31 March 2012

{March} Month In Review

Hi! It's that time of the month again, heh.
Looking back, March has been a sort of uneven month for me.


I read 30 books, most of which were fantasy and romance (as usual). [NB: Clicking on the links will take you to the Goodreads page for the book. I either haven't reviewed them on here yet or am too lazy to attach links. Next month will be better, I promise].

The favorites

The least favorites

The first two were new-to-me authors whose books didn't work for me at all. I am not a fan of the Fever series in any way, shape, or form, so it was a given KMM's book would drive me bonkers, and it did (I read it for a challenge, leave me alone).  

Underwhelming/disappointing reads

  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. All my friends on Goodreads rave about this book all the time. I was very underwhelmed :(  
  • A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran - I'd heard so much about this author and I read the book and was disappointed with the characterization.
  •  River Marked by Patricia Briggs. Major, major bummer!

I read more historical romance than I've read in a while, and I liked the change. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite historical romance writers, and I loved the one historical I read by Anna Campbell, so it was a good bet I'd like their books, and I did.


Since February I have been in a reading slump. I am slowly getting over it, but I have been getting rather cranky as a reader, and a lot of stuff I was willing to let go in PNR and UF, I am not so willing to do so now. Like idiot heroes and heroines. Or maybe I just read all the really good authors already and am starting to get to the meh ones and the duds, because no new UF or PNR I tried this month worked for me (they were all two or three-star reads). I am enjoying historical romance a lot more. I stopped reading historical romance in March 2011 and have focused almost completely on PNR and UF since then.

Looking Forward: 

 April is going to be an exciting month because Sharon Shinn's new book comes out on the 3rd! I am so jazzed up for it, which makes the whole month look up already!

I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with the blog. It will still be a blog, but I think I'm going to keep more as a sort of online diary of my experiences/thoughts about books than a review blog.  So I'll do more reflective posts, more thoughts about some characters and authors and series I like as opposed to reviews. I'll still do reviews, but you can find those on Goodreads anyway. So more for the stuff I can't do on Goodreads, like talk about why I hate the Fever series, or why Gabriel is so awesome :D

I'm also looking to post less, I think. So probably 2 or 3 posts a week.

Finally and most importantly, I am also thinking about moving to wordpress and I am trying to decide if I should just do it now, or wait until later in the year.

Oh, and in the mean time, since I suck at blog design, I'm paying someone to design the blog for me! Looking forward to the new layout and a unique online space I can call my own!!


27 March 2012

Review: Hexed (Anthology) by Ilona Andrews, etc.

Author: Ilona Andrews, etc.
Title: Hexed
Series: Anthology
Pages: 326
Source: Owned

This anthology was a very mixed bag. I have owned a paper copy for close to a year. I started it and could not even get through the first story. Thanks to a challenge, though, I took the opportunity to make myself read it. I love the cover!

Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars
This was the story I started and couldn't get into. I have no idea why or how because this time around I breezed through it. Jim has a death spell of some kind hovering over his head and Dali must help him figure it out and break it or else Jim, who she secretly loves, is going to die. I loved it. I loved the mythology, and I liked Dali and her family (her mom's hilarious). I really like how the voices are different. Dali's voice is different from Kate's is different from Andrea. It makes the whole series seem more authentic to me. Two things I noticed: JIM IS A BLACK MAN?!!!! However did I miss that? Did everyone else know it? The second thing is that Dali thinks Kate is gorgeous. I smiled because Kate thinks she is not beautiful. Without a doubt this was the best story in the anthology. By far.

Ice Shards by Yasmine Galenorn - 2 stars
I forget if I also tried to read this one or if it was another Yasmine Galenorn, but my experience was the same: flat and uninterested. To compound it, there were so many characters, each with their own backstory. So for someone like me who hasn't read anything by Ms. Galenorn or the series from which this novella comes, it was hella confusing. I didn't enjoy this one.

Double Hexed by Allyson James - 1.5 stars
This story is set in the Stormwalker world, starring Janet Begay and her entourage. I knew I wasn't going to like this one. The two Stormwalker books I read were bad reading experiences for me, and it was no different this time. Every single character in that world is an idiot. Every.single.one. And yes, it's not very complimentary, so I sorta feel bad saying that about an author's work, but really, those characters make me want to shoot them. I was rooting for the demon to do us a big favor and kill them all, but alas, no one cares what I think, so that wish was ignored.

Blood Debt by Jeanne C.Stein - 3 stars
A completely new-to-me-author. I don't even have any idea what series this novella comes from. But I think the author did a good job. I was annoyed sometimes because the heroine seemed a bit too Mary-Sueish, but that could just have been me being peckish. It was a good story and I think I am interested enough to check out the series.


22 March 2012

Review: A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran

Author: Meredith Duran
Title: A Lady's Lesson in Scandal
Series: N/A
Pages: 385


When Nell Whitby breaks into an earl's house on a midnight quest for revenge, she finds her pistol pointed at the wrong man—one handsome as sin and naked as the day he was born. Pity he's a lunatic. He thinks her a missing heiress, but more to the point, he'll help her escape the slums and right a grave injustice. Not a bad bargain. All she has to do is marry him.


A rake of the first order, Simon St. Maur spent his restless youth burning every bridge he crossed. When he inherits an earldom without a single penny attached to it, he sees a chance to start over—provided he can find an heiress to fund his efforts. But his wicked reputation means courtship will be difficult—until fate sends him the most notorious missing heiress in history. All he needs now is to make her into a lady and keep himself from making the only mistake that could ruin everything: falling in love...

I was very excited to start this book because I had heard wonderful things about Meredith Duran's writing in general and two of her books in particular. This one was one of those books; the other was Bound by Your Touch.

After reading this one...well, the excitement has worn off a bit.

She tells a very uneven tale. On the whole, it was a good story - beautifully written, but some parts more so than others. So definitely, I can agree that Ms. Duran is good at her job. I stayed up to read this because her writing captured me and wouldn't let me go.

Basically the story is this: Nell was stolen from her parents and twin sister by a vengeful mistress/servant when she was a child. She grew up thinking the thief was her mother and spent her life in the terrible conditions the poor of regency England suffered. As the plot progresses, she meets Simon, who's inherited her real father's earldom but none of the money. He offers to help Nell prove her identity and win her inheritance provided she marry him so he can have some of the money too. He marries her, introduces her to society, she meets her twin..... it's a very predictable story, one we've hears countless times and in any number of variations. This one is not the most original of them. Its strength is that is is rather beautifully written. It would have been an excellent story except that her characters sucked - one character in particular, and it is (you guessed it) the idiot that passed for the heroine.

I wanted to beat her. She was SUCH a snob, such a hypocrite! She went about looking down her nose at the gentry and rich people because they had no idea what it was like to be poor when she herself put on more airs than anyone in the whole damn book!

1. She looked down on servants because they had to 'serve' their masters. Ooooh that one upset me! The idea that honest work has no merit because one is a servant instead of slaving away at some workhouse.....stupid girl.

2. She protested too much! Yes we get it. You were poor. You had to scrape by. Others were not. NO, it does NOT make you better than them. In fact, I can't think of a single rich person/gentry who acted with as much gracelessness as Nell did the entire novel. She was the haughty one, the unforgiving one, the unbending one, the selfish one. S.M.H.

3. There is a scene getting towards that proves point #2 so well. Her twin sister, at first reluctant to accept this so-called twin who didn't even remember her (a perfectly rational reaction, might I add), in a fit of weakness attempts to do Nell some harm. Before it progresses, the twin repents and tries to make amends. It doesn't work, and the harm is sorta kinda done (it was a weak plot device anyway and didn't add much to the story, so whatever). This twin (Katharine), humbly comes in, with tears, remorseful, to ask for forgiveness. Guess who puts on airs. Yep. Ms. Nell-I'm-so-much-better-than-any-of-you-because-I-was-poor.

Oh I wanted to beat that idiot. She ruined what would have been a good story. Simon, the hero, is a fool. If he had any sense at all, he'd have married Katharine a long time ago before Nell even came into the picture - Lord knows she's a better human being than Nell.

Even so, I can see why people rave about Ms. Duran's work and I will definitely be looking out for more of her tales. Unless I find out that all her heroines are like this...this imbecile. Then no, no amount of good writing is enough for that.



20 March 2012

Review: Home Improvement: The Undead Edition by Charlaine Harris, etc.

Author: Charlaine Harris, etc.
Title: Home Improvement: the undead edition
Series: Anthology

The editors of the New York Times bestselling Death's Excellent Vacation bring home a new collection...with a never-before- published Sookie Stackhouse story!
There's nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherwordly portals in the attic. Now, for any homeowner who's ever wondered, "What's that creaking sound?" or fans of "how to" television who'd like a little unreality mixed in with their reality shows, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner return with an all-new collection of the paranormal perils of Do-It-Yourself.

Sookie Stackhouse resides in these pages, in a never-before-published story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. And New York Times bestselling authors Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and nine other outstanding writers have constructed more frightening and funny fixer-upper tales guaranteed to shake foundations and rattle readers' pipes.

Usually the anthologies i read have four stories in them. This one had considerably more, and I think it is a good bargain. The good stories far outweigh the bad.

Patricia Briggs - Gray 5 stars: A hauntingly beautiful tale of a vampire and a ghost and their past history.

Victor Gischler - Wizard Home Security 4 stars: A rather funny story about a burgled wizard and the home security he buys

James Grady - The Mansion of Imperatives 2 stars: A hot mess of a story

Heather Graham - Blood on the Wall 4 stars: This entry reads like a throwback to the days when vampires and weres were fixtures of horror instead of romance. Really Good.

Simon R. Green - It's all in the Rendering 3 stars: A good tale

Charlaine Harris - If I Had a Hammer 3 stars: A Sookie Stackhouse novella about a home renovation and a murder weapon. My first Sookie :d

Stacia Kane - Rick the Brave 5 stars: Chess and Terrible's relationship, as observed through Rick the electrician's eyes. A sweet, entertaining story.

E.E Knight - Woolsey's kitchen Nightmare DNF: Terrible. I could not make head or tail of this story.

Rochelle Krich - Squatter's Rights 4 stars: Eerie.

Melissa Marr - The Strength Inside 3.5 stars: Really weird, rather creepy story about a completely different species who move into a neighborhood.

Seanan McGuire - Through this House 3 stars: A novella of the October Daye series (which is a new-to-me series). This one was rather confusing for me, a newbie to this world, but I can imagine how others familiar with it would enjoy it.

Suzanne Mcleod - Full Scale Demolition 3 stars: A good story.

S.J. Rozan - The Path 2 stars: Japanese/Buddhist mysticism. Boring!

Toni Kelner - In Brightest Day 3 stars: A novella about vodun mysticism


19 March 2012

Memorable Monday #7: Terrible Again!!!

This meme is fast becoming one of my favorites ever!  Memorable Monday is a new meme hosted by the ladies over at Escape in a Book, and invites us to share a memorable quote from something we've read/ are reading.

Okay, I haven't read any books with notable moments, lately. But when in doubt, rely on oldy-but-goody.
Stacia Kane. We're talking Terrible here, people, Terrible! Who happens to be one of the awesomest heroes anywhere!! And our tidbit from Terrible is not from a specific book, but a specific saying:

Give you whatany you want, Chessiebomb, whatany you want. 

Ai, it fair kills me with love for him when he says that. I melt!If you know Terrible, you know what I mean, and chances are  it does the same to you. If you don't know him, well, whatever are you waiting for? Go grab a book!!!

15 March 2012

Review: At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost

Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: At Grave's End
Series: Night Huntress #3
Published: 1 Jan 2009

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.

I definitely enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed being back in the Night Huntress world.

Cat, whose full name, btw, is Catherine Kathleen Crawfield (Catherine Kathleen, really?), has noticed that since her profile went up in the vampire world, doing her job as the Red Reaper has become markedly more difficult. She doesn't want to stop, but it is looking like she'd have to. In an operation to try out a new substitute for her, everything goes badly awry and we discover that someone else desperately wants Cat and Bones killed. The book is about the journey to discover and obliterate whichever vampire that is. Along the way, several things happen, and we are introduced to a bunch of new characters along the way, my favorite of whom was Vlad Tepesh. Vlad is apparently the real Count Dracula. He was funny, and I'll definitely be reading his book.

An interesting and enjoyable ride aside, there were a couple of things that got my goat really badly.

The biggest of those things was Tate. Cat, Tate and Bones would be discussing his unrequited love in fron of everyone. I felt like that was highly inappropriate and something that should be discussed away from everyone who wasn't Cat, Bones, or Tate. If that was all, it wouldn't be too bad. But then Tate wouldn't shut up about this 'love' he has for Cat. It was stupid. a grown man, a real man, who claims he loves someone, wouldn't go about trumpeting his love for her when she was clearly in love with someone else. whatever happened to if you truly love someone you'd let them be happy? So

  1.  It was stupid and childish.
  2.  It has been going on too long. It should never have been allowed to get to here. Once they realized Tate wasn't going to let this go, he shouldn't have been a part of the team. I don't understand how he is still her 'friend', still a part of the team. AND THEN THEY PUT THEM ON A JOB TOGETHER! A job that involved kissing and being intimate WTH? Of all the stupid things to do?
  3. At this point I am so disgusted by this nonsense I am not sure I will ever believe in a HEA for Tate, should he find someone. He just should be killed off somewhere and put all of us out of our misery.
  4. I am not sure I will continue with the next books if this tomfoolery is still going on.

And then the other thing was the dialogue. In some places it was soooooo cheesy, it read like some bad melodrama.

Finally, all this power that Bones is amassing..... oh well.

It's still a good fun ride, and worth a read.

1. Halfway to the Grave
2. One Foot in the Grave

14 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6: Tangle of Need

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Jill's blog, and highlights upcoming releases we're highly anticipating.

Today's WoW is for Book #11 in the Psy-Changeling series. I can't WAIT to see Hawke, Sienna, and Snowdancer again!!! Tangle of Need (hella cheesy name, I know) releases on May 29th, 2012

Adria, wolf changeling soldier, has made a break with a past as
unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer whose lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It’s primal. And it consumes them as completely as the impending cataclysmic Psy war—a battle that may alter the very fate of the world.

What book are you waiting for? leave me a comment with a link and I'll stop by your WoW!

13 March 2012

REVIEW: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Author: Jim Butcher
Title: Summer Knight
Series: Dresden Files #4
Published: Sep. 1, 2002
Source: Library

Private detective/wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is suckered into tangling in the affairs of Faerie, where the fate of the entire world-and his soul-are at stake.

In another review, I stated that I was a character-driven reader, and that few authors can keep me reading when I don't like their characters. Jim Butcher is one of the two exceptions I can think of to that rule. I really like his narration.

Harry Dresden has gotten himself into trouble one too many times. This time around he's managed to trigger a war between the Red Court and the Wizards, and now the White Council is out for blood - his blood, more specifically. To make matters worse, it seems the Faerie courts are readying for war with one another, and he's been suckered into a job by the Winter Queen.

The story was interesting at first, and then became so-so. In the beginning I was a bit disappointed with Jim Butcher's characterization of the Fae. He himself had noted that they were not easy to separate into 'good' and 'bad' fae, and yet there was a distinct lack of nuance in the characters. That was until the twist came. It was brilliant, IMO! It was brilliant and it highlighted all the nuances I could ever want. I especially loved the conversation Harry had with his faerie godmother. So JB gets points for being an awesome storyteller.

My main problem with the novels is that I don't think I like Harry Dresden very much. His snark doesn't do it for me, and I don't understand how someone can be a bumbling idiot most days, and then have epiphanies to solve the mystery- ALL THE TIME! I mean, the hero doesn't have to be the smartest cookie, but at least let's see evidence of some brains. The way Dresden fumbles about it's implausible he keeps defeating bad guy after bad guy. Either that or they're even stupider than he is, which doesn't make them very scary at all.

I do plan on continuing with the series because I like Mr. Butcher's storytelling, but I think I'll take a break before reading some more.


12 March 2012

Memorable Monday #6

 Memorable Monday is a new meme hosted by the ladies over at Escape in a Book, and invites us to share a memorable quote from something we've read/ are reading.

Today's quote comes to you by courtesy of Curran, another of my favorite heroes evarrrrr!!!!! This is taken from his POV from Magic Strikes:

Kate short-circuits my brain. In my head we always have these clear and coherent exchanges, but once we meet, what comes out is, "Kate, do as I say or I will kill you." Her default reply is "Fuck you!" and we go downhill from there. 

Gotta love Curran! :D

10 March 2012

Review: Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss by Maya Banks

Author: Maya Banks
Title: Tempted by her Innocent Kiss
Series: Pregnancy & Passion #3
Source: NetGalley

No Man’s Bargaining Chip

Devon Carter was her first; now newly wed Ashley wants their passion to last. But her dreams of true love are crushed by the discovery that their marriage is another of Daddy’s business deals. Her strategy: act the part of perfect wife and make Devon love her.

But Devon misses the bubbly, no-holds-barred woman his wife used to be. Who is this Ashley with the steely demeanor of a society wife? And will he find a way to rekindle the fire in her eyes…especially now that she’s pregnant?

It would seem that Maya Banks' writing does not work for me.

I hadn't read the other books in the 'Pregnancy and Passion' series, so I might b missing some backstory here, but anyway, the main gist of the story is that Devon wants to merge Ashley's father's company with his own. The only way Ashley's dad will agree to that is if, without her knowledge, of course, Devon weds Ashley. He agrees. As luck would have it, she finds out (after they're married), and drama ensues The story is about them working their way back to a HEA.

The entire story was lackluster for me - wooden dialogue, bland story. the heroine was meant to be a naive, flighty person, but instead, read like a tween girl. This was a person who was immensely silly, not-very-smart, not mature - in fact, most teens should be more mature than this girl. I felt like she shouldn't be marrying anybody. If I were the hero, I'd have found myself someone else to marry. And anyway, he wasn't that much of a catch either. Not a good book.

*I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


1. Enticed by His Forgotten Lover
2. Wanted by Her Lost Love

09 March 2012

REVIEW: The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston

Author: Shelly Laurenston
Title: The Mane Event
Series: Pride #1
Source: Library

One of the hottest new voices in paranormal romance, Shelly Laurenston knows how to do it all, delivering tales that are wickedly funny, action-packed, and scorch-your-fingers sexy. With The Mane Event, she proves just how delicious love can be once you unleash your inner beast...

I heard this series was rather humorous, and so wanted to check it out. The first book in this series is actually to separated stories with two separate couples; one just happens to take immediately after the other, sort of a continuity.

I didn't care for the second story (featuring Brendon and Ronnie Lee) too much, but I do think that the first story epitomizes all that fans say is good about this series.

Mace and Dez's story: 3-3.5 stars
It started off strong and was laugh-out-loud funny in several places, making it unique, to me at least (I don't often come across PNR that's this funny). I liked Mace a lot, and I thought the idea of the shifters Ms. Laurenston had created were great. I liked the characteristics she gave them: lions usually grew up in a pride, the males grew a mane, literally. They had to cut their hair almost daily or they'd had a shaggy ole mop on their heads, the hyenas were brutal....just little quirky things that reminded me of the animals themselves.

Then it all goes downhill from there. Believe it or not, I didn't realize this book was classified erotica before I started reading it and had gotten well into the first story. And while I have nothing against erotica apart from it's not really a genre I read, this was one instance where I felt that the story was hindered by all the smexing. Before it started, we were being treated to a rather funny story of a shifter trying to woo his childhood friend, whom he'd loved all his life. Then the smex started and wouldn't stop. Every blessed passage they were going at at like rabbits. All the emphasis on sexual gymnastics took the focus off the romance - at least for me it did. I really felt the story would actually have been so much better if the intimate scenes were...well, intimate, instead of so hot and heavy... anyway, they fell flat for me, and since they dominated the story once they began, the rest of the story fell rather flat for me too, spoiling all the fun I'd been having. The story moved from four to three-ish stars.

Brendon and Ronnie Lee's story: 2.5 stars
Unlike Mace and Dez's, I didn't find much romance in this one to begin with. the focus was pretty much on body parts from the get-go, and beyond that, there wasn't much to go on. The side characters were pretty much annoying in this one, and the things that were cute in the previous story quickly became annoying here. Yes we know: cats are tricky; wolves can't hold their tequila - we get it all; we don't need to be reminded every two pages. I didn't much care for Brendon or Ronnie either. Meh.

Final thoughts:
All in all, it was an okay book. I think I would have enjoyed it far more if I'd only read the first book, and if it had sensual intimacy instead of the gymnastics, but we don't always get what we want, :) I'd recommend the book, the first story, at least. It really is funny and wonderfully written. And who knows, you might find it hot too :D.

I don't think I'll be reading more in this series, but I'll definitely be checking out Ms. Laurenston's work as G.A. Aiken, and I'll make sure to find out if it's erotica before I start!



08 March 2012

Cover Reveal: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

I just saw this on Ilona Andrews' website: the cover for Gunmetal Magic, Kate Daniels #5.5, also known as the Andrea spinoff. It's slated for publication August 2012.

I like it. It think it definitely conveys Andrea's 'badass' aura, so the feel is right, but.... I don't know if the face is right, if you know what I mean.  Excited!

Nevertheless, I think it's my favorite cover so far in this series. 

Oh, and I love the view of a magic-ravaged Atlanta in the beackground.

REVIEW: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Author: Kim Harrison
Title: Dead Witch Walking
Series: The Hollows #1
Source: Library
All the creatures of the night gather in "the Hollows" of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party...and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining - and it's Rachel Morgan's job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she'll bring 'em back alive, dead...or undead.
Er...ok. So this is not going to be a complimentary review, as you've probably already guessed by the rating. 

I am a character-driven reader. I don't necessarily have to love a character to bits, but if I can get behind him/her, then I will come along for the ride, and be willing to overlook a lot of things, like faulty plotting, and a not-too-interesting story, among other things. If I don't like the character, well, then I enjoy the book less, and become somewhat cranky. I notice choppy plotting and not-very-good writing. 

I am not a plot-driven reader, but sometimes, really good storytelling will keep me interested even when I dislike the characters. 

This book failed on both fronts. I wanted to slap Rachel, the main character, almost from the beginning, and was praying someone would shoot her dead and put me out of my misery. I didn't see much likeable/interesting/redeemable about her. She was not intelligent - and since every other person was dumber than she was, it made for a rather stupid cast of characters. The secondary characters were also boring and annoying in turns. 

Um... the story. It was published in 2004, (I'm guessing) in the infancy of UF. It might have been considered cutting edge/excellent in it's time, and perhaps if I'd read it in 2004-2006 I'd have thought so too. But now that the genre has taken off, it is just bad prose and bad plotting. 

I do not think I will be reading more of the books in this series; it's not for me. I might try other books Kim Harrison has written, but probably later. 

I don't recommend this one.



07 March 2012

Review: Curran Hot Tub POV by Gordon Andrews

 *NB: This is a freebie snippet of Curran's POV in the Kate Daniels series. It is a quick read; you can find it on Ilona Andrews' website here. This one takes place during Kate Daniels book #3, Magic Strikes.

Author: Gordon Andrews
Title: Curran Hot Tub POV
Series: Kate Daniels, Curran #4
Source: Ilona Andrews' website.

I LOVE my Curran (well, he's actually Kate's Curran, but we're not dealing with semantics here, hehe)!!

Hanging around in Curran's mind never fails to make me smile. I love how he thinks, how he sees himself, the way he analyzes the situation, how he sees Kate. I love everything about my Curran :D.

This scene was from Magic Strikes, the hot tub scene, and the events just preceding it. owing to the nature of the scene, Curran's POV was slightly cheesy, but still sweet. His interactions with Derek made me laugh out loud.

Again, thank you Gordon Andrews, for making my night!

1. Curran
2. Fathers and Sons
3. Curran #3

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Jill's blog, and highlights upcoming releases were highly anticipating.

Today's WoW is for one of my FAVORITE authors in all the world, and the very first author who was on my autobuy list before I knew there was such a thing as an autobuy list. It releases on April 3rd 2012. 4 more weeks! To say I can't wait is an understatement. If she wrote it, it's going to be good.

For fifteen years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back-at least not all the time. Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can't choose when he shifts, the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn't trade their unusual relationship for anything. Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she's been telling about her life have turned into lies she's telling herself...

Yayy!! And isn't the cover beautiful?! I am getting this baby in hardcover and on kindle.
Any new releases you're excited for? Leave me a comment or a link to your WoW!

06 March 2012

GUEST REVIEW: City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane

*Today's review comes courtesy of my Goodreads friend Mimi.  You can find her on Goodreads here.*

Author: Stacia Kane
Title: City of Ghosts
Series: Downside Ghosts #3

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

4.5 stars

"Only through penitence and pain is forgiveness possible.
—The Book of Truth, Veraxis, Article 72"

Downside World 301 by Mimi

Well, you know the way by now... I have to admit I wasn't as concerned about the world and fact-collecting here. Just waiting for them to finally get together distracting me from...well almost anything else. But here it goes.

* Psychopomps were very present here and I think I figured out the deal.

"Chess had never known if psychopomps actually came back to life, if they were for the brief time of their use breathing creatures with pumping hearts. Seemed they weren’t. They weren’t animals at all, just reanimated corpses, empty shells full of instinct and magic."

But then later it's mentioned the animal doesn't need to die in order to make a psychopomp. But basically the skull is the animals'. It allows you to summon the physical form of said animal. Then that form hounds ghosts to the City.

*There are wraiths, too...

"Wraiths. A witch’s freed living soul, joined with one of the restless undead. A ghost cranked on living energy, strengthened by magic, its living partner giving it the ability to do what astrally projected spirits could do: fly."

Not sure about that, but next to Chess&Terrible...Who cares?

*Still not sure what the Hand of Glory thing is? Chess carries it around and it's connected to magic, so...

*There is an inner organization at the Church-Black Squad. Church law enforcement.

The story

Remember that unexplained scene in book #2? The one with the seance and the almost-poisoning? Well apparently it's important here! The witch is being executed at the beginning, but it turns out she was Bound to a spirit and that ghost kills someone. At the same time Chess is contracted by her Elder Griffin. But before she does it she has to make an oath to the original Elders, which bounds her and kills her if she breaks the terms-silence and obedience.

Anyway, the bad conspirators are back, in Downside this time and she must investigate them with Laura, an obnoxious enforcer (of Black Squad).

At the same time(you've guessed it) she has to work an angle with the drug dealer and Terrible. So she can't say anything to them about the job, or to the Church about what she does for them. So she investigates, almost gets killed, and of course, pulls through.

Now onto more important things...


This was such a drama here. I genuinely liked seeing Chess suffer a bit for everything that happened. And she does suffer and feels guilty. But this time she knows what she wants and what she feels-and she FIGHTS for it. She doesn't take pills and screw up other people's lives, she takes pills and tries to fix them.

There's so much I learned about Chess along the way. Sometimes she lets pain and bitterness overwhelm her...

"You let people into your life and you ended up getting hurt. Or hurting them. Either way, the road to pain was paved with other people, and she wanted no part of it anymore."

"Chess lied to herself every day; it was just something she did, like taking her pills or making sure she had a pen in her bag. Little lies, mostly. Insignificant. Of course there were big ones there, too, like telling herself that she was more than just a junkie who got lucky enough to possess a talent not everyone had. That she was alone by choice and that she was not terrified of other people because they couldn’t be trusted, because they carried filth in their minds and pain in their hands and they would smear both all over her given half the chance."

But she doesn't give up and I really like her for that. yes, for the first time I actually LIKE Chess. Who knew? And when she was breaking...

"But he’d lied too. He’d lied, because he’d told her—not in those words, but he’d told her—that he’d seen something special in her. He’d made her believe, for that one moment, those two short days between the time he’d made his little speech and that horrible night in the graveyard, that there was something special in her. Something good.And there wasn’t. And she’d hurt him, and she hated herself so much, so much for that, for making that mistake, for doing that to him, so much she couldn’t stand it another second, and he could make it stop. He could forgive her or he could punish her"

...Terrible was there to pick her up. Not forgive her that easily. Not give in so easily, but one step at the time. But, IMO, she showed here that maybe, just maybe she deserves him...

"Once she’d thought he was ugly; he still was ugly, she supposed. She just didn’t give a shit. He was who he was, and her heart fluttered in her chest and wouldn’t stop."

Finally figured out some things, I guess...

This book was definitely the most emotionally poignant so far. It's about pain and regret and as that quote at the beginning says you can't have forgiveness without them. It really is what this book's about. And I loved seeing Chess and Terrible get there.

And, of course I loved Terrible...

“He lifted his head to look at her. Giving her his eyes, giving her what was behind them. “You know I do, aye? Love you right, Chessiebomb.”


05 March 2012

Memorable Monday #4

Memorable Monday is a new meme hosted by the ladies over at Escape in a Book, and invites us to share a memorable quote from something we've read/ are reading.

Today's quote is from one of my all-time favorite books by one of my all-time favorite authors. I have no words to tell how much I love Sharon Shinn and Archangel. If you haven't read it, you should! Someday, I'll do a reread again and post a whole new review :)

This is Hannah describing Gabriel to Rachel:

"... he takes most things seriously. He can be difficult. He can be very sure of himself, so other people's opinions do not always matter to him. He thinks it's a very easy matter to separate right from wrong, good from bad, so subtleties often elude him. He is not patient. But he is - he is never less than committed to making things right. Everything he does is with the goal of bringing goodness to the world. I can't explain what I mean. There is no evil in him. That is a rare thing to say about anyone, even an angel."

How awesome is that? This quote describes Gabriel so perfectly! A man (well, he's actually an angel) with real flaws, not ersatz/minor ones. But who, when you strip everything away, is a truly good man, the kind of man you want to have your back, the kind of man you want to run your country, the kind of person you want to be at the heart of it. I know I say this a lot, but I LOVE Gabriel. he is one of the first ever heroes/main characters I fell in love with, and he has a special place of honor on my heroes-I-love shelf. Rachel too, but this post isn't about her :)

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