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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost



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Title: Eternal Kiss of Darkness
Series: Night Huntress World #2
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Published Date: June 27, 2010
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: Kindle
Pages: 385
ASIN: B003P2W396
ISBN: 0061783161
Copy provided by: Library Loan
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness . . . And now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears, this fearless, beautiful . . . human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.


My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Review: 

Eternal Kiss of Darkness is the second book in the Night Huntress World series but can be read alone from the series as well as the Night Huntress series. I enjoyed seeing the side characters from the Night Huntress series and getting to know a little bit more about them. I assumed I would like the first book, First Drop of Crimson, more because I liked Spade’s character more than Mencheres’. But it seems I was wrong. Although I enjoyed First Drop of Crimson, I loved Eternal Kiss of Darkness so much more.

Mencheres has always been a cool and collected character so it was nice seeing him get hot and bothered for once. I guess when you have been around since the time when the Egyptian pyramids were new, you might get tired of what you see after a while. After losing his ability to see the future, he no longer feels there is anything to live for. Besides, his last vision was of darkness which he assumes means his impending death. What he does not expect is the addition of Kira to the equation. When Kira saves his life, they are forced into one another’s company for a while. Even though there is an attraction between the two, both have their reasons for not wanting to fall for the other.

One of my favorite things about this story is the couple’s similarities and differences. They both have similar skeletons in the closet from their pasts that they have trouble letting go of. But where Mencheres’ past has made him feel unworthy of having a life, Kira’s makes her strive to have one as well as saving other lives in the process. Kira is a strong character and is exactly what someone like Mencheres needed to come to terms with his past and flourish into a future for himself. I enjoyed getting into the cool and collected vampire’s head and seeing him find meaning in his life with Kira.

I loved this book. Jeaniene Frost has created yet another spectacular urban fantasy story full of romance, intrigue, humor and action. I highly recommend that Jeaniene Frost fans read this book as well as readers who have never heard of the Night Huntress series.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Timeless by Michelle Madow



     The Cover of Michelle Madow's new book was recently revealed along with an awesome giveaway! The link to the author's website and giveaway are listed below as well as the new cover. Better hurry though, there are only a few days left to enter!!!

Now on to her book series.  The series is called Transcend Time and contains three books. The first two are:


Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1)


| Goodreads | Amazon |
Synopsis:

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind? 

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.




Vengeance (Transcend Time Saga #2)

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Synopsis:

How far would you go to get revenge? 

When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she'd never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea's willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe -- that she shared a past life with Drew -- is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back … well, it's downright crazy.

Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?

Find out in Vengeance, the second part of the Transcend Time Saga.

*Vengeance is the short story that bridges the events in Remembrance and the final novel in the Saga


Cover Reveal + Giveaway

And now for the main attraction...I give you the beautiful cover of the final book in the Transcend Time Saga by Michelle Madow, Timeless! Expected publication date is November 20, 2012.

| Goodreads |


Click link below and you will be taken to Michelle Madow's website where she is giving away to one lucky winner:



- Signed copy of Remembrance
- Signed copy of Vengeance
- Signed copy of Timeless (to be sent after Timeless releases)
- Three signed Remembrance bookmarks
- Mask that looks like the one on the cover of Remembrance
- A mention in the acknowledgments section of Timeless

*The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!


TO ENTER GIVEAWAY CLICK BELOW:
Michelle Madow's Timeless Giveaway


Good Luck and Happy Reading :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost



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Title: Once Burned
Series: Night Prince #1
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Published Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Avon
Format: Kindle
Pages: 346
ASIN: B006SJLL82
ISBN: 9780061783203
Copy provided by: Personal Purchase
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary:

She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all-but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him-a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing then down in flames.


My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Review:


Once Burned is a long awaited book for fans of the character Vlad from the Night Huntress Series.  Like many other fans, Vlad was one of my favorite side characters.  I was so looking forward to Once Burned.

The story is told through Leila’s point of view.  Leila was an interesting character.  After an accident when she was a teenager, she was left with a scar down one side of her body and the inability to be close enough to anyone to touch making forming relationships just a dream.  She has some interesting powers including the power to wield electricity and the power to see the past, present and future when she touches a person or an object.  With her inability to live normally, she hides herself as she takes part in a traveling circus.  Her powers are what draws her into the vampire world and ultimately leads to her to Vlad as well as the mystery behind who wants to use her as the ultimate weapon and get revenge against Vlad.

Although I enjoyed the story, I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would or as much as Jeaniene Frost’s other books.  The first thing that disappointed me was that the story was not told through Vlad’s point of view.  When I first heard about this new series and based on the cover, I assumed the story would be told from Vlad.  As I said before, he was always one of my favorite characters and I was looking forward to seeing inside his head.

The other thing that bothered me was that the book seemed to be more about Leila than Vlad.  Sure he was in the book as the main love interest but I did not feel that there was enough of him to satisfy me.  Also, his personality did not seem as well developed to me.  His relationship with Leila was a good start to the series but I did not feel it.  With his supposed inability to love at present, the story was more lusty than romantic but I still did not really feel their connection. I am not sure if that was just me but that is how I honestly felt.

The story was good even though I felt it was a little more serious than some of the author’s other work.  Leila’s powers bring her to the plot against Vlad and parts of Vlad’s past are exposed as they face an enemy.  I did think that their powers and personalities worked well together and that in the next book they can be an amazing couple as well as formidable team.

Overall, I liked the book but did not love it.  I feel and hope the next book, Twice Tempted, will be better and possibly the Vlad book I have been waiting for.  I will be looking forward to seeing what happens next for Leila and Vlad.

Recommend for fans of Urban Fantasy and Vlad
            

Favorite Quotes:

“That one tickled. If electrocution is your way of flirting, I commend you on your originality.” 

“I don’t see my death when I touch you, so I’m Team Vlad all the way.” 

“People can perfect whatever fa├žade they want, but everyone holds their sins close to the skin.” 

“I was sitting cross-legged in bed, trying without success to pretend I’d misunderstood the image I’d glimpsed. Yeah, right. Because Vlad had been between my legs looking for a set of keys he’d lost.” 

“I stared at Vlad, thinking how right be looked in these surroundings. His lean, rough handsomeness, wind-whipped dark hair, and determined expression held as much barbaric splendor as the former medieval palace. In many ways, Vlad reminded me of these ruins; an untamed slice of the past amidst the veneer of modern civilization.” 

“I’m not getting anywhere with him,” I said to Vlad, ignoring Szilagyi’s taunt. “Do you have something you want me to relay before I go?” “Yes.” Vlad’s voice was pleasant. “Tell him the next time I see him, I’ll rip off his head and make a new toilet out of it.” “He hates you a lot,” I summarized to Szilagyi.

Review: 12.21 by Dustin Thomason



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Title: 12.21
Author: Dustin Thomason
Published Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: The Dial Press
Format: Advanced Reader’s Edition
Pages: 318
ISBN: 9780385341400
Copy provided by: Random House
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Science Fiction

Summary:

For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end. 

In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands.

By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors. This extraordinary record, written in secret by a royal scribe, seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of the history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our won civilization might suffer this same fate.

With only days remaining until December 21, 2012, Stanton and Chel must join forces before time runs out.


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Review:


12.21 is a complex story that intertwines the past and present into a thrilling adventure. The story is told through multiple character’s points of view until they collide into the conclusion. I think what I liked most about this book was the way the author brought all of the elements of the story together. Not only was the way the world was predicted to end realistic but it made for an intriguing story.
            
What did surprise me about the story was that I thought there was going to be more about the pandemic. While the spread and attempted containment of the illness was present in the story, the majority of the book was about tracking the origin. At a point in the book, I found myself more interested in the historical mystery of the characters decoding the Mayan text rather than the spreading disease. I believe the Mayan history was what I found most fascinating about the story but some readers may be put off by the change of pace and focus in the book. However, if you are able, like I was, to enjoy both elements of the story, historical and scientific, you are in for a treat when they come together at the end.
            
The characters were well written but with the pace and seriousness of the story, you do not really get a lot of personality buildup. What was interesting was the way the characters stories and lives come together. Each character had a role to play and none of it seemed to be chance. The whole story of past and present seemed like fate brought all the characters together.
            
Overall, I can see why some people compare 12.21 to works written by Michael Crichton. In a way, it had the same feel. If you are a fan of thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, Mayan history or end of the world stories, I suggest you give this book a try. I am glad I read it and am curious to see what Dustin Thomason will come out with next.
            

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs



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Title: Tempest Rising
Series: Tempest #1
Author: Tracy Deebs
Published Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 353
ASIN: B004YJK1PO
Copy provided by: Personal Purchase
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Summary:

Tempest is a young adult dreading her seventeenth birthday.  After her Mom left just before her early teens, Tempest was left with a letter and a choice to make when she reaches her seventeenth year. Her choice is to remain human on land or to embrace the mermaid within her and head for the sea.  Despite trying to stay with friends and family on land her instinct, need for questions answered and a guy named Kona draw her out to sea.  Will she choose the life she knows or the one she unwilling longs for?


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Review:


Tempest Rising is told through Tempest’s point of view, first person. I was surprised by how quickly I was drawn into this story.  Even with a few flaws, the story kept me clued to the pages and wanting to see what would happen next.
            
The problem I had with the story was there was more emotional turmoil than action and discovery in places and it made parts of the book seem to drag a bit.  In a way it made sense with all the changes the young main character was going through but there were a few times that I was ready for her to go ahead a make up her mind or grow up a little.  But I guess you cannot control what you feel which is why I was so very glad when she finally came to terms with her past and present.
            
The story is a good beginning to a new young adult series.  I believe with Tempest finding her place in the first book, the next book will be focusing on the world the audience was dying to see more of in the first. I am intrigued to see how her character will develop.
            
Tracy Deebs has created an endearing series with an interesting world built on mythology.  The changes Tempest goes through during the book were entertaining and captivating.  I enjoyed learning about the mysterious Kona but would love to see more of him and their world.  I was mesmerized by the glimpses of the world the author created and now am disappointed that I do not already have my hands on the next book, Tempest Unleashed.  I will definitely be checking out the next book!
            
Recommend for Fans of Young Adult and Mermaids.



Favorite Quote:

"Warriors aren't the only ones who can kick a little ass, you know. Some maidens can more than hold their own."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill



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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis:


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

Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.


Review:


Twice Bitten is the third book in the Chicagoland Vampires series.  I have to say, this series is either growing on me or this book was better than the two previous ones.  Or perhaps it is both.  This story opens up new possibilities for the future stories.  It becomes clear in this book that the world creation in the other books is beginning to add more depth to the story.  The characters are maturing and the audience is really allowed to see their individual personalities.
                                 
I am really beginning to like Merit.  With some of her earlier behavior, I thought she was a little immature and flat.  However, after this book, I no longer believe that.  Her character has come a long way since the beginning and continues to intrigue the reader with her progress.  In this story, we get to see a little deeper inside her heart.

Ethan was not a love interest that I cared for previously but this book has changed my opinion.  I think part of what I did not like before was that we did not really get a feel for his character other than that he acts more sophisticated than Merit in his sense of humor.  If you are an Ethan fan or even you are not, you will want to make sure to read this one.  We get to learn more about his past, see his emotions and become intrigued by the personality that he seems to hide from public view.

The story was interesting and moved at a good pace.  There were elements of all good urban fantasy novels in this book including action, suspense, romance and humor.  I thought the author’s take on shifters was interesting and I look forward to seeing more of them in the next book. Overall,  a good book and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Recommend to fans of Urban Fantasy


Favorite Quotes:


“Maybe the shifters have it right,” I said.  “I mean, heading off into the woods, keeping to themselves.”  “Your theory being that if you don’t have contact with anyone, you can’t be hurt by them?”  That was a very astute conclusion for a four-hundred-year-old vampire who usually seemed clueless about human emotion.  “That would be the idea, yes.”  This time, when he looked at me, there was sadness in his eyes.  “I don’t want to see you become cold, Merit.”  “Not wanting to be hurt isn’t the same as becoming cold.”  “Not at first,” he said.
            
“No- I wanted to fight because I was a predator, two months past the first time I’d felt the tug of fight-or-flight.  I’d tempered my steel with my own blood… and I was ready to feed that steel with someone else’s.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill



Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Click to go to Amazon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

The story of a young heiress’s initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues. Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they’re enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle, the citizens will start sharpening their stakes. So now it’s up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn’t want peace between them, someone with an ancient grudge.


Review:

Friday Night Bites is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. I have to say that I enjoyed the characters in this story more than the first book. The characters are evolving in this story while Merit learns to really be a vampire and live in vampire society. It is not until this book that she really starts figuring herself out and how she fits into her new life. My favorite part of this book was the beginning of her transition.

Unfortunately what I did not like about this book was the excessive dialogue and strategizing. There was so much back story at the beginning that I am not sure you even have to read the first book before starting this one. Another good portion of the story is pondering the current mystery which is fine except that it became a little excessive. There is a lot of vampire politics as well.

The story itself was not great or horrible to me. What was best about this book is the ending. As I mentioned earlier, the character development is what made the story and made Merit’s character more interesting to me. I think this book was mostly setting up the next one. It sounds like Merit will be more on the streets than stuck at the Cadogan House so hopefully the next book will have more action.

I am not sure what it is about this series so far but while I do not love it, I also cannot seem to stop wanting to flip the pages. This series has me interested in which direction it will take and what will become of Merit. We still have not truly seen what she is capable of and I am interested to find out.

Recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy



Favorite Quotes:


“YOU CAN TELL A LOT BY THE SIZE OF A MAN’S LIBRARY”

“I assume you’ll need feeding soon?” “I’m a girl, not a pet.”

“My sense of humor is perfectly well developed,” he informed me when our bodies aligned again. “I merely have high standards.”

“I wanted what most people wanted- love, companionship. I wanted someone to touch. I wanted someone to touch me back. I wanted someone to laugh with, someone who would laugh with me, laugh at me. I wanted someone who looked and saw me. Not my power, not my position. I wanted someone to say my name. To call out, “Merit,” when it was time to go, or when we arrived. Someone who wanted to say to someone else, with pride, “I’m here with her. With Merit.” I wanted all those things. Indivisibly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill



Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Click here to go to Amazon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.


Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.




Review:

This is the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. From what I can tell, this seems to be a hit or miss for readers. I can see why some like and dislike the series. I was fortunate enough to enjoy this first book but there were some things that I disliked or felt could be improved.

The first thing I noticed about this story was the humor. The humor is not one for everyone. There was some of the humorous dialogue that I found funny and some that seemed a little too corny for me. What seemed a little off to me was that while some of the main character’s snarky comments are intellectual, some are kind of immature. Merit is, after all, a almost twenty eight year old graduate student.

For some reason this book felt like a young adult book to me even though it is obviously intended for adults.

What I did not connect with in this story was the love interest. Merit is so drawn to Ethan when Morgan is the one that she gets along with. I guess it is that whole opposites attract thing. The characters in general are not my favorite but I can see how they might grow on me. Guess I will have to keep reading the series to find out.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and will continue the series to see how it plays out. Although I did not care for some elements of the story, there was still plenty that I did like for me to enjoy the book. I recommend that if you are a fan of urban fantasy that you give it a shot to see if you like it.

Recommend for fans of Urban Fantasy