May 31, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Lachlain MacRieve has waited centuries to find his mate and is shocked to find that very young, very innocent half Valkyrie/half vampire Emmaline is the one that he’s destined for. Escaping from the torture he’s been forced to endure, Lachlain isn’t about to let her get away. Emmaline, on the other hand, is searching for information about her parents when she finds that she’s being followed. She doesn’t make it to safety before a huge Scottish… werewolf gets her though, and when she learns that he believe she’s his mate, she does everything in her power to get him to leave her be. That is, until he starts growing on her.
A Hunger Like No Other is the first book in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and proved to be a fun read. I absolutely loved the Valkyrie, and of course whats not to love about a big ol’ Scotsman? The characters, the story, the romance – certainly a bit steamy, A Hunger Like No Other proved to be a great book and I look forward to continuing the series.
Ella Tipton has spent the time since her ex-boyfriend nearly killed her recovering in more ways than one. Finally, with the near completion of her degree and a placement doing a job she loves working with people who are where she was Ella is ready to take the next step in her new life. Andrew Copeland has always been something of a playboy, but he’s finally ready to settle down, and he knows exactly who he wants. The self-defense lessons that Cope has agreed to give Ella bring the two closer than ever before and it doesn’t take long for them to find that together, they can handle anything that comes their way.
Lauren Dane’s Inside Out is the third book in the Brown Siblings series and is an excellent addition at that. While each of the books in this series are romance and very steamy, they each deal with some big underlying issue (or issues). With the first book it was learning to accept ones-self no matter how frightening you might think that is. In the second it was starting over in a new place. In Inside Out it’s Ella’s putting herself back together and Cope’s learning to love, plus the two sharing some family struggles and learning to deal with them. Inside Out continues a great story with two of my favorite characters. I’m very much anticipating the last book in the series.
When Lt. Garth Vale finds an abandoned baby aboard a Spy plane he knows he needs to develop a plan. The first order of business, find a doctor. What he doesn’t expect is the town’s new doctor to be the woman he met at his buddies wedding. Dr. Bronwyn Whitescarver realized that working in the ER is not the type of medicine she wants to practice. When she is offered the chance to become a small town doctor she jumps at it, excited for the chance to practice medicine the way she wants. When Garth Vale shows up at her house in the middle of the night with a sick baby she notices that his story doesn’t make much sense, but she’s determined to help the child, and the man.
I actually came across this book by chance – I had no idea that Daughtridge had released a fourth book in her SEALed series, but when I spotted this at the book store I just had to read it. SEALed Forever is another great romance read with great characters and an intriguing story.
Micah Sloane died several years ago after the deaths of his parents. Now he’s an operator on a top secret team that does what normal government agencies can’t. Risa Clay has struggled to stand on her own two feet ever since her own father arranged her kidnapping to be drugged and raped. When her friends introduce her to Micah she struggles to deal with her trust issues and the lingering effects of the drug she was given eight years before. Unfortunately, with Orion, a highly successful assassin after her, Risa’s got no choice but to let Micah and the others on his team into her life.
I’ve come to expect great things from Lora Leigh and Maverick certainly lives up to the expectations. The workings of the Elite Ops team, the danger, the sex, the characters… it’s all there. Maverick is quite simply another phenomenal story from Leigh.
Finn O’Connor hasn’t been to the Ledbetter’s beach resort in over a decade, but as he’s gearing up for another deployment and still trying to overcome the death of his parents, it’s time for him to go back to that place. When he finds out that Sunny Ledbetter, the first girl he ever loved, is covering for her parents that week, it’s seems meant to be. Sunny never forgot Finn, and now that he’s back she decides to make the most of it.
The Rebel is another of Rhonda Nelson’s romances featuring independent women and uniformed – or rather un-uniformed – men. A quick read about two lovers who were separated for years and found their way back to each other, The Rebel is a catchy story.
Mackenzie Stafford decided to head back home after her soap went off the air, but home isn’t exactly home now that her brother is gone. When her former flame Aidan Donnelly lends a helping hand she is quite adamant that nothing will happen, but thats not always how things work out.
I ended up reading Flashback because I wanted to know how things would turn out in this small town. The first book Flashpoint, which I read sometime last year, was quite interesting. With twists and turns I certainly did NOT see coming Flashback proved to be just as good as the last book and is certainly up to par with Shalvis’s other works. At this point, I can honestly say that I look forward to each Jill Shalvis book that I pick up.
April 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Synopsis from the publisher:
** Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
April 19, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Dimitri, Earl of Corvindale, has spent the last century keeping primarily to himself and focusing almost entirely on his studies. His quest to break his covenant with Lucifer is his only goal. When he receives a letter from Miss Maia Woodmore, Dimitri knows he must keep his promise to Chas Woodmore and accepts that he will have to assume guardianship over the Woodmore sisters. Maia, who is used to managing her family’s affairs, insists that Corvindale lets her and Angelica return home. The only problem, Dimitri knows what Chas did, knows who his enemies are, and he knows he is the only one who can protect the sisters.
Dimitri’s biggest problem isn’t the fact that both Maia and Angelica are about to invade his home, it’s that he has desired Maia since he first met her. Dimitri must fight his desire, for Maia is engaged to another man, and keep the girls safe, which proves much more difficult than one would think. Dimitri does everything he can to protect Maia, but she is stubborn and manages to get herself stuck in more than one bad situation, and when she starts to show a desire for Dimitri, that might just prove to be his undoing - or be his salvation.
The second book in the Regency Draculia series, The Vampire Dimitri proved to be a great addition. The first half of the story can be a bit slow at times because of the overlap with the first book, The Vampire Voss, but the different perspectives as well as the holes that are filled in Dimitri and Maia’s pasts keep the story moving. The second half of the story was completely fresh and kept me glued to the pages.
The Vampire Dimitri is a book filled with great characters and passion. Dimitri is a good man who makes a not so great decision thinking he knows what was best. His struggle to regain his humanity and save his soul makes him something of a tragic character, and his reawakening to life brings a sense of satisfaction. During the first book Maia isn’t a character that we get to know to well, though she does have her moments. During the second book, this woman who seems to be nothing other than proper and a control freak, has a few other layers to her personality that she discovers. The self-discovery that both Dimitri and Maia experience as well as their rocky relationship make the book.
Keeping with the theme of the first book, The Vampire Dimitri is a great romance, and a bit suspenseful. Gleason has again written another couple that is completely entertaining and easy to read. A couple that struggles to get their relationship right. A couple who finally knocks their walls down and embraces what they have together.
The bottom line, I can definitely recommend reading up The Vampire Dimitri and I look forward to reading the last book in the series.
Regency Draculia Series:
1. The Vampire Voss
2. The Vampire Dimitri
3. The Vampire Narcise (Release date: May 24, 2011)
*A digital copy of this book was provided to me from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
April 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
I’m a bit behind where I want to be on reviews, and with the read-a-thon starting soon, I’d like to get as caught up as I can before then. With that, I present you with a few quick romance reviews.
Alison Carter has looked up to western hero Silas Quinn since she was a little girl. She even wrote a book about his life in Jubilation, Arizona. Now, Alison is acting as a historical consultant for the Hollywood movie about Silas Quinn based on her book. What Alison never expected was a stranger who tells her she has the whole story wrong and that witnessing an altercation on the film set would put her life in danger. Enter A.J. Gallagher, great-grandson of Jamie “Kid” Gallagher – the enemy of the ever loved Silas Quinn. A.J. hopped in his truck to drive from Heaven, Alaska to Jubilation in order to set the record straight with Alison. It’s not just for himself that A.J. is trying to get Alison to hear the real story of what really happened over 100 years ago though, A.J. is doing this for his great-grandfather whos ghost refuses to leave him until A.J. suceeds. A.J. and Alison work together to explore Jamie’s side of the story, to protect Alison from the men who want to hurt her, and to explore the attraction the two have – assuming Alison can come to terms with A.J.s past.
I loved Infamous. The characters were fantastic. They had faults and they made mistakes – and I love characters that are not perfect, but they also triumphed. There were moments of happiness and sadness, and moments of sheer terror, wondering if they would live to see the next day. I may have only read one other book by Suzanne Brockmann, but even with the two books I’ve read, she’s got romance and suspense down pat. Much as I try not to have expectations lest I be seriously let down, I had high expectations going into Infamous and I wasn’t disappointed.
Unfortunately, since I’ve read roughly 30 some odd books since To Tempt a Scotsman and Dahl’s other historicals, I don’t remember everything well enough to write real synopsis-es (?), but I can give a few sentences for each. To Tempt a Scotsman is the story of Lady Alexandria Huntington who, after being caught up in a huge public scandal has exiled herself to her brothers estate where she has her freedom to work with the horses and manage business. Alexandria lives her life quietly and is quite content until Collin Blackburn shows up to find out what happened to his brother who was killed in a duel as a result of Huntington’s scandal. Neither Collin nor Alexandria get, quite what they expected.
In One Week As Lovers, the Viscount Lancaster has a truth to face, he needs to marry. But when he catches his betrothed with another man, much as he knows he needs to wed, he doesn’t want to force the woman into it, dire finances or no. When Nicholas gets a letter telling him of the death of one of his neighbors, a girl he was once close to, he heads back out into the country to wait out the time before his wedding. Imagince his suprise when he finds that Cynthia Merrithorpe isn’t dead, but hiding out in his home with the help of his housekeeper. It seems Cynthia faked her own death in an attempt to avoid a particularly awful marriage – a marriage her mother and stepfather were determined to sell her into to save their own finances. Cynthia might have an alternative to a forced marriage, and the two might be able to be together after all…
A Little Bit Wild is the first book in a new series from Dahl, the York Family series. When Marissa is found to be compromised and refuses to marry the man she was found with, her brother tries to find her a husband who will save her from social ruin. She knows that betrothal to the son of a duke is as good as she can get, even if that man isn’t quite what she was looking for in the beginning. Jude Bertrand isn’t pretty, he isn’t into fashion, and he is not the best dancer on the floor – all of the qualities Marissa has looked for in a man – and he knows it. In the end though, Jude and Marissa realize that they might just be perfect together.
I first read Victoria Dahl last year. I read all of her contemporary romances and loved them. Dahl is a great writer. Her books are just plain fun. To Tempt a Scotsman was the first of her historical romances I read, but each of them has been fantastic. Her characters are easy to love and the stories are easy to follow. I look forward to the one historical I have left and the books she has coming out this year.
This Side of the Grave is the long-awaited fifth installment in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones have been through a lot in four books, but the fun isn’t over yet. Cat is still adjusting to her new vampire abilities, courtesy of her strange diet, and she and Bones have been called upon to look into the disappearance of several vampires. The conflict between the vampires and the ghouls has continued to escalate, but Cat and Bones are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid a full out war between the two groups. On top of the possibility of war, Cat finds out that both her mother and uncle have been keeping secrets, and she is not happy to say the least. With the help of their friends and the unexpected assistance of the ghosts, Cat and Bones do their best to find a way out of the latest mess.
This Side of the Grave was absolutely worth the wait. For months I anticipated getting my hand on this book, and it was so good to have Cat and Bones back. Plus there was the added bonus of seeing Spade, Denise, Mencheres, and Kira again. Frost’s books are fantastic and as per usual This Side of the Grave had me laughing, sitting on the edge of my seat, and throwing a fit at the situation with Don. Amazing read, and I cannot wait until book six this fall!
When I read How to Flirt With A Naked Werewolf last month I knew I just had to get the next book. The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is the story of Cooper’s sister Maggie Graham. Maggie stepped up to be pack alpha after everything with Eli went to crap and Cooper was still determined not to hold his position as alpha. When Maggie gets the heads up that a reporter is asking questions about the wolf attacks, she goes to investigate. When she ntoices her attraction to Dr. Nick Thatcher, Maggie becomes even more determined to get rid of him and find a mate within the pack. One problem though, Maggie’s efforts to push Nick away only bring him closer which isn’t good. Maggie’s position as alpha requires her to breed pups and mating with an outsider runs the risk of her giving birth to dead liners. At the same time, an outside pack is determined to work their way onto Maggie’s packs territory and someone is determined to get rid of Maggie.
As with the first book, The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is hilarious. The butt biting scene alone makes the book worth reading (at least in my opinion). I didn’t get the chance to know Maggie that well during the first book, so it was nice to get to know her – and the pack – better. The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf is a fun read with great characters and a great story. Definitely a book that I’ll be keeping around.
Lilah Young co-runs a kennel by day and is a student by night. For years Lilah has worked herself silly and she really doesn’t need her day to start by hitting the nice brand new truck she did. Or for her Jeep to die afterwards, like it did. Brady Miller, on the other hand, is a bit shocked to find a woman with a piglet, a duck, and puppies trying to start her car after hitting his truck. Brady, who is only in town for a quick visit to his foster brothers finds himself intrigued by the woman, and when he finds out that shes good friends with his brothers he tries to tell himself to stay away. He won’t be sticking around after all, but it seems he can’t quite listen to himself. Adam and Dell are hoping Brady will stick around for awhile, the land their business on is his too, and just maybe Lilah is the thing that will keep him around.
Jill Shalvis writes some great romances. Every time I pick up one of her books I know I’m in for a funny story and a steamy romance. Animal Magnetism is in no way a disappointment. I loved Brady and Lilah and the kennel where all sorts of animals come and go. Another great read from Shalvis and I look forward to Animal Attraction, the next book in the series.
The Undead Next Door is book four in the Love at Stake series. Jean-Luc Echarpe has lived in the spotlight as a mega famous fashion designer for a long time, and with that spotlight, people have begun to question how exactly he has managed to keep his good looks. Since the public cannot find out the Jean-Luc is a vampire, it is decided he must go into hiding for a few decades. With the help of his Angus’s security team, a plan for Jean-Luc’s temporary exile. When Jean-Luc spies a woman copying one of designs during a cover store opening, he is not happy. Heather Westfield certainly couldn’t fit herself into an Echarpe gown, after all she isn’t like her super-model friend Sasha, pencil thin and starving. What started as a misunderstanding, turns into a relationship filled with excitement, but that’s not exactly what Heather is looking for. Ever since the end of her awful marriage she just wants to raise her daughter in a peaceful life. Sword-weilding assassins aside, she just might get her chance to do so, with Jean-Luc at her side.
The next installment, book five, of the Love at Stake series, All I Want for Christmas is A Vampire, is Ian’s story. All Ian’s really wanted was his chance to have what the other vamps have, chance at true love. Finally, he is no longer almost 500 years old stuck in a 15 year old’s body – that’s thanks to Roman’s serum that keeps vampires awake during the day. When Ian returns to the Manhattan town house where he and some of the other guards from McKay S and I stay, the last thing he expects is to find a female bodyguard keeping watch over the men during the day. Toni Davis isn’t playing house with the Vamps for fun. She’s trying to get proof that they exist so she can spring her best friend from the psych ward. In the blink of an eye it seems Toni went from being just your average grad student to fighting for her life, and that of her best friend. Oh, and then there’s that highlander vampire who keeps catching her attention.
Both The Undead Next Door and All I Want for Christmas were great additions to the series. Kerrelyn Sparks continues to entertain me with her vampires, shifters, and their human counterparts. These books are awesome.
Vampire Mine is the most recent release from the Love at Stake series. The other awesome thing about Vampire Mine, it’s Connor’s story. Gosh, but I’ve been waiting for Connor’s story since I read my first book from the series. Connor Buchanan’s friends and co-workers are pretty sure that he is having a mid-life crisis. Connor on the other hand is the one that’s got it right. All of the guys have been falling in love and having children, but Connor knows that sort of thing can only make life worse. He should know, he’s live with the pain of losing loved ones for centuries. When Connor finds Marielle left injured and alone in the woods, he takes her to get help at Romatech. When the unexpected happens and it’s discovered that Marielle is an angel of death, Connor finds himself in a difficult position with a longtime friend. Marielle is amazed by her new human body, but she has a lot to learn about it. In the meantime she has Connor to act as her protector until she finds her way back into heaven. Marielle’s fight to get back to heaven, defense against a demon determined to take her to hell, and the ongoing situation with Casimir and his Malcontents, Vampire Mine makes for an exciting read.
Vampire Mine is awesome! I’m incredibly psyched to finally have Connor’s story. I’ve been waiting for this. In fact, I was so excited about his book that I skipped the three other books I have left before this one just so I wouldn’t have to wait to read it. Connor and Marielle are great together, and I loved the both of them. This was another book that had me emotionally involved from the get-go. I had a moment of anger and sadness with Father Andrew, I couldn’t believe what happened with him, but it was still so good! This was an intense read and it was fantastic.
April 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Angelica Woodmore isn’t your everyday society girl. Much as she enjoys spending time at balls with eligible young men she has a darker side to her life. Her gypsy ancestry has given her the sight – the ability to see the moment when people will die. Angelica has been less concerned with hiding her ability than using it to help her fellow young women make a decision regarding marrying and word is out. What Angelica doesn’t know… her sight makes her all that more appealing to her brothers enemies.
When Chas Woodmore, Angelica’s brother and guardian goes missing, she and her sister Maia become worried. Following Chas’s directions, the sisters contact Chas’s friend Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale who is to step in as their guardian. What they don’t expect is a world made of nightmares to come at them head on.
The Viscount Dewhurst, known by most as Voss, returns to London just after the disappearance of Chas. Voss is a member of the Dracule – vampires who were made by Lucifer. He is careful to stay neutral in all affairs of the Dracule not wanting to ally himself to either the good or bad. Voss’s interests lie in collecting information and spending time with women. When he meets Angelica and she doesn’t fall at his feet as all other women seem to, he finds himself fighting a desire like he’s never felt before.
One night a ball doesn’t go quite as planned, and Angelica discovers that Cezar Moldavi, leader of the not so great Dracule faction, is looking for her. The battle for Angelica’s safety from Moldavi, and Voss himself, becomes harder to win than one might think while Voss learns he’s got a test coming his way.
The Vampire Voss was a great read. While this is first and foremost a romance, there is a bit of a suspenseful undertone to to story. The characters were fantastic and the story was entertaining and easy to follow.
My favorite part of reading The Vampire Voss was the relationship between Angelica and Voss. The two experienced this off-the-charts tension, but they had the hardest time communicating. The constant misunderstandings between the two, and Voss’s lack of self control when he is near Angelica make for interesting reading. It was a messy relationship, yet the two manage to overcome their own personal barriers to be together in the end. The previously mentioned suspense of the story only adds to the satisfaction the couple’s relationship brings.
Bottom line, Colleen Gleason has a lovely nineteenth century, vampire and suspense filled romance in The Vampire Voss. I look forward to the following to books in the series.
Regency Draculia Series:
1. The Vampire Voss
2. The Vampire Dimitri (Release date: April 19, 2011)
3. The Vampire Narcise (Release date: May 24, 2011)
*A digital copy of this book was provided to me from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
March 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
Considering I opened to the first chapter of Pleasure Unbound having no more than heard of this series, I was indeed in for a treat. Not only did the story catch my interest immediately, but I found I was entirely emotionally involved by the fifth chapter of the book. So, the basics…
Tayla Mancuso, our main woman. Tayla is a demon slayer for a group called the Aegis which is, essentially, your everyday demon-hunting society. These highly-trained slayers walk the streets protecting unsuspecting humans from the things that fuel nightmares – the evil, the undead, you name it, they will kill it without question. A rough childhood led to worse teenage years when Tayla came home one day only to find a demon rape then murder her mother. After her mother’s murder she ended up on the streets until another Aegis Guardian found her and brought her into the group. We meet Tayla when she is brought into UGH after a particularly nasty fight with a demon – which brings us too…
Eidolon, our main man. Eidolon, along with his two brothers, is the force behind UGH, Underground General Hospital. Much as he is a skilled doctor with, you guessed it – morals!, he is also a demon, hence the shock of said morals. Half Seminus demon and half Justice demon, Eidolon has high principles which hes always intended to keep, but those principles are threatened by s’genesis, the last phase of maturity among Seminus demons. As Seminus demons are a breed of Incubus (do we see where this is going?), Eidolon is pressured to find a mate before his maturation is complete otherwise his mind will be occupied only with impregnating fertile females and to hell with his hospital.
When Tayla ends up in Eidolon’s ER he is intrigued by her straight away – which is mainly because of her interesting physical attributes (or less colorfully, organs). Soon enough though, his interest extends beyond medical curiosity into lust. Uncontrolled, knock-you-on-your-ass lust the likes of which he’s never felt. (But then, he’s a Seminus demon so where is the shocker there?)
What’s happening: After being treated and released from the hospital, it isn’t long before Tayla finds out that things are a bit different than before she went hunting on that fated night. Something is up with the Aegis and the people she thought were on her side seem to be coming after her. At the same time, Eidolon and his staff learn that someone is behind a string of demon injuries that are far to questionable – in fact, demons are coming in with missing organs, surgically removed demon organs. Yup. For. Serious.
When Tayla figures that she’s been targeted Eidolon insists that she stay with him for a while. At least she’ll be safe and hidden away from anyone wishing to do her harm, and Tayla, who is now a wreck because the one group she thought finally had her back tried to kill her, cannot resist. This situation of course leads to lots more steamy demon-demon hunter sex. There are a whole slew of things that happen after this move-in and really way too much for me to cover here, besides I don’t want to ruin everything. Basically, Tayla is in for the shock of her life – finding out she has a sister among other, bigger things and Eidolon finishes his maturation and doesn’t go crazy, because this is, after all, a romance and Tayla ends up his mate.
Pleasure Unbound is unlike any of the other paranormal romances I have read to date. The romance aspect of the book is strong – there was a lot more sex than I expected in this book, but if you can handle it, or skim it if that’s what you chose, the book is definitely worth it. There is also so much more than just romance offered here. I found it impossible not to love the characters. Eidolon and his brothers each have that little something leaving you wanting to know more, and Tayla with her rough upbringing and the struggles she presently face hook you in. There is the side of Gem and her hopeless romantic situation. Everything is connected in this book. The actions of one person affect all those around them. The suspense was also good, while I thought I had it all figured out, I found I was mistaken. It was impossible for me to put the book down, to have to wait to find out what would happen.
There was wit, romance, action (both kinds), emotion, self-discovery – what’s not to love? Pleasure Unbound had it all. And now, the Demonica series has a hold on me.
The Demonica books:
1. Pleasure Unbound
2. Desire Unchained
3. Passion Unleashed
4. Ecstasy Unveiled
5. Sin Undone
February 20, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Firstly, Fantasy Lover is technically the first book of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, but for the sake of my sanity – and the fact that when I started reading the series, Night Pleasures was clearly listed as the first book in the series – I’m referring to this as the Pre-Dark-Hunter book.
Fantasy Lover is the story of Julian of Macedon (friend of Kyrian from book 1) and Grace Alexander (friend of Selena Laurens – a Devereaux sister). Julian has been trapped in a book as a sex slave for the last 2,000 years, only ever released by the women who wish to use him for his ‘services’ for 30 days. While in the book Julian can hear what is going on around him, but he is unable to achieve any sort of satiation therefore left in the dark and starving for any amount of time between summons. Grace Alexander is a sex therapist who hasn’t had sex herself in four years, thanks to a loser who left her with a bad taste. Selena, good friend that she is, is certain that all Grace needs is a little time with the man in the book, but what no one expects is that the two would fall for each other.
Fantasy Lover is essentially a tale of a 2,000 year old demigod who is entirely blindsided by the state of things in the present day. Microwaves? Vehicles that don’t require horses to actually get from point A to point B? Who knew? His view of the world has been limited to the closets and bedrooms of rich women who were able to get to his book. At the same time it is the story of a modern woman, an independent woman who certainly does not need this man and absolutely refuses to use him – even if that’s technically what he is there for. From the start Grace is unlike any of her predecessors, she isn’t afraid to take Julian into public or treat him like more than a toy. In fact, when the two are able to contact some of his family and figure out how to break the curse, things look up for Julian for the first time in a while.
Without giving too much away, Fantasy Lover is full of friendship and family – and the difficulties that comes with each, tension, aggravation, stubbornness, a little bit of danger, and ultimately love, love of all types. Basically, I loved it, but then is that really all that surprising when I’ve adored each of the books of the series I’ve read thus far.
In my opinion, Fantasy Lover is a great introduction to the Dark-Hunter series. While it isn’t entirely action packed with Daimon fighting and the like, its the intro to Kenyon’s mythology that makes the book. Fantasy Lover introduces the background to the series, its the ‘Yes, you can expects lots of this,’ or the ‘Mhmm, even Gods have to deal with that!’ of the series. This installment is also our introduction to some of the big characters at the start of the series. Kyrian, the obnoxious-labeled Devereaux clan, and of course the lovely Acheron all get their start here.
Bottom line, Fantasy Lover is a great place to start, and while its not full of fightin’ action on the streets of New Orleans as the other books are, it is a great intro to the backbone of the series.
February 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I started reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series some time last year. I read the first four books in the series, and the first of another series, and have been enjoying the books immensely. I read two more of the books in January, Night Play, book 5, and Seize the Night, book 6. Ideally I would like to be completely caught up by all of the books by the time her next release in the series arrives later this year.
While each book is a romance, that is not what really caught my interest. Kenyon has done a brilliant job of creating her own mythology around that which has existed and been passed down for millenia. That mythology is primarily what keeps me involved in the series. Stories of curses, an eleven-thousand year old Atlantean God with his own personal Charonte demon, immortal warriors of Artemis who fight of the rogue creatures of Apollo – there is so much take in as one reads through the stories. Then, of course, there are the Dream-Hunters, mention of the fates, the justice nymphs, and the Were-Hunters. I really have been captivated since book one. This is the type of stuff that makes my head spin (in a good way of course).
Night Play is a bit different than the first four books. Each of those four focused on different Dark-Hunters but in book five Kenyon gives us the story of one of the Were-Hunters (we actually meet him the first time in book 2). Vane is an Arcadian Wolf – which basically means that his base form is human and he can change into a wolf at will – who hasn’t had an easy life. His parents hated each other and as a result his mother wanted nothing to do with her pups. As a result Vane and his brother and sister were left to be raised in their fathers pack. Their father constantly treated them horribly, yet they really had no choice but to stay with the pack for fear of being left unprotected. Vane was actually born Kattagaria – which means his base form was wolf and he would change to human on occasion – as his siblings and father were, but when he hit puberty his base form changed leaving him vulnerable. When Vane’s sister passes away, he and his brother are left for dead by their father, a move that he had been trying to make for some time.
Night Play starts on the night that the two brothers are hung and left in a New Orleans swamp. After this night, Vane’s brother is left in something of a comatose state and after taking him to Sancutary, a safe haven for all creatures with no pack, Vane is left unsure what to do to help his brother. It is after going to sanctuary that Vane meets his mate Bride, which is an interesting process all its own. Bride learns that there is a world she never knew about out there while Vane learns of a brother he never knew and must face an enemy. Without giving too much away, the battle faced turns out quite interesting, and of course, our good guy is victorious as well as getting his happy ending with his mate.
As for how I feel about Night Play, I really liked this one. Not only did I love the characters in it – with the exception of Bride’s ex-boyfriend who I would’ve cocked upside the head if possible – I liked the newness of it. I had gotten to know some of the Dark-Hunters, their backgrounds, and the way things work among them with only passing mention of the Were-Hunters and how things at Sanctuary work in the previous installments. I loved the peek into Were-Hunter life, pack life, and this whole new facet of shifter mythology.
Seize the Night brings us back to the world of the Dark-Hunters. Valerius, once a grand Roman military fighter/leader, is now serving Artemis as once of her hunters for eternity. He thinks he has seen everything is his roughly 2000 years of life, but when he witnesses a woman unlike any other he has seen before single handedly fighting a group of Daimons, he is awestruck. The woman he sees is Tabitha, who we may recall is the twin sister of Amanda from book one. Seize the Night offers us not only the crazy fighting and witness to a world of Daimons, Spathi demons, and magic, but also some fun personal drama.
I generally am not a fan of drama, at all – by this I mean the he said, she said/soap opera type. I want nothing to do with it, yet I must admit that I really looked forward to what would happen when Kyrian and Julian figured out that the hated Valerius Magnus is in town. I was not let down by this one. Seeing the situation between Valerius and Kyrian (who happens to be married to Amanda) play out was quite fun, plus watching Valerius and Tabitha together… well I couldn’t help but laugh. Valerius is a high bred Roman used to only the best of the best while Tabitha is a free soul, playful, and has the gall to serve phallic shaped pasta to mentioned high-bred Roman (at least I thought his reaction was funny). Bottom line - both books were good.
There is however, one thing that I’ve noticed about the books lately that has kind of thrown me off. I’ve noticed that as we go into the series everything ends up a little too happily ever after. It seems that everyone ends up immortal and things are all just peachy-keen, courtesy of the Atlantean God mentioned earlier (for the most part anyway – there are other gods/goddesses involved). Aside from everything ending up a bit more ideal than neccesary - and certainly more ideal than one would ever get in the real world – I still really enjoy the books. I like reading about the adventures, the different creatures in the world, the way things work amongst the gods, and so on. I look forward to continuing on with this series and her others.
If you are a fan of books that dabble in mythology these are good books to check out, just remember that they are romances, and they are not PG.
December 4, 2010 § 1 Comment
An imaginative extension of Greek myth, the Dark-Hunter series is truly fantastic and Night Pleasures is a really great read. The sun god Apollo created his own race, the Apollites, but they are cursed to die at the age of 27. A short life by any standards, some of these Apollites turn Daimon and start stealing the souls of unsuspecting humans to stay alive. The Dark-Hunters are Artemis’s soulless and immortal warriors who walk the streets at night to kill the Daimon’s and protect humans.The Dark-Hunters live a fairly lonely existence. They are prohibited from searching out love as that generally impacts their ability to make sound judgments. These are warriors who fight for their lives, especially since the fact that they are soulless means that if they die they are doomed to spend an eternity as a shade, a horrifying existence.
Night Pleasures while being based partly on Greek myth, is first and foremost a romance. Amanda Devereaux and Kyrian of Thrace meet after Amanda has been mistaken for her sister and kidnapped. When she finds out what Kyrian is, Amanda is taken aback because she tries very hard to live a normal life which is difficult with her family of sorceresses and “vampire” hunters. When Kyrian figures out that extremely powerful Daimon Desiderious is the one who is after them he takes her in to protect her. While Kyrian is protecting Amanda, the two begin what can only be called a forbidden romance.
There is so much that happens throughout this book, and I’m no Sherrilyn Kenyon, so I can’t really do the story justice. I also don’t want to give anything away, because the reading the book and learning the world and background of the story is a part of the experience.
When I read Night Pleasures I was sucked in from the first chapter. I was glued to the story for hours. Kenyon is extremely creative in her extension on Greek myth and the story as a whole is fantastic. It was easy to relate to the characters because there were so many real world elements to the story I couldn’t help but nod my head and give an uhh-huh while reading. The craziness of Amanda’s family and the fact that she tries to deny her own powers in an attempt to live the average everyday life… well who hasn’t been driving bonkers by their family at one time or another, or tried to deny something that’s a part of yourself before you were truly ready to embrace it? Kyrian on the other hand had suffered a serious injustice (which is what brings Artemis to you when you die to become a dark-hunter) on the part of his wife when he was human. After all these years, he still isn’t able to trust anyone with his destiny. Trust problems? Again, relatable.
I could go on, but I won’t. I say read the series. Meet the people, learn the mythology, and enjoy.
November 30, 2010 § Leave a Comment
But no, really. In the Ichidian Universe there is The League. The League trains ruthless assassins to carry out their missions throughout the galaxy. No questions asked. One night they’ve gone to far and Commander Nykyrian Quiakides cannot carry out his mission. Instead he defies his orders, takes the woman and child he was ordered to kill and gets them to safety where they can go on with their lives. He removes his tracer and says goodbye to his good friend Sheridan. Nykyrian fades into the night and Nemesis is born.
Nemesis, a few years later is feared by all while Nykyrian is presumed on the run. No one outside a few of his closest comrades at The Sentella know his true identity. The Sentella is dedicated to ridding the universe of all the corrupt men they can get their hands on, within the law, as well as protecting innocents. During one mission, Princess Kiara Zamir is found kidnapped on a ship.
Kiara Zamir lived through a horrifying situtation as a child and has suffered from the experience since. Now as an adult she is determined to fight for her life. When she is rescued by Syn (Sheridan) and Nemesis, she has no idea that she is about to see a lot of them in her life.
A story of risk, both physical and emotional unfolds…
I have to say first that I feel so cheesy trying to write those little synopsis things (do you like my cheesy-quality?). More importantly, I really enjoyed Kenyon’s Born of Night. I’ve read a few of her Dark-Hunter novels and fell in love with them so it seemed appropriate to check out another of her series. I categorized it as a paranormal romance, but I have to say that it’s only because I didn’t really know how to properly categorize it. There is a futuristic and sci-fi element to the story, but I figured paranormal would be the broadest way to go about identifying this story.
The two main characters Nykyrian and Kiara make a great couple. Nykyrian lived a tortured existence. He is a human and Andarion (another alien race) hybrid and as such he was feared by humans and considered weak by Andarions. He was disowned by his family at a young age (or so his memories told him) and was sent to an orphanage where he was treated horribly. After a time, he was adopted into a family and treated even worse, kept only for his potential to serve the league and further his adoptive fathers name and cause. I’ve read some tortured heros in my time, but none like Nykyrian. Kenyon created a character who was attacked in virtually all parts of his life. Kiara on the other hand had survived tragedy and while it still affected her, she didn’t live tragedy everyday of her life. She was raised to be strong by her father and she was given love and the chance to build the career she always wanted. The two of them were very stubborn though and it made for a lot of hair-pulling on my end. Another factor to mention is that Nykyrian had seen the worst of the world – or universe, as the case may be – while Kiara was still very naive in certain respects. The romance aspect was good. While the two had their problems, and what couple doesn’t, they really complemented each other (again with the exception of a hair-pulling level of stubborness at times). Being as its Sherrilyn Kenyon there is a lot of great sexual tension, and of course the release of said tension.
There was some fairly graphic violence throughout the novel, and while I’m generally not affected by mention of gore, if you are keep an eye for those parts. There was also some interesting space fighting and the like, which brings me to my first hang-up with Born of Night. While I love the romance aspect of the story, there were times where I felt like I was watching Star Wars, Episode II (thats Attack of the Clones for those of you who have not seen the movie 150 times like I have). The seedy bar scene and the chase and fighting scenes through space represent the deja vu moments that I had during reading. My next hang-up is a scene with music. At one point Nykyrian teaches Kiara a succession of self defense movements and when he calls up music, she uses Drowning Pool’s Bodies as the song they train to. Seriously? There is no earth, this is another universe. Her use of music from real world Earth just bugs me, not that big in the grand scheme of things, but I just can’t get over it. It’s bothersome.
All in all, I really liked Born of Night. Sure, there were a few things that bothered me, but it wasn’t enough to take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel. There was the romantic aspect, the healing aspect, the discovery of the truth, I loved the lorina’s (Nykyrian’s pets) for that matter, as well as learning all of these rules of the assassination and mercernary trade. Oh, and don’t let me forget the obligatory happily ever after. I have to take a couple of points off for originality, but aside from that, I say Born of Night is certainly worth the time for a good read.