Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crystal Gardens by Jayne Ann Krentz

Crystal Gardens by Jayne Ann Krentz (Ladies of Lantern Street Series #1) ~V^^^V

This story took a little while for me to really get into. I think it might have something to do with the era. I am not a fan of victorian uppetty-ness (yes I made up that word). The story was an interesting murder mystery/ attempted murder mystery with a romance on the side. The characters, Evangeline and Lucas, were well plotted and had good chemistry as well as some intense sexual chemistry. I just can't put my finger on what it was that kept this story from REALLY sucking me in. It just seemed a bit stiff much like the era in which it takes place. Overall I would say it was a good story though. ~Michelle 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks

Wild About you (Love at Stake #13) by Kerrelyn Sparks ~V^^^^V

I enjoyed this one but there were bits that threw me off from the romance. I was very excited to finally get Howard's story. Before his book I didn't necessarily think of him as sexy but that has changed. Being the "quiet" bear that he is we finally get to see what is going on in Howard's head as well as what lead him to become the man/bear he is. I liked the backstory but was frustrated when we took jaunts off to deal with the past. Elsa was great as well. I loved the instant attraction she had for Howard and the fact that she didn't just jump headlong into it. The flow was excellent, the romance was sweet and the story was very good. So once again I was not disappointed by this series. ~Michelle  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Three ebook Novella Reviews

These stories are all re-releases in ebook. 

NightDrake by Lara Adrian ~V^^V 
Ooops, I read this one previously in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. This story takes place after the Earth's shift in 2066 and resulting global changes. Nisha is a transporter, she moves goods around the world and has a reputation for not caring. Her latest transport is Drakor, a dragon shifter. From here she learns that everything isn't as she always thought it was and gives in to her attraction. It was an OK story, far too short, I think the concept could make a good series someday.

Lifestyles of the Rich & Undead bay Katie MacAlister ~V^^V
This extremely short novella really is just a teaser for the "Shades of Gray" story in the Undead in My Bed Anthology. How about that a novella for a novella!??! Anyway nothing really happens other than an introduction to the key players in the Gray story. It was cute but not really worth the $.99 I paid, should have been a freebie. 

Hearts Untamed by Pamela Palmer ~V^^^V
I grabbed this from the library and then found out I already read it in Bitten by Cupid. This is a rerelease in ebook. 

I am a big fan of the Feral Warriors. This story however is about Therians and Ilinas. This is basically an introduction to Ilinas. Zee and Julianne are great together even if they lack communication skills for a good hunk of the story. I love Pamela's erotica so I am going to give this a high rating. ~Michelle 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Primal Cravings by Susan Sizemore

Primal Cravings (Primes #11) by Susan Sizemore ~V^V

I was unable to finish this, which really makes me mad because I bought it. Why are the Primes books only available in ebook now? So I gave it the ole college try and by 80% I just skipped to the last chapter. I am REALLY disappointed. I am not sure what happened to this book but it lacked editting as far as I could tell. It also didn't seem to have any kind of flow. One minute Jake and Dee are enemies and the next they are sleeping together. But even in that it was odd, during their first coupling Jake screams at Dee. Later they are fighting the bonding while one of the family Matriarchs marries them. Just like that in the middle of a party. THE HELL? The story was just really disjointed and the interchanging of first and last names and addition of old characters and new just added to the mayhem. I still have no idea what I read. =(

Blurb: Vampire Prime Jake Piper and mortal witch Dee McCoy are the least likely members of the Dark Angels paranormal commandos to be ordered to work as partners. She doesn't trust that Jake has truly renounced his former evil ways. He resents dealing with a mortal female as an equal no matter how attracted he is to her.

Despite their personal conflicts they've been ordered to work together to save the world from dark magic. But will a growing sexual and psychic need for each other prevent them from carrying out their assignment in time? Will the price of bonding and bliss be the destruction of the universe? ~Michelle 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston

The Beast in Him byShelly Laurenston (Pride #2) ~V^^^^V

Another great story. This series seems really hit or miss for me. One book will be fantastic and the next I will have to force myself through. Its very odd. At any rate, this book was a favorite. Jessie Ann and Smitty are fabulous. I love how Jessie treats him leaving fantastic banter. The whole book had me laughing, I think the Wild Dogs are my favorite. The other thing that is nice about this book is the interaction with past and future characters. I rate this book high on the reading recommendations.  ~Michelle 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lunar Chronicles by Marrissa Meyer REVIEW

Lunar Chronicle by Marissa Meyer ~V^^^^^V

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) ~V^^^^^V
I REALLY enjoyed this book. My only issue was the open ended ending, if that makes any sense. LOL Its not easy to please me with a YA, but this one did it beautifully. I put off this book for months, not even sure why and boy do I regret it. The futuristic, Sci-Fi world created by Marissa Meyer was well beyond what I expected. Cinder is a Cyborg Mechanic with a evil stepmother and two step sisters. Yeah I know it sounds like something you heard when you were a kid, but the twist on this story is one you would not really expect. There is so much more to Cinder than just a sad girl wishing that she would catch a break and have a prince save her. Cinder is a modern woman, if you will, she isn't going to wait around for a Fairy Godmother to save her, she is the captain of her destiny. The world building is exquisite, the characters are rich, and the plot is mind somehow simple and complex in such a way that you are left saying WOW. I really liked that this YA, kept the sexuality out of the plot which is so rare and apparently difficult in this day and age. I also thought Cinder makes an excellent role model for girls, reminding them that they can do it themselves. Just a fantastic new series, I am recommending to readers of ALL ages.

Glitches (Lunar Chronicles #0.5) ~V^^^V
This is the prequel to Cinder, in which we learn of how she came to her new family. We see Cinder learning all about her new body and life, we meet her "father" and see what eventually lead to his death. I think I prefer actually reading it after Cinder, I think all the bases were covered well in Cinder and I liked how the story progressed. The prequel, being read after gave an added insight but didn't take anything away from the original story.

Link to read for free:  Glitches

The Queen's Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5) ~V^^^V
This really a prequel for Scarlett. We get some background on the Queen's Army and how they are made. We also are introduced to Z, a major player in the next book. The concepts were again, fabulous and the premise was familiar yet wholly original. I expect good things from the next book and the whole series.

Link to read for free:  The Queen's Army

This series is a must read. I am putting it to the top of my recommendation list. This series is light enough that I think it could be read by younger readers as well. It is considered a YA, but I would say Tweens, Teens and Adults will enjoy it. ~Michelle 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Belong to the Night Anthology Review

Belong to the Night Anthology ~V^^V

I only read the Cynthia Eden and Shelly Laurenston contributions to this anthology so the review will be only for those novellas. Overall I have to say that I wasn't that impressed with the stories though. 

The Wolf, The Witch, and Her Lack of Clothing by Shelly Laurenston was about Coven Witch Jaime and the wolf Mayor of Smithville, Tully. I can't really put my finger on this one, something just didn't click for me. Jaime was very closed off and Tully was too laid back. They had good chemistry together but the relationship was kind of chopping in the telling. The story itself was quite slow and though the couple do make it to bed it just didn't do much for me. Shelly has many great stories, this is just one that I didn't much care for. 

In the Dark by Cynthia Eden- I am just starting her stuff and can say so far she has a great writing voice. Her stories seem to suck me in immediately and keep me guessing. This story however, I was unable to forgive Liam the way Sadie apparently did. I felt there was never really any explanation or apology and I just had a hard time believing they would just fall into bed again. The case was was well paced and plotted but the romance left me flat. ~Michelle

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost

Happily Never After (Night Huntress World #1.5) by Jeaniene Frost ~V^^V

Just kind of blah. This story is about Bone's friend Chase, helping out with a situation, as a favor to Bones. Bella is wrapped up in a mafia situation and is being forced to marry a mobster to save her brother. The mob references were really cheesy and Isabella wasn't that likable  The pacing seemed choppy, going along at a steady pace and then abruptly jumping ahead, several times. I just didn't think this lived up to what I have come to expect from Jeaniene. ~Michelle 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cravings Anthology Review

Cravings ~V^^^V

I only read the first two novellas in this anthology. For now. 

ood Upon My Lips by Laurell K. Hamilton- I either already read this short or the story was just further in depth from a deleted scene in a full length novel. This is the point where Anita was doing less work and more f-ing and the series starts to go down hill. I didn't care for this short at all.

Dead Girls Don't Dance by Mary Janice Davidson
 This novella takes place right after Betsy becomes queen of the vampires and she really comes off SUPER flaky. I didn't much care for the main characters or the story, sadly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Storm by Christine Feehan Review

Dark Storm (Dark #23) by Christine Feehan ~V^V

Blurb:  Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries. But there are some things that never change.

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man - and beast. Even his friends and family weren't safe from Mitro's bloodlust. Neither was Mitro's lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts. But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun - one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

My Thoughts:  How many times will I fall for this series? The books are nothing more than copy and paste at this point. Well actually since about 10 books in they have been. Dax and Riley are nothing different,the overall plot hasn't advanced, at all, and the characters are pretty vanilla. I KNOW, I will fall for it once the next book comes out and read it but I will be damned if I will purchase anymore. PLEASE, put this series out of its misery. ~Michelle 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Not a terribly long series and each book is a fairly quick read.

Vampire Academy ~V^^V
This was a hard one to rate, my feelings for the story are so varying. First it took me quite awhile to get into it. Honestly, a week to read a YA is ridiculous. The book jumped straight into the action, but perhaps that is why I was quickly confused. Anyway the two main characters just didn't really connect for me. It is very obvious that the Rose and Lissa are teenagers, that may be the issue for me. Rose is extremely self centered, very much in love with her own physical shape as well as her opinions. She is actually rather hate-able, in my opinion. I couldn't follow her and Lissa's relationship, at many times I thought it might have been a lesbian relationship but Rose's constant yammering about guys made that unlikely. Lissa on the other hand is a total wet noodle, no spine at all. She allows Rose to manipulate her life and mother her, that power is abused by Rose often. The scenarios were fairly teen as well and again, difficult for me to care about. Gossip and petty jealousy is the main plot of the book. The writing was pretty good though and despite a few typos the story did eventually snag my interest just enough to keep going. The main sticking point for me though is, WHY? Why would Dhampires want to protect Moroi? It seems they get nothing out of the relationship, they got to years of training to essentially become slaves? I also don't really understand why Morio need constant supervision, why do the Strigoi want to kill them anyway? I am reluctant to continue but imagine I will see this series through, there are only 6 books after all.

Frostbite ~V^^^V

I am still struggling with understanding WHY Dhampirs protect Moroi. I know it has been explained in both books so far but it really to me reads like a race bread for slavery. Beyond that I can definitely see the Teen appeal. There is a lot of fight the establishment, and adults just don't understand mentality. The Teen angst thing is beyond me at this point in my life. The story itself is decent and the writing is good. I find myself somewhat reluctantly carried through the mystery and action just to see what will will happen. As an adult I am spending a huge chunk of the book alternating between rolling my eyes and wanting to choke the heroine. I will give it a 3 star because its an interesting concept.

Shadow Kiss ~V^^^V

Once again the genre is making me want to pull my hair out. As an adult I want to just choke this idiot child and tell her she doesn't know anything about life. I find it ridiculous that a 17 year old would have more common sense than any of the adults she is surrounded by, I also find it unbelievable that adults would buy into the dame rumors that teens do. 

Anyway beyond that the story itself was fairly interesting, even if it was a bit slow moving. Rose can see ghosts and everyone thinks that she is imagining it. Things continue to grow right under the noses of the Moroi and of course Rose almost the only one to have a differing opinion on how to handle matters. Rose does grow up some in this book and that is a relief. There was a shocking twist of events in the last few chapters that should make the next couple books that much more intriguing.

Blood Promise ~V^^^V

All the ways Rose can anger me in the next book! LOL OK this one was a little better because you feel as though Rose has grown but at a certain point you realize that she really hasn't. The mystery was very quickly solved for me so it was just a matter of Rose getting to the conclusion and fixing it. I liked the introduction of new characters and the change of scenery. However I found it hooky that Rose is forever going into Lissa's head. We get a second point of view with a cheesy writing trick. DISCLAIMER: I prefer third person. Overall this book was much more interesting the previous books because there was a point to Rose's actions.

Spirit Bound ~V^^^V
This book was frustrating because I felt as if Rose regressed. At the start of the book she was using some common sense and showing that she had grown but somewhere in the middle she regressed to a whiny, clingy, crushy girl. It was very sad. I felt some of her same emotions about the Dimitri and Lissa situation, I also felt she crossed the line to just plain sad. The story with the queen was fairly slow moving and frustrating as well. I felt like there was no build up in the relationship between Rose and her father nor was there one between her and Adrian. She was again unable to commit to a relationship and puts another guy through a whole lot of unnecessary bullshit because she is crushing on someone who isn't nice to her. I of course was greatly annoyed by the ending and OVER THE TOP cliffhanger. I will be finishing up this series to see how it ends, thank goodness.

Last Sacrifice ~V^^^^V
I can say that this was my favorite in the series. I think it was because there was a purpose to the book. Some of the books were just plain lacking in a plot. This book however is neither lacking in plot nor lacking in action. Rose has a whole lot of issues to resolve and growing up to due. Being an adult doesn't make you immediately think and act as an adult but you will be treated as such. I wish that I could have gotten more into this series, it was good but not excellent, in my opinion. I will say that it is better than some of the other Teen options out there. ~Michelle 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday

The first one of the year, it better be good... 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bitter Blood Reviewed

Bitter Blood Morganville (Vampires #13) by Rachel Caine ~V^^V

I FINALLY managed to get my hands on a copy so here is what I thought.

Grrrr, Morganville. It never fails, everything goes back to the way it was in the beginning of every book. This time around, humans were supposed to have equal rights as vampires however, Amelie has apparently changed her mind and it always hunting again. That is just the beginning of the mystery. I have to say I was somewhat interesting but really I felt like I was reading any number of the previous books. The scenarios and the characters really haven't changed much from book one, it makes the whole plot seem cut and paste. Booo! ~Michelle

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rapture by J.R. Ward Review

Rapture by J.R. Ward (Fallen Angels #4) ~V^^^V

I actually didn't mind this one that much. I did find myself rolling my eyes at the "street" slang and the constant "as ifs". The overall story had an excellent lesson of redemption that I greatly enjoyed. Mind you I was about 1/4 of the way in before I remembered who Matthias was adding to my struggle to get through. I am not sure if its the length of time between books or just the general Meh feel I get from them that keeps details from sticking in my brain. Either way Mels and Matthias had a great romance that seemed to keep the story on track. I was a little surprised by the ending, I think the aftermath of which should be interesting in the next book. For now I think this may have been my favorite in the series. ~Michelle 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year Review

A Red Hot New Year Anthology  ~V^^^V

First, WOW (nervous laughter) I didn't know this was going to be SO naughty. I just really didn't think, going in that this was one of those Erotic books. I decided to give all of these novellas a chance so I am reviewing ALL of the book. As a whole, I give it a 3 star rating. Now let me break it down. 

New Year's Bites by Cynthia Eden: This is a paranormal erotic story. Anna is attacked and bitten by a werewolf on New Year's Eve. Jon, a man she has recently been working with and fantasizing about helps her overcome her bite and deal with her transformation. This story in my opinion was just kind of blah. 

Night Resolutions by Diana Mercury: I really didn't care for this one. Chantal is invited to a New Year's get away with her boyfriend. The stay at the mansion of his friend's "uncle" turns into an orgy. For me this story was very confusing, the story seemed disjointed and in a lot of ways just plain uncomfortable. The orgy and sex scenes were well described but really it was quite uncomfortable. I really didn't like this story at all.

Snow Blind by Virginia Reede: Story of BFF's, Gerry and "Jules", a New Year's weekend couples getaway goes awry. In no time Gerry and Jules are exploring their relationship in a whole new way. This story was VERY naughty. I saw some of the stuff coming from a mile away but overall this is one of the best in the Anthology. 

Coming on Strong by Denise Rossetti: This one was pretty well written and not too far over the erotic line for me. I just thought is seemed a little choppy and I felt like I kept missing things. I felt awful for Gina, I mean she had no idea what was wrong with her and to be so fearful of anyone finding anything out, she must have really felt alone. Then to have such a hot man interested and feeling there was no future, how tragic. I think this story was easiest to feel, but again a little harder to follow. If that makes any sense. 

I guess I would say again, overall this anthology was OK. ~Michelle

Friday, January 11, 2013

WOW! It's the 11th of January

And yes I am just now finally blogging. I am deeply ashamed and very apologetic. What can I do to make this up to you all??? I wonder if this will make it right?

Happy Belated New Year