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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

March Book Releases 2012!

For the full list of Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Paranormal books for March 2012, scroll down to the bottom of the page. Above we have highlighted the ones we are most excited about!



Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (#3 in Alpha and Omega)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012




When the FBI request a pack consultant on a serial killer case they're following in Boston, Anna and Charles are sent in. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves – all of them were.

Someone is targeting their kind. And if Charles and Anna can't get to the bottom of this mystery, they may be next...




Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison (#4 in Elder Races)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012



As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and Petra's husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister's two young children - neither of which she is prepared for.

Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn prince of House Marid - driven by his genuine caring for the children - has decided to make himself a part of the household both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace's impudence toward the Elder Races.

But when an attempt is made on Grace's life, she realizes that Khalil is the only one who can protect her - and offer her more than a mortal man...



Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (#1 in Incryptid)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012



Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity-and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...



Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean (#3 in Secret McQueen )

Tuesday, March 06, 2012



Secret McQueen has hunted vampires, werewolves, and every conceivable supernatural menace-to-society. Seen it all? Not even close. When the queen of the were-ocelots comes to her for help finding a missing girl, the half-vampire/half-werewolf soon realizes how much she has to learn about the things that go bump in the night.

The case of the missing cat is one thing. Pile it up with her new duties as a Tribunal Leader, her tenuous position as mate to the king of the Eastern werewolves, and a slew of new (and unwelcome) supernatural abilities, and Secret is once again in familiar territory. "Way" over her head. But for this multitasking half-breed, it's business as "un"usual.

What knocks her for a loop, though, isn't her lover's intoxicating kiss. It's the missing memories rushing at her from out of nowhere, signaling a rapidly approaching fork in her destiny. Her choice will affect not only her life, but her love.



The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens (#2 in Graveyard Queen)

Friday, March 23, 2012



Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town...

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth



Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane (#4 in Downside Ghosts (Chess Putnam)

Friday, March 23, 2012



When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice



Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward (#11 in Black Dagger Brotherhood)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012



In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Now back in the Brotherhood - and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was - Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams - trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld - Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he's told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . .

Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King's throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?


Full list of Urban Fantasy, fantasy and paranormal books for March 2012

Urban Fantasy, fantasy and paranormal books for March 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Ring of Wind by Chris Bradford (#7 in Young Samurai)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23693247/The-Ring-of-Wind

Succubi Are Forever by Jill Myles (#4 in Succubus Diaries)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26910402/Succubi-Are-Forever


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop (#3 in Ephemera)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23853173/Bridge-of-Dreams

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (#3 in Alpha and Omega)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23691951/Fair-Game

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (#1 in Incryptid)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23891963/Discount-Armageddon

Dying Wish by Shannon K Butcher (#7 in Sentinel Wars)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23610996/Dying-Wish

Darkness Undone by Jessa Slade (#4 in Marked Souls)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23867073/Darkness-Undone

Doubletake by Rob Thurman (#7 in Cal and Niko Leandros)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23850385/Doubletake

Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler (#1 in Eternal Wolf Clan)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24077067/Dire-Needs

Wicked Edge by Nina Bangs (#5 in Castle of Dark Dreams)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23845244/Wicked-Edge

Now or Never by Michele Bardsley (#2 in Wizards of Nevermore)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23837102/Now-or-Never

Ruins by Orson Scott Card (#2 in Serpent World)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/18309964/Ruins-%28Pathfinder-Series%29

Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison (#4 in Elder Races)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23834476/Oracles-Moon

Balthazar by Claudia Gray (#5 in Evernight)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24033489/Balthazar

Eventide by Elle Jasper (#3 in Dark Ink Chronicles)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/17855099/Eventide

Hunter's Prey by Moira Rogers (#2 in Bloodhounds)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26695363/Hunters-Prey-Bloodhounds-Book-2

Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean (#3 in Secret McQueen )

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26179871/Deep-Dark-Secret

And Blue Skies From Pain by Stina Leicht (#2 in Fey and the Fallen)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26448039/And-Blue-Skies-From-Pain

Wrath by Laurann Dohner (#6 in New Species )

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26957764/Wrath

Nightborn by Lynn Viehl (#1 in Lords of the Darkyn )

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24025134/Nightborn

Monday, March 12, 2012

Requiem with the Reaper by Kailin Gow (#3 in Harold the Kung Fu Kid)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23753393/Requiem-with-the-Reaper

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moonsong by L. J. Smith (#2 in The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/18166961/Moonsong

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (#3 in Hex Hall)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24026414/Spell-Bound

Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon (#3 in Chronicles of Nick)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/22383025/Infamous

The Isis Collar by Cat Adams (#4 in Blood Song)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24082486/The-Isis-Collar

The Compelled by L. J. Smith (#6 in The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23998589/The-Compelled

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain (#3 in A Dark Divine)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23060657/The-Savage-Grace

Strange Path by D Jordan Redhawk (#1 in Sanguire)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/26546702/The-strange-path

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M J Rose (#4 in Reincarnationist)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24429649/The-Book-of-Lost-Fragrances

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Trinity Moon by Elspeth Cooper (#2 in Wild Hunt Trilogy)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/15346414/Trinity-Moon-%28Wild-Hunt-Trilogy-2%29

A Crown Imperiled by Raymond E Feist (#2 in Chaoswar Saga)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24001150/A-Crown-Imperiled-Book-Two-of-the-Chaoswar-Saga

The Shifting Price of Prey by Suzanne McLeod (#4 in Spellcrackers)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/20445702/The-Shifting-Price-of-Prey

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Warrior Rising by Pamela Palmer (#4 in Esri)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/25796835/Warrior-Rising

Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull (#2 in Beyonders)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/22938902/Seeds-of-Rebellion

The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide by Rick Riordan (#2.5 in Kane Chronicles)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24464958/The-Kane-Chronicles-Survival-Guide

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz (#2 in Spellbound)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/25402677/Spellcaster

Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler (#3 in Horsemen of the Apocalypse)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24580450/Loss

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens (#2 in Graveyard Queen)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23794522/The-Kingdom

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Outcast Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (#2 in Vampire Assassin Trilogy)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/22428211/The-Outcast-Blade-%28The-Assassini%29

Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse (#2 in Coming of the Dragon)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24110837/Peaceweaver

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shadow's Master by Jon Sprunk (#3 in Shadow)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/16108638/Shadows-Master

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane (#4 in Downside Ghosts (Chess Putnam)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23784549/Sacrificial-Magic

Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay (#2 in Annabelle Lee )

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24491037/Blood-on-the-Bayou

Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward (#11 in Black Dagger Brotherhood)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/23620327/Lover-Reborn

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (#2 in Goddess Test)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/21915743/Goddess-Interrupted

Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks (#12 in Love at Stake)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/25617313/Wanted-Undead-or-Alive

Shadow's Fall by Dianne Sylvan (#3 in Shadow World)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24035473/Shadows-Fall

Deliverance by Dakota Banks (#3 in Mortal Path)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24066187/Deliverance

Back from the Undead by D. D. Barant (#5 in Bloodhound Files)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24433997/Back-from-the-Undead

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston (#7 in Pride)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24588619/Bear-Meets-Girl

The Blood by D. J. MacHale (#3 in Morpheus Road)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/25621221/The-Blood-%28Morpheus-Road%29

Forgiven by Jana Oliver (#4 in Demon Trappers)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24081454/Forgiven

The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone (#1 in Paranormal Investigator )

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24086374/The-Seduction-of-Phaeton-Black

Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Dina Nayeri (#3 in Another)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/25789431/Another-Jekyll-Another-Hyde

Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson (#1 in Blud)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/24582940/Wicked-as-They-Come

Vampire Dawn by J. R. Rain (#5 in Vampire for Hire)

http://www.shelfari.com/books/27079139/Vampire-Dawn

Monday, 27 February 2012

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger ★★★

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #1
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
ISBN: 978-0316056632
Page Count: 384



Summary:

Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Review:

A DELIGHTFULLY RIDICULOUS STEAMPUNK MYSTERY.

This was a lot of fun to read. As if the frippery of Victorian England wasn't already utterly ridiculous in its own right, add in an outlandish vampire, a tasty Scottish alpha werewolf and a lady armed with a silver tipped parasol who definitely knows how to use it, and you are in for a fun little treat!

The writing style may not be to everyone's taste. The styling is very strong, very British, the vocabulary impressive and the tone witty and sarcastic. Some of the dialogue and opinions proffered do border on the ridiculous as I mention above (ridiculous seems to be the word of the day today, and very apt for this book), mainly regarding the delicate sensibilities of the London ton in this era. The straightness of one's cravat being of the utmost importance, much more so than being attacked by a rogue vampire for instance. A vampire that hadn't even bothered to introduce himself! Are you getting the general idea?

I did enjoy most of the poking fun at the attitudes of the times stuff, but some of it got on my nerves. Namely our main character's family. A bigger bunch of narrow minded idiots I have yet to encounter. The mother in particular was especially repugnant. I'm glad Alexia didn't let it bring her down too much.

Alexia Tarabotti is the main character in the book. She's a 26 year old spinster of Italian descent and has tanned skin (which apparently in this era makes her entirely unmarriageable, what with tanned skin currently being so unfashionable! Unfashionable skin? Somebody save me from the stupid, please). She also boasts an impressive full figure, which, again, is a big no no for the times. But it is, however, something that catches the eye of a certain aforementioned alpha werewolf. I really enjoyed these two together, and the romance was quite sweet. On a smut scale it would only be maybe a 1 or 2 out of 5, if you care about that sort of thing.

The mystery was probably the strongest element. I enjoyed this aspect a lot and was left guessing to the end.

The world-building was lacking quite substantially, however. It's fair to say I haven't got the biggest number of Steampunk novels under my belt to compare to, but from what I have read, this is incredibly Steampunk-lite. A couple of mentions of steam engines, gears, levers and an occasional dirigible was about the extent of it. So that was a little disappointing.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to continue with the series, but I will check out some reviews to see the general consensus. I wasn't blown away enough for it to be an automatic addition to my shelf. For now, I will say that the story was wrapped up so nicely that you could easily read it as a stand alone and feel satisfied. Perhaps using it as an easy introduction to the Steampunk genre.

I give it 3 Stars ★★★

Sunday, 26 February 2012

In My Mailbox - 26th February 2012



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. It is a chance for book bloggers everywhere to share and showcase the new books they have received during the week, whether they be bought, borrowed or received for review.

Be sure to check out some of the other great blogs listed at The Story Siren to see what others have discovered this week!

This week I have:

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
Bought from Amazon


I feel like I had been waiting for this forever! I've already finished it and it was AMAZING!

The Half-breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers
Received for review from NetGalley


I don't know much about this one but it's Harlequin nocturne so I'm sure it will be quite steamy!

So, what did you get?

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Review: Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren ★★★

Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Others #1
Publication Date: March 2006
ISBN: 978-0312939625
Page Count: 352



Summary: 

Sullivan Quinn didn't travel 3,000 miles from his native Ireland and his wolf pack just to chase rabidly after the most delectable quarry he's ever seen. Quinn is in America on a mission--to warn his Other brethren of a shadowy group willing to use murder and mayhem to bring them down. But one whiff of this Foxwoman's delicious honeysuckle fragrance and he knows that she is more than a colleague or a conquest...she is his mate.

Anthropologist Cassidy Poe is a world-renowned authority on social interaction, but the overpowering desire she feels around Quinn defies every ounce of her expertise. Working by his side to uncover the Others' enemies poses risks she never expected--to her own safety, to those she loves, and to her heart, as every encounter with Quinn proves more blissfully erotic than the last...

Now, with no one to trust but each other, Quinn and Cassidy face a foe that's edging closer every day, threatening toil destroy the life they've always known, and the passion they've just discovered...

Review:

This was a little disappointing. It had some elements I really liked, but overall it missed the mark for me.

We start out by meeting our star couple, Irish werewolf Sullivan Quinn, and American Fox-woman Cassidy Po. Their meeting was somewhat unorthodox but amusing and I thought I was in for a treat because they seemed like really nice characters. And they were. Cassidy was intelligent, witty and beautiful and a rarity as a supernatural, being one of only two fox-women in the US (or maybe it was just in that State) either way, most other supes have never even heard of them. But when Sullivan Quinn gets one whiff of her at a party, he is never likely to forget her again.

Sullivan was adorable in all his Irish charm. Once he got over his initial beastly instincts of their first meet, he proved a gentleman, also very intelligent, and a great and attentive lover.

Unfortunately what could have been developed further into a great romance was then reduced to only sex scenes between the pair. They were meant to be working on a mystery, but did very little of that. So that was kind of a shame. And really, out of the whole book, considering this is essentially a romance novel, they were apart an awful lot. I think some of the time devoted to the mystery and world building could have been given to developing their relationship out of the bedroom.

Speaking of this mystery/conspiracy plot. It was not very well written at all. I got the main gist of what was going on, but after a while I found myself barely paying attention to it all. There were meetings of the leaders of the supernatural races which were little more than thinly veiled info dumping in the form of dialogue. And if you've read any other PNR this was nothing new or noteworthy- except perhaps for the addition of fox-women- so I started zoning out.

This all led up to a showdown of sorts, which fizzled into nothing. There was no real action, only a dull, suspense-less mystery, and some nice characters that were unfortunately wasted.

I will check out some reviews further into the series to see if things improve, but if not, I think I will be leaving this series here.

3 Stars ★★★

Saturday Under The Covers #2

Saturday Under the Covers is a weekly round up of some of the best (and worst) new cover releases I've spotted this week. Mostly these will be new releases but occasionally I may find an older cover that I just really need to discuss!

Inside (Insider #1-2) by Maria V. Snyder


My thoughts:

This is a special collection of her two exciting dystopian novels, INSIDE OUT and OUTSIDE IN in one volume. I think the cover is gorgeous. I've noticed I have a bit of a thing for blue covers anyway but the figure in the pipes is just so unusual and striking with the gold lighting.

Below are the previously released individual covers.



Release date: Febriary 21st, 2012

INSIDE OUT:

Keep Your Head Down. Don't Get Noticed. Or Else.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.
So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it's all that dangerous--the only neck at risk is my own.
Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no... 

My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers #0.5) by Rachel Vincent 


My thoughts:

This is the UK cover for the novella "My Soul To Lose," which is a World Book Day freebie this year in the UK! I'm glad these are being released in the UK (including the novellas) and this this cover is very eye-catching. The whole set is being released in this styling for us. Aren't we lucky?

Release date: August 2012

It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it's the worst day of her life.
Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.
She tries to convince everyone she's fine--despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she's crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities....

Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1) by Juliet Marillier 


My thoughts:

I like the earthy colours here and she definitely looks wistful. And of course she is a very pretty girl, but there's just something a little off. It could simply be the odd positioning, neither face forward nor profile. I don't know. I'd say it's good but not great.

Release date: September 11 , 2012

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill--a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk--Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death--but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban's release from Keldec's rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban

Soul Trade ( Black London #5) by Caitlin Kittredge 


My thoughts:

There are very few series I know where they always have both a male and a female on the cover. This is one of them. Even in series where there is a main couple it's usually only the girl that makes it on the cover. And in this one he is very much in the foreground for a change which makes me curious. I'm not sure I love the green but I do like the overlaying of images.

Release date: August 28 , 2012

No blurb yet

Friday, 24 February 2012

Review: Silver-tongued Devil by Jaye Wells ★★★★

Silver-tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Sabina Kane #4
Publication Date: December 28, 2011
ISBN: 978-0316178433
Page Count: 432



Summary:

Life is looking up for Sabina Kane. Now that her scheming grandmother is dead, the threat of war has passed and the rulers of the dark races are about to sign a treaty to ensure ongoing peace. Her relationship with sexy mage Adam Lazarus is strong and all her friends are around her. Even her magic training is progressing further than she ever expected.

The only two dark spots in her otherwise settled life are her guilt over her sister Maisie's fragile mental state and Sabina's own sinking sense that she's got unfinished business with Cain, the mysterious cult leader she let get away months earlier. When a string of murders rock the New York dark races community and threatens to stall the peace negotiations, Sabina finds herself helping to find the killer. Her investigation leads her down troubling paths that have her questioning everything - and everyone - she knows. And the closer she gets to the murderer, the more Sabina realizes this is one foe she may not able to kill.

Review:

It was great to be back with Sabina and her pals in this, the fourth instalment of the Sabina Kane series. I very much enjoyed the first three books and was desperately wishing good things on Sabina and Adam in the previous book so that they might finally get it together. ('cause, you know, if you wish for something hard enough, it will happen). And how good was the end of Green-eyed Demon? So good, is the answer to that. Sabina finally stopped being a Fraidy Cat and admitted she loved Adam after nearly losing him to mad Maisie, and we all breathed a sigh of contented relief.

It was a slight disappointment then, after all the high emotion and drama from the end of that book, to discover that three months later at the beginning of this one, they have morphed into the world's dullest couple. Adam is being Mr. Judgy Von Holier Than Thou about Sabina's vamp side. And their shows of affection are mostly limited to unromantic pecks on the cheek and an occasional arm draped around a shoulder. I realise once the main couple get together the sexual tension part will be missing as we move towards more comfortable togetherness, but surely there should still be sexual attraction? I would have liked to think that after only a matter of weeks they still find each other more appealing than this.

And it wasn't until much further into the book that I began to understand the possible reason for Wells writing them this way, and by the midway point, the drama stakes for these two have been upped almost beyond bearing for both of them. And all was forgiven. I still love Adam and Sabina as a couple despite their problems and now having finished the novel I am back to being optimistic for them at the very least. Who ever said love was easy, eh?

The mystery plot was also a little slow to get going. I have to say if this book was a football match, all the goals were scored in the second half and I did have a moment in the middle wondering what had happened to these characters that used to be such fun. Even the ever glamorous Pussy Willow has turned from a fun-loving cross dressing fae with a heart of gold, to a drag queen bitch diva from hell. Her and Gighul are having some kind of "issues". I'm not at all sure what's going on there but I hope we get the old PW back soon.

All in all, not the finest of the series so far, but a must read in terms of plot development. This is one of those occasions where I wish for half stars because I would give it 3.5, but since the end was so good I'll round up to 4.

4 Stars! ★★★★

Feature and Follow Friday - 24th February 2012



Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.

The point of this hop is to follow other bloggers, to gain new followers yourself, and to make friends in the book blogging community.

If you follow me I will follow back. Just let me know in the comments that you are a new follower. Happy Friday!

This week's featured Bloggers are:

Oh! For the Love of Books


And

Ezine of a Random Girl



Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most… 

 I like to read in bed. Sorry, not posting a picture of that. But it is my little haven and I love it. I steal all my hubby's pillows from his side of the bed and make myself a little nest. Bliss!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Review: The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter ★★★★

The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Lords of the Underworld #5
Publication Date: Jun-2010
ISBN: 9780373774555
Page Count: 442

 

Summary:

For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel--demon-assassin--has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting--and falling for--Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this mortal with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron's darkest passion?

Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn't....

Review:

I think this might just be my favourite of the series so far. There was just so much going on, so many sub-plots and brief tantalising visits with the other warriors whose books have yet to come. A better overall plot and an interesting twist to the romance as well in the form of a jealous female demon, Aeron's "pet" Legion, having something to say about Aeron shacking up with an Angel. Even if she did fall from Heaven giving up everything just to spend his last two weeks with him.

I spent quite a lot of the book trying to figure out how on earth the main couple, Aeron the keeper of wrath, and Olivia, a fallen angel could possibly end the story on a Happily Ever After as things just looked so hopeless at times. It drew you in emotionally with this theme of longing for something you know you can't have. The disastrous results of Legion's interference was particularly gripping. The female characters have never had to contend with another as competition in any of these stories so far, so that part was a very interesting change to the formula.

There is further progress on the war with the hunters, as well as insight into the bigger picture with the god Cronus and his wife Rhea. It's quite sad to see the way the hunters are portrayed in this series. Sad because it's probably an accurate depiction of how at least some humans would react were it real. People are scared of what the don't understand and instead of doing something about their ignorance, they lash out like a cornered animal. It's a depressing reflection on human behaviour, but it makes for great reading.

Overall I really enjoyed it. I give it 4 stars ★★★★

Review: A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison ★★★★★

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Hollows #10
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-195789-5
Page Count: 512



Summary:

Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth — a would-be creator is determined to make his (or her) own demons. But it can’t be done without Rachel’s blood.

As a bounty hunter, Rachel has battled vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more. But humanity itself might be her toughest challenge

Review:

Wow! What a fantastic read!

A PERFECT BLOOD has absolutely everything you have come to expect from a Hollows novel: humour, mystery, magic, romantic elements, danger, adventure, friendships and so much more.

A lot of series would be losing steam and momentum by their tenth book. Not so for The Hollows. Instead, it feels more like Kim is finally getting to have a bit of fun by letting some of the seeds she's been sewing come into fruition and it marks some exciting changes on the horizon, as well as some potentially sad and poignant ones.

The characters in this series are some of the most diverse and interesting I have ever come across. And any writer that can make me go from hating a character in one book, to having me jumping up and down in fangirl excitement every time he steps on the page in recent books, has my utmost respect. Yes, of course I am talking about the delectable, incorrigible, part-time businessman, part-time badass, all the time pain in the ass, Trenton Aloysius Kalamack. There is yet more development of his character in this book, as if the huge steps he made in the previous one, Pale Demon, weren't epic enough. This time we get to see Trent when he's relaxed, Trent when he's having fun, Trent when he's furious and many other Trent's that we haven't ever seen before because they were hidden underneath his professional fa├žade of political bullshit. I loved every single one of his scenes in this book and I'm so excited to see what else Ms. Harrison has up her sleeve for the elf you love to hate and hate to love.

The rest of the supporting characters were excellent too, of course. We saw all the usual faces and returned to many familiar settings which was nice after the departure we took in Pale Demon. Rachel is back in her church trying to lay low and take some much needed me time after the hell she went through four months ago. She's also got a new bodyguard- a Were named Wayde, whom I though was an okay addition to the cast, and who now lives in her belfry. We also saw quite a bit from David and, if anything, this is probably the character and relationship I understand the least. I think from what I've read on Kim Harrison's website, the werewolf angle was something she would have liked to have addressed in more detail, but decided against it when she plotted out the Demon/Elf/Witch story arc for the remaining books. So now David feels a bit surplus to requirements within the series. I was glad to see she got her werewolf tattoo sorted out, but it had a definite "tying up loose ends" feel to it.

Jenks has some great moments and one-liners as always. Still worshipping the almighty Tinkerbell in all of her red-thonged glory. There wasn't a great deal of Ivy and it's made clear that Rachel feels they might be drifting apart. I wish I could say that really, really bothers me, but to be brutally honest, their relationship has always seemed to have an unhealthy balance to me, so I'm glad Ivy is moving on a bit and isn't quite so focused on Rachel. That doesn't mean Rachel is happy about it, though. It's more like something that she has accepted as inevitable, but still finds very sad.

There were a few more new characters introduced as well but I shall leave them for you to discover yourself. They were very intriguing, though. As was the mystery plot. There was truly not a dull moment throughout.

There may be a slight upset for Al fans as he has very little screen time in comparison to others, but for me, again, this wasn't so much of a problem because I'm all about the elf.

All together, a wonderful addition to the series. Easily Pale Demon's equal and one I look forward to re-reading again next year while I wait impatiently for "Ever after" to come out in early 2013.

5 Magic Stars! ★★★★★

Sunday, 19 February 2012

In My Mailbox - 19th February 2012



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. It is a chance for book bloggers everywhere to share and showcase the new books they have received during the week, whether they be bought, borrowed or received for review.

Be sure to check out some of the other great blogs listed at The Story Siren to see what others have discovered this week!

This week I have:


Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane!
Received for review from NetGalley


Who the hell cares what else I got this week. I got approved for Sacrificial Magic!!!!! Now I just need to work out how I'm going to fit this unexpected surprise into my plan!

Home by Stacia Kane
Free on the Heroes and Heartbreakers website


This was a short story that was posted for free on the above website. It was originally supposed to go into an anthology, but change of plan and lucky us we get this little gem of a story as a Valentines present!

Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding
Received for review from NetGalley


I got this on on Monday at the same time as Sacrificial Magic. Best. Day. Ever!

A Kiss in the Wind by Jennifer Bray-Webber
Received for review from NetGalley


Pirates. Argg! I like a change of pace every now and again. I hope this one has plenty of action (of both kinds)

So, what did you get?

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Review: Home by Stacia Kane ★★★★★

Review: Home by Stacia Kane
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Chess Putnam #3.6
Publication Date: February 2012
ISBN : eBook Limited Release
Page Count: 24
My Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: 

Most—no, all—of her cases started the same way: A homeowner or building resident called the Church to report a haunting. The Church assigned a Debunker to the case to investigate the haunting and hopefully disprove it, to make sure the person in question wasn't just faking in order to get a nice fat settlement in exchange for the Church's failure to protect them from the dead.

After all, just because the population was smaller thanks to Haunted Week twenty-four years before, when the ghosts had risen and killed every living person they could, and just because the Church of Real Truth was in charge now, didn't mean people didn't still need money. They did. Just like Chess. She needed money for food, for rent, for the electric bill and the cell phone bill and all of those other things. And of course for drugs: the things that made her life worthwhile.

So Chess worked, and she worked hard, and she'd handled a lot of cases and gotten a lot of bonuses for disproving a lot of hauntings. But she'd never had a case before where a neighbor called the Church to report the ghost and the homeowners insisted there wasn't one.

Review:

Squeeeee! I freaking LOVE Terrible! Could he be any more adorable if he tried? I think not.

This novella packs quite a punch for twenty-four little pages and is an absolute must read for fans of the series. It was a real feel good story, a bit of a mystery thrown in, but the main focus was on Chess and Terrible finally together and happy!

If you loved the end of City of Ghosts as much as I did, you will love this too. Having said that, I have a sneaky suspicion this might only be the calm before the storm in the next instalment. Chess wouldn't be Chess if her life wasn't a hot mess now would she?

Can't wait for the next book, Sacrificial Magic. Wish I had it already. Oh wait! I do! *grins*

5 Stars! ★★★★★

Review: Pale Demon by Kim Harrison ★★★★★

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Hollows #9
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN : 978-0061138065
Page Count: 448

Summary:

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passenger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

Review:

This is by far the best book of the series to date. And I say that for many reasons, some of which I will get to in a moment, but I'd be a big liar, liar pants on fire if I didn't fess up to loving it mostly because of the amount of Trent there was in it. My enjoyment of any Hollows book is at least partially influenced by that factor, and in this one it was like all my Christmases came at once. Not only does he feature prominently, but the development of his character is absolutely huge. Even if he had to take a number of steps backwards before he could move forwards (The big goober) his progress as a character in his own right and also in how he is seen by other characters, was amazing.

The main plot centres around a road trip (from hell). Rachel needs to get to San Francisco for her brother's wedding, and Trent needs to get to Seattle. He remains, in typical Trent fashion, very tight-lipped about precisely why he needs to get there, and why he needs to go by road and not on his fancy jet, but since Quen won't let him travel without Rachel, and Quen can't go with him because of Ceri, Trent has to ask Rachel for help. I have to admit to getting all excited right from chapter one when Trent turns up on an unsuspecting Rachel in a bikini. You just knew it was going to mean big changes for these two from then on out!

Jenks and Ivy were along for the ride as well and were as wonderful as always. Jenks has plenty of great quote material and it was nice to see him getting on with things after the events of the last book. Ivy has also done some maturing. She has a very honest conversation with Rachel at one point which sort of came out of nowhere but it was a fascinating insight to Ivy's feelings and helped me understand her a lot more.

We also had a few scenes with Pierce. Honestly, I could take or leave his character and I didn't really feel like he added much. And Al! The cutest little demon on the block was there too and we learned more about him and the rest of demon kind too. Seriously it was like one revelation after another. Had Kim been saving them all up for this one book or what?

The whole book had excellent pacing. There was never a dull moment, really. The scenes at Rachel's trial were really well written- very tense and quite shocking as well! Especially what happened just before it began! And the last 30 or so pages were so good I had to read them twice! Obviously I can't say anything about it since it's at the end, but it was absolutely brilliant. It couldn't have been done better. Such amazing story-telling skills. I am flawed.

I have actually just finished reading this for the second time in preparation for A Perfect Blood, and it was just as much fun this time around. I cannot wait to see what happens next and just hope Rachel doesn't regress in any of her forward progress with Trent during the interim.

5 Magic Stars! ★★★★★