Saturday, September 27, 2008

Book: Phantom in the Night (B.A.D. Series #6)

Phantom in the Night (B.A.D. Series, #6) Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nathan Drake's life couldn't get any worse: he is finally get out of jail (2 years), his mother died of ovarian cancer, and he finds out his identical twin brother, Jaime, has been exectuted by a crime family who thought they were killing Nathan. Could his life get worse?

Oh yes it could.

Into Nathan's life walks Terry. Blonde and deadly, she's working for B.A.D. and she's damn if some man is going to take away her bust. But when they both fall into something bigger (an international crime syndicate that has been in operation since before the Renaissance) can they pull themselves out before they and those that they love get hurt?

With the help of an old Special Ops friend and Terry, Nathan plans to do just that.

But how will the game plan change when Nathan realizes that he's falling for Terry?

Great book. As always, Kenyon is a master manipulator of emotions and works her magic again!

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Book: Realm of the Gods (Immortals series #4)

The Realms of the Gods (Immortals, Book 4) The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the mythical land of Tortall, Daine's story continues as she and Numair, her sage and teacher, are sucked into the Realm of the Gods by the Badger God. She knows she must get back to the world in which she was born or she can't help the Queen, King Jonathan or the King's Champion, Alana.

What's a girl to do?

Fighting, kicking and clawing (pun completely intended) her way to the top Daine finds herself and love in this last of the Immortals series. Can Daine over come Chaos and help the world to continue spinning? If she's got the grit!

Good ending to a good series. I didn't like this series as much as Pierce's Lionness series (about Alana) but I still enjoyed it!

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Book: Heart of the Sea (Gallaghers of Ardmore Series #3)

Heart of the Sea (Gallaghers of Ardmore / Irish trilogy #3) Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Darcy's only ever wanted two things ... money and someone to give it to her. When the rich great-grandnephew of Johnny Magee comes storming into town to build the music theatre behind the family pub, Darcy's life is thrown for a loop.

Devilishly handsome and rich, Trevor Magee has always had a strange pull to his father's native land of Ireland and the small out of the way town on the Irish Sea, Ardmore. He's just there to build the theatre, or so he thinks. Turns out ... he's there to fall in love with the untamed and wild raven haired Darcy Gallagher.

But will money and looks be enough for the self proclaimed money hungry Darcy? Or will Carrick and Lady Gwen's final words come to haunt them both?

A spectacular ending to the series. Honestly, I would have liked to see more Lady Gwen and Carrick in this one ... kind of like in the first one (Jewels of the Sun). The ending for Carrick and Lady Gwen was too short. Other than that, it was fantastic.

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Book: Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore Series #2)

Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore / Irish trilogy #2) Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
A little bit of Irish mythology thrown in with some good old fashioned romance.

Shawn Gallagher is so wrapped up in his music and his life as a chef in his family's pub that he doesn't see what's right in front of him ... Brenna.

Firey hair and spirit Brenna has wanted to love Shawn since she was 14 and broken his nose playing baseball. When will he wake up and realize that she's here and ready for him? Probably when she offers to sleep with him.

But no, he turns her down and the game of cat and mouse is now in play. A side story of a Mr. Magee that wants to come to Ardmore and build a music theatre behind the pub and Jude and Aiden's pregnancy play out with Shawn and Brenna's story of love.

Great second book in the series.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book: Jewels of the Sun (Gallaghers of Ardmore Series #1)

Jewels of the Sun (Gallaghers of Ardmore / Irish trilogy #1) Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
A decent enough romance set in Ireland. (It's my soft spot and why I picked up the book).

After thinking she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Jude Francise Murray hops on a plan and heads to County Waterford to stay for six months at her grandmother's ancestrial home.

Aidan Gallagher, owner of the local pub, spies the lass on soon after she arrives and at once his roaming heart is tempted to put down roots.

With a touch of magic and a sprinkling of Irish lore and mythology that any good Irish child (myself included) has heard a number of times, Aidan and Jude come together. But will it last?

I nice "summer" read. Quick. It got me through the night when I was up with my cold, sneezing.

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Book: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
A beautiful and poignant tale centered around the life of Kathy, a student of Halesham who grows to become a respected Carer.

What we don't realize for a good portion of the book (although it is subtly refered to but never said right out) is that the children at this school are clones. They are here so that the rest of the population can harvast organs (called "donations"). They make four donations and then "complete" (it's assumed that this means they die).

Ishiguro is able to take these "students"/clones/donation candidates and through his retelling of Kathy's life, humanize them for us.

Honestly, the only reason I even thought to read this book was because of a friend of mine, whose opinion on things literary I truly respect, mentioned that he had read this.

I found the first very chapters difficult to get into but once I got passed that point, I fell ... literally tumbled ... in love with this novel. When the question came up that Madame and Ms. Emily stated that most regular people questioned whether the "students" had souls ... that made me sick. Sick to the core. How could they not have had souls!?!? Souls feel ... souls hate ... souls forgive ... souls love.

And Kathy and Tommy's love ... it was beautiful even when they weren't really "in love" or when Ruth was in the way. It was still Tommy and Kath and not Tommy and Ruth in my mind. Ruth was more dehumanized for me than were some of the other names that popped in and out of the novel.

I cried at the end when Kathy pulled out of Tommy's donation center. I was pissed at Ruth for keeping Tommy and Kathy apart for so long. I was heartbroken when Kathy ended up on the road in the county that they (as children) had believed everything they had ever lost would turn up and she had the vision of Tommy waiting for her.

This book has fast become one of my favorites ... ever.

Incidently, I found this review of the novel as I was searching for some other information and really liked it (note I had to cut some of the text out to fit it. Full text:

Brave New World

Kazuo Ishiguro's novel really is chilling.

By Margaret Atwood

Posted Friday, April 1, 2005, at 7:25 AM ET

Chilling me softly

It's a thoughtful, crafty, and finally very disquieting look at the effects of dehumanization on any group that's subject to it. In Ishiguro's subtle hands, these effects are far from obvious. There's no Them-Bad, Us-Good preaching; rather there's the feeling that as the expectations of such a group are diminished, so is its ability to think outside the box it has been shut up in. The reader reaches the end of the book wondering exactly where the walls of his or her own invisible box begin and end.

The narrator, Kathy H., is looking back on her school days at a superficially idyllic establishment called Hailsham. (As in "sham"; as in Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham, exploiter of uncomprehending children.) At first you think the "H" in "Kathy H." is the initial of a surname, but none of the students at Hailsham has a real surname. Soon you understand that there's something very peculiar about this school. Tommy, for instance, who is the best boy at football, is picked on because he's no good at art: In a conventional school it would be the other way around.

In fact, Hailsham exists to raise cloned children who have been brought into the world for the sole purpose of providing organs to other, "normal" people. They don't have parents. They can't have children. Once they graduate, they will go through a period of being "carers" to others of their kind who are already being deprived of their organs; then they will undergo up to four "donations" themselves, until they "complete." (None of these terms has originated with Ishiguro; he just gives them an extra twist.) The whole enterprise, like most human enterprises of dubious morality, is wrapped in euphemism and shadow: The outer world wants these children to exist because it's greedy for the benefits they can confer, but it doesn't wish to look head-on at what is happening. We assume—though it's never stated—that whatever objections might have been raised to such a scheme have already been overcome: By now the rules are in place and the situation is taken for granted—as slavery was once—by beneficiaries and victims alike.

All this is background. Ishiguro isn't much interested in the practicalities of cloning and organ donation. (Which four organs, you may wonder? A liver, two kidneys, then the heart? But wouldn't you be dead after the second kidney, anyway? Or are we throwing in the pancreas?) Nor is this a novel about future horrors: It's set, not in a Britain-yet-to-come, but in a Britain-off-to-the-side, in which cloning has been introduced before the 1970s. Kathy H. is 31 in the late 1990s, which places her childhood and adolescence in the '70s and early '80s—close to those of Ishiguro, who was born in 1955 in Nagasaki and moved to England when he was 5. (Surely there's a connection: As a child, Ishiguro must have seen many young people dying far too soon, through no fault of their own.) And so the observed detail is realistic—the landscapes, the kind of sports pavilion at Hailsham, the assortment of teachers and "guardians," even the fact that Kathy listens to her music via tape, not CD.

Kathy H. has nothing to say about the unfairness of her fate. Indeed, she considers herself lucky to have grown up in a superior establishment like Hailsham rather than on the standard organ farm. Like most people, she's interested in personal relationships: in her case, the connection between her "best friend," the bossy and manipulative Ruth, and the boy she loves—Tommy, the amiable football-playing bad artist. Ishiguro's tone is perfect: Kathy is intelligent but nothing extraordinary, and she prattles on in the obsessive manner touchy girls have, going back over past conversations and registering every comment and twitch and crush and put-down and cold shoulder and gang-up and spat. It's all hideously familiar and gruesomely compelling to anyone who ever kept a teenage diary.

What is art for? the characters ask. They connect the question to their own circumstances, but surely they speak for anyone with a connection with the arts: What is art for? The notion that it ought to be for something, that it must serve some clear social purpose—extolling the gods, cheering people up, illustrating moral lessons—has been around at least since Plato and was tyrannical in the 19th century. It lingers with us still, especially when parents and teachers start squabbling over the school curricula. Art does turn out to have a purpose in Never Let Me Go, but it isn't quite the purpose the characters have been hoping for.

One motif at the very core of Never Let Me Go is the treatment of out-groups, and the way out-groups form in-groups, even among themselves. The marginalized are not exempt from doing their own marginalization: Even as they die, Ruth and Tommy and the other donors form a proud, cruel little clique, excluding Kathy H. because, not being a donor yet, she can't really understand.

The book is also about our tendency to cannibalize others to make sure we ourselves get a soft ride. Ursula Le Guin has a short story called The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, in which the happiness of the many depends absolutely on the arranged unhappiness of the few, and Never Let Me Go could be read as a sister text: The children of Hailsham are human sacrifices, offered up on the altar of improved health for the population at large. With babies already being created with a view to their organs—help for an afflicted sibling, for instance—the dilemma of the Hailsham "students" is bound to become more general. Who owns your body? Who therefore is entitled to offer it up? The reluctance of Kathy H. and her pals to really confront what awaits them—pain, mutilation, death—may account for the curious lack of physicality of Kathy's descriptions of their life. Nobody eats anything much in this book, nobody smells anything. We don't know much about what the main characters look like. Even the sex is oddly bloodless. But landscapes, buildings, and the weather are intensely present. It's as if Kathy has invested a lot of her sense of self in things quite far away from her own body, and thus less likely to be injured.

Finally, the book is also about our wish to do well, to attract approval. The children's poignant desire to be patted on the head—to be a "good carer," keeping those from whom organs are being taken from becoming too distressed; to be a "good donor," someone who makes it through all four "donations"—is heartbreaking. This is what traps them in their cage: None of them thinks about running away or revenging themselves upon the "normal" members of society. Ruth takes refuge in grandiose lies about herself and in daydreams—maybe she'll be allowed to get an office job. Tommy reacts with occasional rage to the unconscionable things being done to him, but then apologizes for his loss of control. In Ishiguro's world, as in our own, most people do what they're told.

Tellingly, two words recur again and again. One, as you might expect, is "normal." The other is "supposed," as in the last words of the book: "wherever it was that I was supposed to be going." Who defines "normal"? Who tells us what we are supposed to be doing? These questions always become more pressing in times of stress; unless I'm much mistaken, they'll loom ever larger in the next few years.

Never Let Me Go is unlikely to be everybody's cup of tea. The people in it aren't heroic. The ending is not comforting. Nevertheless, this is a brilliantly executed book by a master craftsman who has chosen a difficult subject: ourselves, seen through a glass, darkly.

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Book: Return of the Warrior (MacAllister Series #7)

Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood/MacAllister Series, Book #7) Return of the Warrior by Kinley MacGregor

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Two souls both desperate for a family cling together in the hopes for salvation. Can they save themselves? Can they save each other? Can they save the kingdoms each is supposed to rule?

Queen Adara has ruled without her husband since she was seven. Waiting for her beloved was her only goal but the power hungry steward of the neighboring country is pressuring her to denounce her husband as dead. Instead, Adara wishes to find the man she has always loved and bring him home so he can finally help her rule her country ... and his own.

Pushed away from his homeland, Christian de Acre lost his parents at a young age, was imprisioned in a monastary, had said monastary burned to the ground, and was imprisioned in Outremer. How much more can one man take? How about a woman he vague remembers turning up declaring them to be man and wife?

Slowly, their love grows and the two head back to take on the usper to both of their throwns.

Again, MacGreggor/Kenyon does a fantastic job of tapping into the basis of human emotions. Great read.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Book: Midnight Rishing (Midnight Breed Series #4)

Midnight Rising (Midnight Breed Series, Book #4) Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dangerous to himself and to those around him, Rio has decided to end it all by blowing some C4 in the hibernation chambers in the mountains of Romania. By some stroke of fate, that very day, Dylan Alexander, journalist with a tabloid rag, just happens to wander into his quasi-sancutary.

After returning the next day and snapping some photos, Rio has to hunt her down and destroy the evidence of the chamber. In the process, he discovers she's a Breedmate, one of the rare and highly revered women who can produce children from the coupling with a Breed male.

Returning to Boston with the Breedmate, Rio finds it difficult to accept his past (the disception of his wife Eva, who killed her self (Book #1)) and cope with the knowledge that his brothers in the Order, especially Niko, know he was planning to kill himself.

Behind it all, Dragos's son has the Ancient, who Dragos awoke from the slumber of the hibernation chamber, is breeding more Gen Ones while other Gen Ones are disappearing all over the world. The Order needs to find out what is going on and in a hurry if they are planning to save the others ... and themselves.

Rio needs help ... is Dylan the answer?

Lara Adrian does a better job in this novel than in her past works (such as Books #2 and/or #3) of setting up something compeling (something that won't let you put the book down). Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for the broken guy (aka Zarek from the Dark-Hunter series or Zsadist from the Blackdagger Brotherhood), but I liked this book much better than the first three.

Can't wait for Nikolai's story to come out!

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Book: Prince of Twilight (Twilight Series #14)

Prince Of Twilight (Twilight Series Book 12) Prince Of Twilight by Maggie Shayne

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sixteen years after Vlad Dracula (yes ... THAT Dracula) took Tempest Jones away from Maxie and Lou, we meet up with her again. A little rounder and a little older, Stormy still remembers her time with Vlad

... and she is still in love with him.

Vlad is still searching for a way to bring back his wife, Elisabeta, who commited suicide 500 years ago after hearing that Vlad had been killed while defending the borderlands.

Vlad knows that he must find the ring and the scroll that the magicians and socerers from 500 years ago imbued with power so that he can release his Beta. He only has a few days to complete the ritual.

But at what cost? Can he pick Beta over Tempest? Who is he in love with? How powerful is that love?

This book was one of the better Twilight series novels. True and palipable heartfelt emotions soared through Stormy and Vlad. Beta's reintroduction into a corporeal form was entertaining too (reading about how she discovered Coke and how it made her burp - hilarious).

A slight twist at the end made it all the more endearing.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Book: Ghost of a Chance (Karma Marx Series #1)

Ghost of a Chance (Karma Marx: Book 1) Ghost of a Chance by Kate Marsh

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
Karma Marx is half-human, half-polter but 100 percent in control of the situation. After dealing with her philandering husband for just long enough, she makes a deal with him, Spider, to grant her a divorce. Her side of the bargain is that she has to help him clean (exorcise the ghosts and other paranormal beings from) his newest investment which is the most haunted house in all of the Olympic Pennisula.

But Karma is sick of banishing spirits to the otherside. She's begun taking them in and sheltering them. But if it means she can get rid of her husband, she's willing to take on the job.

Out of nowhere, Pixie shows up. The Otherside's equivalent of foster care needs Karma (and Spider - only because he "agreed" to help foster) to take care of the teenager.

With Pixie, Karma heads out to the house to do the cleaning. There she meets Adam, the resident polter and the other spirits that live in the house: Antonio and Jules (two spirits who we assume are together - once they refer to themselves as domestic partners) and Amanita (a unicorn).

After sometime fighting with Adam about who owns the house (Spider bought it out from under Adam in a very very shading deal), Spider and his business partner Meredith show up. Angered beyond belief, Adam seals the house (a kind of otherside lockdown).

After confessing that he, Spider, and his partner Meredith were the ones who raped and murdered Karma's fifteen year old cousin, Bethany, Spider is found in the basement ... dead.

Who killed him? Who is this woman Savanagh who seems to know more about the otherside beings than she lets on? And what part do Adam and Karma play in all this?

Slow at times but I might be willing to pick up a second book (if there is one) in this series.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book: Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl Series #6)

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, Book 6) Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another stellar visit into the world of Artemis Fowl (teenage genius) and Holly Short (captian of the L.E.P.).

Back from the place where time doesn't exist (where he saved Number 1 - a warlock), three years has gone by but Artemis (and Holly) both find that they are the same as when they left on their last journey. Artemis has two new (twin) 2 year old brothers.

But, Angeline Fowl is sick. Deathly ill. And it's because of magic. She has been infected with a plague like illness that struck down fairies in the past but now is virtually unheard of. Cure? lemur brain fluid.

Problem? Artemis (his 10 year old self) had the last lemur killed 8 years ago. Answer? GO BACK IN TIME!

Artemis and Holly get closer in this novel and you can see the bonds between the pair get stronger. Artemis's nasty criminal mind is becoming more moral in his old age and he's realizing what it really means to have friends and family.

I'm anticipating another novel in this series. I hope it comes out soon.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book: War and Peace

War and Peace War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great book. Then again, I'm a huge Tolstoy fan so I'm not what you would call "impartial."

My favorite passage was the section describing the French troops coming into a deserted Moscow in 1812. The city was empty of all the gentry and nobles but some of the peasants were still there. Tolstoy equated the city to a bee hive without its queen. The left over bees do activities that are somewhat similar to what they had been doing but not exactly and buzz around in drunken, lost circles looking for purpose. The bee keeper comes in then and burns what is left over of the hive (which is what the French did to Moscow by looting and burning it). The passage is powerful and beautiful in its elegency.

The only thing I could have done without was the lengthy second Epilogue. It didn't tell me anything that Tolstoy hadn't already said in less words during the novel. Unneeded in my view.

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Book: War and Peace

War and Peace War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great book. Then again, I'm a huge Tolstoy fan so I'm not what you would call "impartial."

My favorite passage was the section describing the French troops coming into a deserted Moscow in 1812. The city was empty of all the gentry and nobles but some of the peasants were still there. Tolstoy equated the city to a bee hive without its queen. The left over bees do activities that are somewhat similar to what they had been doing but not exactly and buzz around in drunken, lost circles looking for purpose. The bee keeper comes in then and burns what is left over of the hive (which is what the French did to Moscow by looting and burning it). The passage is powerful and beautiful in its elegency.

The only thing I could have done without was the lengthy second Epilogue. It didn't tell me anything that Tolstoy hadn't already said in less words during the novel. Unneeded in my view.

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Book: Killing Moon (Moon Series #1)

Killing Moon (Moon series, Book 1) Killing Moon by Rebecca York

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Megan was only doing her job when her boss asked her to take her lab supplies and go out to a client's house to take some blood. She just thought she'd be there for a few minutes to collect his blood and then head back to the lab so she might do some research on the genotypes in his sample.

Was she ever wrong.

PI Ross Marshall is a werewolf. And he's really good at his job. He has single handedly taken down one serial killer/rapist and is working on the second. Only problem? When the police didn't believe his tips about the first killer, he took matters into his own hands ... or muzzle as it was.

When Megan walked into his house to find him naked and bleeding from an infected gunshot wound in his leg, his life changes forever. Her touch is electric and now he understands everything his father ever told him (all be it in The Big Bad Wolf's most vulgar language) about finding his mate.

Because after all, wolves mate for life.

Part detective story, part suspense thriller, all paranormal romance, this was a great start to this series.

A little vulgar for my taste (mostly when setting up the latest serial killer/rapist's mentality and what he did with women) but other than that it was good.

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Book: Twilight Hunger (Twilight Series #7)

Twilight Hunger (Twilight Series Book 7) Twilight Hunger by Maggie Shayne

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maggie Shayne dips her hand back into the world of vampires and comes out with a good (but not great) book.

Morgan is haunted by Dante, a man who she has come to know and love through some diaries that he left in her house. Slightly stealing from the diaries, Morgan writes Dante's stories in the form of a screenplay. Eventually, she becomes somewhat of a big hit and getting an award nomination.

Then, Dante shows up.

The subplot of Maxine, Lou, Lydia, and Stormy completely take over Dante and Morgan's story. I did not like this novel as much as Shayne's others. But nonetheless, it was a good read.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Book: A Dark Champion (MacAllister Series #6)

A Dark Champion (Brotherhood/MacAllister Series, Book #6) A Dark Champion by Kinley MacGregor

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kinley MacGregor does another bang up job with this historical romance.

A knight in shining armor set to steal your heart and flood your senses. Who could ask for more? Rowena de Vitry, that's who. A woman ahead of her time stuck in King Henry II's England, all she wants is to share her gift of music with those around her.

In strides (no pun intended) Stryder, Earl of Blackmoor. Every woman wants him. Every man wants to be him. His problem? Forgetting his past in Outremer.

Fate throws these two passionate souls together as they fight for each others' lives and hearts.

A spectacular novel in the MacAllister/the Brotherhood series.

Stryder often mentioned Simon and his wife Kenna ... I feel like I might have missed a book in this series. I always wanted to know what would happen to poor Simon. I'll have to get on that one!

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Book: Walk on the Wild Side (The Others #5)

Walk on the Wild Side (The Others, Book 5) Walk on the Wild Side by Christine Warren

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another terrific book in the continuing tale of the Others. Set almost a year after the coming out, Kitty Sugarman is in for a big surprise.

After a horrifying car accident, Kitty Sugarman (ironically named) shifts into a Leo, the lion form of a werewolf (aka a werelion). She's scared and needs answers. NOW.

Her mother finally admits to her that her father isn't dead like she had been told, and he lives in Las Vegas. So Kitty hops aboard a flight and heads west looking for the answers to why she turns into an animal that belongs on the plains of Africa when she is frightened.

What she finds there is a little more frightening, unexpected, and, not just a little, sexy.

Max Stuart. The baas, second in command to the Felix (head of the pride). He runs the casino that Kitty is to stay at. And oh, did he mention to her that her father just happens to own that casino? And he's dying of cancer.

Poor Kitty has to dodge romantic attention from Max, her insane step-family that is dogging for her to leave before her father dies, and an assissin who is trying to whipe her out without giving her a reason.

The reason I gave the book a 4 instead of a 5 was because I wanted Christine Warren to go into a little more depth with the emotions of the characters. They seemed a little too 2D instead of 3D.

It's like comparing these characters (almost formed lumps of clay) to Sherrilyn Kenyon or Kresley Cole's characters (beautiful vases). You don't "feeling" anything from them the way you do with Kenyon or Cole. The former two write and your heart breaks and soars along with their characters. Warren almost gets that right but just misses the mark.

And to top it all off ... the sex scenes were strange. First he's WAY too big for her (yeah don't all guys think that ... HA! - sorry that was mean). And second, there was shifted sex (i.e. they mated while in lion form) - I'm not saying that it's not the first "shifted" sex scene I've read but it was definitely the most explicit. Strange.

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Book: Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen #1)

Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen, Book 1) Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great paranormal-romance series that I just happen to stumble upon.

After making a pact with the devil more than a 1000 years ago, the Wilder family must deal with the ramifications of their ancestor's bargain. Each of the four brothers must find a piece of the family's icon (four scenes of the Madonna). Problem? There are only three brothers in the family and one daughter.

Jasha Wilder finds his love in his personal assistant Ann Smith. A wolf shifter, he hunts her down one day that she comes up to his castle tucked away in the forrest. But, unbeknownst to her, she's allowed the Wilder's distant Russian family to follow her to Jasha's hiding place.

The true romance scenes here were odd. I have a real problem with forced (aka quasi-rape-esque) plot devices that are meant to fit into someone's niche of erotic literature.

Of the three sex scenes, two of them were all but "forced." It's possible that in the wolf world it's ok to do that to your made or someone for which you wish to dominate (as a male would a female) but since a.) I'm human and b.) the characters were one human and one shifter that spent a good deal of time as a human ... this bothered me some what.

If it wasn't for that fact I would have given the book 5 stars.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Book: Born In Sin (MacAllister Series #3)

Born in Sin (Brotherhood/ MacAllister Series, Book #3) Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fantastic addition the Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor's MacAllister series.

Saved from the harsh life of slavery and killing he was sold into, Sin is the trusted advisor and sometimes friend of King Henry of England. Allowing no man nor family to claim him, Sin deals with his demons (and being called a demon as well as the devil himself and a baby eater) on a daily basis.

Much to his chagrin, Henry orders Sin to marry a woman who is the oldest daughter of the former (now dead) Laird of the clan MacNeeley. Sin wants nothing to do with her. He wants nothing to do with the homeland (Scotland) who shut her door to him. Sin hates ALL things Scottish.

Who is this red haired vixen? Caledonia. So Scottish, her name is the Gaelic word for Scotland.

What is a man like Sin to do? And what happens when he starts to fall for the little minx?

All around a good addition to the series. This book allows you to see all the brothers, their dead father, and Sin's step-mother (the rest of the boy's biological mother) in a different light.

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