portrait frames, and she—the woman in question—was watching him with a wariness that broke his heart.."

You see? A real problem. 

Then they go to the country together and our sweet Anne found herself falling deeper and deeper in lust because Daniel was so sweet and so pretty and SO incredibly rich...and here the problems of our governess started to emerge from her overflowing drawer:

But really, it didn’t matter who she was. Anne Wynter . . . Annelise Shawcross . . . Neither one of them was a suitable match for Daniel Smythe-Smith, Earl of Winstead, Viscount Streathermore, and Baron Touchton of Stoke. He had more names than she did. It was almost funny.

Yes, dear sir, you heard it right. It was said 'funny'.

Then there is a lot of talk about food and food preferences, kissing or not kissing, strolling or not strolling and different trivial hobbies of young brainless ladies. You see, Daniel wanted to know his beloved better, to see her soul and her heart, not only her luscious body. Do guys necessarily need a woman's background history to spontaneously want to bang her or play epic-kiss-face? Yes they do. But only just a little bit. A real masterpiece of romance literature, with great, well-rounded, interesting characters don't you think, dear reader? 

After a while my eyebrows get stuck up high and I couldn't believe I was reading such a depressingly shallow book. Still a challege is a challege, right? After page number 65 I started SKIMMING.

It didn't help much. You see I kept encountering such fragments:

"Could you imagine? Telling Lady Pleinsworth the truth about her background? Well, the thing is, I’m not a virgin. And my name is not really Anne Wynter. Oh, and I stabbed a man and now he’s madly hunting me until I’m dead. A desperate, horrified giggle popped out of Anne’s throat. What a resumé that was."

I was just waiting for the main villain to appear and save the day. Silly, silly me. Instead of a villain I got a papercut bloke.

"George just shrugged, and in that moment he confirmed all of Anne’s darkest suspicions. He was mad. He was utterly, completely, loonlike mad. There could be no other explanation. No sane individual would risk killing a peer of the realm in order to get to her."

Irrefutable logic, my lady.

The ending was in perfect accordance with the rest of the book: senseless, stupid, shallow, not really resolving anything so completely redundant. But it was the end of my suffering. 

Final verdict:

After reading such a book I feel like this:

I do not recommend it to anybody. Unless you are a masochist.


Friday 14 December 2012

Discussion: The Duchess War - Courtney Milan

Rameau and Anachronist love Courtney Milan so today I am giving the floor over to them both. Go crazy girls ;)

Spoiler alert

This discussion contains several more or less significant spoilers. If you are spoiler-sensitive and you haven’t read The Duchess War yet (honestly, what are you waiting for?) you might want to avert your eyes. Still we also talk about sex so perhaps averting your eyes is not such a clever thing to do. Oh well. Anyway the choice is entirely yours -  you have been warned.

Ana: An aristocrat and a mouse - it seems a very cliche pairing, don’t you think? 

Ram: Well, if you were to tell me only that and not the author’s name I’d probably move on and look for something else to read first instead. I’d probably grab an M/M book.

Ana: Ok, so let’s imagine I did mention the author and the fact that the mouse in question can play chess and has to hide her identity...what would your reaction be then?

Ram: With gushing or sans gushing?

Ana: LOL gush if you want.

Ram: I so rarely get the opportunity. It’d probably be like this: OMG OMG I can’t wait to see how Milan turns this cliché on its head and shows the world how it should be done. I can’t wait to read it!!!!11!!

Ana: I agree that a Milan romance novel contains always something surprising. What was the biggest surprise here for you personally?

Ram: Hey, didn’t we skip a part? Where you tell me how you’d react to such a premise before hearing who has written it and then after you know it’s a Milan book. And go:

Ana: LOL ok, backpedalling a bit. I would like to read it of course. Sans OMG. It is still a romance book, nothing to write home about ;p I admit that if you mentioned ‘awkward sex’ as well I would be a tad more interested. Strategy of course works even better.

Ram: It’s like I have a whole another set of expectations for a Milan book than I have for any other. The awkward sex was magnificent and surprisingly arousing for reader, but it’s something I’d definitely forget to mention because I expect certain level of realism from the author that I don’t expect from others. You mentioned the strategy and I agree, it’s fun to see a character, a young woman in a historical fiction, to plan ahead, but as you said in your review, I don’t think it was fully realised here. I didn’t get the sense that Minnie was planning her life three or six steps ahead and it just made me want to read about a heroine who does. Remember that rant of mine how I want to see Milan write a book about heroine who intentionally traps a man into marriage and falls for him anyway? Well, that just evolves and now I want to see a series about such women. I should probably take a breath and let you say something.

Ana: Something. Is it enough? ;D
Your ideas are so interesting that I don’t intend to break your train of thought.

Ram: As I was saying... The biggest surprise for me was that I didn’t think Milan did everything she could have with this book and the character. I read on her website that Brothers Sinister series heroines have one thing in common and that’s the fact they’ve been ruined. In theory it sounds wonderful as it voids the expectations—fears more likely—of a romance heroine ingenue that’s too good to be anything but boring to read about. Ruined heroines are more interesting. 

Ana: My biggest surprise came when Minnie realized (a bit too late I should add) that marrying that son of a miller wouldn’t bring her the much-wanted stabilization and security. I mean it was TOO LATE for such an intelligent girl. Almost too late. She should have done her strategic thinking right after he showed any interest. It was out of her character.

Ram: That’s part of what I meant. The part that she wasn’t thinking ahead far enough, but at the same time I bought it because of her identity crisis. 

Ana: Identity crisis? Right... I am not sure I was aware of it at first - not before she started to change under the influence of the Duke and his outlandish ideas. 

Ram: I guess I have an advantage over you in this because I did read Milan’s novella What Happened At Midnight, the one she wrote for the Midnight Scandals anthology. 

Ana: I haven’t read it, that’s true.

Ram: In it, there’s another version of a girl being ruined by her father, hiding away, hiding her secret and changing herself to avoid detection. I can’t remember the exact moment, but very early on in the book I realised there were some similarities, so I was able to anticipate some of the turmoil Minnie would be going through and why it would happen. I expected Milan to explore that side of her character further.

Ana: I see. There is another moment, then. Minnie has changed. She is safely married to her Duke. He receives a letter about the imprisonment of Olivier Marshall, his half brother. And what do they do? They board a train and have sex like a pair of bunnies. Where is that strategic thinking I ask?

Ram: I think her strategy was in distracting her husband from worrying about things he couldn’t change while they were on the train. And after that the book kind of shifted to deal with his problematic past. That could also explain part of the pacing problems I saw. Milan couldn’t quite find a balance between giving both Minnie and Robert time to fall in love, to start to trust each other, and to play together as they must have learned to do during those four skipped years before the epilogue. Maybe the book had been better if they’d started to play together against a common enemy from the start while still distrusting each other. What do you think?

Ana: I definitely agree with you on that one. Which leads straight to their very rushed marriage and their first night together. They even didn’t have enough time to find out each other’s preferences and dislikes in advance. It was well...awkward.

Ram: Why must there always be a special licence in these things? That’s another thing I’d like to see them get rid of. Milan didn’t need to hurry to get to the sex because she’d already written good masturbation scenes, so it really didn’t make sense. And just think how it would have been had they got married after the trial. 

Ana: Yes, that ‘special license marriage’ is starting to be one of my minor pet peeves. Ok, let not disappoint our dear hostess, Blodeuedd, and tackle that scene when two virgins go to bed and try to make it worthwhile ;p 

Ram: I KNEW IT! was my reaction to it. Unclaimed was my first Milan novel and it too had a virgin hero and I loved it. Here, she chose a more subtle approach and it really paid off in that wedding night scene. Don’t you think?

Ana: It was funny and it was right. What bothered me was once again how FAST they managed to make it right. Correct me if I am mistaken but I suppose it takes more than just one attempt, no matter how enthusiastic, to attune to each other and here...oh, the wonderful world of fiction where miracles are the order of the day!!!

Ram: I did mention the masturbation scenes, didn’t I? It’s infinitely easier to become attuned to someone else’s desires when they themselves know what they like. Speaking as someone who had her first time with another virgin and neither of us knew what we were doing I can only say that if I could have done it again, I’d begged Mum to tell me more about the importance of masturbation. As if she didn’t talk about sex enough while I was growing up.

Ana: Have you noticed that there was no hymenal laceration?

Ram: I noticed, but though because she wasn’t a teenager and had learned to ride at some point of her life that it was choice on the author’s part to avoid the gore.

Ana: Hmm...I think I missed that part when she speaks about riding a horse regularly but I did read pretty quickly so it is entirely possible. Yes, I would rather say it was deliberate - not to make Minnie too sore in order to let them continue day in day out.

Ram: She did ride to the town in pouring rain to show Lydia’s father the damning evidence against Robert.

Ana: It takes more than that. It should be a habit and believe me I speak about my own experiences.

Ram: Or it could just be another aspect of the pacing issues.

Ana: Overall how would you assess this novel, when comparing it to other Milan books, published so far?

Ram: We’re almost making it sound like we didn’t like it. But overall, you say. It’s not her best. I think she’s evolving as a storyteller and I’m pretty sure I will love this Brothers Sinister series more than I love the Un-series, but on a technical side it’s definitely not her best. Unclaimed and Unraveled were better on the pacing front.

Ana: I quite agree with you again. I hope, as the first novel in a new series it has the right to be the weakest and the rest would be far better. Unraveled has been my favourite so far, Unclaimed is, in my view, the second best.

Thursday 13 December 2012

Rameau Reviews: What the librarian did - Karina Bliss

I may or may not have found my new favourite author. 

There’s a reason Harlequin Superromances sell so well in Finland, better than Blaze or any other kinky ultra hot sex series or imprint. The impact of naked skin kind of evens out when you get used to seeing it regularly in the sauna. And we have those long winter nights and comfy blankets in our beds… anyway, it’s all about the story. 

Here, two adults in their thirties meet at a point in their lives that isn’t particularly auspicious for romantic entanglements. One desperately wants a family but isn’t ready to commit to a man to have it, and another is trying to build a new start for his life. It’s a good thing then that they don’t know anything about each other and can discover together what the future holds for them. But as I said, the timing is the best possible and their past mistakes are about to catch up with them. 

I made a list of all the things I loved about this book and it’s as disorganised as are my thoughts, still. I loved the wit and humour Bliss infuses her text with. Jokes are a delicate thing to write especially when the audience doesn’t necessarily share the cultural context with the author, but here:

”It wasn't that he had a five o'clock shadow at nine-thirty in the morning that screamed 'bad boy.' To Rachel's eyes, that simply made him scruffy.”

"Anyone could see she had a conscience. That must be painful for her."

”’I’m not offended. You're not my type, either.'
Perversely, he was piqued. 'Not a nerd, you mean?'
Her eyes narrowed. 'Not housebroken.’

Look at that and tell me it’s not funny even without the context. I dare you. 

I loved the fact that Rachel and Devin didn’t succumb to the insta-lust/love/attraction that’s a plague in modern romances. They were actually slightly antagonistic before building a tentative friendship with the option for more. Their romance was the slow burn kind with push and pull to keep them balanced. One gave the other took, and then they switched places. Truths were shared and actual smarts were displayed. I loved that both Rachel and Devin acted like adults. They weren’t perfect but they owned up to their mistakes and were determined to face the consequences. 

One thing I absolutely hate in romance novels is the plot twist involving an artificial, prolonged misunderstanding. It was delightfully absent from this book and it all comes back to characters acting like real adults. Even in their most idiotic moments, they remained true to their characterisations instead of changing to fit the whims of the plot. 

As for the reason why I now have a “can-I-has-a-Devin” shelf, let’s just say—without spoiling the book for everyone else—that the man knows the right things to say. (Yes, I’m aware that a woman wrote him.) He has brilliant scenes with Rachel and another character where he expresses his unwavering love, devotion, and trust in her. Once he’s in, he’s in. He’s made up his mind and he won’t let her insecurities drive him away, and he trusts her to figure it out eventually.

I’ll need to read that other book by Bliss I bought on the Harlequin Christmas sale. Then I’ll know if I’ll be adding another author on my list of favourites.

5 stars

Series: Harlequin Superromance #1622
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: 2010
Source: Bought

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Review: Just a cowboy and his baby - Carolyn Brown

One determined, hell-on-wheels cowgirl. One equally determined, sexier-than-hell cowboy. One innocent baby, who suddenly takes center stage and everybody's priorities are suddenly up for grabs.

With a young baby dropped in his lap, bronc rider Trace Coleman's world is turned upside down. Suddenly, Gemma O'Donnell, his stiffest competition on the rodeo scene, is now the one person who can help him. She's already resisting his sexy smile and even sexier swagger, but she can't resist a baby. When it comes down to it, only one can win, but is winning more important than love and family?

My thoughts:
In this Brown novel it's Gemma who gets her shot at love. She is a bronc rider and is competing for the grand prize. She is tough as nails and wont anyone walk over her, in this manly world. But she is also kind, and yes sassy.

In comes hunky Trace, of course she has checked him out and he her. But he is her most fierce competition so no chance of anything happening. But who am I kidding, of course something will happen. These two will spend months travelling the same roads, going to the same places. Fate is pushing them together.

There is a baby in the title, and something is shown a bit into the book so that one is easy to figure out.

And yes it can be read as a stand alone.

The book was cute, filled with Texas charm and a book that you easily read in one day. You just sit down and the pages fly by.

Cover: Cute

Series: Spikes and Spurs #6
Genre: Contemporary romance, western
Pages: 342
Published: Dec 4th 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: For review

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Rameau Reviews: Keeper of the Night - Heather Graham

Blame it on bouncing back from a five star book or blame it on taste differences in writing styles, but this book simply wasn’t for me. 

I haven’t read the other The Keepers-series Graham co-authored with Alexandra Sokoloff and Deborah Leblanc, but I did like the paranormal world presented here. The set up was unfortunately—or fortunately depending on your point of view—delivered in an infodump prologue and it actually made me curious about the Others blending in the masses of non-believing humans. More importantly, it made me want to read about an elven character. 

However, I was quickly disappointed. The world building I liked—the idea of keepers ensuring the peace among other races of paranormal creatures—but I couldn’t connect with the characters. Graham filled the beginning with repetitious lines and descriptions that quickly eroded my interest. As I read further, the less I cared about Rhiannon and Brodie, their budding relationship, and the mystery they were trying to untangle. I couldn’t even be bothered to look for the clues for the killer as I speedread through the rest of the book. On the positive side, my disinterest prevented me from absolutely hating the book. 

I’m guessing that if you’re familiar with Graham’s previous work and like it, you’ll enjoy this novel too. 

2 stars

Series: The Keepers: L.A. #1
Pages: 304 (paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin 
Imprint: Nocturne
Published: Expected: December 18th 2012
Source: NetGalley


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