Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cat Burglar In Training by Shelley Munro

Cat Burglar in TrainingCat Burglar in Training by Shelley Munro

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

From the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father's footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London's most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.

Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn't the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns

The Devil of JedburghThe Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. This review does not include any mention of spelling and/or grammatical errors.

From the blurb:

Raised on rumours of The Devil of Jedburgh, Breghan McAllen doesn't want an arranged marriage to the beast. The arrogant border laird is not the romantic, sophisticated husband Breghan dreams of—despite the heat he stirs within her.
In need of an heir, Arran has finally agreed to take a wife, but when he sees Breghan's fragile beauty, he's furious. He will not risk the life of another maiden by getting her with child. Lust prompts him to offer a compromise: necessary precautions, and handfasting for a year and a day, after which Breghan will be free. For a chance to control her own future, Breghan makes a deal with the Devil.
Passion quickly turns to love, but Arran still has no intention of keeping the lass, or making her a mother. He loves her too much to lose her. But when a treasonous plot threatens queen and country, Breghan has to prove only she is woman enough to stand by his side.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Under His Influence by Justine Elyot

Under His InfluenceUnder His Influence by Justine Elyot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review is for an ARC copy I received from the publisher through NetGalley.

This review contains spoilers after the break. 

From the blurb:

Anna Rice is avoiding a coworker's advances when she encounters enigmatic John Stone at a trendy London bar. With his impeccable suits, salt-and-pepper hair and suave demeanor, John is unlike any of the boys Anna has dated in the past: he's definitely all man. It's not long before Anna is head over heels in love, and experiencing out-of-this world erotic dreams.

Reporter Mimi Leblanc is wary of her best friend's latest romance. There's just something about John... But nothing Mimi digs up about him can deter Anna. Determined to protect Anna, Mimi continues her investigations—and what she uncovers about John is the last thing she ever imagined. But perhaps even more shocking is her own growing attraction to him...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Drink Of Me by Jacquelyn Frank

Drink of MeDrink of Me by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacquelyn Frank delivers another outstanding paranormal romance that, while starting slow as most of her books do, had me riveted to the pages by the end.

From the blurb:

In a world where emotion can be a deadly weapon, one slight, battered runaway holds the key to a dark and twisted enigma..."Drink Of Me", she whispers, her silver eyes trusting, pleading. What female dares speak such words to one of the Sange? His people are scorned by every race for their fierce sensuality, their fearful rituals. And as Prime, Reule is the most telepathically gifted of them all. But nothing has prepared him for the intensity of emotion radiating from the outlander rescued by his Pack. Terrified, tormented, but beautiful beyond measure, Mystique shatters his legendary control. As she reaches for him in the steamy heat of the healing baths, he knows this blind need can have but one end.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Delirium is the first of what appears to be a trilogy set in a dystopian world where love (amor deliria nervosa) is outlawed and young women and men receive a government-authorized, required 'cure' upon their 18th birthday.

Yes, you read that right. Love has been outlawed. Love has been determined to be a disease, an unwanted emotion that can only bring pain and ultimately death.

From the blurb:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)Angelfall by Susan Ee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Angelfall is the first book in what is clearly shaping up to be one amazing series. After reading the first book, I am now salivating for the next one.

From the blurb:

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I like a strong heroine, and Penryn certainly fits the bill. She's been more or less responsible for her disabled little sister Paige and her mother, who after Paige's accident seems to have lost all touch with reality. Or perhaps not. Mom clearly has some lucid moments and appears at the most opportune times to assist Penryn in her quest to get her sister back.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Guest Review by Rameau on The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I by Robin Bridges

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering StormThe Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let's look at the blurb. The time and place:

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls...

That right there, ugh, I should hate it. On the other hand it's historical, which I absolutely love, but on the other hand it's Russia and we Finns have a long history with Russians. On the other hand, it's Imperial Russia and the tsar is the son of Alexander II who we Finns love, never mind what he did to the rest of his subjects, we love him. (If you're interested to know why, look it up.)

Oh, and the neverending balls, ugh. I should definitely hate this.

...royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Forgotten Father by Carol Rose

Forgotten FatherForgotten Father by Carol Rose

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an okay concept for a contemporary romance story but the delivery was only meh. Neither the hero nor the heroine really ever connected with me, and while this was a pleasant read (and a rather quick one), I can only give this three stars.

The book was either self-published or the editor/proofreader should be fired. There were punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, and each one jarred me out of the story and made my inner beta growl.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Guest Review by Rameau - King of the Isles

King of the IslesKing of the Isles by Debbie Mazzuca

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A while ago I won a book on a Twitter and a little while later I received a small package in the mail. My first ever paperback ARC. So naturally, I postponed reading said book until I could concentrate and give it the attention it clearly deserved. And I did–concentrate–for several weeks.

After I finished reading said book, I wrote a long list of things that bugged me about the novel and I set it aside. This was my attempt to remove the sting of somewhat critical review.

Everyone in their seats? Seat-belts? Safety glasses? Just glance at the stars, hold on, and let the ride begin.

Oh, for the love of... That was my first thought. Repeated several times during the early chapters. With every bountiful breast jiggle I cursed all the smut-writing gods and prayed for fanfic erotica salvation. (I am saved.) What the author must have considered as slow building for the sexual tension designed to bring two stubborn people together and help to break the ice between them I regarded as cheap smut tricks. Thanks to this book I could go on a lifetime without ever reading the expressions feminine curves and his manhood ever again. My quota is full.

I think M(r)s Mazzuca forgot that it's not the action of a lively pair of breasts women readers think is sexy, it's the hero's reaction to it. Though that didn't work well either when Evangeline and Lachlan went riding with winged horses (see his manhood).

I love the Scotch, both the drink and the accent, but I swear these authors are trying to destroy that love. Writing thick and sexy brogue is anything but. Reading it is painful. I swear, part of the reason why it took me so long to read through this book was because I couldn't understand a word Lachlan was saying. There were long pieces of incomprehensible dialogue that slowed my reading to the point where I started paying way too much attention to the details. And what happens when the reader starts paying too much attention to detail? This review is what happens (I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not).

Speaking of Lachlan and his male pride (another thing I'd happily never read again), the caveman mentality sucks. It's especially unappealing when it's the only thing continually showing the period. Yes, there's a time-traveller, but the rest of the characters, human and fae alike, are supposed to be living in the early 17th century. Do they act like it? No, they don't. And don't even get me started on the equal partnership-thing. (Seriously, don't. I've forgotten that bit.)

Then there's the supernatural. I was under the impression that faeries are supposed to be older and long-lived. Sure, there must be or have been fae children once upon time, but those are far and few between. Or so I thought. I don't even know how old Lachlan is, I just know that at twenty-six, Evangeline is supposed to be older. Why the hell couldn't she be at least in her sixties to make things more interesting? I had other complaints about the fae, but I've forgotten them too.

Perhaps this is explained elsewhere in the series, because before there was a King there was a Lord and a Warrior of the Isles. You can certainly read this book without having read the prequels (I did), but the knowledge of things you're missing will haunt you (it did haunt me). I would complain more about the abundance of secondary characters apparently known from the other books had I cared enough about Evangeline and Lachlan to be upset when the focus wasn't solely on them.

The series issue is a hindrance in other things too. I have no way of knowing if this was explained in the other books, but I must assume it was, because if it wasn't... it's just a sign of the author's laziness. Having not read the other books, Evangeline's fears remained too abstract and thus the culmination of this book fell flat for me. This combined with the fact that there isn't a true ending for the story, only further groundwork for the sequel, I can't recommend this book for anyone not willing to commit to a series.

That's most of my complaining done, but there are few spoilery details such as the vampirism and the pregnancy issue. I still wish Evangeline would have remained childless, because I refuse to believe that every woman must reproduce to find happiness in her life.

There were good bits too, as you can see from my rating. Whenever the author was writing action or was otherwise engaged with the plot, she forgot to add the unnecessary descriptions, which in turn made the text flow better and the reading enjoyable. Mazzuca clearly knows how to come up with plots for her romances, it's just a shame she doesn't focus on that more.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adam by Jacquelyn Frank

Adam (Nightwalkers, #6)Adam by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The last book of the series starts out with a huge WTF moment. We are immediately, without warning and without regards to our fragile hearts, thrown into the midst of a battle scene between the Demon Enforcers and the evil duo, Ruth and Nicodemus. In grisly detail, we are forced to watch the deaths of Jacob and Isabella, right in front of their daughter who barely escapes with her life.

My reaction:


I wasn't prepared for this. I had to force myself to continue, with a box of tissues handy as the author describes life 10 years later. It was as if all the happiness had been sucked out of me and I started looking around for these creatures, thinking I was in the wrong book:


Of course, Ms. Frank has a plan. Leah, as you will remember from book 1, is the first child of Time. She sure helped Noah in getting his mate and after 10 years of misery without her parents, she has devised, discarded and resurrected a plan to change the past and her own future.

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