August 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
The Darkest Kiss is the second installment of the Lords of the Underworld series. We are back with the Lucien and his demon, Death. Lucien’s demon basically requires that he transport souls either to heaven or hell. He is also the self-appointed leader of the Lords. When they were all first cursed he was the first to step up and take control. He’s the level headed go to guy.
Anya, who we met briefly in The Darkest Night, is the goddess of anarchy. She’s been known to start wars in the past, but now prevents such destructive behavior by helping herself to a steady dose of shoplifting. Anya holds a curse of her own and as such has not been able to give too much of herself, but now she’s set her sights on Lucien, and of course everything’s about to change.
Lucien struggles to understand why Anya keeps coming after him. He is, after all, the most unattractive man of his group, covered in scars from self-inflicted wounds. Anya struggles with the limitations of her curse. And what’s happening while they get their struggle on? The search for Pandora’s box continues, with Anya’s help, while also fending off Cronus (the new king of gods) who wants something from Anya and is willing to go to any length to get it.
I loved it. I have to admit that Anya’s craziness was a breath of fresh air. She’s strong and independent, sure of herself, sarcastic, and nobody – not even some immortal warrior – is going to get in her way. Lucien on the other hand is one of those brooding hero types. My favorite (insert happy face of choice here). The two of them really are perfect together.
With action and love, new characters, it’s all quite fun. I really love how the story is unfolding
I also really like that I’m getting to know Paris a bit better, but I’m really waiting to see what happens when his book comes along. And by that I mean I’m pacing with some scary impatience and if I have to wait until the very last book, well, I might cry.
Basically, the book was great. I’m getting really attached to the characters and can’t wait to see what happens next!
August 22, 2010 § 7 Comments
The Darkest Night is book one of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, and I’ll say that the first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover of the books. I didn’t know much of anything about them, but when I read about the group of immortal warriors who were forever cursed for opening Pandora’s box I knew I had to give it a go.
The Darkest Night is Maddox and Ashlyn’s book. Ashlyn is in Budapest working with a group that searches out paranormal beings to study and help them live among the human world, or so she believes. She was raised by the group and one doctor in particular when her parents gave her up as a child. They couldn’t deal with her, or more precisely her own paranormal abilities. Ashlyn can stand in one spot and hear every conversation that has ever taken place there, time passed and difference in language having no effect on her ability, she hears it all. The only problem for her, Ashlyn never found a way to control her ability, so while in Budapest she hears of a group of men who are believed to be special, who she believes can help her with her ability.
Enter Maddox, brooding hero I suppose he could be called. Maddox is cursed to live with the demon of Violence, his punishment for being involved with opening Pandora’s box. Yet his suffering goes deeper than that, because one night when he lost control and his demon took over he ending up killing Pandora. The gods were not happy and now each night at midnight Maddox is to die the way he killed Pandora then to spend the rest of his time until dawn burning over and over again in hell. Not so much fun.
Anywho, Maddox and Ashlyn meet and from there its an interesting ride.
First, I have two (for lack of a better word) complaints about Ashlyn. One, I wish she were a little more kick ass. I feel like she was a little too, quite and delicate so to speak. Two, she warmed up to Maddox much faster than I would think reasonable given her situation. The way she acted with him made her seem more desperate than I had thought which kinds bothers me. Although, I have to say that at the end she stepped it up, and it made me like her more than I did at the start.
Another quick thing, I found myself with a bit of whiplash when Maddox’s demon warmed up to Ashlyn. It seemed that the two had known each other all of five minutes before Violence is cozying up, settling with Ashlyn. Although, who knows, maybe even a demon needs contentment every now and then.
Aside from that, I really liked this book. My ‘complaints’ did not take away from my enjoyment of the overall story. Regardless of what others have to say about the story behind the warriors I got really into it. Showalter took something that has been around a long while – Greek mythology – and weaved her own web from that. She threw in her own bits and pieces. It’s a really good creation from a basis of the past.
Adding together the unique story, sexy heros, a little action here and there, and lots of romancing – you basically have a win.
All in all, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
August 2, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Kira Graceling, a private investigator, is walking home early one morning when she hears the moans of a man who is obviously in pain. Instead of keeping her feet moving in the sketchy neighborhood, she follows the sound to see if she can help. Turns out she really should have kept on walking, because what she walked in on was way more than she bargained for, a vampire being attacked by ghouls.
Mencheres has been around a while, so long in fact that he’s wondering whether it is worth it anymore or not, what with having his affairs in order and all, but everything he thinks he understands is about to change.
Kira’s fearlessness in helping a stranger leads to her being thrust into a world that she never believed possible. It also put her right in the middle of a fight that’s been going on for thousands of years. But she takes everything in stride, even the last thing she ever expected to happen to her.
First, I have to say that the covers of these books really just give me the giggles. Vampire book covers are all of two things these days. First, all black (or dark gray, etc.) with some colored or neon object or letters. Or second, tough man, fragile woman, and a bit of blood, or maybe just a big tough guy – with lots of tattoos. (The only exception I can think of is Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels.)
On to the good stuff!
The first book in the Night Huntress World series left me very excited for the release of Eternal Kiss of Darkness. So much so that when I got to the store – on the day it was released – they hadn’t even gotten the book out of the back room yet, someone had to go back there and hunt it up for me. I’ll say here that I wasn’t disappointed either, the whole two weeks I waited for this book was well worth it.
Kira is another tough cookie woman character compliments of Jeanine Frost (Thank you Ms. Frost – I can truly say I appreciate a female character capable of forming coherent sentences.) She takes no bullshit and faces everything head on, including finding out that her vampire boyfriend has been around as long as the pyramids.
Mencheres hasn’t always had an easy life himself, but it’s pretty good to watch him come back from his rock bottom to have is undoing be a woman, a woman who is thousands and thousands of years younger than he.
Everyday sarcasm was found throughout this book adding some good humor to otherwise unbelievable situations. Cat and Bones come back in this one as well. But it’s Kira and Mencheres that the book is about, and it’s the two of them that make the story. The couple had great chemistry.
This was another relaxing read that I enjoyed very much. Now I suppose it’s time for me to get through the original Night Huntress series.
August 2, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Denise MacGregor was introduced in the original Night Huntress books as best friend of Cat the half-vampire. We are reunited with her in present day as a widow who’s just trying to make it through her daily life. But there’s a problem, her family members keep dying of mysterious heart attacks, and now the demon who is doing it has come for her. She agrees to find one of her ancestors in exchange for her life, but it certainly is not as easy as it seems, and she ends up going to a vampire for help.
Enter Spade, vampire friend (of centuries) to Cat’s (mentioned above) husband. When Denise calls Spade looking for a way to get in touch with Cat, he realizes that he is going to have to step up and help her out. Though at first he was reluctant to help he knew it was safer for everyone involved, at least that’s what he told himself.
Spade proceeds to take Denise on a trip of dodging a demon, meeting thousands of vampire’s and their property to try to locate her cousin, waking up her desirous side, all the while fighting something demonic within herself she doesn’t fully understand.
Jeaniene Frost’s First Drop of Crimson was another one of those e-books I found within the depths of my computer hard drive one night. I was bored, the title was catchy, so I decided to give it a go. The story sucked me in. As much as I wished I had read the original Night Huntress books first, I would not have been able to stop reading this one to familiarize myself with the real beginning of the story.
I loved Spade, I don’t know what it is about him, because if anybody ever dropped me somewhere, said wait here, and then took off for days leaving me locked up with someone who works for him, well I’d be pissed.
My first introduction to ghouls as a character was in this book as well, and though I still don’t know much about them other than what I’ve read here and in the second Night Huntress World book, the one that Spade new seemed pretty cool.
I also liked getting to know Denise. She was a strong feminine character, who even though she needed help, she was not afraid to ask for it. She was not so weak she couldn’t stand up for herself. And damn straight she talked back to Spade, big bad master vampire in a big crowd of other master vampires and such. There was more to her than the usual, “Oh save me, puh-lease, big sexy vampire.” that we see in lots of vampire man, human woman books.
All that said, and my straight up saying I enjoyed this book, it isn’t a complicated, thought provoking book. Most vampire books aren’t. At least not for me. Jeaniene Frost has strong characters, which I love, but other that this is more of a – it’s been a really long week and I need something to read to blow off steam – book. All in all, it was enjoyable and good for getting my mind to relax a bit.
July 28, 2010 § Leave a Comment
As I mentioned in my review of The Vampire and the Virgin, I hadn’t realized I was reading the eighth book of a series. And even though they don’t need to be read in order to understand whats going on, I’m one of those people who happens to be quite picky about reading books in order. So here is book one of the Love at Stake series.
In How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire we meet Roman Draganesti a centuries old vampire who also happens to be a brilliant scientist. One night he loses one of his fangs and he needs to have it implanted that night so that his feeding veins don’t close up while hes sleeping during the day. Enter Dr. Shanna Whelan, or Dr. Jane Wilson. After being witness to a massacre by the Russian mafia she was relocated in the witness protection program. Now she works the night shift at a 24 hour dentists office in Soho. When Roman comes into the office that night to get his tooth put back into his mouth they hit a snag, the very men Shanna is running from have found her and are planning an attack at the dentists office.
Roman takes Shanna into his own protection when he finds out one of his Russian vampire enemies has been hired as the hitman to take Shanna out. It’s never as easy as it seems. Roman feels things that he hasn’t thought of in hundreds of years. And Shanna well there is plenty of anger, jealousy and confusion to go around. Oh and disgust once she learns about the harem. Attacks on Roman’s business also create a bit of a problem. But in the end they get their happy ending, even though daddy isn’t too happy about it, and that is what counts, right?
I definitely liked this one. I got some good laughs out of it, and of course there’s the obligatory happy ending that I’ve been feasting myself on for the last month or so.
There are however a couple of things that bothered me a bit.
First, I’m all about a tortured hero, but honestly I didn’t want to read Roman’s whining about his last mortal love and how she almost killed him when he was defenseless during the day when I had just read the same in The Vampire and the Virgin. Since this book was first though, and they were five years apart, maybe that’s why she used it in both. But to reading them so close together just made it annoying.
Second, Roman had an Edward Cullen kinda thing going on with the soul damned to hell and what not. However! This was published BEFORE the first Twilight book. So, basically it annoyed me, but there isn’t anything wrong with her having a character be the same way as another. At least not in this circumstance.
Aside from those two factors I enjoyed How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. VANNA was something to laugh at for sure, and the part where Roman lost his tooth, well even if I hadn’t been decided on reading the series before that, that whole scene would have changed my perspective.
July 24, 2010 § 1 Comment
Kerrelyn Sparks is the author of the Love at Stake series, and had I been paying attention when I purchased The Vampire and the Virgin, I would have started with book one like I usually do instead of buying the eighth book first.
Robby MacKay is a 300 year old Scottish vampire. He’s been to hell and back and nothing matters more to him than loyalty. Except maybe revenge for the torture he was forced to endure. He gets sent away by his great great grandfather for four months to a Greek island to recuperate.
Olivia Sotiris, an FBI psychologist is visiting her very greek grandmother after her boss forces vacation time on her. Her first night on the island she spies a man jogging on the beach. She’s horrified when the man catches her checking him out, after all it is the middle of the night.
From that point its roses, arguements, sexy scottish accents, kilts, claymores, and of course rough relationship building. There’s a run-in with a sociopathic rapist/serial murderer, deception, betrayl, and of course empathic abilities.
Then of course, comes the happy ending.
What did I think about the book?
Well, I have to say that I wish I had known that it was the eighth book in the series. I’m a stickler for reading series in order, even though sometimes I mess it all up.
As to what really matters, the book itself, I loved it. There was plenty of humor and as I mentioned earlier the whole scottish thing was going on.
Olivia was awesome, a criminal psychologist which is what I’m studying to be. Cool points for the book right there. Her relationship with Robby was filled with some serious turmoil, like finding out he was a vampire after she gave him her virginity. I love rough relationships that work out in the end.
The obstacles in the book were catchy (gruesome murders in rural Nebraska can do that), and I honestly couldn’t put the book down. I was up until 5am reading this book. Its hooks were in, and deep.
When it comes down to it, I would recommend this book for sure. Its a pretty quick read, but its fun and interesting. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series (books 1 to 7) in order of course.