Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter

For those of you who have been reading Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series for awhile, you know the build up for The Darkest Seduction has been intense, after all Gena Showalter has been tormenting and torturing Paris since book two, giving him what he always wanted and then ripping it away from him, and then giving him a second chance only to force him to make the ultimate sacrifice yet again.   I have to say I was very nervous to pick up her latest installment, could any book really live up to all the buildup?  And after reading some internet interviews and posts from the author stating that she had started and restarted this book multiple times with more than one potential mate for Paris in mind before finally settling on the final version, my anxiety level only increased.   
Let me just say that I am so happy that she made the choices she did!  Not only did Paris finally get the ending that he deserved, but Gena Showalter managed to do all that and turn the rest of the series on its ear.   Long standing rivalries changed, opposing factions altered or just plan disappeared.  I’m literally don’t know what I can say without giving away the changes to anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but let me just say that Gena Showalter managed to not only write her very anticipated installment, but also wipe all the chess pieces off the boards, throw them up in the air, and where some of them will land is anybody’s guess, and I for one can’t wait to find out what she’ll write next.
The Darkest Seduction
is story #9 in The Lords of the Underworld Series, if you are interested in starting this series be sure to start out with book # 1 The Darkest Night.

~ Melissa

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fistful of Charms

A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, #4)A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finished!!! I have to say that Fistful of Charms has to be my favorite of the Hollows series so far. All of the main characters make an appearance and I was especially happy that Rachel and Jenks had patched things up from their misunderstanding about Trent. Loved the fact that the story had lots of action with butt kicking and sexual tension…omg sexual tension….I held my breath in a scene with Ivy and Rachel, you could feel the love, pain and bliss all wrapped into one in that scene…wow…Jenks was awesome, this time in a 6’4” sarcastic package. Rache and Jenks go on a run to save Jax (Jenk’s eldest) from the trouble Nick got him into. Rache wants to save Nick as well because she still loves the bastard (ugggh don’t I know what this is like!), Jenks is changed into a full size person in order to be able to handle the cold and survive their run. They get Jax back but they aren’t done yet…now they have to rescue Nick from some Weres who have him stashed on an island, seems Nick found a statue and decided to be a greedy thief (again) and not sell it to them. The Weres want it and are holding him captive, Rache and Jenks get to the island and are captured, Rache must now use her Alpha status from her pack affiliation and challenge one of the Alphas for their freedom…as you can imagine a lot action ensues and I don’t want to spoil it all…I loved it though when at this time Jenks comes up with my favorite nick name for Nick “crap for brains” and they escape…Ivy finds them and they hatch a plan to get these Weres off their backs. Ivy and Rachel take a step towards deepening their friendship (again wow!!). Murder, deception, more betrayal, and heartache occur, it is so action packed I couldn’t put it down. We get more insight into the characters and I finally have understanding for them with their flaws and all, I had a hard time before with Rachel, she often times seemed too whiny for me but this book she was someone I could actually identify with. So much happens in this story that all I can say was I loved it!!

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Regina =[

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

First, I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship some of The Immortals After Dark.  Some books in Kresley Cole’s series I've loved and others, well…. not so much.  I just finished reading her latest book Lothaire, and I have to confess that I loved this one, or maybe it would be better to say I loved Lothaire and I loved to hate Lothaire.  I don't quite know how Kresley Cole managed to pull it off, but she made Lothaire wounded and vulnerable while still keeping him evil, insane, and basically an insufferable arrogant jackass throughout.  I’ve always had a problem with villains becoming the heroes, either they have to earn it through strife, growth, and change or it doesn’t work for me, which admittedly was one of my problems with the last book.  I had a really hard time with the "villain" becoming the hero rather suddenly, and although I’m still not sure how I feel about Declan Chase in all honestly somehow for Lothaire it worked for me.  Maybe because he isn’t suddenly heroic, he’s just tempered evil with something more important to him than decimating everything that crosses his path.   I spent most of this book hating his high handed murdering ways and secretly enjoying Ellie's spunkiness in refusing to play his games. Which means that no matter how much I wanted to throttle him, no matter how much I wanted Ellie to find someone better who deserved her and treated her with respect, I still found myself frantically turning pages desperate to know how Kresley Cole was going to make him see the light before it was too late or make Ellie fall for him despite his atrocious behavior while loving every minute of it. 

The back story we gleamed about Lothaire, Nix, and the varying vampire factions was wonderful too.  I knew on some level that being immortals they all were interconnected somewhere, but I honestly didn’t realize just how tightly Kresley Cole would tie the various factions together.   We gleamed some hints about the future importance of some characters like Furie and Thad, which admittedly only sparked more questions.   And while I’m still waiting to find out more about Cade's demon friends and their swimbo's, what became of Lanthe and Thronos after the island, the Lycan twins Munro and Uilleam (who we last saw in some desperate straits), and Brandr among a long list of others….. Kresley Cole has managed to add even more characters that I now need to know more about as well.   I find myself taking the new intel from this book and speculating about possible matchups, wondering who she will write about next and what will become of some others.  And with many of our favorite characters from previous books still owing oaths to a formidable enemy and the Valkyries still trading more of their hair to the wraiths with each book is there further disaster waiting in the wing for some of our favorite characters.  As much as Kresley Cole’s novels thrill me and frustrate me I have to give her credit for creating one of the most diverse worlds, with seemingly endless characters and storyline possibilities, that I have ever read.    Where most novels have main characters and a few side characters you’d like to know more about, she somehow manages to have dozens, keeps track of them all through multiple novels, and adds more with every book. 

Lothaire is story #12 in The Immortals After Dark series, if you are interested in starting this series be sure to start out with the novella titled The Warlord Wants Forever.

~ Melissa

Fatal Infatuation by Melanie Nowark

This reading suggestion came to me as part of a book club I belong to, Fatal Infatuation by Melanie Nowark is the first book in her first trilogy Almost Human.  Although I do think the book started out a little stiffly as it set up the daily college routine and introduced the characters, I thought it picked up nicely after that.   This novel centers on the lives of college students who become embroiled in the power struggle between two vampire factions.  On one side is Cain, the “good” vampire, who doesn’t believe in killing humans to survive and on the other is the local vampire Sindy and her cohorts who have less than noble intentions.  Although Cain comes to town in an attempt to “instruct” Sindy on a better way to live and feed, he finds himself infatuated with a new freshman at the local college, Felicity.  Felicity, on the other hand, who thought she was moving away from her tiny hometown to experience living on her own and college life quickly finds herself involved with vampires and drawn into their power struggle.   What I really liked about this book was that unlike the Twilight Edward vibe of a “perfect” humanized vampire, you can see Cain’s years of existence weighing on him and influencing his decisions. He manages to come across as other and different while still being an empathetic character in this story.  By the end I found myself wondering if instead of watching the Cain verses Sindy struggle, or the Cain-Felicity-Ben triangle that is developing, maybe I should be paying more attention to the dance Cain and Sindy are engaged in?  Will it lead them both to reunion, or closer to each other?  Either way, the power struggle culminates in a game of sorts between the two vamps that will play out in the next installment, and I for one can’t wait to see who blinks first

~  Melissa

The Summons: A Goblin King Prequel by Shona Husk

The Summons: A Goblin King Prequel is a short story prequel written by Shona Husk that I picked up on my Kindle for free.  It is a short, quick read that I read in one night before bed.   If you’ve ever seen the movie Labyrinth, you will immediately recognize the concept, if you summon the Goblin King he is sure to appear, and of course expect gold as payment.  However in this novella instead of cute Muppets and singing you will get a cursed man who is slowly turning into the Goblin King and struggling to maintain his humanity because of a curse placed on him.  He is summoned by a young girl who finds herself in a tough spot while attending her older brother’s party, I don’t what to tell you what happens, but I found it an entertaining read as well as a nice introduction to a new series.    Needless to say I have already picked up the next book in the series.

~ Melissa

The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket

I'm currently reading The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket with my nephew and just finished The Slippery Slope.  Although according to the author this is a sad and miserable tale of three orphans, I can't help but laugh at the author's twisted skewed view on life.  How can you dislike a book that starts out: "A man of my acquaintance once wrote a poem called "The Road Less Traveled,” describing a journey he took through the woods along a path most travelers never used.  The poet found that the road less traveled was peaceful but quite lonely, and he was probably a bit nervous as he went along, because if anything happened on the road less traveled, the other travelers would be on the road more frequently traveled and so couldn’t hear him as he cried for help.  Sure enough, that poet is now dead.”  This YA book is wonderful for middle school age children, and has wonderful tangents that parents are sure to appreciate and laugh about while reading what is otherwise the sad and miserable account of the lives of three orphaned children according to the author.

For those unfamiliar with this series it starts with a fire in the beginning that burns down the family home and the series follows the adventures of, oh unfortunate events endured by, three newly orphaned children as they try to find a new guardian to care for them.  They quickly realize that this is going to be more difficult than they ever imagined because the fire that destroyed their house and killed their parents was not an accident as they originally assumed, but a crime committed by a shady villain intent on gaining custody of them, thereby also gaining the large fortune that awaits them when they come of age.  Each book is filled with adventures and tragedy as they are sent to live with a new distant relative and are once again tracked down by the dastardly villain which always results in much heartache and destruction.   Parents will love the way this author makes what would otherwise be a depressing subject matter into something that is silly at times, they will also appreciate how the author manages to sneak in new words and euphemisms explaining them throughout the course of the story.  Kids of course will love the adventures, the close calls and daring escapes, as these three children rely on each other and manage to rescue themselves time and time again.

The Slippery Slope is book #10 in The Series of Unfortunate Events, if you are interested in starting this series be sure to start out with book #1 appropriately titled TheBad Beginning.

~ Melissa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dead Witch Walking Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have had this book on my shelf for actually a couple of years, and like every book lover, my reading list keeps growing and I just kept pushing it to the side (it's so hard to pick which one to start with). I was going away for the weekend and had just finished reading a book and grabbed this one as it was the closest to me on my shelf. I had heard many great reviews from members of my book club. At first I had a really hard time getting into the story, I think being that it is the first in The Hollows series there was background information that needed to be explained in order to set the premise of the series, this in any book although necessary is somewhat tedious for me sometimes to get through. After however, the first few chapters were read, my enjoyment kicked in and I was hooked. The story line was fast paced action that had me at times on the edge of my seat. Rachel Morgan is a witch (litterally) who is a runner (think bounty hunter) for the I.S. (sort of a supernatural FBI branch) who brings in the baddies. Lately she's been getting crappy assignments and wants to leave and start her own business because she knows she is a great runner and could make some money. Everything is fine, she resigns and her boss was more than happy to let her go, but then his best runner Ivy Tamwood (a vamp by the way) desides to leave as well and he is not so happy about that and decides to threaten Rachel and puts a price on her head. The hunter is now the hunted. Everything starts to fall apart and Rachel is trying to survive and hopefully buy the contract on her head by bringing in a big baddie that nobody wants to touch due to his influence on the community and all his wealth (that sucks in real life and sucks even more in The Hollows) Rachel and Ivy along with a Pixie named Jenks form their business and move into a leased out church (Irony!). I was at first a little annoyed with the dynamic of Rachel and Ivy's relationship. I'm so used to reading books about the love of vamps and humans or vamps and other supernatural creatures that I was a little put off by Rachel's fear of Ivy. To me it was odd that one supernatural creature would fear another supernatural creature. However, I tried to look at it with a fresh mind (this is why it took me almost a month to finish), I understood why there was fear and unease. Once I was able to understand this dynamic I was able to get into the story and appreciate the characters. Loved all the twists and turns and magical elments. There is a bit of supernatural love for everyone. On to the next one!

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Regina =[