Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Barb's Book Review... Sacrificed

First off, THANK YOU Alisa for the ARC of Sacrificed. 

As with the others I truly enjoyed this read. And my God my feels are all over the map here. The thought of Mia being in the grasps of mace made me want to crawl in the book and beat the crap out of him. (laughs) Damn crazy men make crazier shifters. For real. He took dark and menacing to a new level. 

The fact that the packs, Elder Sparks and his son's were willing, able and determined to go in  guns blazing, so to speak, says a lot of the packs acceptance of Mia. I know she already had pack protection but to see it in plain sight was a wow moment. I was glad to see Jak was willing and able to get the girls out of the house and to help them try and escape. I only wish she had been to the right part of the fence. then the Sparks' packs could have had an easy out.. but then where is the fun in that?

The packs quietly storming the cred Packs compound and getting in the house where the girls were being held was awesome. Moving as one. That is the point of a pack. The events inside the house, the fighting the injuries. My lord that broke my heart a few times. Then to have Jak and other wolves bring Mia back to the house for Mace to torment Lucas as he went to Mate with Mia... bad move dummy. I was glad they were able to eventually get out of there and go back to the fence  to get out. Mia, relatively unharmed. Scared and wanting to get out and get the injured wolves to a healer.

I was SHOCKED when they got to the fence and Jeeter was back there with four hulking boys behind here. One of which was Cade a friend of hers and Jeeters. Come to find out Mia isn't the only one that was hiding the fact that they were a shifter from everyone. Though he is not a wolf.. he is a Tiger. RAWR. that is cool. So with their help they manage to escape the fence and head for a healer. Thankfully one of Cade's tiger buddies is just that. 

Now, I neeeeeed more. (grabby hands)

Barb's Book Review... Captured

(chants) OMG!! 

Okay, first off I have to thank Alisa Woods for giving me and ARC of this novella in return for an honest review. I loved it so much. It's a world of chaos that is all wrapped around little miss Mia. She has herself in trouble with Red Wolves. Again. It's like she is cursed. Jeeter has been taken and now Mia is there with her. Willingly trying to keep her friend and roommate safe and out of their nasty grabby hands. 

In order to assure that Bek (a red wolf) didn't hurt Jeeter (Jupiter) Mia shifts. Yeah a smart move for someone who they all thought was human to do. Now, Mace (alpha and asshole extraordinaire) wants her to submit to him. Thankfully she uses what Lucas had done to her in the forest to shift back to human form before the submission can happen. This isn't going to work for Mace. So... the unthinkable happens. He calls in for a witch. Yes a witch. The hunters of wolves. She does a spell and Mia fights it. The third time though the spell wins. Mia submits. Though her thoughts ring loud and clear. Lucas is her Alpha not Mace. Mace now thinks she has already been claimed by Lucas. In a few hours they will have a blood test to see if she is... then...its all over.

The more I read the more I love this series. I want to devour it all. Honestly one of the best shifter romances I have read. I don't know what will happen next but by George I need to have more. This series is one helluva ride! It's worthy if 10 stars! (nods lots) Yes, that good.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Barb's Book Review... Hunted

First off I have to thank Alisa again for gifting me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

As with the last volumes of this little nail biter I was not disappointed in any way. Crazy good. Addicting. And just.. (flails) Damn wolves I swear. There must be something in the water. Lucas, I know he is all broken and heartache fills him but the man needs a dose of reality in the shape of a size 9 boot in his ass. And Mia, poor sweet Mia needs to be the one to deliver it. Right dead center.

Alpha's are a tough breed by themselves. They are stubborn, hard to get along with because they think they are always right.. no wait that is men. My bad. (laughs) These two have a level of attraction that makes your heart skip a beat as you read. Lucas and Mia are like a ticking time bomb and when they go of... sweeeet Jesus things get down and dirty so fast it takes you a minute to catch up.

The way the other males of Lucas' fathers pack and his brother pack, namely Collin was to be expected. He is a man after all. He sees a hot girl that is unattached, even if he knows better he is going to go after it guns blazing.. (snickers) Though, I was glad she pushed him away. And God Bless Lev for being there to watch her. I don't trust Collin.. maybe it is me but she belongs to Lucas whether he wants to admit that or not.

She has his heart, he can fight it until the cows come home. It won't change how he and his wolf feels. Love is eternal. You can always fall in love again. Even if it hurt. You push through and then you find that one. Mia is his one. And she proved that by leaving him buck ass nekkid in the damn woods and stealing his car. That was just EPIC!!

Now she is in deep shit creek with no paddle.. He needs to save her but God I can't see how this is gonna go... Mia, Mia.. the danger magnet is at it again...let's see what happens next.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Barb's Book Review... Guarded

I need to thank Alisa Woods for an ARC received for Guarded; in return for an honest review. And as with the first installment.. I LOVED IT!!!!!

My first thought is to have a hissy fit. To kick and scream at Lucas and shake him until his mind clears. (huffs) Men. My God the man is broken. His wolf is determined to get what he wants and Mia, poor Mia is so last she doesn't know whether she is coming or going. She is tossed into this world of the supernatural that she obviously knows is there but.. she is lost. She grew up without a pack. No one was there to guide her. Mold her into the Wolf she should be.

There was a thought Lucas had that Mia was an alpha wolf. Though she has no idea of her potential. I have to agree. She is stubborn, doesn't back down for a fight and is one helluva woman. Strong, determined and slowly falling more in love with her fury savior. Her bodyguard. Hers. That is what she is doing.

I can't wait to see what happens next. I swear this is like shifter crack!! (makes grabby hands) I neeeeeed more!!!

Barb's Book Review... Desired

First let me thank NetGalley and Sworn Secrets Publishing for giving me a copy of this book to read in return for an honest review. Secondly, just wow. I loved this novella. The story is hearty, strong and like it's main Alpha just hot. Not in an overbearing, sleazy way. It's the right mix of ego, testosterone and lust.

We meet Mia. College student, heart of gold. She wants to do what she can, save her money and work her butt off to be able to get her mom into a better living situation. She is working at a local night club as a bartender and that is how she meets trouble. Seem Seattle is made up lots of supernaturals. There are rival pack in Seattle. As we meet Lucas, a rogue wolf who works for his fathers dot-com company we see into this world. Mia, unexpecting Mia is needing air but what follows her out into the dark alley way is anything but friendly. Its members of the Red pack. The nastiest of the nasty. They are the reason weres and shifters, if you will get a bad rap, in my opinion.

There is something about Mia that draws Lucas out into the alley. She is threatened by the three wolves until the stranger she served in the bar (Lucas) comes out. There is a struggle but he saves her by asserting his dominance over the three Red wolves. His wolf makes them submit, as they are in wolf form as well. His Alpha wolf gets them to back off and he takes Mia home. He has this overwhelming need to protect her. As time passes for them and it seems they were so engrossed with each other in their dreams that when Mia walks into his office on Monday morning his alpha male ego takes over. He will do whatever he can to keep her safe. That includes making sure she is paid well, has a ride to adn from work and is kept busy. He tries to avoid her while at work but their connection is too great.

This little ditty ends with a cliffhanger. But not the usual type. My heart did thud once and I said Oh shit as I read the last sentence... so yeah its a good cliffhanger. This story is written well. It draws you into their world and encases you in the bubble of the werewolf world. Secretly hiding in the mist of the humans. You choose a side immediately and its all cheers until the bad stuff starts. I must have the rest of this series and it kills me to wait but I will complete it once the last novella is out. Which is the end of October. This is the first written work I have read of Alisa Woods but I promise it won't be the last.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Barb's Book Review... On Her Father's Grave

First off I would like to thank NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing me and ARC of On Her fathers Grave in trade for an honest review. Secondly.. in all honesty this is one of the BEST thriller's I have read in ages. It's almost as if the 'drama' of the story sneaks in on you. The author did a wonderful job of bringing it out in so you are engrossed from line one of this novella. I wish there was more to it. 100 pages just wasn't enough! I could keep reading this story as it unfolds for a long time. It's just that good.

It's set in the small town of Rogue River in Oregon. It's a real place too so it helps to imagine this little town feel. As a country gal who lives in a smallish town, in the woods I was drawn in by it. We get to meet the hometown sweetheart, Stevie. Who moved away to see what the outside was like. She became a cop and worked in LA until coming home. She is one of the four children of the Police Chief who comes home to the small town she missed after her father passes away. She takes a job at the Rogue River police department ready to start her new life in her old roots. There is a death of a teenager out at the Lake and she is called into help with the crowd of teenagers.

The feel for the people who have loved and lost a child is overwhelming at times. I cried through most of the chapters at least once. The teens death brings back into play the recent death of her father, so does being in his station. The little things, some of which we take for granted each day threaten to overwhelm her. But she has the heart and determination to not let it win. We also meet Zane, the new police chief that is still a 'newbie' in town. Unless you are born in a small town.. you will always be a newbie no matter the length of time you have been there. You are a transplant and he is still working to try and be accepted as one of them. While he works alongside Stevie, spending time with her on and off the job he starts to fall for her.

It's endearing. They both have the feelings and want to fight it but I think love will win in the end. I can't wait until the next book is out. This is going to be a series I devour more than once. No doubt in my mind. So for now I say thank you again NetGalley for introducing me to a new author who I will have to book stalk and get into more of what she has to offer until the next Novella is out.

Keep in mind this is a collab series; the next novella is written with the collaborating author and then it rotates again.

All four Novella's are available on Amazon for Pre Orders.
Novella 1: "On Her Father's Grave" by Kendra Leigh; 10/ 7/14    Order Here
Novella 2: "Gone To Her Grave" by Melina Leigh; 10/21/14   Order Here
Novella 3; "Her Grave Secret's" by Kendra Elliot; 11/4/14    Order Here
Novella 4: "Walking On Her Grave" by Melinda Leigh; 11/18/14   Order Here

Order up and enjoy!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Barb's Book Review... The Witch with No Name

The Hollow’s series is one that was recommended to me by a friend earlier this year as I complained about what to read next. It’s common knowledge between my friends that books with either werewolves or vampires, or better yet both together, is my thing. When I started the Hollow’s I wasn’t sure if I'd like it. But OMG it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever read. I love it! Totes! I mean it has it all. Witches, Elves, Werewolves, Pixies, Vampires, and we can not forget the Demons. Talk about a cast of characters… it is like heaven. The world that Kim Harrison created was genius. Plain and simple.

Rachel Morgan, witch, runner (as in bounty hunter, private investigator type), half demon, friend and just all around badass chick is the kind of girl who is always finding herself with one foot in the grave. Her ability to get into so much trouble even before her morning cup of coffee would frighten most people. Maybe it would stop them from doing what they had planned but not Rachel. No, it seemed nothing stopped her. The harder things push at her, the harder she pushes back. It always seems that the fates are out to get her but her stubborn determination to stay afloat is what makes her one helluva witch. She’s a fighter through and through.

This series has so many twists and turns. They are jumping out of one dimension into another. Running from spells, dodging bullets, tackling crazed vampires and on occasion taking on a pack of wacko werewolves. What’s not to love? Oh yeah and let’s not leave out the DEMONS… (snickers) I think the way Kim did this was brilliant. (Yes, I am brown nosing but it’s my special talent.) The demon’s world is just like the dimension Rachel occupies, the only exception is the demons have destroyed it. Well a war with the Elves did but they started it. (nods) Go figure. It explains why they are so damn pissy all the time. Being forced to live underground, not having sunlight.. yeah it would make me a grumpy cad too.

There are many types of people and for me Rachel is a hero. She stands up for what she believes in. She follows her heart and her gut. Even if you are an ass to her, (coughs “Trent”) she will risk it all to help save your ass. Now she is up in odds with Vampires, yes again. Can she really find a way to retain their souls when they die their first deaths? Her life and the life of her best friend Ivy depends on her finding out.

Now, in case there is a chance you know nothing about this series (gasps) let me introduce you to a few of the main characters. (There are way too many to put them all down, we’d be here all week. lol)

Rachel Mariana Morgan - Witch. Half Demon. (as I stated above) She is just kick ass. She was a runner with the IS (Inderlander Security). She met a leprechaun at a bar (no that’s not the start to a bad joke) and was given three wishes. Giving one wish to her partner Jenks and one to Ivy Tamwood, Rachel used hers to leave the IS and she set out on her own. Ivy, Jenks and Rachel moved into Ivy’s church property and started Vampiric Charms Independent Runner Service. And that was the start to the whirlwind she calls life. She is in love with Trent Kalamack and doesn’t care who knows it. Her demon mentor Algaliarept (Al) was around a lot until they have a falling out when she falls in love with Trent.

Ivy Tamwood - Living vampire. As in a born vampire. She would not be a full fledge vampire until she died her first death and was ‘awakened’. Former IS runner. Partner at Vampiric Charms. She is in love with Rachel and has been for a long while. It’s the reason she left the IS and let Rachel move into her church. Well their church. She is trying to love Nina, a living vamp being taken over repeatedly by an old master Felix.

Jenks - Pixy. Partner of Rachel and Ivy’s. Father to a brood of little Fairies; 54 to be exact. He is one bad ass little green man. Nearing the maximum life expectancy for pixies, he worries about what will happen to both his family and his partners after he is gone; Rachel unknowingly resets his lifespan with a transformation curse. His wife, Matalina, dies. Jenks is something of a pixy pioneer, going where no pixy has gone before. He also owns the church the partners all live in.

Bis - Rachel’s 50 year old Gargoyle pup. He is the one that helps her jump lines. He’s a part of the family.

Trent Kalamack - Mr. Tall, Dark, and sexy…. An elf who is an extremely successful businessman with massive resources and wealth. He was a City Councilman. He operates in the Hollows underground and runs several illegal operations on the side. Biodrugs. He’s a kind employer and city benefactor, until you get in his way then he will have you offed.. or in Rachel’s case try to do it himself. Rachel knows of his crimes and repeatedly attempts to bring him to justice. He and Rachel have some shared history through the friendship and collaborative work of their fathers, who died days apart. He has a daughter, Lucy with his ex fiance, Ellsabeth. Trent and Rachel fell in love throughout all of their fighting and saving each others asses from all sorts of bad juju.

Quen - Elf. Martial arts wielding security chief of Trent Kalamack. Trent’s best friend. He met and fell in love with Cheri, another elf that Rachel rescued from the grips of Al, the demon. He now cares for their child, Ray as he watches over Trent’s daughter, Lucy and Trent.

Ceridwen "Ceri" Merriam Dulciat - An elf of royal blood who spent a thousand years as Algaliarept's familiar. Ceri loved Al and chose to go with him into the ever-after rather than marry the elven prince she was betrothed to, grow old, and eventually die. She is rescued by Rachel from her servitude. She knows both Ley line and Demon magic to which she teaches Rachel what she can. Anything to repay her debt of being saved and to help her friend.

Algaliarept “AL” - A demon who trades in demonic familiars. Summoned to kill both Rachel and Trent in the first novel, he becomes more than just a staple character in the second after making deals with Rachel and Nick. Algaliarept is determined to replace Ceri with Rachel as his familiar, and most of his plots revolve around these efforts. Rachel derisively refers to him as "Big Al," which also helps her to avoid accidentally summoning the demon. When the demons accidentally discover that he concealed the fact that Rachel can spindle ley line energy, he falls into disgrace. After Rachel steals his summoning name from within the ever-after, he makes a deal with her, agreeing to take her on as a scholar and teach her demon magic in exchange for the return of his summoning name and his chance to regain his reputation. He was married to a demoness named Celfnnah.

Newt - The most powerful demon in existence, with the possible exceptions of Rachel and Ku'Sox. In the distant past, she killed every other female demon, which caused her insanity and resulted in her being the only female demon (until Rachel). Demon laws don't apply to her because it is said that "she makes the laws." Rachel gains a mark from Newt in payment for moving her between the ley lines in "Every Which Way But Dead".

Captain Edden - The captain of the local FIB office. Arranges for the FIB to pay off Rachel's death bounty in exchange for her becoming a freelance operative aiding the FIB in their attempt to keep up with the I.S. Rachel's pay from the FIB eventually becomes entangled in red tape, so Edden arranges for her to own Francis's car after he is murdered. He is an ally of Rachel and Trent’s.

David Hue - A were loner and insurance claims adjuster. Forms a pack with Rachel as his alpha bitch in an effort to evade the responsibility of a true pack while gaining the professional benefits of being a pack's alpha. Assists Rachel in a couple of her cases. Affected by the were focus he hides for Rachel, he unintentionally turns several human girlfriends into weres, leading to several of their deaths; two of these women survived, adding to David and Rachel's pack. Has the powerful curse of the were focus transferred into him to save Rachel's life. Uncomfortable around Ivy, who has a crush on him. Refuses to date species that didn't originate from humans (e.g., witches). Values loyalty and trust in interpersonal relationships.

Alice Morgan - The mother of Rachel and Robbie. An exceptionally accomplished earth witch, hampered by mental illness since the death of her husband Monty and her ingestion of at least one memory potion (her reasons for taking the memory potion are unknown). Responsible for outing Trent as an elf when she believed he was betraying Rachel. She is very loyal to her daughter.

Belle - A wingless fairy (due to an earlier attack on the church) who saves Jenks's children during an invasion. Jenks later gives her permission to stay in the garden. She and Jenks have a complicated relationship.

Rynn Cormel - The new master vampire in Cincinnati. In addition to writing a best-selling guide to dating and having safe sex with vampires, he served as the leader of the United States during the Turn. He took over Piscary's vampire duties after Piscary was killed the second time.

Ellasbeth Withon - A highly intelligent and beautiful, though ill-tempered, elf who is Kalamack's fiancée due to a business arrangement. Rachel disrupts their wedding by arresting Trent at the altar. Ellasbeth later calls off the wedding for good. Biological mother to Lucy.

Jonathan “Jon” - Trenton Kalamack's chief subordinate, he despises Rachel Morgan and works against her in the series. When Rachel shifts into a mink to raid Trenton's offices and is caught, it is Jonathan who tortures her the most, poking and prodding her with pencils while she is caged. Reluctantly gives her respect after she saves Trenton

Okay so.. those are the main characters. Lord knows there are many, many more… (laughs) There is enough to build a city, literally. [Click here to find a COMPLETE list of the characters throughout the series >>[Character List]

This is a hard review to do… as I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. It is so frigging action packed it’s like a rollercoaster at SeaWorld. You sit down, get jerked all directions and by the end you face plant in a pillow of clouds not wanting it to end… but I will try to do it justice.

“The Witch With No Name”

“Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.”

This book, as the other’s starts off with a bang.. or a boom as it would be called here..

Ivy asked Rachel and jenks to go with her to do a simple snatch and grab with a client, who is a living vampire. Her lover is also a living vampire. They are from two different ‘families’ and were told separate or die. Yeah Master vampires are dicks and not the good kind either. As they move about the apartment things happen too fast for Rachel to grasp at first. The lady they were helping has a dog but the way it’s acting when it sees her is off. At the last possible second Rachel throws up a protective circle to keep the dog, who is actually the male vampire (since he was made to change to all fours with a spell) and is a ticking time bomb. Literally. He is coated with a spell that will kill the three vampires. It was not meant for Rachel since she wasn't supposed to be there.

Rachel manages to salt the spell down and break it, saving their lives. After leaving the vampires, Rachel and Jenks set off to head back home before she has to get ready to go meet Trent. But as usual, things go wrong very fast. Ivy is hit by a car,laying in the street dying. There are vampires, all living of course, it is still daylight after all but they are there to make sure Ivy dies. Well that shit just isn’t happening. Rachel is determined to get across the park to the leyline and get the hell out of danger’s way… she fights off vampires with her magic and manages to move Al’s line to her. She and Ivy escape to the everafter, only after telling Jinks to get Bis and meet them at the line for the church.

Again, as things never go the way they are supposed to, as Rachel waits with a failing Ivy she panics. Ivy would ask her to kill her a second time and she just can’t do it. When Al shows up to see what happened to his line he attacks Rachel. (laughs) It was fitting and so expected. He is jealous of her, in my opinion. He failed where she has strived. Yes she picked Trent over him but he needs to man up and suck it up. I mean, jeez. Anyways, Al finally storms off after making Rachel a nervous wreck, then the surface demons make an appearance. They are brave to approach but all Rachel can do is set a circle to escape them until help comes.

Bis, Trent, Nina and Jinks show up in the ever after and with a little effort, as they have to fight off surface demons something ‘odd’ happens. Nina, felix’s little scion of a sort, and Ivy’s lover is attacked by a surface demon… then the same demon protects her from others. The demon becomes… what’s the right word here…clingy, yeah that works. He keeps trying to get to Nina. At first  they get the hell out and to Trent’s surgical ward. Ivy is rushed into surgery and they all wait. It takes rachel a little thinking as she talks with Trent to figure out why the surface demon went from angry, ripping at her throat to cowering and clingy. Surface demons are the souls the undead have lost. That explains a lot for me.. I mean I’d be pissed too if I was stuck in that hell all the time. So the surface demon had been Felix’s soul. He was in Nina and his soul recognised him.

This one event set off a chain reaction that has them all scrambling to hold onto their knickers. Trent and Rachel have to find a way (a spell) to catch the soul and attach it to Felix. As it is now Cormel wants his soul. Or he thinks he does so they are going to keep coming after Ivy and Rachel until it’s done. Rachel was able to get Felix’s soul and after a very hard, strained time she was able to get Felix his soul… now things get edgy. Cormel starts to put more pressure on her to find a way to get them all their soul, even Felix committing sunicide (walking into the sun because he couldn’t handle the 2000 years of guilt and darkness his soul reminded him of) didn’t stop this.

As with any of their ‘conquests’ they are forced into action when things are turned upside down and tossed at them like hot water on. They will have to work as a team. Trent, Rach, Jinks, Bis, hell even the demons get in on the action. Landon, an elf, who has had it out for Trent and Rachel for so long decides to tell the demons he can get their souls and rid them of the demons once and for all. Needlesstosay he manages to get the elves (the dewar) and the Clave alongside the witches council on his side, even though he is full of SHIT; they meet and decide to ‘break’ the lines. They will be cutting off all magic, sending the demons back to the ever-after to basically die. Landon thinks he knows what he is doing here but alas the little shit doesn't have a clue.

Rachel manages to rescue the demons from being pulled back to the ever-after to be killed. She hasn’t stopped Landon but in the end it is for the best. The Goddess and her mystics, who Rachel can't see or feel anymore but that have been in her this whole time come to a head. Things get bad, fast. Thanks to Newt Rachel is able to create a new ever-after, the demons help to make new ley lines. Rachel is upset and scared that they exchanged one hell for another but… they didn’t. The demons are able to come and go, day or night as they wish. People are broken and bruised but they all made it. The fight was over.

The end of the book skips some in time. We go 27 years to the future, our little Ray (Quen & Ceri’s baby girl) is getting married to a Rosewood baby. A demon in plain words. Elf to Demon, least she followed after her dad (Trent) and Rachel. It’s a beautiful day, one to show love, support and how a family can grow together despite the odds against them. It’s Ray’s special day but it’s Trent who gives Rachel a gift that no one will ever be able to surpass… you’ll have to read to see what it is. I assure you you won’t see it coming, I didn’t.

And, yes, I left out A LOT. There is no way to tell you all the epicness of this book without ruining it as I said before. I want you to enjoy it as much as I did. It would have been read a lot sooner but I was sick and it took all I had in me to function the last few days. But I love Kim’s books, all of them. One of the best series I have read. And I have read a lot. but it’s not really over just yet… as I saw on twitter the other day an announcement that “Al” spoke to Kim and wasn't quite done.. so there will be a new Hollow’s short story out on October 28, 2014.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Emmy's Book Review... Hunting Ground

Anna and Charles have been married for around a month in this book, and are growing slowly closer together.  There are still issues she has with closeness and such due to the abuse she received at the hands of her former pack.  She lets her wolf take the lead when she is uncomfortable, which is both good and bad. Charles, having been alone for so long, is still dealing with all these feelings he’s having - he’s not used to getting close to people.  At all.   Despite their problems, they do love each other, and she and Charles are turning into a cohesive unit. I enjoyed seeing Anna becoming more comfortable both with herself and with Charles as a mate.  She’s learning she does have power; both over herself and over her mate, and it’s a heady experience, to know that you can affect a man as experienced and well, this sounds bad, but old, as Charles.  She is constantly surprised that he feels as strongly for her as he does.   I found that kind of sweet, and it made me like them both more.  In this novel Bran is on the verge of bringing the wolves out to the public, as the fae had years before.  The conference that Charles convinces him to send them to in his place is a meeting of all the Alphas.  Bran may be top dog in the US, but there is Europe and the rest of the world to consider as well.  They are all ruled by their own version of a Marrock. So this meeting is sort of like a UN summit for weres.  

I have to admit a mistake in my review of Cry Wolf when I called Omega wolves submissive.  In this book we learn more about Omegas, and meet another Omega brought to the summit.  They are described in this book as “Zen Alphas” which is probably a more accurate term than submissive.  Anna is learning more about her Omega-ness, the same as we are.  There is a scene that I found amusing:  Anna is in the first meeting, and all the alphas in the room are making her nervous. A normal Omega would feel safe and protected surrounded by alphas, but due to her former pack treating her horribly she had the complete opposite reaction.  Have you ever had a day where it felt like absolutely everyone was staring at you?  It makes you jumpy--and the jumpier she got, the more agitated the Alphas in the room became, because their instinct was to destroy whatever was making her upset, not knowing it was themselves.  

The summit itself is best described as an explosion waiting to happen.  All of these Alphas in a room together, talking about things they may or may not agree to….it’s just asking for trouble.  There are personality conflicts, ego problems, I’m-more-dominant-than-you issues; the list goes on and on.  The biggest problem in this group is Jean Chastel, the French alpha, who is known by the ever so accurate name of the Beast of Gevaudan .  He lives up to it.  After the scene I mentioned above Anna and the people she is with are attacked while shopping by a group of vampires, who mysteriously use a magic to conceal themselves that she recognizes as pack magic.  Is someone just trying to derail the summit, or is the attack specifically targeting her?  And why does the Fae mediator set Anna’s teeth on edge so?  Is it just because she is a former lover of Charles’ or does Anna’s instinct about her go deeper?  And what is up with the UK Alpha thinking he is King Arthur reincarnated?  

We get an -I say unexpectedly - sexy scene in this book.  Patricia Briggs has pretty much a closed door policy on sex in both of her series.  You get told, yes this happened, but you’re not gonna get all the details.  Which is refreshing when you’re used to reading hardcore stuff; but she works the tease so well on this particular scene that I was left stomping my foot and screaming “MORE!!! You can’t stop there!! WTF MAN???”  Ung, just go read it, join me in my frustration.  

Maybe I’m just dense, but I had the bad guy totally wrong--up to a point.  When it was revealed I was just as surprised as the characters were.  I just didn’t see this guy killing the people that he killed, but I should have suspected him from the start.  Goes to show you shouldn’t judge by first impression.    That doesn't happen to me often, so it was a tribute to the authors skill with a plot.  As I read, I was seeing the novel played out in my head like a movie. (It would make a really great movie!)  I usually only get that with really good novels.  I was even more impressed with this installment in the series than I was with the first.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series, which is called Fair Game.

Until then,

PS) Coming up soon -- The Eternal Guardians, Book 3; Tempted

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Emmy's Book Review... Cry Wolf

I freaking love the cover art for Patricia Briggs’ books.  All of them, Mercy, this series, the graphic novels (I WANT)  they are all just beautifully done. After some research I discovered that the artist for most of the cover art  is Daniel Dos Santos.  His work is truely awesome. His website is here: http://www.dandossantos.com/gallery.html

There is a novella that is the prequel to this book.  It is called Alpha and Omega, and is in the On the Prowl Anthology. I had no idea it existed, and I suppose the fact that I didn't read it first was the reason that I felt like this story started off right in the middle of a scene.   The first scene you see is the Chicago pack helping Anna and Charles pack up her apartment because she is moving to Montana.  Charles has been injured killing the Chicago Alpha, and he and Anna are mates.  You see what I mean about jumping right in?  I was familiar with Charles and Bran and the Montana wolves from reading Mercy though, so it wasn’t long at all before I was off and running with this story.  And Barb will tell you, I read this one so fast it was ridiculous.  That only goes to show you how good the story was -I couldn’t put it down.  

This series runs parallel with the author’s other series, Mercy Thompson.  I had a fun time trying to figure out when exactly in Mercy’s timeline was this book happening.  It’s been a little bit since I’ve read the early Mercy’s.  Charles was mentioned in that series briefly, but not enough for you to really get  to know him.  I like the Charles you find in this novel.  I am all for positive Native American heroes/heroines because I think there isn’t enough of them.  I’m fiercely proud of the tiny amount of Cherokee blood I have, and love to read about any Native Americans portrayed in a positive light. Bran is what is known as the Marrock - the alpha wolf of all the wolves, the world over.   Charles is Bran’s son, and is the appointed assassin for the pack--he’s the grim reaper, or the angel of death depending on the situation.  If there’s someone who needs killing, he’s usually the one sent to do it.  As a result, most people fear him, or at the very least are terribly uncomfortable around him.  He has taught himself not to get close to people, just in case he is sent to kill them one day.  That’s one end of the spectrum.   The other is that the older that wolves get the harder it is for them to deal with life, which leads to a lot of them asking their pack leader to kill them. (You see this a lot with vampires as well)  Shortly after Charles and Anna return from Chicago you see evidence of both of these extremes.  They attend a funeral for a wolf that had to be “put down” due to his inability to control his wolf.  Sad, but it happens.  At the funeral another wolf comes on to Anna despite being told that she is Charles’ mate.  Asil is the wolf, and he has asked for death more than once - he’s thousands of years old.  He was trying to provoke an attack.  Instead of being offended or afraid, Anna instinctually takes his hand, to comfort him.  This is where we find out what this Omega thing is all about.

Anna is what is known as an Omega.  I haven’t been able to really figure out a concise definition for what an Omega is yet.  Have you ever met anyone that you just implicitly trusted?  Someone who put you at ease with their presence, and kind of exuded peace and serenity?   That’s kind of what an Omega wolf would do for the dominant wolves around them.  They are submissive wolves, but they are submissive out of choice, because they have no drive to dominate the others around them.  This turns on a wolf’s protective instincts, and an Omega is referred to many times in this book as a blessing to have in the pack.  The funny part is that while a wolf in the normal hierarchy of the pack would be bound to obey the others above them.  If they were ordered to, for example, not call the Marrock and report wrongdoing, they would be physically unable to pick up the phone.   If they managed to pick up the phone, they wouldn’t be able to make themselves dial the number.  If someone was to dial the number for them, they would be unable to force themselves to speak.  Pack bonds and commands are THAT strong.  You can imagine the evil that a person could do with a group of people that are forced to obey your every command.  

An Omega is different.  An Omega chooses to submit, and by doing so slips those pack bonds.   They don’t have to obey an alpha’s orders.  I gather this is how Charles and Bran came to be in Chicago in the first place.  As I mentioned, I have not read the novella, but the description of Anna and the circumstances they rescued her from were totally opposite of how a treasured Omega should have been treated.  She was changed against her will, by virtue of a purposeful, planned attack.  From then on she was abused physically and sexually, all under an alpha’s commands.  Needless to say, her wolf recognizes Charles as her mate, but the wolf and the woman have to come to terms with what that means to both of them.  All she knows is that she feels safe with him, and he is smart enough to know not to push her.  

This novel does focus more on the romantic aspect of the story than you normally see in the Mercy Thompson series.  It’s well warranted, in this case, given the circumstances.  After they arrive in Montana, the main plot of the novel gets to moving.  There have been people being attacked in the woods by a “creature”.  Charles, although he is still recovering from bullet wounds, is sent to investigate along with Anna.  They spend time together tracking the creature, which they think is a rogue wolf.  I won’t give away the main meat of the story, but I will say it involves Asil, the wolf Anna met at the funeral.  His former mate (killed long ago) was also an Omega, and the heartbreak he still feels over her loss is just palpable.  You feel bad for this guy, even though you just met him a few chapters ago.  His story alone is fascinating.  

In conclusion, this series is (so far) a wonderful new angle on a world I was already familiar with.  I’m enjoying learning more about the Montana pack, and look forward to reading the next book.

Until next time,

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mail call... Eye opener...

I had an interesting, eye opening email this AM from a publicist about a review I had done for their client's book. Seems I was too descriptive. (Sheepish) I gave too much of the story away. So, I have edited what I originally had written up and I am reposting it here and on Amazon. As with everything I read, whether I buy it or its a gift of any kind I always try to review on Amazon, Goodreads and then here. Not sure if here will change much though... I really don't want to give away too much of any book but I want my readers to be able to understand what it is I am or have read. I'm not sure how to keep myself in line when doing a review I get too wrapped up in what I am reading to leave things out. I do however, leave out a lot. I will do my best to give you the same kinds of reviews maybe just tone some of the details down. I want everyone to enjoy the reviews and then go and enjoy the books if they are your cup of tea.

Also, we will start adding the book, author information like I see other sites do. I don;t like being the odd man out. Well, not with this at least. In all honesty with the exception of a few things... most of the things Emmy and I read are rated at 5 stars. There are a few four stars and a few that should be 3 but we upped them because of the overall series. That is only in a series. If its a single Novel or Novella is doesn't have any backbone so to speak so it gets what it gets.

The new changes will start with today's posts. (Thoung me and my OCD are arguing about that.. so I may be going back and editing the past reviews as well... lol) As in the rating scale and such. All reviews can be found on our good reads pages as well.

We will be using Rain drops (as rain is the theme here) so look for it.. the whole site is now updated! (B @ 4:11pm 9/20/14)

Now, onto your regular scheduled programming.

Barb's Book Review... Thunder

Thank you NetGalley, Revell Books and Bonnie for supplying me a copy of this book in return for an honest review of my thoughts. At first glance I was apprehensive. This is a stretch for me. When I say that I mean, it's not a normal read for me. Sci-fi stretches into worlds that are just not for me... but after reading the Novella, Tremors, I was a little more excited to step into Selah's world. it didn't seem to be that big of a stretch as I thought it would be. It actually made me want to dive right on into it.

I did enjoy this book, immensely. There were a few parts where I felt it could have been... better isn't the right word. Maybe more descriptive. Keep in mind that is only my opinion. There were spelling errors, lots of them but then I have an ARC copy so that is to be expected. (I'm dyslexic so I missed lots of them. And the ones I did spot didn't keep me from getting what I was reading. lol) But in all it was good. 

This story takes place in a world unlike ours in ways that we hope to never see eye to eye with. A post apocalyptic world full of worry, mystery and a longing that Selah Chavez doesn't see coming until it is too late. Selah is tormented by her older brothers (as most of us are) and looks after her younger brother. She is a self sufficient, stubborn and determined girl. Or I should say woman as she has her 18th birth remembrance. Her determination to be one of the family's hunters is commendable. She has a mind set as many woman nowadays have. If they boys can do it so can I.  But what she doesn't know is that meeting a lander she captures will change her life forever. Secrets lie in her past. Her mother, her father, they all keep this bundle of secrets that all explode into life on the birth remembrance day. 

Bodhi, lander, hunky man that will be a part of Selah's changing life drifts to the shores and as the hunter in her takes over Selah 'captures' him. Man, if she only knew how true those words would ring true as the adventure that is now her life takes over. We meet a lot of interesting characters throughout Thunder. The family Selah is forced to leave behind, her mom, dad, brothers' Raza, Cleon and Dane. Then there is the wandering little spitfire Amaryllis. Just to name a few. Once I got into the book, about chapter two I was like O.o 'oh crap not now' and the facial expressions... well needlesstosay I am a very vocal and expressionist when I read. I do talk to the characters (don't tell anyone I don't need a padded room... just yet) and I had a few times during Thunder I yelled, 'No! Don't do that!'. (According to my best friend it was entertaining.)

As the story of Selah's hidden birthright, her mothers and biological fathers life plays out we meet the people of the Mountain. You get to see the plot and the story take off into a high paced, action packed, adrenaline pumping tale. It is not what you would expect, or at least it wasn't what I expected. This is why there were so many moments of me talking and gasping at the book. I just literally could not put it down. And I got pissy when things in my life kept me from reading. (laughs) 

Sci-fi has a new definition in my mind now thanks to Bonnie. This is a total winner in my book and for someone who doesn't read sci-fi'ish books that is saying a lot. I am very picky and I don't like to stray from my normal genres.. but I am grateful to NetGalley for this opportunity to dive in, enjoy and now have a new notch on my reading tree. My best friend is now waiting for the release of this book so she can buy it only after me telling her the gist of what happens. I as well will be telling all of my friends, since we like the same things, about this one. I'm anxious for Lightening to be released. According to the excerpt in Thunder it is to be released in the Fall of 2015... not sure how I can wait that long. (laughs) I have no patience at all.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Emmy's Book Review... Entwined

I wasn’t sure about this series at first, but I’m happy to report that I enjoyed this book even more than the first.  

The Main Couple:

This book centers around Zander, the Guardian that is descended from Achilles.  He’s thought to be immortal, or at the VERY least extremely hard to kill.  He’s 829 years old.  He has a serious death wish, so much so that when he is in a funk he’s been known to throw himself off cliffs and the like. Nothing’s killed him yet.  He’s tired of life, and I get that.  You see that a lot in vampire fiction, after so long they are just sick of facing everyday.  What’s worse for Zander is that he found his soulmate ten years ago, and has been without her ever since.  Hera (the “queen” of the gods) cursed the guardian’s soulmates, making the soulmates the last person that the guardian would have chosen for themselves.  Zander’s soulmate is Callia, the king’s personal healer.  They had a brief affair a decade ago, then circumstances (left vague for the time being) tore them apart.  Zander, having found his soulmate and lost her, now has no reason at all to live.  He’s a shell that fights and does his duty, but couldn’t care less if he lives or dies.  

The Plot:

This book picks up right where the first one left off.  Casey and Theron (the main couple from the first book) are together, leaving Theron’s former fiancee’, the princess Isadora, without an intended husband.  To ascend the throne, she must be married. (I know, I’m rolling my eyes too)  The king, who is dying, decides that he is going to choose a husband for her from the Guardians, with no thought to what Isadora may or may not want.  This is a common practice in this world.  Women are expected to blindly follow along and not have anything to say when their fathers choose their husbands for them, and to keep their mouths shut and follow along with these husband’s decisions when they are married off to them.  I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, as there always is, but the practice rubbed me the wrong way, as I’m sure it would many.  Isadora is none too pleased about it  herself, but as the princess she doesn’t feel that she has much of a choice.  The Council (their version of Parliament vs the Monarchy) will never let her rule otherwise.  The King calls the Guardians together, and tells them he has picked Demetrius to marry his daughter.  Demetrius is violently opposed to the match.  Zander steps up and offers  to marry the princess.  His reasoning is that he’s immortal; he has seen whole generations be born, live and die, and he has remained the exact same.  He can commit himself to be Isadora’s husband for the rest of her life, because he figures her life is essentially, to him, just a drop in the bucket.  

Meanwhile, Atalanta is mortal, having been made such at the end of the last book.  She and her merry horde of daemons (demons) have relocated from the underworld to somewhere in Canada to continue raids upon the scattered Misos and any other Argoleans and humans they can get their hands on.  It was touched on briefly in the first book that Atalanta has a child, a son, that she is training along with her demons.  In the first book you assume that the child is hers, but here you discover that Maximus is not hers, but was either stolen or taken or adopted by her. Maximus has a enchanted mirror, given to him by the Fate Lachesis. (Lachesis is kind of a deux ex machina for this series; she popped up in the previous book also.  I expect to see her again as well.)  The mirror shows Maximus’ mother’s face, and he guards this treasure closely.  Eventually it is discovered, and destroyed, which leads him to lash out and kill the demon that broke it.  Atalanta is thrilled with this, because that is what she meant to happen in the first place.  She didn’t figure on Maximus stealing the amulet she wears while she was sleeping and running away.  He catches a ride with a truck driver and winds up somewhere in Oregon near the Misos colony before the demons catch up with him and drag him back.  

Back in Argolea we learn more about Zander’s soul mate, Callia.  The first thing we learn is that their brief affair ended badly, for reasons we are not told, and that she and Zander HATE each other’s guts.  Passionately.  The reasons why are not given, on either side.  Callia’s father approaches her with the man he has picked out for her to marry, named Loukas.  He’s some big muckety muck with the Council, which her father is also on.  Here we find out that Callia has been going through some kind of “cleansing period” for the last ten years, ever since she and Zander had their time together.  We don’t find out any of the details about this until much later.  Her father is trying to get her together with this guy, and Callia is simply not interested.  Loukas has been waiting all this time, so he’s impatient to get married to her.  It’s kind of creepy, actually.  Isadora, meanwhile, has been doing research into the Horea, or the Hours, another prophecy.   Isadora and her half sister Casey are all ready the Chosen, whose joining destroyed Atalanta’s immortality in the first book.  Isadora has reason to think that they are also part the hours, but there are three of them, not two.  She makes a deal with Orpheus (half demon, or something along those lines; he’s very interesting.  I actually am rooting for him and Isadora to get together) for information and defense training.  Orpheus knows more than he lets on, which makes her curious.  Later on, Zander is injured, Callia is fetched from Argolea to earth to heal him. They are hidden together in a cave while he is recuperating, and the physical inevitable happens.  Despite all of the hate between them, their chemistry is undeniable.  The whole story between the two of them comes out, and it is a doozy. Part of it I had suspected, but it still surprised me.   I’m keeping a big part of this book secret, because the reveal in the book of their past IS so well done.   I thought their backstory was very well done, and I liked that this story is one of two former lovers finding their way back to each other.  All of their history together makes for a fascinating story.  

It turns out that Isadora’s hunch is right, and Callia is Isadora’s and Casey’s half sister, and they together are a group known as the Hours.  Isadora has the gift of foresight (although it hasn’t been working lately) and Casey was revealed in the last book to have the gift of hindsight.  Callia is the balance between them.  Their powers can be used together as a weapon along with the amulet that Maximus stole from Atalanta.  ( He left it with the truck driver before he was recaptured by the demons.) They can find people, pinpoint their location.  Problem is, when they try to find Atalanta, she sees them, knows they are looking for her.  She is willing to let the boy go, in trade  for Callia and the amulet.  This novel climaxes in a huge battle worthy of the big screen.  Atalanta gets away, but Maximus is rescued, and the betrayal of Callia by someone close to her ties some loose ends.  

The story picks back up after the battle in Argolea. Remember, despite their reconnection, Zander has already promised to marry Isadora. The king has been told that he has another daughter, but he is bound and determined to have Zander marry Isadora.  Zander tells Callia they will run away to the human realm, but Callia has had enough of men making decisions for her and refuses. Then we flash to the wedding day.   Isadora is standing in front of her mirror, wearing her wedding dress when she has a vision. It’s the first one she has had in months - and it is of her and a man in an intimate situation.  The man is NOT the one she is supposed to be marrying, and not even someone she likes. Then something else happens...nope, not going to give that away either, but it’s a cliffhanger that will have you reaching directly for the next book in this series.   Which is what I’m going to do. Right now.  :)

Coming up next:

Review for Alpha and Omega Series Book #1
Cry Wolf By Patricia Briggs

and after that:
Eternal Guardians Series #3 - Tempted By Elisabeth Naughton

Until next time,