Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Review: In Close by Brenda Novak

Mass Market Paperback 
Published November 29th 2011 
by Mira 
(first published January 1st 2011)
Series: Bulletproof, #3
My Rating: 
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Claire O'Toole's mother, Alana, went missing fifteen years ago. That was big news in Pineview, Montana, the kind of town where nothing much ever happens. Then, last year, Claire's husband, David, died in a freak accident — after launching his own investigation into Alana's disappearance. 

Is Alana dead? Or did she simply abandon her husband and daughters? Claire's determined to find out — and her former boyfriend, Isaac Morgan, wants to help. Although their relationship didn't end well, he still has feelings for her. And yet it isn't until he starts to suspect David's death wasn't an accident that he's drawn back into her life. 

Together, Claire and Isaac search for answers to the questions that have haunted Pineview all this time. But as they soon discover, someone's prepared to kill so those answers won't be found. . .

I really enjoyed the final book in the Bulletproof series. It totally worked for me. More mystery than thriller, yet somehow I found that more thrilling. I was totally caught up in all the possible suspects when it came to the question of what happened to Alana, Claire's mother. There were so many interesting angles playing out. Was it her stepfather and stepmother? Was it Alana's lover? What part did her sister Leanne play into it? And then, how did David's death factor in? The thing that had me on my toes was why everyone seemed to simply want Claire to forget about pursuing what had happened to her mother, and they seemed rather hostile about it too, which made me wonder why they all wanted her to drop it so much.

I found it all gripping, and fascinating, especially since Claire also had a stalker that was...not exactly what you'd expect a stalker to be. I was always wondering how he knew what he knew, and what part he'd play into the disappearance of Alana.

I guess I can't say more without spoiling it all, and that would be a shame. I have to say, I really admire the way the plot comes together. Brenda Novak is very good at writing a tightly controlled plot while keeping you in suspense as what is going to happen next. 

I also really enjoyed the romance in this novel. It really allowed the action to move forward at a steady pace because Issac was supporting Claire in her mission to find out what had really happened to her mother. These two also had a lot of sizzle, and they made sense because they'd been an item before Claire married David. In a nutshell, this is a solid romance and well worth the read.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Hardcover400 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 
by Penguin Publishing Group
Series: The Others
My Rating:
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

I have been looking forward to this novel for a year, and I was not disappointed. Anne Bishop knows how to tell a story and build a world that is engrossing and fascinating. This series continues to be refreshing and at times, chilling. 

I must say, I've always found The Others a bit chilling. They aren't human, or even like humans. They think differently, and they see humans as meat. As a lesser species that might be worth tolerating and interacting with to a certain degree, but still, just meat. The fact that The Others are indeed, other, has always been very apparent in this series. But it got very interesting in this novel as the Elders were introduced. They are Others who live in the wild, and they sound terrifying to be quite honest. We don't meet the Elders. The Others talk about them, and it's clear they are beginning to take action, especially when Simon gets a phone call from one. And what they said chilled me.
Book One in the series

The other fascinating thing that is happening is the degree to which the Others are becoming pack like with the human pack. It's an interesting angle because it's drawing into question how human the Others can become. Or are willing to become. So yes, there was serious world building this novel. And the human politics are becoming more intricate as it's clear that the two species, humans and Others are at loggerheads--thanks to the humans.

Now, I have to talk about Meg. She has always been compelling character. Child like and yet brave, and so determined. It was wonderful to see her grow and learn more about what it meant to be cassandra sangue in this novel. And to pass that on to other girls like her. I love the idea of her being the Trailblazer, the Pathfinder. She's freed the other blood prophets, and she's begun changing things for the Others as well. What she has done has given the Elders pause, and will change the way humans are seen, and dealt with by the Others. And that really makes me curious and eager to see where this series is heading.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: One Night Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Paperback480 pages
Published July 17th 2014
 by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Series: One Night, #1
My Rating:
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Livy notices him the moment he walks into the coffee shop. He's heart-stoppingly stunning, with a blue-eyed gaze so piercing she's almost too distracted to take his order. When he walks out the door, she thinks she'll never see him again. Then she finds the note he left on his napkin . . . signed M.

All he wants is one night to worship her. No feelings, no commitment, nothing but pleasure. Every defense mechanism Livy has adopted during her solitary life is at risk of being obliterated by this confounding man. He's obnoxious but well-mannered. He's a gentleman but aloof. He's passionate but emotionless. Yet the fascination is so powerful, Livy can't deny him... or herself.

M awakens something in Livy, something deep and addictive that she never knew existed -- and that she fears only he can satisfy. But she senses that behind the fast cars, fancy suits, and posh apartment, he's aching inside. To have him, body and soul, she'll have to brave his dark secrets. Delving into his world and breaking down his defenses become her obsession - an obsession that could shatter her heart beyond repair..

I decided to read this with some friends, and this book was certainly engaging. But I guess I'll say it right off the top, there were good points and bad points for me. 

Just to get them out of the way I'll start with the bad points. For one, the book hangs on a cliffie. Having never read anything else by this author, I didn't realize that that's the way she writes her trilogies. So while I saw it coming, I was miffed. I dislike being left hanging in the middle of the story. I like some sense of closure, resolution, transition if the story is going to continue into a series. I don't like being left at the height of the climax. So that was an automatic point off for me. Another thing I just couldn't get around was these characters. I guess it's early in the trilogy, but I just couldn't really connect to them. Livy is back and forth in her desision making. Miller is mysterious and complicated. And evasive. And uh, something is off with him considering how things ended. Maybe his line of work, and I get there's supposed to be these two sides to him, but the man went a little wild there. 

Time to talk about the good things. The writing was pretty solid, I have to say. At no point did I catch myself skimming or feeling like certain parts were "filler" which is a very good thing! And while the characters in this book confound me, I can see a spark of change in Livy. She's been standing still for so long that it was nice to see her try. Was her choice of Miller questionable? Only time will tell. Are her choices questionable? Oh yeah. Livy makes some dumb choices in my opinion, but hey that's how people grow, and she's never really sown her wild oats. So I'm anticipating that her growth will continue in the next books. Another thing I really liked was that this book has some great supporting characters. They help us see Livy and understand her, and they were funny, loving people in Livy's life.

I feel like I'm ending my review in media res, but seeing that's how this book ended, it seems fitting.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just Because I Have Too Many Giveaway~Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Are you ready everyone? It's time for a giveaway!! I'm now hosting my very own Just Because I Have Too Many Giveaway. What does this mean exactly? Well, I have a lot of books. I buy tons of ebooks, but I'm also addicted to paperbacks. The shelves are full, and it's time to purge. Instead of donating, I thought I'd share my novels with all of you lovely readers. So I'm giving one away today!

Please note, I purchased each of these books. There were not provided to me by an author or publicist. Books are in brand new condition because that's the way I care for them.

First up is a genre favourite, so I hope you are ready!

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Thanks everyone for dropping by today! Give me your feedback on the giveaway

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Venom by Jennifer Estep

Paperback389 pages
Published September 28th 2010 
by Pocket Books 
(first published September 17th 2010)
Series: Elemental Assassin 
My Rating:
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.

To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists.

At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

So, in my humble opinion, this is the best so far of the series. If the first two weren't powerful enough, this book is the HOOKER. I am hooked lovely readers

Please note, mild spoilers. I couldn't help myself this time.

From the opening pages, in which Gin gets herself beaten up a trio of gaints, till the end where she blows up a mansion and lets Mab Munroe know she's gunning for her, Venom is kick ass in a big way. I could not put this book down. I mean, I had to. But you know. It was a serious page turner. The action is constant, the plot development is bang on and there are finally some real mmm moments as Gin would put it. 

I'll say it--I love Owen. He hasn't really done much, but he's accepted Gin for who and what she is, and that's more than Donovan Caine ever did. I love that about him. And, he strikes me as just plain hot. *Shrug* It's probably because he's something of a badboy himself. I was glad Caine wasn't in this book. Owen is much more promising romance wise. Plus, he really has Gin's back. 

And, I have to say, I love that Bria is back. I mean, we hadn't met her before, but we knew she was alive, and seeing her in this book was wonderful. I was a bit disappointed with how it played out, but it did play out logically, and there is so much promise in the plot line for her character that I'm doing a little dance of joy. 

Onto Finn. Well, we knew the man was a charmer, but he's got balls too, and I really liked that about him. I think what struck me was the sense of family in this book was very strong. We knew Gin had family in Finn and the dwarven sisters before, but it all really cements in this book very strongly somehow. 

Character Development: Five stars. Plot Development: Five stars. Romance Factor: Four stars. Overall Series Development: Six stars (so shoot me, it was over the moon, really!)

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