Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley

Paperback2011282 pages
Published July 5th 2011 
by Berkley Sensation 
(first published January 26th 2010)

Series: Shifter Unbound, #1
My Rating:
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain.

Like most Shifters, Liam Morrissey has learned that trusting humans leads to no good. But when a beautiful attorney enters Shiftertown alone, Liam's alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.

Tasked with defending a Shifter accused of murder, attorney Kim Fraser is completely out of her depth in the mysterious world of Shifters. To prove her client's innocence, Kim will need the help of someone on the inside, even though relying on Liam goes against everything society says about Shifters.

And when an un-Collared Shifter threatens both Kim and Liam, the young attorney will have to learn to trust her unlikely protector and face the passion she feels for a man who can't be tamed.

This book came to my attention years ago. But, like so many books, it went on my to be read list, and got overlooked for a while. Actually, it got overlooked for a long time. And every now and then I'd kick myself for not getting to this book because I'd heard so many wonderful things about this series. 

Sadly, book one was a bit of a miss for me. The author has created a world with potential, and I liked the Morrissey men. I am admittedly curious to see if Sean finds his mate, and whether Dylan ends up with Glory, to see Conner grow up. The characterization is well done for the most part...but it did fall a little flat when it came to Kim, the heroine. 

I just didn't really connect with her. She seemed a bit two dimensional to me, and I didn't see why she was doing everything sort of against her better judgement. Was it because she was beginning to emphathize with the Shifters? Was it because she was bonded to Liam? I just didn't get what made Kim tick, and that made a lot of this book fall flat for me. A lot of the scenes lacked the emotional intensity that can make or break a book for me. It was easier to connect with Liam, he was more charming, more alive somehow for me, but he also didn't seem as well fleshed out as he should have been in some ways.

The writing is clean, and the plot does a decent job of introducing Shifter society. But some key events seemed glossed over towards the end--considering Brian's case brought Liam and Kim together, I was expecting that the case would be more of the focal of this book, and it's not, which struck me as odd. However, the story was engaging enough to see me through to the end, and some of the supporting characters, as well as Liam's new position in the Shifter hierarchy, showed promise. Despite my disappointment with this first novel, I would consider reading book two in the series, and fully intend to give Jennifer Ashley's historical romances a try.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Feature Favourite: The Winter King by C.L Wilson

So, I've read a book lately that will forever be on my favourites shelf. So I'm here to share a feature favourite with you.

The Winter King
Series: Weathermages of Mystral
Author: C.L Wilson

The Novel: This is the first in the series, and introduces the world of Mystral and the kingdoms of Wintercraig and Summerlea. It's a world of magic that is rich in fantasy. Khamsin, a princess of Summerlea, is forced to marry the conquering king of her kingdom, the Winter King, Wytner who is slowly becoming possessed by the Ice Heart. Despite the fact that this is a political alliance, and one desgined for the purpose of producing an heir to the Winter King's throne, the passion between Khamsin and Wynter burns up the pages of this book. But what each of them really want is the love of the other.

The Series: The author states on her site that this series is a series of standalone fantasty romance novels, so unless it's otherwise indicated in the book listing, each can be read independently of the other. Which is something I'm delighted to hear!

The Author:

C.L Wilson is known for combining epic fantasy with romance, which in my humble opinion, has made for great reading. Her novels have been on the bestsellers list, and she won the 2009 PEARL award for best fantasy romance novel. She's been described as lyrical, and with the detailed world building in The Winter King, it's easy to see why she is critically acclaimed. A winner of various awards, both reader selected and from the industry, Ms. Wilson is one seriously talented writer.

You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be reading more this author. Stay tuned for my full review

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

Mass Market Paperback
Published June 25th 2013 
by Avon
Series: An English Bride in Scotland, #1
My Rating: 
Genre: Historical Romance

Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!

But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel's not the bride he planned for, she's the only woman he desires…

As many of you know, I absolutely love highlander romances. And when I saw this, I just had absolutely had to have it. And once I had it, well, it was impossible not to read it almost immediately. And I'll say right now, that I absolutely adored this book. 

I'll list some reasons this book was just wonderful. It had wonderful characters, a series of hilarious happenstances linked to something a bit more sinister and an amazing couple. I loved the way Ross was immediately taken with Annabel. He didn't even care that she was the wrong sister, he saw her and decided that wrong sister or not, he was going to marry her. And he's immediately protective of her as well, disgusted by the lack of care her parents display. I had to laugh out loud more than once with Ross as Annabel got herself into ridiculous tangles. With dresses. Read it, you'll see

Annabel impressed me. For all that she'd been raised in an abbey, and for all her shyness, she's hardly what you'd call meek and mild. She is smart, innovative and sometimes foolhardy, but she has a sweet nature and caring heart. It's easy to see why Ross is so taken with her. She's simply the type of person that everyone would love. I found it hysterical that her sister turned out to the be the sort of person that everyone would absolutely hate.
The inside cover. 

Filled with a cast of bright, vivid characters, sizzling bedroom scenes, and laugh out moments, I had a hell of a good time reading this novel. The writing and humor were crisp and everything unfolded neatly--and I didn't see the plot taking the direction it did closer to the end, so it's hardly predictable which is a plus. I read this book in one sitting and came away from it with a smile on my face. If you enjoy highlander romances and need something a littler lighter that will make you laugh, then this is the book for you. I can't wait to read book two.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

Mass Market Paperback347 pages
Published April 24th 2012 
by Mira 
(first published January 1st 2012)
Series: Graveyard Queen, #3
My Rating:
Genre: Urban Fantasy

My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

Oh my, Amanda Stevens has done it again. Ever since I started this series, not too long ago, I have been swept away by this author's writing. The imagery, the careful placing of words makes reading this series a rich experience. You get the shivers. Of the hot and cold kind. You get the creeps. You feel the tension coiling inside, and you see every scene come alive as you read. It devastates me, every time.

In this book, Amelia is back in Charleston. She's dealt with a lot, and it seems there is more mojo for her to unravel and face. And at the center of it all is Delvin, the haunted man she ought to avoid. But it seems some fate is drawing them together, and Amelia soon comes to realize that she needs to do things she never dared to do before--converse with ghosts, acknowledge them, help them. And the one ghost most in need of her help is little Shani, Delvin's late daughter.

What I discovered about Delvin's late wife in this novel made me shiver. But it worse knowing that Shani was tied to her mother. The magic that comes into play in this novel is sinister, and yet also allows Amelia to realize that she has power. Power she's never dared tapped, power she's never acknowledged. All of this lays down what could be some very spooky, very magic based events that Amelia may have to face. It seems that it's her destiny, as much as Delvin is also her destiny.

Which brings to me to the romance in this book. Le sigh. Romance has never been the focus of this series, but I love that Delvin and Amelia have had some very intimate moments, emotionally and physically. And I'm dying to see how this relationship plays out. I'll be picking up the next book as soon as it's released. This is one series that has yet to disappoint, and has delivered haunting stories of rare beauty each and every time.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quote It!~15

This long weekend, I'm hoping to catch up on writing some posts. So I'm starting with a Quote It! post because I love mouth watering quotes from authors who just make words drip with meaning, or beauty. Or even better, both.

Amanda Stevens is one such author, a favourite author of mine. So I just have to share some quotes with you. She just makes you shiver and quiver in amazing ways. So which of her books am I quoting from today? I'm sharing with you quotes from The Prophet, book number three in the Graveyard Queen series. I'm all caught up in this series and just dying from more.

A perfume of death for every season.

Delvin was my destiny. The one man I wanted above all others was the one man I could never have. 

Slowly, he brought me to him, one hand up into my hair as he lowered his mouth to mine. "You're the one I care about," he murmured against my lips. 

Stay tuned for my review!

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