Archive for the 'Paranormal' Category

19
Sep
08

Charlene Teglia: Wicked Hot

Two immortal warriors attending to her every need…
The struggle between good and evil is about to get…Wicked Hot

Edana is a succubus—a breathtakingly beautiful demon who offers men their most decadent fantasy in exchange for their souls. No one can get close to her without being destroyed..until she meets Eli and Dal. Both men are Nephilim, immortal warriors who bind and banish demons. Edana’s mission is to arouse their lust and steal their souls before they can destroy her—she never expects to fall in love. Shared by two virile lovers and lost in a world of sensation, Edana begins to fall for one of the warriors, jeopardizing her mission. Only he has power to save her, but first she must give him power over her heart—and her destiny…

I’ve read quite a few other first-person succubus books.

This is the only one I’d truly consider a romance. And what a romance it is!

Charlene kept the suspense going throughout the book, from the appearances of Eli and Dal’s father and the Devil to Edana trying to do what a succubus is best at. ;)

And the sex…*fans herself* If you are particularly into m/f/m threesomes, this is definitely the book for you. While many, and maybe most, of the sex scenes are threesomes, you can still see the growth of Edana’s relationship with her hero. It’s not to say that I rooted for one brother or the other, but when you get to the last page, you know that Edana ended up with the right brother.

It’s not a book I read in one sitting, however. Believe it or not, I got past the first hundred pages and then thought ‘whooo hot! but I need a breather.’ I put down the book at least twice. But I’m very very glad that I had to pick it up again so I could write this review, because the pay-off? Totally worth it.

Wicked Hot rates 4 out of 5.

23
Jun
08

Larissa Ione: Pleasure Unbound

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure—but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his desire to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable—and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…

Right from the first word, you’re dropped into the heat of the action. Always a good way to start a book.

But it’s also a book that’s filled with “Awwwwww….” moments, as I call them. You’ll be on edge, waiting for something to blow up or get killed…and then you get enveloped by what feels like a big, soft hug.

Pleasure Unbound also happens to have the only “heroine has never had an orgasm until she met hero” plotline that’s believable. Larissa’s taken one of the most awful genre clichés and made it work. Honestly, it’s worth it to buy this book just to find out how she does it (I shall delete all spoilers related to this bit in the comments), if not for the fact that is has excellent worldbuilding, lots of hot sex and is just generally fun to read.

Pleasure Unbound rates 4.5 out of 5.

FD: Larissa sent me the book.

02
Jun
08

Extracting Through The Veil by Shiloh Walker

Found wandering in a field as a child, Lee Ross was given a name by the state and placed in a foster home–without anyone realizing she wasn’t entirely human. All her life, she’s tried to dismiss the odd dreams that have plagued her, dreams of monsters creeping through the night and a man, fighting demons by her side. But the bruises she wakes up with are all too real to ignore

Then the man from dreams appears in the flesh. His name is Kalen and he insists that her destiny lies in his world, the world of her dreams. To save their people, he must convince Lee to give everything she knows, follow her heart and cross into the Under Realm, even though once she does, she’ll never be able to return.

Just a quick note: this is from the unedited review copy.

Continue reading ‘Extracting Through The Veil by Shiloh Walker’

05
Mar
08

Linda Wisdom: 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover

Jazz can’t decide whether to scorch him with a fireball or jump into bed with him

Jasmine Tremaine is a witch who can’t stay out of trouble. Nikolai Gregorivich is a vampire cop on the trail of a serial killer. The sizzling love affair between Jazz and Nick has been on-again, off-again for about 300 years–mostly off, lately. But now Nick needs Jazz’s help, and while Jazz and Nick try to figure out their own hearts and resist their increasing attraction, they must steer clear of a maniacal killer with super-supernatural powers. They are surrounded by a hilarious cast of oddball paranormal characters including Norma, the chain-smoking ghost who haunts Jazz’s sports car; Dweezil, her ghoul of a boss; and Fluff and Puff, a pair of bunny slippers with sharp teeth and short tempers (watch your ankles)!

First, Fluff and Puff are the coolest bunny slippers ever!

That pretty much sums up how I feel about 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover. It’s got just enough bite to make it good fun, it’s fluffy and it’s still a curl up in my warm bed because it’s freezing outside type of book.

Her bunny slippers say a lot about Jazz. She’s a witch, but she’s still like us and needs her feet to be kept warm.

Irma the ghost is a good foil for Jazz. For one thing, Irma’s the ghost that curse-eliminator Jazz can’t get rid off. IOW, Jazz’s magical powers are not all powerful, which is a nice change. Plus the girl throws fireballs when she’s pissed off, and I wish I could do that!

Nick, on the other hand, doesn’t shine for me as a hero. He’s an old vampire, so what? (And I love my vampires, I truly do.) Maybe it’s not that he doesn’t shine so much as he pales in comparison to Jazz.

But I’m hoping he will improve. 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover is the first book in the series, and I definitely can’t wait to read the next one.

50 Ways To Hex Your Lover rates 4 out of 5.

Full Disclosure: The book was sent to me by the publisher.

04
Mar
08

Extracting 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover

50waystohex72.jpgPrologue

Alderley Edge, Cheshire, England
The Year 1313

“Someone’s thoughtless use of magick has put our school in great jeopardy.”

Emerald velvet robes flew around the reed-thin body of the headmistress as if a storm brewed within her. Red and blue flames flashed from the foot of her staff as she tamped it to punctuate her words with the ring of cold stone. Not one of Eurydice’s thirteen students moved a muscle as they stood in line awaiting her judgment.

On their first day at The Academy for Witches the headmistress had laid down the rules and pronounced there would be no exceptions if any of those rules were broken. Yet today, her cardinal law had been broken—one of the students had gone so far as to cast a curse on a mortal. She walked down the line of girls, spearing each of them with her angry gaze.

“We are sor—” one of the girls sputtered.

“Silence!” Eurydice turned on her heel to face down the unlucky witchling. “Whoever cast the spell must step forward and be accountable for her actions.”

Not one of the acolytes spoke up. All thirteen stared at the ancient stone floor.
“Your shared silence to protect the guilty one is laudable.” Eurydice’s dark eyes matched the flames flickering at the end of her staff. Still no one moved. “However this offense was committed against a member of royalty. A man with the power to close this school, do us harm, even destroy us. I am certain some would commend you for not betraying the classmate who cast this spell, but the culprit must step forward and accept her punishment.”

The girls looked at each other, linked their fingers together and then, as one, all thirteen stepped forward.

“Very well. As you will have it,” Eurydice said. The air around her swirled dark and purple as she pronounced judgment. “Henceforth, all of you are banished from this place and are cast out into the world for 100 years with only the powers you presently control. If any of you dares to cast a spell not meant for the greater good, your banishment will be extended. At the end of your banishment you will be brought before the Witches High Council to determine your final fate.
“And I hope—” she made eye contact with each girl who managed to meet her furious gaze “—you will learn just what a merciless mortal world you have been cast into.”

Then she tamped her staff against the cold, unforgiving stone floor and the thirteen acolytes vanished.

The headmistress turned to face the three elder witches standing quietly by the wall.

“Do you think they’ll be all right, Eurydice, all alone in the world?” Allene, the softhearted, asked. “Do you think they’ll be in danger?”

“Hardly, dear sister,” the headmistress chuckled. “I fear more for the world.”

Copyright Linda Wisdom 2008

Indeed, I would fear for the world too, but Jazz and her friends are good witches…right?

05
Feb
08

Meljean Brook: Demon Night

Charlie Newcomb worked hard to get her life back together. But all that is shaken when she’s set upon by three vampires desperate to transform her beauty into something evil. Because Charlie is the vital link to something they want—and need. It’s Charlie’s flesh and blood sister, a medical scientist whose knowledge could be invaluable to the predators.

But to get to her, they must first get to Charlie, now under the intimate protection of Ethan McCabe. As her Guardian, Ethan is attracted to her vulnerabilities—as well as her strengths. The closer he gets, the more protecting her becomes not just his duty, but his desire. But will it be enough to save Charlie when the demon night falls?

Lovely, I think, would be the word to describe Demon Night. And sweet too—though not that way, Meljean never fails us on the hot sex part. ;)

I have raved about the worldbuilding in this series before, but I think that the pieces really come together in this book. Maybe it’s because I’ve read the previous books too, or maybe it’s because we’re probably about five, six hundred thousand words into the series, it’s just been that much easier to fall into Demon Night for me.

Ethan…I’ve described Colin as delicious, and Hugh as interesting, but Ethan…there goes a hero who is just too damn easy to fall in love with.

Like Ethan, Charlie has a past that she is not entirely proud of. I think the most significant imbalance of the book is here, that we got to see more of Ethan’s past than Charlie’s. An example: her singing, or its loss, isn’t touched on here.
In Demon Night, we have a demon who can and appears to have fallen in love. Which is one of the things I appreciate about this series, that it’s not all black and white, and makes it one of the few series to have passed my Three Book Test in the past year–IOW, the likelihood of me not sticking it through with the series has fallen pretty close to nil.

Demon Night rates 4 out of 5.

03
Sep
07

Jaci Burton: Hunting The Demon

IN A WILDERNESS SEETHING WITH SIN AND SEDUCTION, THE CHASE IS ON.

Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronzed surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise–can resist

Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: A force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal – possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid to love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger…or straight into each other’s arms…

To be perfectly honest, I might not have picked this book up on my own. I wasn’t crazy about the first book in the series, and Hunting The Demon releases at a time when I just don’t have time to visit bookstores and such.

So I’m really glad that Jaci sent me an ARC (yes, she was brave, because my review was mean) because I think HTD improves on where Surviving Demon Island shone and at the same time, a lot of the little things that annoyed me about SDI aren’t in HTD.

In other words, it’s also a page-turner, but it’s a very rereadable page-turner; I’ve had to reread this several times, partly because I’ve been dragging on this review, and I think it stands up to rereading quite well.

The only part that didn’t stand up to rereading is Nic’s refusal to believe that Derek is his brother. Uhm, DNA testing? Sidenote: I would have liked to find out how a half-demon’s DNA defers from a human’s.

I do think that Jaci’s taken her handling of the h/h relationship to a new level in HTD, and I’d certainly rank Shay and Nic in my top 3 Jaci couples.

Hunting The Demon rates 4 out of 5.

28
Aug
07

Sydney Croft: Riding The Storm

A storm’s rage. A woman’s desire.A man with the power to set them both free.

He can summon lightning at will. Emerge unscathed from the center of a tornado. Strip a woman down to her barest defenses through the sheer force of his sexuality. He’s gorgeous, dangerous, and the target of parameteorologist Haley Holmes’s latest mission. Haley has been dispatched to the Louisiana bayou to investigate the phenomenon known as Remy Begnaud – man with a gift he never wanted: the ability to control a storm’s fury. But even a woman trained in bizarre weather phenomenon has no defense against the electrifying power of the Ex-Navy SEAL…a power his enemies would kill to control.

With her agency monitoring their every move, Haley’s job is to seduce Remy, gain his trust — and help him harness his extraordinary gift. But who will protect her from this voracious lover who’s introducing her to a new world of erotic thrills – a man who grows increasingly insatiable with each new weather event? Haley knows a big storm is approaching –and with it will come unexpected delights. But, so, too, will the storm unleash her greatest fears: An enemy bent on destroying Remy. And her worst fear of all…falling in love with this magnificent man, then having to betray him…

This is a great debut for Sydney Croft, aka the writing team of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler.

One of the things that really made the book for me is Haley and Remy’s ‘backstory.’ I won’t elaborate, because I don’t do spoilers, but it still makes me go Awwwwww….

And their ending was, for me, the perfect cross between Happy Ever After and Happy For Now. I think that they will have a HEA, but because the book spans only a short timeline, it’s enough Happy For Now for me to believe it. If that makes sense.

There were places where that I felt the secondary characters, namely Annika and Creed and Devlin, nearly overwhelmed the hero and heroine, especially the latter, whom I felt wasn’t as well-drawn as other characters in the story.

I also don’t think it was explained why Remy is called T-Remy, but I could have missed it because the sex scenes are mindblowing.

All in all, I can’t wait to read the next book–though sadly, Annika and Creed are not stars of Unleashing The Storm.

Riding The Storm rates 3.5 out of 5.

20
Jun
07

Anya Bast: Witch Fire

Mira Hoskins doesn’t know she’s a natural born witch who possesses the rare—and powerful—element of air. She also never expected to find herself tied to a mahogany bed frame, captive to a man who aches to fulfill her every desire and let loose the magick that dwells inside her…Heat emanates from elemental fire witch Jack McAllister. The Coven, a governing authority of witches, has sent him to protect Mira from a band of warlocks who drain witches of power… and life. Long ago, he saw Mira’s parents murdered by this same dark magick. He’d like to quell his guilt and offer her everything she deserves. But she’s the long-lost cousin of his boss—making seduction off-limits.With Jack’s strong guidance, Mira is luring forth her inner magick. But his sense of duty is quickly swelling into insatiable hunger. They warned him about the natural attraction between air and fire. Now he risks being consumed by the woman he shouldn’t want—but can’t stay away from …

I’ve not read Anya‘s work in a few years now.

Witch Fire reminds me again of why I fell in love with her back then, and takes it to a whole new level.

It’s a hot read, to be sure, but where it truly shines is Jack and Mira’s relationship. The conflict’s quite simply, delicious.

I don’t think it’s a terribly long book (I don’t have a print copy, so I can’t tell), yet it felt like I spent several days reading it–I don’t mean that it dragged, because it didn’t. Just that I felt I spent several wonderful days inside it, though it was probably more like two hours.

This rates 4 out of 5.

18
Jun
07

Laurie Faria Stolarz: Blue Is For Nightmares

“I Know Your Secret . . .”

Stacey’s junior year at boarding school isn’t easy. She’s not the most popular girl at school, or the smartest, or the prettiest. She’s got a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, and an even darker secret that threatens to ruin her friendships for good.And now she’s having nightmares again. Not just any nightmares – these dreams are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she ignored them, a little girl died. This time they’re about Drea, her best friend who’s become the target of one seriously psycho stalker.

It started with weird e-mails and freaky phone calls. Now someone’s leaving Drea white lilies – the same death lilies that have been showing up in Stacey’s dreams. Everybody thinks it’s just a twisted game . . . until another girl at school is brutally murdered.

There are no witnesses. Worst of all, no one has a perfect alibi. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust – the folk magic taught to her by her grandmother. Will Stacey’s magic be strong enough to expose the true killer, or will the killer make her darkest nightmares come true?

It worked for me as a supernatural thriller, not so much as a YA novel.

As a protagonist, Stacey left much to be desired, at least for me. I felt the book didn’t dig deep enough, and that’s why I’m not picking up the next book; I don’t see anything that tells me that Stolarz does dig deeper in the next book.

This rates 3 out of 5.

05
Jun
07

Meljean Brook: Demon Moon

No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.

Savi Murray’s insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she’d always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…

 

I did very much enjoy Demon Angel, but there’s something about Colin and Savi that made Demon Moon a keeper for me.

Partly it’s that Savi’s more ‘relatable’ than Lili, I think, and then there’s the deliciousness of Colin. There is no other word to describe him. Delicious Colin. *happy sigh* His moral ambiguity only made him more delicious.

That’s a good word to describe the conflict as well. It’s a wonderful tangle, and Meljean did a great job of untangling it just enough to be livable for Colin and Savitri.

The pacing issue many of us complained about is much less an issue in this book as well.

I don’t recommend picking this book up to read unless you’ve the entire day free, by the way. It’s big and you are going to want to read it in one sitting.

 

 

This rates 5 out of 5.

PS This was an ARC from Meljean.

28
May
07

Candace Havens: Charmed & Dangerous

Monday, 11 P.M.

Sweet, Texas

Spells: 2

Dead Guys: 0

Cute guys I want to sleep with: 1

I know my purpose: To rid the world of evil, one bad guy at a time.

When I turned twenty, I took the oath to protect, and for the last five years I’ve kept that promise. Currently, I’ve got a gig as a kind of one-witch secret service to the British Prime Minister–using a combination of potions, spells, explosions, mind-reading, and general butt-kicking skills, I’ve saved him from so many assassins we’ve quit counting. Umm, did I mention explosions? Yeah, well, we all have our talents, and mine’s combustion.

After that recent incident when those stupid warlocks tried to sacrifice me, I’ve decided I’m going to write everything down. That way if some creep knocks me off, someone will know what happened. But hopefully this diary won’t be all about maiming and killing. I’d like to write some sexy bits, too. Especially about Dr. Sam, who’s smart, funny, adorable, everything I’d want in a man–except he’s a warlock. Sorry, that’s a big no-no in Bronwyn’s book of dating material. I might as well face it: witches don’t do so well in the boyfriend department. Somehow, men find me a tad intimidating. I can’t imagine why…

Are there no British witches to guard the British PM? I just can’t get past this. And letting her listen in on political stuff? Um… Maybe I’ve read too many spy books, but doesn’t the PM ever worry about Bronwyn spilling to the CIA or something? Since she’s an American?

The diary format doesn’t quite work for me in Charmed & Dangerous, though it has before.

The last third of the book sucks. Suddenly, dozens of things happen…you know, it’s a series. It’s not even being sold as a romance. We don’t need a HEA in this book, so why is it being rushed?

This rates 2 out of 5.

02
May
07

Lynn Viehl: Night Lost

A Noble Prisoner…

Gabriel Seran has falen into the hands of the fanatical religious order known as the Brethren. Though abandoned by his fellow Kyn, he remains honor bound to protect their secrets from his interrogators. Blinded, nailed to a cross, and sealed in a chapel cellar beneath a ruined chateau, Gabriel faces an eternity of suffering.

An Obsessed Thief…

Nicola “Nick” Jefferson has been traveling across Europe, looting churches of their precious artwork and fencing the treasures to make her living. At each destination, she liberates the captive vampires, hoping they’ll provide her with information leading to the one artifact she so desperately craves: the Golden Madonna.

A Fateful Coupling…

Gabriel and Nick have met before in each other’s dreams. Bound together by more than coincidence, their destinies intertwine even as their passions ignite…

I loved this book. What, you expected me to say anything else? Of course I loved this book.

I have a huge soft spot for Michael, and I liked Thierry and Lucan, but it is Gabriel I sigh over. *sigh*

Nicola’s a different sort of heroine. I can’t put my finger on it though, despite having read it many times (hey, I’ve had the ARC for more than two months now, I think). Ideas?

And the writing! As much as I adore Lynn, I don’t usually call her writing beautiful. I call it tight, snappy etc. But this time, beautiful is a good adjective. A very good adjective. The nightlands… *sighs again*

Go get this book. You won’t regret it.

This rates 5 out of 5.

01
May
07

Lara Adrian: Kiss Of Midnight

INSATIABLE DESIRE. ENDLESS SEDUCTION. ONE TOUCH IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night–or this man–is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed–a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind–and the unwitting humans existing alongside them–from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all . . . .

I first read this on my laptop, and then in print, as Lara was kind enough to send me a print ARC as well. Interesting to note that I enjoyed reading it in print more.

This is a more suspensey type of paranormal, as opposed to a more fantasy type of paranormal. I tend to prefer the latter, but Kiss of Midnight hit all the right buttons for me.

I very much appreciated the characterization of Lucan (yes, I survived the name) and Gabrielle. It’s all show, not tell.

I found that there were what appeared to be unneccessary subplots. Perhaps they will be continued in later books, though I can’t see how and in my humble opinion, they could have been cut and the book tightened just that teeny bit more.

Now, there are likenesses to various popular vampire romance series out there (believe me, I’ve read them all). Some might argue that there isn’t anything terribly original about the Breed. I do agree with this, to some extent, but for a number of reasons, I personally still prefer the Breed over many of them, and if you want to discuss them, that’s what the comments are for.

But execution matters most of all, and in this I think Kiss of Midnight surpasses many of the vampire romances on the market.

This rates 4 out of 5.

16
Mar
07

Gena Showalter: Playing With Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire aren’t just a band anymore…

Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye!

It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my Grande Mocha Latte.

Of course I got wicked sick.

Next morning I’m waking up with this total hottie bending over me.

He tells me

1) his name’s Rome Masters,

2) he’s a government agent and

3) I can control the four elements with a thought.

He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation than I am…. Because now he’ll have to kill me.

I liked Playing With Fire better than the other Gena Showalter books I’ve read.

It doesn’t have that rushed feeling I had come to associate with Showalter after reading Awaken Me Darkly and Heart Of The Dragon. I actually would be interested in reading more books set in this world, and I didn’t with the other two.

Belle starts out as your typical girl-next-door. I don’t think she grows as much as a character I would like though.

Liked the resume at the back. Is it wrong that my mind leapt into the gutter when I read that she “aced all extra-credit assignments” in the School of Rome?

This rates 3 out of 5.

15
Mar
07

Shanna Swendson: Once Upon Stilettos

Click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Bloomies!”Katie Chandler’s life is pure magic–literally. As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., she’s seen more than her share of fantastical occurrences. A mere Manhattan mortal, Katie is no wizard, but she’s a wiz at exposing “hokum” pocus, cloaked lies, and deceptive enchantments. And she’s fallen under the all-too-human spell of attraction to Owen, a hunky wizard and coworker. Owen, however, is preoccupied. Someone has broken into his office and disrupted top-secret files, and it reeks of an inside job. CEO Merlin (yes, the Merlin) and taps Katie and her special ability to uncover the magical mole.

Keeping her feelings in check while sleuthing alongside Owen, Katie is shocked to discover that her immunity to magic is waning, putting her in grave danger. Soon she’s surrendering to the charms and enchantments of everyone and everything around her, including a killer pair of red stilettos. Katie must now conjure up her natural instincts to get to the bottom of the break-in, regain her power, and win the wizard of her dreams.

Once Upon Stilettos has joined the previous book in the series, Enchanted Inc., on my rereads pile. So frankly speaking, I don’t think I can be objective about this book, and not because I have any personal connection to Shanna Swendson.

I’m not inclined to dissect it, and well, if I’ve read it several times in the week since I first finished it, and still love it (remember, I almost don’t reread at all), then it must be a really good book, right?

I guess I’m really writing this just to ask you to go pick this book up, or Enchanted Inc. if you have to read series in order, because I adore this series, and I hope you will too.

This rates 5 out of 5.

03
Mar
07

Colleen Gleason: The Rest Falls Away

Beneath the glitter of dazzling 19th-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil… .Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.

But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria’s heart is torn between London’s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.

And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.

The Rest Falls Away is the first book in Colleen Gleason‘s Gardella Vampire Chronicles.

I liked Victoria, and I liked even more the fact that Colleen allowed her to make mistakes that Victoria is going to have to live with.

I do wonder if perhaps there’s too much relying on the vis bulla, an amulet that gives Venators (vampire slayers) qualities like greater strength and speed. Another thing that bugs me is that Victoria’s only been studying the martial art of kalaripayattu for a month, but she’s become so expert in it–at least, she comes across that way to me.

As a vampire book, it doesn’t score so well, but this is probably skewed by the fact that I like my vampire books really dark and some gore wouldn’t be amiss either.

This rates 3.5 out of 5.

26
Feb
07

Nalini Singh: Visions Of Heat

Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind…Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need…exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn…

I enjoyed Visions Of Heat as much as I did Slave To Sensation, to my surprise. Frankly speaking, I was expecting this book to be a disappointment, as the second book of a series often is to me.

It’s a ‘bigger’ book than STS, partly because the overarching plotline has started to take up more space. This isn’t to say that it’s less a romance though.

Faith has a ‘quiet’ persona that I very much like, and I like that we get to see her develop more as a person than we did with Sascha.

But what really amazes me? Nalini‘s managed to provide a satisfying ending while leaving unanswered questions! I want to know what happens next!

This rates 5 out of 5.

17
Feb
07

Jaci Burton: Surviving Demon Island

She’s all curves and combat boots.

He’s six feet of lean, dangerous male.

Join them in a game of survival.

That’s as real – and hot – as it gets.

What’s America’s top female action star doing on a tropical island shrouded in secrecy? To Gina Bliss, competing in a survival-type reality show is a nice change from fending off on-screen villains. Until she meets real-life action hero Derek Marks. A survival specialist in a tight black T and sexy stubble, he’s arousing every bad-boy fantasy she’s ever had…and testing her survival skills to the max.

Martial arts, jungle warfare – Derek’s done it all. But his latest mission is more dangerous than a stick of dynamite. Try telling that to the sexy, adrenaline-pumped actress who’s got his libido racing off the charts. As the heat rises between them and real-life violence erupts, suddenly Derek and Gina are on the run…and when they uncover a secret so explosive it could blow the lid of their so-called reality show, these two unlikely heroes are about to discover what surviving’s really about….

Surviving Demon Island is the first book in Jaci Burton‘s Demon Hunters series.

It’s a page-turner, but there are many buts.

The new people, Shay, Olivia, Trace etc. they just accept that demons exist? Why? No questions? I mean, I’d expect someone, especially Gina, to have been upset that the whole thing was a set-up.

I might believe that Derek and Gina are meant to be together, but Gina dropping her Hollywood life just like that? *snaps fingers* No. In the first section of the book, you get the impression that Gina very much enjoys her Hollywood life. She might have ‘out-grown’ that life, but it still annoys me that she comes off as dropping everything for Derek.

The only reason I can see for the book having such a huge cast is sequel bait. But with the excerpt of the next book, Hunting The Demon, at the back of the book, it didn’t need sequel bait.

This rates 3 out of 5.

06
Feb
07

Christine Warren: She’s No Faerie Princess

She’s No Faerie Princess was hot.

I didn’t like the dangling plotlines. If you say Queen Mab’s going to be upset at Fiona because she did a runner, you’re supposed to deal with it at the end of the book. I might be nitpicking here, but it’s been days since I read the book, and I didn’t even have to flip open the book to remember that.

The setting wasn’t that great either. It could have been anywhere at all, and I wouldn’t have noticed a difference.

This rates 2.5 out of 5.

PS I did look for an excerpt on the Warren site, but it’s not been updated in ages and ages.





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