Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

Succubus Revealed
~Richelle Mead
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
ISBN-10: 0758232012
ISBN-13: 978-0758232014

From the author's website:
Georgina Kincaid has had an eternity to figure out the opposite sex, but sometimes they still surprise her. Take Seth Mortensen. The man has risked his soul to become Georgina's boyfriend. Still, with Lucifer for a boss, Georgina can't just hang up her killer heels and settle down to domestic bliss. In fact, she's being forced to transfer Las Vegas.
The City of Sin is a dream gig for a succubus, but Georgina's allies are suspicious. Why are the powers-that-be so eager to get her away from Seattle—-and from Seth? Georgina is one of Hell's most valuable assets, but if there's any way out of the succubus business she plans to take it--no matter how much roadkill she leaves behind. She just hopes the casualties won’t include the one man she’s risking everything for...
Georgina Kincaid has had a rough few months, but things are finally settling down.  She's working as an elf at the Mall since she quit her dream job at the bookstore.  Maybe it's not ideal, but it pays the bills.  She's back together with her boyfriend Seth, and although there are a few things in their relationship that aren't perfect - namely every time they have sex a piece of his soul turns dark - she's happy they're together.  They've had their ups and downs and everything seems to have worked itself out.

Then, out of nowhere, she gets a message from hell - she's being transferred in a month from Seattle to Las Vegas.  She's devastated, until she realizes she can bring Seth.  But his sister-in-law is sick with cancer, and it's suddenly gotten worse; Seth must stay to help his brother and sister-in-law with their five young daughters.  Georgina takes a weekend trip to Las Vegas to check in and make preparations for her arrival, and it's too good to be true:  her boss is and old favorite, her new roommate is a very good friend, and he introduces her to another succubus who is a lot of fun and helps her land her dream job as a showgirl.

Later, as she's telling her roommate, Roman, about all these things, he's deeply suspicious.  Roman wants to know why hell wants her out of Seattle so quickly.  As more and more secrets are uncovered, Georgina's future looks uncertain - for good or bad, no one knows.

My thoughts:
A fabulous ending to a fantastic series. I couldn't have asked for more.  I had so many questions at the end of Succubus Shadows, and they were all answered in Succubus Revealed.

Georgina's crew is like hell's version of Friends:

"No trouble at all.  I get a discount at the mall."
Jerome sighed and set down his fork.  "Are you still doing that Georgie?  Don't I suffer enough without having to endure the humiliation ofa succubus who moonlights as a Christmas elf?"
"You always said I should quit the bookstore and find something else to do," I reminded him.
"Yes, but that was because I thought you'd go on to do something respectable.  Like become a stripper or the mayor's mistress."
~page 9, Succubus Revealed
Ms. Mead writes the quirkiest demons I've ever read.  I mean, really, where else are you going to read about a bowling competition to prove demonic superiority?

Seth was on my shit list for part of the series, but I'm firmly back in the Team Seth category.  He's good for Georgina; he loves her more than anyone knew.  Well, almost anyone...

Roman was another character I had doubts about earlier in the series, but I must say that Roman was amazing.  Everyone needs a friend like Roman; someone who's there for you despite the situation or the risks, someone who will fight for you and do everything in his power to ensure your happiness.

And Carter, oh Carter.  I think this is the only series where I like a secondary character more than the actual hero.  Carter is an amazingly wonderful and complex character - his non-answers frustrated me throughout the series but really, why should that change in the last book, lol.  (The last thing Carer says to Georgina on the very last page of the book brought tears to my eyes.)

Throughout the entire series I've wanted a HEA for Georgina but I could not figure out for the life of me how she was going to get it.  In her Succubus series, Ms. Mead has done a wonderful job weaving clues through multiple books, ending with a scene that left me holding my breath and closing one eye because I was afraid to look but had to keep reading.  The epilogue left me extremely satisfied, although I may have needed a tissue or two.

I can't really say whether or not you would enjoy this book if you haven't read the rest of the series - but I wouldn't advise it.  This is book 6, and as such there is so much history between Georgina, Seth, and her demonic counterparts that you really should read the whole series.

Oh, just one more thing: Hey Ms. Mead - how about a spinoff series or short story featuring Seth's little niece, Kayla, when she gets a bit older?

My Rating:

Book received by publisher at ALA.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pam Reviews: My Dangerous Pleasure by Carolyn Jewel

My Dangerous Pleasure
~ Carolyn Jewel

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: June 1,2011
ISBN-10: 0446563870
ISBN-13: 978-0446563871
ASIN: B004T4M600

From the author's website:
TEMPT THE DARKNESS Strong-willed and independent, Paisley Nichols is used to taking care of herself. But when an insane mage begins tracking her every move and threatening her at every turn, she has no choice but to put her life in the hands of a demon.

RISK THE PASSION Burned by betrayal, demon assassin Iskander won't get too close to anyone. He spends his days serving his warlord and his nights indulging in carnal pleasures . . . and that's exactly how he likes it. But when a mage wages a wrenching psychic assault on his beautiful tenant Paisley, Iskander must defend her. Under his protection, she will be drawn irresistibly into his life and learn about her own mysterious powers. And not a moment too soon. The mage haunting her isn't acting alone-and he won't rest until he destroys both Paisley and Iskander.

Paisley is an average young woman, living her dream by working in her own bakery. Life is good until she catches the attention of a certain man. They end up going on a date; and then the man who she was first attracted to, turns out to be a crazy stalker.

Iskander is Paisley’s landlord, and a demon. The very reason that Paisley does not have any magic in her is why Iskander has her as a tenant; so he knows that something is amiss when he feels magic coming from her apartment.

Paisley’s stalker turns out to be a mage that Iskander knows, and soon Paisley is relying on her landlord that she hardly spoke to before, for her own safety.

My thoughts:
This is the fourth book of a series. Although it’s not necessary to read the previous books, there was some terminology that I wasn’t familiar with, which made it a little confusing in the beginning. There is a glossary in the front of the book, so by the end of the first few chapters I didn’t have to glance back at it anymore.

It took me a while to warm up to Iskander; I think part of the reason was because of his whole playboy attitude. I did end up liking him as the book went on, but he was definitely not my favorite male lead.

Paisley, on the other hand, I liked right away. I liked how she would try to help out by doing what she does best, bake. (This book made me want to turn on the oven and bake some desserts a time or two.) She couldn’t pay Iskander for all his help, but she made sure that he ate really well.

Paisley and Iskander had some good chemistry, and some great sex scenes. The story flowed well and was interesting. While I won’t go back and read the previous books in this series, it was overall a good read.

My Rating:


Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Renfield Syndrome by J.A. Saare

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am a big fan of J.A. Saare, and the second book in her Rhiannon's Law series, The Renfield Syndrome, is coming out August 23!  I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1, Dead, Undead, or Somewhere In Between, and the cliffhanger ending made me want to throw my book across the room (what? it's true!); I did not see that ending coming.  I cannot wait to see what happens to Rhiannon and whether or not she finds Disco...

The Renfield Syndrome
~J.A. Saare

Publisher: Mundania Press
Publish Date: August 23, 2011
more information here
From the author's website:
ampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Read the first chapter.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare

In the Heat of the Bite
~Lydia Dare

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402245106
ISBN-13: 978-1402245107
ASIN: B00514OX4E

From Goodreads:
Chivalry is far from undead...
Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that's precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid...

But not every woman needs to be rescued...
Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn't caught in a storm-she's the cause of it. She's mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn't need any man-never has, and is sure she never will...

But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There's never been a more tempestuous scandal...
Rhiannon Sinclair has traveled from Scotland to England in search of her younger sister, Ginessa.  Rhiannon's Aunt Greer has taken her to England for the Season, and Rhiannon is worried Aunt Greer has a hidden agenda.   While she's in England, Rhiannon is staying with her newly married friend, Cait, who is one of her coven sisters - Rhiannon is also a witch who can control the weather.

Matthew Hilkett, Earl of Blodswell, is over 650 years old.  He's back in England at his ancestral home with the newly turned vampire, Alec MacQuarrie.  Blodswell was forced to turn him after a vicious attack, and now he must mentor MacQuarrie as a vampire.

While Rhiannon is walking home from her aunt's home, she is so distraught over her sister's situation that she creates a terrible storm.  Blodswell, thinking she is a damsel in distress, attempts to rescue her, but she runs from him.  They keep getting thrown together (oftentimes at Cait's insistence), and Rhiannon soon realizes Blodswell is not as terrible as she supposed, and perhaps he had reason to turn MacQuarrie.  Blodswell, in turn, is captivated by Rhiannon, he cannot get her out of his head - he can't drink except from Rhiannon, which he will not do in respect for her honor.

She wants him, he wants her, but there doesn't seem to be a solution to their dilemma....

My thoughts:
I really enjoy the writings of the duo that is Lydia Dare; their historical paranormal stories are captivating.   When the coven was first introduced (in Tall, Dark, and Wolfish), I didn't think I'd like the witches, but I do.  I'm not as enamored by the vampires as I am by the wolves, but they are entertaining.  Blodswell is a man of utmost breeding and manners, and for that reason he had a difficult time recriprocating Rhiannon's feelings for him and acting on his feelings for her.  Rhiannon is more hot-headed and impulsive; she doesn't think twice about sending a bolt of lightning to make her point. 

While I liked both Rhiannon and Blodswell, I found that for me, the best parts of the story involved the secondary characters in this book - Cait's lycan brothers-in-law (Dash's brothers from The Taming of the Wolf) were wickedly charming and I especially liked the oldest brother, Archer Radbourne, who seems to be a fun-loving scoundrel.  I also found myself searching for passages involving MacQuarrie - his heartbreak over Cait's marriage to Dash and his despair that he'll ever find love himself have me looking forward to his story in the next book in this series - Never Been Bit, out in September.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love Story
~Jennifer Echols

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: MTV
Publish Date: July 19, 2011
ISBN-10: 1439178321
ISBN-13: 978-1439178324

From the author's website:

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.
Learn more here.
About the author: Jennifer Echols is the author of romantic dramas for MTV and romantic comedies for Pulse. She currently lives in Birmingham. Visit her on the web at

Erin Blackwell is a Kentucky horse-racing princess.  Or rather, she was a princess, until she told her grandmother that she wanted to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a novelist instead of majoring in business so she could come home and run the family farm.  Now Erin is attending school on an academic scholarship, working jobs to support herself in New York City while she goes to school.

Hunter Allen has been a fixture on Erin's grandmother's race horse farm since Erin and Hunter were both 12 years old.  Hunter's father is a stable hand, and Hunter works in the stable too.  Now Hunter is going to the same college to major in business and will become the heir to the farm.

Erin figures they probably won't see much of each other, until he transfers into her creative writing class on the day she's written a story to share with the class about a young girl and her affair with a stable boy.  Now she's afraid Hunter thinks she's in love with him, and worse, that he'll say something to the other students or the teacher that will affect her chances at an internship she desperately needs.  Hunter promises he won't say anything, because he doesn't want his new friends to know he was a stable hand, but he's already spoken about it with his two roommates.  Then, after a dorm party that both Erin and Hunter attend, Hunter's story for the class is about the party.  In the story, he talks about both Erin and a girl he was with at the party.  This leaves their friends (Hunter's roommates and Erin's roommates) speculating about Hunter and Erin's feelings for each other.

My thoughts:  I thoroughly enjoyed Love Story!  I love the idea of two people working out their histories through creative writing.  Each story, while different, was an interesting and significant glimpse into their personal histories, showcasing how their relationship ended up the way it did.  The way they each read into the subtext of the other's stories and reacted accordingly left me wanting to pitch in and help their friends get them together. I liked the background of the NYC college and their multicultural roommates; the cast of secondary characters were likeable and a good foil for the angst between Erin and Hunter.  While more a Happy for Now rather than a Happily Ever After, I liked the way the ending showed promise for these two.

I like Ms. Echols' style of writing and will be checking out her backlist

My Rating:

The Giveaway:
Gallery/MTV Books is offering two winners a copy of Love Story!
To enter:  leave a comment with a way to contact you.  Contest ends August 5.
US addresses only.
(Following is not required but is always appreciated.)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fearful Friday: Amazon Reviews

I post my reviews here, and I post them on Goodreads. I hadn't been posting my reviews on Amazon, mostly because I'd heard horror stories from other bloggers about plagarism of reviews. However, I got the impression that some of the new publishing houses on NetGalley want to see reviews on Amazon, so I decided to give it a go. Does the "6 out of 10 people found this review helpful" option make anyone else feel like a failure? I guess that's how authors feel about reviews (times about a million), hmmm?  And, I don't know what to do when someone criticizes my review - reply or ignore?  So far I've just apologized.  That's probably the wimp's way out but that's me - Wimpy McDoormat.

My other thought about reviews on Amazon is that I'm suspicious of 5 star ratings from people who haven't reviewed any other book except the one they've given 5 stars to. Really? This book and this book alone moved you to share your thoughts with the world? Is anyone else suspicious that they're done by friends/family? Or am I becoming a cynical b!tch? (Don't answer that.  At least, don't answer it truthfully, lol)

That being said, I do love Amazon - the site is informative and I do look at the reviews when deciding which books/ebooks I'd like to purchase.

Do you post your reviews on Amazon?
Do you use the same format as your blog or change it up?
Any hints or tricks for an Amazon novice?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ALA Book Spotlight: Queer

There were a ton of books at ALA that caught my eye. One in particular was a book titled Queer.  Looking at the cover below you can see why.  Of course I flipped through it, and discovered that it's a serious book with a humorous twist:

I think it's fabulous that this kind of guide is out there for teens and young adults who may be feeling alone or  insecure about their sexuality.  Even with the creation of, a lot of kids are still struggling with acceptance - both self acceptance and peer acceptance, and this book looks like it could be a wonderful resource.

Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens
~Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke (Authors)
Christian Robinson (Illustrator)

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Zest Books
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0981973345
ISBN-13: 978-0981973340

Teen life is hard enough with all of the pressures kids face, but for teens who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), it’s even harder. When do you decide to come out? To whom? Will your friends accept you? And how on earth do you meet people to date?

Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBT teens come out to friends and family, navigate their new LGBT social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and rise up against bigotry and homophobia.

Queer also includes personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history. It’s a must-read for any teen who thinks they might be queer—or knows someone who is.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

A Weekend With Mr. Darcy
~Victoria Connelly

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402251327
ISBN-13: 978-1402251320

From the author's website:
Dr Katherine Roberts is a lecturer at Oxford University and an expert on all things Austen. But she has a guilty secret; a love of racy Regency novels by Lorna Warwick. She’s even struck up a long-distance friendship with the novelist and the two of them have been sharing their closest confidences.

When Katherine gets her yearly invite to a Jane Austen Conference at the magnificent Purley Hall in Hampshire, she sincerely hopes that Lorna will be in attendance as well. She can hardly wait to meet her new friend, but it seems that Lorna may not have been completely honest with her…

Meanwhile, hopeless romantic Robyn Love is at her happiest when her head is stuck in one of Jane Austen’s novels – if only her boyfriend Jace Collins could be more like Colin Firth.

The weekend retreat is the perfect opportunity for Robyn to escape from reality for a few days – especially when she meets handsome stablehand Dan. But Jace isn’t going to be so easy to shrug off.

With misunderstandings, muddles and a few shocking revelations, the weekend proves to be even more than they bargained for. Like all true Jane Austen heroines, Katherine and Robyn will discover that finding their own Mr Darcy is far from easy…

Dr. Katherine Roberts is a Jane Austen lecturer at Oxford, but her guilty pleasure is reading historical romance by her favorite author, Lorna Warwick.  She keeps this guilty pleasure hidden, as her colleagues would not be very accepting of anything less than "pure" literature.  She's agreed to speak at a Jane Austen weekend, and she's hoping Lorna Warwick will be there - they've been exchanging letters and Katherine is excited that they might finally meet.

Warwick Lawton has a dilemma - he knows Katherine Roberts, thinks he might be in love with her, but she doesn't realize she knows him.  He plans to sweep her off her feet at the Jane Austen weekend but isn't sure how to go about doing it.

Robyn love is so excited about her upcoming Jane Austen weekend - she's having second and third thoughts about her boyfriend and she's looking forward to getting away and thinking about her future and wallowing in everything Jane Austen.  Things don't go quite as planned when her boyfriend, Jace, shows up to spend time with her while she's at the conference.  Later she runs into a mysterious stranger on horseback who makes her take a good hard look at her life and her relationship with Jace.

My thoughts:
As the story opens, we get a brief glimpse at Katherine's failed past relationships and Warwick's dilemma - he wants Katherine to know him for who he is, not what he is.  Katherine is supposed to be a smart, sympathetic heroine, but I do think it was a bit of a stretch that she didn't figure out Warwick's secret much earlier.  Their relationship progressed in spurts and stops - she goes from avoiding him after he runs her foot over with a suitcase, to "true love", to her discovery of his secret and the subsequent feelings of betrayal; this all in the course of one weekend.

When Robyn was introduced, I thought for sure I'd be more interested in Katherine's story, but I was pleasantly surprised by Robyn.  She's trapped in a boring job and her boyfriend's a boor; she's pretty much a doormat.  But, once she's at the JA weekend, she meets the fellow attendees and tries to view her life as Jane would have viewed it.  There were several scenes where I thought, "Robyn, what are you doing - here's your chance to make a change!"  But, as in real life, change does not happen overnight.  I enjoyed Robyn's path to self-awareness and self-worth, and Jace was a really cringe-worthy anti-hero.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the period costumes, the places where Jane Austen frequented while she was alive, and mentions of her family.  There are also several references to other Jane Austen authors and their books, which I thought was a nice "shout out" to this popular genre.

All in all, two sweet romances filled with fabulous Jane Austen references and history.  A Weekend With Mr. Darcy made me want to pick up my own copy of Pride and Prejudice for a nice, comforting re-read.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What do I remember from the month of June?

You know, I knew going in that May was going to be a crazy month, but June too?  It was a good kind of crazy though...

Books I read in June:
1. Unexpectedly Yours by Shannon Stacey (5 stars)
2. Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey (4 stars)
3. Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey (5 stars)
4. Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden (3 stars)
5. Storm Born by Richelle Mead (4 stars)
6. Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead (4 stars)
7. Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead (5 stars)
8. Dark Swan Graphic Novel (first two of four issues) (4 stars)
9. Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley (3 1/2 stars)
10. Forgotten by Cat Patrick (3 stars)
11. Bastian by Elizabeth Amber (3 stars)
12. Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods (3 1/2 stars)
13. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (4 1/2 stars)
14. Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle (3 stars)
15. Reveal Me by Cari Quinn (3 stars)

I read the Shannon Stacey books strictly for pleasure so I didn't do a review, but I've got to say that if you like contemporaries, or want to try a contemporary - they're fabulous!

I also read the Dark Swan books by Richelle Mead for pleasure and loved them as well - I am now firmly on the "go fairies" side of the fence, whereas before I wasn't interested.  I've since read the Iron King series and have started Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series as well.

You may have noticed I've got a new friend hanging out at Book Addict from time to time - Pam. Pam graciously offered to help me climb out of my TBR hole and try to get back on track. When she's not reading, Pam plays the piano, kayacks, and is a chocoholic. She stays up late to read, averaging around 3am, which is how she came up with the name @moonlightreader for twitter - go say hi!

I also participated in the Author Fan Letter Blog Crawl again, and this year I wrote my letter to Molly Harper.
Go check it out to see why she's one of my favorite authors!

The highlight of June for me was that the American Library Association came to New Orleans! It was amazing - I met fellow book bloggers, publishers, and, let's be honest, came home with a bunch of books!  Read here to see which bloggers I met, what books I got, and why I was e-mailing my sister-in-law from the bathroom at the bar.

Have you entered my giveaway to win an ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater? It's the final book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy - click here to enter.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I can admit when I'm wrong: 5 stars to The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen
(Book 3 in the Iron Fey Series)

~Julie Kagawa

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harlequin
Publish Date: January 25, 2011
ISBN-10: 0373210183
ISBN-13: 978-0373210183
ASIN: B004JF688U

From the author's website:
In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen.
Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in.
In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself.


I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

"No thanks, I don't like books about fairies."
"Nope, haven't read that series, faery stories don't interest me."
"A Young Adult novel about the Fey? I don't think I'll enjoy that book."

I'll admit it; I was wrong. There. I said it. I was totally and completely wrong. I just glommed this whole series, and The Iron Queen is my favorite so far.

The story:

Megan Chase is half human, half faery; her father is Oberon, the Seelie King.  Ash, her boyfriend, is prince of the Unseelie Court. In the first book, The Iron King, Megan (with the help of Ash and her best friend Puck, of A Midsummer Night's Dream fame) rescues her brother from Faery and defeats the Iron King. In the second book, The Iron Daughter, the trio battles to retrieve the Scepter of the Seasons, which has been stolen by an Iron Faery. As The Iron Queen opens, Ash and Megan are in the human world, banished from Faery at the end of the second book because of their love for each other, which is forbidden.  They're heading to Megan's family, which she hasn't seen in almost a year, hoping to rest and recharge before they figure out what they're going to do with their futures.

Before she can reach the house, though, Megan is attacked. It seems there's a False King in the Iron Realm who wants to kidnap Megan so he can forcefully take her Iron magic. At the same time, the False King is waging a war with both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, taking over Faery and killing everything in its path with iron magic. Megan has been asked back into Faery to defeat the Iron King and save Faery.

My thoughts:

Now that I got that out of the way, here's why...
Julie Kagawa is the kind of storyteller that pulls you in right from the beginning of the story. The Iron fey are both striking and creepy: if the "regular" fey are the result of human imagination, the Iron fey are the result of human's belief in technology. Her descriptions of the Iron fey are imaginative and believable:

Movement all around us, as dozens of Iron fey melted out of the shadows.  I felt the cold pulse of Iron glamour, gray and flat and colorless, as they surrounded us in a bristly ring. I saw dwarves with mechanical arms and elves with huge black eyes, numbers scrolling across their pupils like glowing green ants. I saw dogs with bodies made of ticking clockwork, green-skinned fey with computer wires for hair, and many more.
~The Iron Queen, page 54
Ms. Kagawa also writes the angst of first love well. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely not an angsty teenage book. BUT, despite all the battles and plotting and war, Megan is experiencing first love with Ash, a hundreds-year-old faery with some love issues of his own. Throw Megan's best friend Puck into the mix (he's also in love with Megan), and there's plenty of emotion woven into the story. I liked Ash through the first two books, even when we were supposed to think he was a jerk, but I fell head-over-heels in love with his character in The Iron Queen:

He ran his fingers through my hair, brushing it from my cheek.  "If I'd thought I would regret it," he said calmly, "I never would have made that oath. I knew what becoming a knight would mean.  And if you asked me again, the answer would be the same." He sighed, framing my face with his hands. "My life...everything I am...belongs to you."
~The Iron Queen, page 196
And of course, I can't forget to mention Grimalkin the cat with the talent to appear exactly where he needs to be when he needs to be there.  He reminds me of a feline Galdalf.

I'd also like to take a moment to also mention the gorgeous cover and beautiful scrollwork on the chapter pages, which adds to the overall reading experience; the whole package is designed to draw the reader in; the story and fabulous writing keep you there.

This series has been added to my keeper shelf. I cannot wait for the next installment in this addictive series, the Iron Knight, which will be told from Ash's point of view. Ms. Kagawa did a livestream interview with some big announcements and an excerpt from the Iron Knight - her recap can be found here.

My Rating:


Book received by publisher at ALA.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Werewolf Wednesday: ARC giveaway of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

I hinted last week I'd be giving away a copy of  Forever by Maggie Stiefvater:  I have an ARC I obtained at the American Library Association Convention last month.  Forever came out Tuesday - if you haven't had a chance to buy it yet, here's your chance to win it!!

(Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)

~Maggie Stiefvater

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: July 12, 2011
ISBN-10: 0545259088
ISBN-13: 978-0545259088

From the author's website:
The conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy. In Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

To enter:  Leave a comment below telling me you want to win this book.  Following is not required but I'll give an extra entry if you follow me via GFC, and/or an extra entry if you tweet about the contest (leave a link, 1 entry).  Contest ends July 31.  International.

The small print:  Book Addict is not responsible for any items lost in the mail.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Of Wolves and Men by G.A. Hauser

Of Wolves and Men
~G.A. Hauser

Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
ISBN-10: 146102014X
ISBN-13: 978-1461020141

From the author's website:
'Cowboy' Charlie Mosby worked on a horse ranch in Heber, Utah. He loved his work, the owners of the ranch, and his co-workers; wranglers who helped tourists with guided horse tours and trail riding all year round.

But after a chance meeting with a handsome gay man who had helped Charlie change a flat tire on Interstate 80 a month ago, Charlie was beginning to wonder about his sexuality. And if that wasn't confusing enough, strange things were happening on the ranch. Satanic worship? A strange cult ritual? Whatever it was, it wasn't good for the owners or the horses on it.

One night Charlie stumbles upon Roman Burk in the woods, naked, bleeding and shivering in the cold. What Charlie never imagined was who -or what- Roman was. Even though the handsome stranger seemed to vanish at times and reappear as if by magic, Charlie was infatuated by this man.  Roman was fearful of revealing his secret. Most of all to a cowboy who was spending more time hunting him, than loving him.

In this shape-shifting story of sexual bonding and discovery, can both Charlie and Roman find what they're looking for? It's a question of honor; one that has been up for debate since the first time man set his eyes on this formidable predator. It's about the mutual respect of Wolves and Men.

Charlie Mosby is a cowboy; he manages a ranch and has been doing it for several years.  He's friendly with the other employees and lives on the property.  The owners treat him like a son.  He enjoys taking tourists on nature tours on the property.   He's always thought of himself as straight, until last year when he got a flat tire and a stranger stopped to help him change it...and then gave him the best head of his life.  Now he can't stop thinking about that stranger.

While Charlie's out fixing a fence with another worker, they come upon a mutilated deer carcass.  The next night as he's headed out to watch for trouble near the site of the killing, he runs across a shivering, naked man he later learns is named Roman.  He brings him home and they have sex, but Charlie thinks it's a dream.  Charlie finds him again the next day, and Roman attacks him - they have sex on the trail, after which Roman jumps up and runs away. Around the time he's trying to figure out what's going on with Roman, he's noticing a large black bird and a wolf keep keep appearing around the ranch, especially near his cabin.  Eventually he realizes they're both Roman - he shifts uncontrollably into a bird or a wolf.   Roman doesn't understand why he's been cursed, or by who, but he knows Charlie can somehow help him find the answers he seeks.

My thoughts: 
I could not get into this book.

The characters were inconsistent: Charlie seems to be a normal hard-working guy, but as soon as he gets around Roman he's horny and irresponsible; his co-worker Butch seems to be a nice guy then turns into a jealous, unpleasant character. Roman is, in turns, needy and aggressive.

The sex was flat: it was a lot of "let's hurry up and get off before Roman changes into a wolf/bird" or they'd crash into each other and go for it wherever they happened to be at the time.  At the beginning of the book, Charlie brings Roman home and they have sex, even though Charlie was supposed to be taking his turn watching the area where they found the deer; and no one noticed he didn't work his shift.

The mystery portion of the story made no sense: why would this mysterious sect curse Roman into a bird and a wolf and cause him to be constantly horny?  Why does Roman think Charlie can cure him?  We never got an answer to those questions, and  a new mystery surrounding Charlie sprouted up at the end of the book that remained unanswered.

It also bothered me that even though they both mentioned on separate occasions that they should be using condoms, they never did.

My Rating:

Book received from publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Dark Awakening
~Kendra Leigh Castle

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1609418379
ISBN-13: 978-1609418373

From the author's website:
Tynan MacGillivray has spent the better part of his three hundred years serving at the pleasure of the queen of the Ptolemy dynasty, her prized hunter in a world where blood is destiny. But the lowblood cat-shifter gets far more than he bargained for when his new target, a human woman whose rare abilities make her the only hope for saving the greatest of the vampire dynasties, turns out to be far more than she seems. Lily Quinn is an innocent whose beauty hides secrets that could change the world of night forever…and Ty will have to choose between the loyalty that has kept him alive, or a love that promises more than he ever imagined…if it doesn’t destroy them both.

The story:
Tynan MacGillivray is a vampire.  In the vampire world, there are several sects; Ty is a "lowblood", a cat shifter who works for the Queen of the Ptolemy. Someone has sent a Mulo, a crazy dead thing, to attack the Ptolemy when they are in groups - effectively killing off the sect.  As their numbers dwindle, the Queen has sent Ty on a quest to find a Seer; someone who will be able to tell them who sent the Mulo and where to find  it so they can destroy it.

Lily Quinn lives a boring life that she's happy with.  Ever since "the incident" when she was a child, she's known she's different, so she tries hard to fit in and be normal.  She meets a handsome stranger at a friend's ghost hunt party, but after a searing kiss he quickly disappears.  She meets him again a few days later in the parking lot where she teaches, and their meeting leaves her unsettled. When she gets home, she is attacked by a vampire, and she loses control of her carefully compressed emotions, causing damage to everything in the room.

Lily reluctantly goes with Ty once they figure out there is more than one vampire sect looking for her. They travel through the underbelly of vampire society, trying to find answers about why the Queen really sent Ty on his quest.  Things are not what they seem and he finds he's reluctant to deliver Lily to the Queen, but if he doesn't, the Ptolemy may die out forever.

My thoughts:
I am a fan of Ms. Castle's MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, so when I saw that she had a new series coming out, I was thrilled!  I knew that this book would be nothing like her previous books, so I had no illusions going in.

That being said, I really didn't enjoy this story as much as I would have liked to.  I really liked the idea of different dynasties of vampires, and their potential for conflict and interaction, but I felt like the author didn't pursue this part of the storyline as much as she could have.  We learn there are different  dynasties and they don't get along, but that was about it. Tynan is a vampire who can shapeshift into a cat, placing him at the bottom of the vampire "caste" system. 

I was also disappointed in Tynan's character - he seemed to be more a shapeshifter who was called a vampire, but I never really saw any vampiness.  This could have been due to the fact that he was constantly referred to as a cat, but it seemed to me like all his vampire action took place "offstage".

I did like was the Lilith storyline, although again I felt like it could have been fleshed out a bit more.  I'm wondering if possibly due to the worldbuildling some aspects of the story had to be sacrificed?  I'm hoping the next book in the series, Midnight Reckoning, will be more character oriented since the world has already been established.  Midnight Reckoning will feature Ty's friend Jaden, who's story is hinted at briefly in Dark Awakening.

My Rating:

This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Winners!!

I have a few winners to announce:

The winners of Forgotten by Cat Patrick are:

#8 - Hoot

#1- throuthehaze

The winner of my ARC of Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley is:

#10 -Stephanie

All winners have been sent an e-mail.

Be sure to come back next week - I'll be giving away my ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Bastian by Elizabeth Amber

Bastian (Lords of Satyr, Book 6)
~Elizabeth Amber

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Publish Date: May 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0758241305
ISBN-13: 978-0758241306

From the author's website:
Man-gods born to live and love forever, the Lords of Satyr are renowned for their sexual prowess…and unquenchable lust…

Call My Name

The forum excavations in Rome go on, directed by the iron-willed, charismatic Lord Bastian Satyr. Out of nowhere, a mysterious, haunting voice calls out to him…and lures him to the site of a long-vanished temple, where vestal virgins once performed rites of erotic surrender. The temple is the find of his career, but his heart is about to face the unknown…

Michaela is a pure Ephemeral. She can enter the bodies of others—and become any woman a man might wish to possess. His choice is her pleasure. And the commanding and utterly virile Bastian is the only man she desires…
Silvia has been traveling the earth for centuries - she was the virgin servant of the goddess Vesta, along with 11 other "sisters".  Part of their duties to the goddess was to keep her fire lit, and they were each entrusted a sacred stone to keep in the fire pit.  When the temple was destroyed, the girls fled, and the stones were scattered.  She's now charged by the evil Pontifex to find the stones.  He's imprisoned her sisters and he's getting impatient.  Silvia's best friend, Michaela, left the sisterhood and has taken her human form permanently; she's fallen in love with Bastian, one of the last remaining Satyrs.

Bastian Satyr has been excavating the ruins of Vesta's virgins, and Silvia needs to help him along, thinking she'll find the stones.  Using her ability to possess a body near death, she take the form of a young street urchin, and in that body gets to know Bastian much better - he really is as wonderful as Michaela says he is.  Silvia is beginning to fall for Bastian too, but between Michaela's affections for him and her own vow of chastity, she resists.  When tragedy befalls Michaela, she begs Silvia to take her body and make love to Bastian.

In fulfilling her best friends dying wish, Silvia experiences a sensual new world that leaves her wanting more of what she knows she can't have. Between trying to outsmart Bastian to find the stones, and trying to keep the Pontifex from getting the stones, Silvia is having quite a time of it. Bastian eventually figures out who she is and wants to help her, but she refuses.  Silvia is torn - should she choose a human life of happiness with Bastian or find the stones and turn them over to the Pontifex in the hopes that he might free her sisters?

Elizabeth Amber has created a fascinating world with her Lords of Satyr. The creatures of Else World, a parallel world to Earth, is in turns sultry and scary:  There are the Satyrs - four sexy brothers who protect the gate between worlds, and on the other side is The Pontifex, a disgusting, sex-starved denizen in Else World. Bastian was an interesting story, I liked the ancient ruins as a setting - I could easily envision the dust in the air and men digging, finding pieces of history and cataloging their treasures. The scenes with Bastian and Silvia as a young boy were wonderfully written and fun.  Once she lost the boy's body, though, I got frustrated with Sylvia's "body hopping" (she can only spend a month in each body) - I wanted her to take her human form for Bastian.

The erotic aspect of Bastian was very, very sensual. Silvia's ability to possess other bodies made for quite a bit of variation in the sex play. There was some f/f and m/m activity, which I wasn't expecting. And yes, this is the series where the hero has two penises, but in this particular book that plays a very small part. Bastian is the second book I've read in this series and I'd like to go back and read the earlier stories of his brothers.

My Rating:

This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

News: Richelle Mead has released the description for the 4th Dark Swan book!

I just got back from vacation tonight and this amazing news was waiting for me:

Richelle Mead has just announced she's almost finished with Shadow's Heir, the fourth book in her Dark Swan series. Here's what she has to say (taken directly from her website):


Shadow's Heir (Dark Swan book 4)
~Richelle Mead
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra
Publish Date: January 3, 2010
ISBN-10: 1420111809
ISBN-13: 978-1420111804

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld...

The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon--and risk the ultimate sacrifice...

I am soooo exited!  I just glommed the first three books back-to-back in this series last month, and I am already jonesing for Shadow's Heir.  Kiyo makes me crazy; I am totally Team Dorian and I can't wait to find out what happens next. January 2012 cannot get here soon enough!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I think I'm in love...Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound
~Thea Harrison
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: May 3, 2011
ISBN-10: 0425241505
ISBN-13: 978-0425241509

From the author's website:
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful–and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in one another.

Quickie Review:
Pia Giovanni is in trouble and she knows it.  Under duress, she's just stolen from the most powerful dragon on the planet, and he's going to come searching from her.  She knows her life is pretty much over, it's just a matter of when and how.

Dragos Cuelebre is outraged - he cannot believe someone found his treasure, let alone was able to steal from it!  He's got a few clues, and he plans to find this thief - not only because he wants to know how she did it, but because he can't get her scent out of his thoughts.

My Quick Thoughts:
OMG - this was such a fun, sexy read!!  Dragos is such a fabulous Alpha male - very "You're mine, I must protect you", and Pia is an independent woman - very "Don't tell me what to do, I can take care of myself".  Together they make sparks fly.

Dragon Bound is about more than sexy dragon time though - we learn that the people behind Pia's initial foray into Dragos' treasure lair are quite unsavory and will do anything to cripple Dragos and his empire, and aren't afraid to use Pia and her special talents to achieve their goals. Pia also has a secret that she's been hiding her whole life, and when she finally shares her secret with Drago - Oh, it was a pretty sweet secret :)

In addition to a fabulous hero and heroine, Ms. Harrison's secondary characters were interesting and I want to read more about them.  I'm super-excited about the next book - Storm's Heart - which will center around Dragos' vivacious head of PR, Tricks, and one of his bodyguards, Tiago.

My Rating: