8.30.2013

The Prince's Angel by Shayne Carmichael and Mychael Black

         Sorry about not posting on Wednesday, but my brother kicked the router and unplugged it, and none of us noticed for two days that that was the reason our internet wasn't working. Silly Charlie, kicking the router like that. I was so panicked but we just figured out what caused it and so now I am back in service! This book was a quick read that I read one night when I was worried about a serial killer hiding under my bed (I spend more nights fearing this than I probably should).

         In present day London, vampires live side-by-side with mortals living under two sets of laws.
          The Romanorum make the vampire rules, helping the Princes who rule the cities. Not all vampires are thrilled with the system. A rash of rogue vampires--vampires who have killed mortals--has descended upon London, and it is up to London's vampire prince, Mael Black, to bring them under control. When he learns who is truly behind the rogues, however, Mael's task becomes more complicated than he would like. His only choice is to turn to a sorcerer of questionable reputation--Cian Carmichael.
         But Cian is more than he seems to be, and despite the dangers inherent in becoming involved with him, Mael finds he is unable to resist. Cian is an angel, sent to bring the rogue vampires under control. Acquiring a reputation as a vampire hunter, Cian becomes notorious in the city Mael rules. The last thing he expects is to fall in love with the prince of the London vampires himself.
Can these two deal with their growing attachment, and save London from the threat it faces?
Click to view on Amazon: The Prince's Angel
         I read this book late one night because I was terrified and needed something to stay awake so I didn't have to think about the possibility of someone waiting under my bed to kill me. It actually turned out to be a rather interesting book. I thought it was a really cool concept, though it was a little difficult for me to understand. It could have been because I was tired but I didn't understand the different tiers of vampires and how a First Formula vampire had more power... I thought Mael was very old, and pretty powerful and so since he was older than Selena I thought he could take her, and I was really frustrated that it didn't work that way because of what formula they were. And I didn't understand how the rogue vampires were spreading vampirism, was it with those formula things that were being sent in the mail, or was it through more traditional methods.

Spoilers Ahead!

         The relationship between Mael and Cian was interesting. It was very quick, which I liked, but it was a little inconsistent. They were so drawn to each other, to the point that they were secretly spying on each other, and they couldn't stay away from each other. then they get together and they are pretty exclusive, but then Cian catches the assassin with Mael and gets extremely jealous, but then at the end he tells Mael to go off with Seth if he needs to. WHAAAAT? I felt they were so attached to each other, and given how possessive they were, it totally blew my mind that Cian would consider letting Mael sleep with someone else.

         Then there was the fact that Cian was so worried about falling for Mael and so worried about drinking his blood, but nobody got mad at him. He didn't get into any trouble, and Michael even approved of the relationship, which made all the angst at the beginning seem a little unnecessary, but at the same time I liked it because part of me wanted Cian to be a fretful character... he seemed to waver on that point, going from fretful to very sure of himself and the events that were unfolding.

I liked the book, and it definitely distracted me. I would give it 3 Stars.
Thank you so much for reading!

8.26.2013

Acquainted with the Night by Tymber Dalton

         This post is going to be really hard to write. Not because the book was bad or anything like that, but because it was so good. It's been a while since I read a 5 star book, but this one was so much more than I thought it would be.
          Dale despised the Terran military. He was drafted, not a volunteer. He never expected to get captured by the Algonquans and sold as a breeder pet, either. He only prays his new owner is kind and doesn’t eat him. Then he meets fellow pet, Mark, who informs him getting captured was the luckiest day of their lives. Mark also hated the military and now spends his days in a life of sexual leisure, enjoying poetry and totally at peace with his fate.

         Dale settles in and finds not only does he enjoy this life, he loves Mark, too. Despite tragedy striking too close to home in their protected world, they find room to love their Master’s newest pets, Cooper and Nate.

         When the war ends and the Terran pets are granted their freedom, the men are faced with a choice: return, or stay with the owner they’ve grown to love?
 Click to view on Amazon: Acquainted with the Night
         This book was beyond what I expected. I thought that this book was going to be an alien orgy with some sentimental moments, but it was so completely different from that. Yes, there were times of extreme raunchiness (which were thoroughly enjoyable), but I haven't cried this much while reading a book in a while.

Spoilers Ahead! Go read the book if you don't want anything ruined!

         The relationship between Mark and Dale was one of the most beautiful that I have ever read about. They stood by each other through everything, and I thought it was so sweet how Mark kept telling Dale that he was bought for him, so they would be together always. When Dale was raped and Mark held him and helped him, I cried so hard. And one of the hardest parts of the book for me to read was when Mark decided to go off to war and everyone thought he had died when his ship went down. I cried so hard. I was so depressed right along with him. I was so mad, because I couldn't understand why the author would separate these two amazing characters.

         Now Coop is hilarious, how he was always begging to carry an egg because he was a pleasure addict. I realize to some the idea of "male pregnancy" might be a little uncomfortable, but that didn't stop me. I laughed about almost everything this character did, but he had some stunningly sweet moments. When everyone thought mark was dead and Nate was brought into the picture, he was so gentle and supportive, and the way he begged Dale to help him and to not leave him alone, ugh I was crying all over again. Luckily Mark came home and so coop could go back to being his bubbly self again, but with the addition of the serious Nate who was such a pillar to Coop. Until the very end.

         Now, I suppose I should talk about the end because that had me crying more than anything. When their first Master died, that was sad, I cried especially when you could see how deeply Mark was grieving and how terrified he was of losing Dale. But the end literally tore my heart apart, even though I suppose it was "happy". They were all getting old and as the book went on I realized that we were probably going to be shown the end of their lives, but I wasn't ready for it. They were all so great I didn't even want to think about them dying. But then Nate got sick, and I was like no, please, no I'm not ready! When he died I thought, Surely he will be the only one. But then Coop fell ill, and I knew that was only right, because how could Coop live without his true love. When he died it was horrible. But in my mind, at least Mark and Dale were still together, at least they still had each other. Then Mark got sick, and I couldn't take it. I cried and cried (I am tearing up now just thinking about it). And Dale was so torn up, it was almost to painful to read about his pain. When Mark died, I thought, How can they be separated? They were supposed to be together forever! And I could barely read about Dale's downhill spiral through my tears, and when he had to be put down, ugh god,  it was all too much for me to handle. I wanted to take a break because I was crying so much, but I couldn't tear myself away from the book. As he died, and he saw mark standing there waiting for him (damn, I'm full on crying again) it was one of the most sad/happy, good/bad, touching, bittersweet moments I have ever read. I knew I was supposed to be happy that they all ended up together, and I was, because Mark and Dale should never be separated, but I was still so far beyond sad about how they all just slipped away like that.

         What really tore me up was the epilogue. It was from Marzan's point of view. It was hard to read about how he had to make the decision to put Dale to sleep, and how he had lost all four of the men so quickly. I love how it all related back to the title "Acquainted with the Night" because Dale and Mark had talked about getting through the "night of grief" and coming into the light of life. And Marzan talked about how he had to get through the dark nights ahead. I was still crying. And I cried for many reasons. Because we finally got to hear about them from their owner's point of view. Because the book was over. Because Mark and Dale were dead. Because Mark and Dale were happy. I just was a mess. And that is such a good thing. I cant remember the last book I cried during, if I remember it I will edit this and put it in. But this book was amazing, and I want to see more of this world, I want to see more of the characters even though they are dead.  Maybe I am a crybaby, but I figured if a book can make me feel that strongly towards characters and towards their lives, then obviously the author is doing something right.

This book is a book that I will definitely read again (when I am emotionally brave enough), and it deserves way more than 5 stars, but 5 is the most I give.
Go out and get this! Please, it is so amazing!

8.23.2013

The Left Hand of Calvus (Warriors of Rome #1) by L.A. Witt

         This is another of those books that I skipped over. I love ancient themed books, especially romance books, and it doesn't matter whether it is female/male or male/male, I just love the time. But I thought, since I am giving everything else a try I will give this one a try.
         Former gladiator Saevius is certain fortune’s smiling on him when a Pompeiian politician buys him to be his bodyguard. But then his new master, Laurea Calvus, orders Saevius to discover the gladiator with whom his wife is having an affair. In order to do that, Saevius must return to the arena, training alongside the very men on whom he’s spying. Worse, he’s now under the command of Drusus, a notoriously cruel—and yet strangely intriguing—lanista.

         But Saevius’s ruse is the least of his worries. There’s more to the affair than a wife humiliating her prominent husband, and now Saevius is part of a dangerous game between dangerous men. He isn’t the only gladiator out to expose the Lady Verina’s transgressions, and her husband wants more than just the guilty man’s name.

         When Saevius learns the truth about the affair, he’s left with no choice but to betray one of his masters: one he’s come to fear, one he’s come to respect, and both of whom could have him killed without repercussion. For the first time in his life, the most dangerous place for this gladiator isn’t the arena.
 Click to view on Amazon: The Left Hand of Calvus

WARNING! This whole area probably contains spoilers because my thoughts are so confused about this book there is no way I can break everything up evenly into sections.

         This book surprised me. Looking back on the rating that I gave it on Goodreads I might have to change it because the more I think about this book the more stars I feel it earns.The book is really interesting especially when Saevius is put in the position of having to choose between masters. I mean from the synopsis we knew that that would happen, but when you see everything that he goes through while trying to pick between the two, and the moment he realizes that no matter what choice he makes it will probably lead to his death. And the hazing of the gladiators. I never really thought about it, but when you really think about it, of course it makes sense that there is hazing. With that many men, and their lives depending on who garners the most favor, I am surprised that they backed off of Saevius.

         But I do have to get to the most interesting character in the book, the one who put me off the book, but the more I think about him, the more he becomes my favorite character. That's right, I'm talking about Drusus. Oh, you thought I was talking about Calvus? Yeah, right.... but I'll get into that later. Drusus, man, I don't even know where to start. I am going to start with the fact that DRUSUS WAS BORN A GIRL! I was so pissed off when I found that out, I felt horrible betrayed by the author. The funny thing was, about halfway through the book I thought, wait a minute, and I went onto Goodreads to check and see if this book was on any strait or transgender romance lists. Because I was like, Drusus is a girl and that's why he won't take his armor off. But because it wasn't on any of those lists I thought I was imagining it. Now, before you get all up in arms and say I am intolerant, or something of the sort, let me say that the reason I was upset wasn't because Drusus was transgender, but because I felt the author tricked me, and not in a kind interesting way, because in the moment of the reveal i felt not only my doubt that the romance between Saevius and Drusus might not last because of this, but we are also shown Saevius' doubt. I felt it was too cruel to the characters.

         So I was super pissed off about it, and somehow managed to finish the book, which was pretty ambiguous about where the relationship will go, I mean they exchange kisses and such, but i kept wondering if it would be the same. Then after finishing the book, I thought, why wouldn't it? Drusus is male, in his thoughts and feeling and actions he is male, that is what is important, and that is what Saevius was attracted to, right? So they will be fine. But it just kept bothering and I couldn't put my finger on why until I thought about Kaeso. That is what left me feeling uneasy, it shouldn't have but it did. It was because L.A. Witt, forced me to face this strange combination of man and mother that Drusus was and for some reason it took a while for my mind to fully come to terms with that. I kept arguing with myself that a father would act the same towards a child, no parent wants their child to be abused. But the way that Witt wrote about Drusus' need to save the child seemed wildly maternal (at least it seemed this way to me). And then Saevius kept commenting on how Kaeso looked like Drusus, which felt like Witt was trying to force Drusus' femininity down my throat. It was hard for me to read and I really struggled to come to terms with it. But I kept thinking, this happens to people in real life, it's not just a dramatic move on the part of the author, a transgender man can have a child and that doesn't change anything. Well, now I have come to terms with it and that strange dichotomy makes Drusus such an interesting character that I cant stop thinking about him, and I like him more and more. He is definitely the shining star of this book.

         Now on to Calvus. What. A. Jerk. That being said, The title confused be at first, because I was sure that Drusus was the one that Saevius would come to respect but then I was like maybe he is going to reveal a side of Calvus that no one knows and I kept waiting for it, but it never happened. Calvus is in the book so little (though his shadow does hang over Saevius) that I felt it was a bit strange for his name to be in the title. I understand the reference to the left hand, how it is the evil hand and shouldn't be trusted. But, I don't know, I wish that it had a different name.

         I feel like I keep complaining about this book, but really I did enjoy it! I am still debating reading other books by Witt, I don't want another curveball thrown at me, though maybe I should look forward to that because sometimes I do get a little stuck in the formulaic plots of many romance novels. If you guys think I should continue of with the Warriors of Rome series let me know!


I give it a 3 out of 5 stars for now... It might go up the more I think about it! Don't be shy, though! Leave some comments, I would love to hear what you think!

8.21.2013

The Emperor's Wolf by J.C. Owens

         Something about ancient times always fascinates me, as does the idea of submission. And this seemed to combine the two, or I thought it did when I put it on my to-read list. But once I started reading it it was halfway between the two... kind of...
          The echoes of a war four years past still resounds in the minds of those who endured it.
         Jaden longs to search for his sister, though he is bound in the fetters of slavery. When he is given to the very man who conquered his country, he is caught up in his own hatred, yet fascinated by the mystery of his new master, the Emperor of Tranaden, who all say is demonic, without mercy. Trapped in the snare of his master’s beauty, Jaden begins to realize that there is much more beneath the surface...

         Dersai is Emperor to his fingertips, he is used to command and being obeyed. He will sacrifice anything to see his country safe. Beneath, he is well read, highly intelligent and far sighted in how he views others. Yet, Dersai has an inner demon, a demon that kept his kingdom free and safe from conquerors; only in his dreams can he imagine one strong enough to love him.
Now his slave may be the only one who can set him free.
 Click to View on Amazon: The Emperor's Wolf

         For some reason I got the impression that this book would be about ancient Rome, or something similar. And it kind of was, but it also kind of wasn't... at all. There are giant machines and curses and crazy legends in this one. And as far as submission goes, you could say that there is a kind of submission going on here, but not in the way people normally would think of it.

         Jaden is an interesting character, because he is presented to us as a tough dangerous man that many, in the harem he resides in, fear. But he has been horribly abused until he submits to this terrible lady, who in my opinion (and Jaden's as well) is totally disgusting. And she has some sort of strange obsession with him that I didn't understand, but it made me want to punch her in the throat. We go from there until he meets up with Dersai... at this point Jaden seems to have a total role reversal and becomes a very fragile and submissive man. I was confused about how I was supposed to view Jaden, because people kept referring to him as a wolf but we are shown a timid broken man. That being said, it doesn't mean I didn't like his character. I thought his vulnerability was really well done, I just thought it needed to be shown that he wasn't a wolf yet.

         Dersai scared me. When he was himself it was fine and I thought he was a real stand up guy, but when the demon took over he was horrible. Ugh, and when he killed those soldiers and started licking up their blood, that creeped me out more than anything. What I really liked about him was that while he was the more dominant partner in the relationship, he often times seemed more deeply vulnerable than Jaden did. Maybe it was because he knew how perilously he was holding on to his sanity, or maybe he was just more invested in the relationship from the start.

         They big fight at the end confused me. I don't understand why they both were keeping secret from each other like that, but at the same time I see why it happened, to show them both the strength of their relationship, but it just seemed like a tiny misunderstanding blown way out of proportion.


I liked it a lot! I wish there had been more plot thought. I give it 3 stars!

8.19.2013

The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

         Yay! First post back! This book showed up on a bunch of lists that I was looking at. I actually find myself getting lost in those lists, and can wander through them for hours, but This book just kept popping up and after deciding not to read it a couple of times I finally gave in.

         Detective Nicholas Valenti, tall, dark and stoic, has been best friends with his partner, Sean O'Brian for six years. The two men have seen each other through divorce, disaster, and danger, and saved each other's asses more times than Valenti can count. Exactly when he started seeing his blond, intense partner in another light, Valenti isn't really sure. He only knows that he wants O'Brian in a way that had nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with possession. It is a desire he will have to hide forever because O'Brian is undeniably straight. 
          Just as Valenti is coming to grips with his new, unacceptable feelings for his partner their police captain puts them on a new case that could blow Valenti's cover once and for all. He and O'Brian are going undercover at the country's largest and most infamous gay resort to bust a notorious drug lord and stop the shipments of poison cocaine that are flooding the gay bars all over the city. 
          Now Valenti will have to make a choice between friendship and desire. He and O'Brian will play the roles of gay men that will push the limits of their relationship to the breaking point. Will their time at the RamJack forge a new bond between them or destroy their partnership forever?
Click to View on Amazon: The Assignment

         The first thing that hit me about this book was the strange timing of it. This might just be because I never experienced them, but when the book said that this was set in the 80s I couldn't hold back a shudder. I thought, Oh dear, this is going to be painful and neon colored. But it turns out I was wrong and I don't think the story really even needed to tell us that it was set in the 80s. The story could have been something that happened today. I mean, I am assuming it could have, I haven never experienced anything that these characters went through but as far as the feelings of time and place, it felt very modern to me.

         I actually really liked the characters. It sometimes bothers me when characters are afraid of their sexuality, sometimes it just seems to contrived. And sometimes I just want to smack them until they get that being attracted to another man is not a bad things, but the struggle in this case felt pretty natural. O'Brian was so flirty and naturally physical that it never seemed forced between the two characters, even when it was forced on them. It was a bit of a "gay for you" story, as both the characters were very much interested in women until Valenti's divorce, but I have always thought that makes the story sweeter. Like they are so drawn to each other and so perfect for each other that something as little as orientation doesn't matter. So lovely.

         I felt that the whole "sleep with each other as blackmail" thing was a little forced. I understood it but it was predictable and I felt myself going, really? REALLY? But at the same time it did tear my heart apart a little because Valenti was so torn up about it, and he loved O'Brian so dearly and that made me tear up a bit when he started hating himself over it. And the chemistry between those two was sweet. As straight men they were so comfortable with each other that they were always touching, and I don't know about you guys, but my boyfriend rarely casually touched other guys, and if he does it is never more than for a few seconds... but they were ok with it and, it was great. The best part was when they were in the hotel and O'Brian finally saw his opening to get closer to Valenti. Ah it was so sneaky and sexy haha, though thinking about a pretty boy twink type with a bunch of chest hair was a bit difficult.


I  liked this book, it was a fun read and I should have read it sooner. I give it 3 stars!

Finally back!!

Hey guys,

I am finally back and am going to be able to start writing reviews again. I just finished with my summer school session (which was way more work than any classes I take during the school year) and For the next two weeks I am at home and don't have to work, so this should be a good time for me to catch up.

For those of you I promised reviews to: I am so sorry it took me so long to read/review them and I am going to do my best to get them up as soon as possible! they may not be the first ones up, because I have a ton of backed up books to get up, but they will definitely get up!

I also want to note that there will be a mild shift in genres that are reviewed on this blog. Still romance but there will definitely be a heavier load of M/M romance, I'm sorry if that makes any of you uncomfortable, but those are the books that have been on my bookshelves in the past couple months. That being said, that doesn't mean that that is all I will be posting about. There will still be plenty of other genres being posted, it just might lean a bit more heavily on M/M.

Thank you guys so so much for all of your patience!

7.14.2013

Summer School!

Hey guys. I would like to apologize for not posting over the last couple of months but I am going to try to be better about it.

I have been in summer school taking 4 classes and I started a new job, so between homework and work I haven't even had time to finish a book for myself. But I hope to make time soon, and I have a couple of great books that I want to write about and I just wanted to thank everyone for being so patient, including a couple of the authors I have talked to, you guys are great!!

Thanks
Kelsea

6.02.2013

Bloodraven by P.L. Nunn

         Hey, I'm trying to get caught up with school and stuff so it has been a while, but I am going to try my best to start catching up. This book that I am about to review I have seen on a lot of the lists on Goodreads that I have been skimming. I had it as a "to-read" for a while, but I read a lot of reviews saying that it was extremely violent and off putting so I was a little cautious of reading it. But I finally dug in my heels and started it.
         A son of a forest dwelling people, Yhalen knows little of the world outside the ancestral forest, until he is captured by a band of ogres on a slave-taking mission. Only grim tales of the barbaric giants had reached the forest, but Yhalen soon learns that even the darkest fireside story only hinted at the brutality of these Northern warriors. He discovers the meaning of true fear at their hands, and only the awakening of ancient magic saves him from destruction.

         Surviving ogre viciousness, he finds himself given to Bloodraven, the half ogre, half human war leader as a slave. Yhalen, refusing to bend, soon pays the price for offending prickly ogre pride.

         But Bloodraven is no mindless, violent ogrish beast. Bloodraven has an agenda and Yhalen finds himself drawn in the wake into human and ogre politics, into bloodshed and cruelty and into the forbidden magic that is damnation in the eyes of his own people, but which might mean the difference between death and salvation.
This book is available on Lulu.com
         This book was interesting... It was extremely graphic. There were many many many violent scenes that made my stomach turn. Poor Yhalen went through so much and still he had spirit. That was something that pissed me off though. Not the part about Yhalen having spirit, because I was so happy he anaged to struggle through it all, but that people kept telling him that he couldn't imagine the abuse that human slaves of ogres went through, and I was like YES HE CAN!! And even after he told Bloodraven about it Bloodraven kept telling him to lay low because he couldnt imagine the trauma of being tortured by ogres.  It made me so mad.

         I think there was a lot of miscommunication between the characters, but somehow despite all of that they got along extremely well. Even though Yhalen was forced into the relationship and he was extremely prideful, they still managed to find a balance that didn't cause too many problems. I thought that was a really amazing thing to have because it stopped things in the relationship from getting too dramatic. I like drama, but sometimes in forced relationships it gets too extreme for me.

         This was a very long book. I am not entirely sure how I felt about that because I thought the characters were incredibly interesting, but I also at times was thinking, man how much longer is there. There is also the fact that the least expensive version of this book was in PDF form, which for some reason made the book feel even longer than it already was. I did love the story though, with the violence aside, I thought it was a really touching story about how they found common ground and began to build a friendship and relationship off of it. Sure, Bloodraven was really pushy about sex, but he was always worried about Yhalen's well being and was always trying to think of ways to make life easier for Yhalen.

         I really liked the character Bloodraven. I feel like we learned more about Yhalen, because he went through the most brutal trials, but I wish that we had gotten to learn more about Bloodraven's life. When he was disowned by one of his only real friends I thought I was going to try, but at the same time i kept thinking it was worth it because Yhalen always ended up putting Bloodraven first, while Bloodraven's ogre friends never really cared about him that way. I liked Bloodraven's personality, how he thought Yhalen was amusing and didn't want to break him, how he seemed to care about who was hurt by his actions and how responsible he was. It was a wonder that he turned out to be such a caring person when he was raised among the ogres. I thought one of the most touching scenes was when he was trying to get Yhalen to use his magic and kept telling him to make the dog attack him, and Yhalen said he couldn't because the dog loved Bloodraven. And Bloodraven was floored because love isn't a concept known in ogre life, and Bloodraven mourns the fact that they will never know love.

         I really loved these characters and the story and I really love how they ended up so happy but I loved the most how Yhalen got revenge in the end. Ogres treated humans like trash and brutalized them, tore them apart and laughed at it, and then they just came across the wrong human, and when they tortured him, he snapped and then they got a taste of their own medicine and they hated it. And so I hope that in this world the humans are safe from the ogres in the future.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars
I love it when you guys rate and comment, so go crazy :)


5.06.2013

Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen, #1) by Rachel Haimowitz

         It has been awhile people :) I was busy with finals and moving back home for the summer, but now I am back and I have a really good book for all of you guys. May I present: Counterpoint!
         It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a dark race, the human kingdoms and their ancient alliance stand on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.

         Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.

And then the two collide.

         Ayden's life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he's captured in battle, he must for his sister's sake swallow his pride and endure slavery in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr.

         Freyrik's always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Can his life of service to his people leave room for this attraction? Dancing on a dagger's edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.

         Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance and their love.
Click to view on Amazon: Counterpoint
         I really liked this book, I was looking for something to read on the plane on the way back home from Boston and just picked this one off of a list on good reads. I like m/m romance, and this one seemed really unique and it turned out that it was really amazing.

         One of the big things that I liked about this book was the whole concept of the song, and how everything has its own song and I liked how the elves were able to tune into it to understand the world. I think it was really beautiful when Ayden started readings Freyrik's song. I think it really added to their relationship.

         I think it is safe to say that they fall in love, I don't really think that I am giving anything away, but I think it was a really beautiful love story. Ayden was so proud, but the more time he spent with Freyrik the more he realized that his pride was getting in the way of his possible happiness. I also loved how once he started liking Freyrik he viewed him as the only good human and that enabled him to put aside his pride in order to ebrace his growing love for Freyrik. There are so many good points in this book. I think Ayden was definitely my favorite character. I liked Freyrik, but sometimes he seemed too good and kind. Ayden had more flaws and was hilarious with his sarcasm and hatred of authority. But you could tell that he really was a very caring person, of course never towards humans, but towards animals and elves.

         I think some of the worst (parts that made my heart drop... so good parts?) parts of the book were when people discriminated against Ayden. Like when Kora was constantly ordering him to be beaten and how the people always wanted him whipped or imprisoned and Freyrik couldn't really do anything to stop it. And how as the book went on Ayden grew as a person and realized the limits of Freyriks power (and his own) and was at peace with his situation in a way he hadn't thought he would be able to be before.

         I felt that their love was very believable and because it too so long to blossom it seemed really genuine. Freyrik obviously fell in lust with Ayden at first sight, but he didn't get to love who Ayden  was until later. And it really sweet to see them start to slowly open up to each other and trust each other enough to have a relationship, but once they got to that point their bond was so strong it was really beautiful. It made me want to jump into the book and actually see them.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. You should really go read it.
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4.22.2013

Daemon Whisperer by Candice Bundy

         Hey guys! Sorry that I have been out of touch for a while. It was my birthday and then I was sick and then this week there was the bombings in Boston and my school was locked down. So I haven't really had time to write reviews, but I am going to get on that now.

         I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. When I saw this book I just knew it was going to be awesome, I just didn't realize how awesome. I like demons, I like supernatural beings, is what I should actually say... Give me everything but a human. Just kidding humans are pretty great too. But the demons in this book were totally unique.
         Meriwether Storm discovered the grisly remains of her parents when she was only fourteen—the result of a failed daemon summoning. Meri immediately swore vengeance on the daemon who'd killed her parents, but there was only one problem: she had no idea which one had committed the atrocity. Before their untimely deaths, her parents trained her intensively in the arts, which Meri used to follow in their footsteps, ever seeking the daemon's name. Now, despite her years of searching, she's no closer to the truth and her time is running out.

         When a mysterious daemon named Azimuth offers Meri a deadly summoning in exchange for information about her parents’ murderer, she takes it immediately and without intimidation. What does worry her is her attraction to Azimuth: when he touches Meri, her pulse races and she breathlessly awaits the feel of his lips upon her skin. Meri knows she should keep him at arm's length, but her traitorous thoughts obsess over him night and day.

         Blinded by her desperation for the truth and her desire for Azimuth, Meri places her trust in the creatures who are her sworn enemy, jeopardizing her need for vengeance. After Meri discovers there's more to the deal than the daemon cabal first promised, can she accept all they have to offer?

         When retribution is the only thing that drives you, how much are you willing to sacrifice before you lose yourself to the cause?
Click to view on Amazon: The Daemon Whisperer
          I really liked this book. It had a gritty quality that I really enjoyed. I always like those deteriorating civilization stories and this was right up that alley, with an oppressive government, and deamons slaughtering people.

          I liked Meri, she was a really tough character. She had to be that way in order to survive in the world she lived in, but I also liked seeing the more vulnerable human part of her at times, like when she wanted to stop and help the fools who thought that they could properly summon daemons, she didn't though. I think the only thing that frustrated me was her determination to find her parent's killer. I mean, I totally understand wanting to do that, but at the same time I felt like it was destroying her and later we find out that that really is the case.

          I liked Azimuth, not only how he looked, but I loved his interactions with her, especially later in the book, when he is the only one who has faith in her. I like these two characters together, I think they play well off each other and I really want to read more about them.

          I thought the coolest part of this story was how Candice Bundy created the summoning aspect of it all. I thought the tattoos were awesome, and I haven't read any other books that have anything like that. I also really liked how they were able to absorb the daemons that they killed. I thought it was a little convenient that Meri absorbed some really powerful daemons and was able to handle them so well, but I am glad she did.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I just want more!!! I give it a 5 out of 5!

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4.01.2013

Servant of the Gods by Valerie Douglas

          I have always loved anything Ancient Egyptian, and when I saw this book on Amazon I thought I would give it a try. And man, this book to me on a roller coaster ride. I couldn't stop reading. I am really glad that I picked it up.
         Orphaned as a child, Irisi became a mercenary to survive.
          Captured by the Egyptian army and made the spoils of war, she finds herself drawn to their commander. Though the attraction is mutual even he can't save her from enslavement and she's forced to fight in the ring for entertainment.
         In a desperate attempt to regain her freedom she throws herself on the mercy of the Gods, only to discover that her fate is written in prophecy...
Click to View on Amazon: Servant of the Gods

         So this book is set 3,000 to 4,000 years in the past, in Ancient Egypt . It follows the story of Irisi, the High Priestess of HIsis. The opening scene.... the opening scene is of Irisi being mummified alive. I didnt know that was possible, and it was horrifying to think about, and sounds extremely painful. And then Irisi must say goodbye to her love, Khai, the only surviving general of the Egyptian army. The story then goes back to the beginning where you learn how Irisi and Khai met and what happened in between that moment and the mummification.

So there will be a lot of spoilers ahead. So, go read the book now if you don't want anything ruined.

         I really loved this book and I cried reading it, at the beginning and the end (it was really awkward too, because I was reading it during one of my classes). This book is an amazing mix of history, ancient religion, culture, and magic. I think that the author does a splendid job of not only showing us details of the life of Egyptians, but also a peek into their religion and how powerful it was to them. Some of my favorite scenes were those that took place between the priests. I also thought Kamenwati was super creepy.

         The only think that detracted from the story was the obvious plot. I thought it was unique that we know how the story "ends", but the rest of the plot was pretty predictable. Kamenwati was very obviously the bad guy, there is no thinking needed to figure that out. And a sad plot point, that I can't hold against Douglas because this tore me apart emotionally (yay, we all know how much I love that), was that we know that no matter how great the love story is, Irisi will not end up with Khai, she will instead be mummified. I cried like a baby. So I guess I am saying I liked knowing she was going to be mummified, but I wanted a little more secrecy surrounding who the bad guy was.

         Now, the Djinn, these things were really cool (evil) creatures that were kind of confusing/fascinating. They were like the ancient version of zombies, vampires, and werewolves. I was confused about them being called djinn because I always thought djinn were a part of Indian/Asian religion. But the djinn were terrifying and I am not sure why they were so much stronger than the chosen of the other gods. (the Djinn belonged to Set.)

         Something else that was confusing was the ethnicity of Irisi. She came from the north and she was very fair. The druids helped raise her and taught her some magic. She also incorporated Celtic knots into the protective charm necklace that she gave to Khai. So, she is from some Celtic place (Wales) so how did that happen? How did she end up in Egypt. I didn't know the Celts were raiding during that time period, I thought it was later in Egypt's history that that happened. That being said. I liked how different she was. I thought it added to her character.

         I just want to touch really quick on the lions that Sekhmet gave to her. They were so great, and it really broke my heart when the priests and priestesses decided to put them in the tomb with Irisi, to keep her company. They were turned into statues that would come to life when she called to them. It just made me start crying that they were so loyal they were willing to face eternity in a tomb with her, and then there was the fact that they would be her only company while everyone she had known would die and she wouldn't.

         As for the end, ugh, my heart hurts just thinking about it. Irisi was put in that tiny stele and was closed into the tomb, and Khai was expected to just be okay with it and walk away. I would never have been able to walk away. And the only time Irisi could come out was when someone was trying to break into the tomb, and even then she came out only to kill them before she had to go back into the dark. But!!! I was so mad when I read that Khai had had children. I understand that the woman he had children with was mourning her husband just as much as he mourned Irisi. And I get that he wanted to be a father, but he could have been a father with just one child! But he chose to have 4!!! I was a little skeptical and super pissed about that. Having read the second book I understand why he had to have children, but still, it made me want to punch something. That being said, it was really touching and heartbreaking how in every statue of himself he left an empty beside him where she should have been. And how he chose to put his tomb next to hers so that he could protect her from the afterlife. I literally wept when Irisi felt him die and then move on to the afterlife and she couldn't follow him. It was also sad how she felt so detached about it as well, and how she started to forget who she was and was trapped there forever in the dark. But there is a ray of light! She wakes up and confronts a tomb robber and starts on a new journey.

I give this a 4 out of 5 stars for some of the inconsistencies. But I really loved it and I will get the next book up soon :)

3.29.2013

Concubine by Jill Knowles

         This is another one of those books that I always passed over... Maybe it was because for a while I wasn't into the whole M/M thing, and sometimes I get tired of the BDSM thing too. But I was, once again, an idiot for skipping over this book. I really liked it! Which is surprising because dubious consent romance usually makes me a bit uncomfortable. Though I ended up looking upon this book as more of an arranged marriage kind of thing.
         Scholar, captain...war prize. Prince Kael of Korai is stunned when his father gives him to an enemy warlord in a desperate attempt to salvage Korai's reputation. With his country's honor at stake, Kael resolves to submit to Warlord Taren's every debauched whim.

         But life in Zandria isn't anything like what Kael imagined. Instead of pain and cruelty, Warlord Taren seduces Kael until the bewildered prince craves his Master's every intimate caress. As he sinks into the decadent, sensual life of a concubine, Kael makes a powerful enemy, one who wants him removed from Zandria by any means necessary. Betrayed by his body, trapped by his honor, Kael must learn to trust his Master or get them both killed.
Click to View on Amazon: Concubine
         The first thing that I want to say about this book is that I thought that Taren was really sexy. Not only did he have cool scales, but they were purple, which is my absolute favorite color, so I was inclined to like him right off the bat. I thought Kael was a little whiney and at first I was annoyed but then I reminded myself of the situation he was in and decided he deserved to be  whiney. It wasn't his choice to be a concubine, especially to another male. He deserved to be upset.

         I think that Knowles showcased a very interesting psychological struggle within Kael. He had to struggle with not wanting to submit to another man, his disgust with himself  for being interested in Taren, his fear of what was to come, and his need to preserve the honor of his country by giving in. I do think it is endearing how he likes being with Taren, and I think that Taren is amazing at handling the situation and doing his best to make Kael comfortable about adjusting into his new role in life.

Spoilers ahead! Beware! Go read the book then come back!

         I like how they ended up mating, but I didn't understand why the whole guild was dying to Taren as a customer. From what he said he never was interested in using the guild and he never enjoyed it, so I don't understand why they claimed that they were losing such a great customer. I also didn't like that Taren's past lover worked so close with him and that he tried to pursue a relationship with Taren even after he was obviously interested in Kael.

         I thought that the mastermind behind everything was a pretty good twist. I did not expect Mendon to be the killer. I didn't like him at first but then when he obviously disliked Taren's past lover as much as I did he began to grow on me, and he seemed to warm up to Kael so it really came as a surprise to me when he turned out to be the one behind everything. Or maybe I was just so wrapped up in the relationship between Taren and Kael that I might have missed some clues that Mendon was behind it all.

         I love how the beast within Taren recognized  Kael right away and that in giving into the beast and the man, Kael was freed from his own doubts and he was able to fully embrace the relationship. It was really steamy too, some very very sexual scenes, so it is not a book for the faint of heart. i give it a 4 out of 5 stars!

3.27.2013

Duck! by Kim Dare

         I always saw this book in a bunch of the Goodreads lists that I go through and I was always wary of it because of the exclamation point in the name. And looking back I think that is the silliest reason ever not to read a book. But I finally did read it, and man, I wish that I had read it sooner! it was amazing and this is a book that I definitely want to read again.
         A modern day M/M, BDSM retelling of The Ugly Ducking Fairy Tale using avian shifters.

         Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.

         But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.

         Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
Click to view on Amazon: Duck!
         I was surprised at how good this book was. Lately I think the BDSM thing has been over played, maybe it is because of the craze of 50 Shades of Grey, but sometimes it just gets a bit crazy. But that being said this book was great!! Maybe it is because I tend to be a very timid person that I loved Ori so much. I just thought he was very endearing, I do wish that he had a bit more of a personality outside of worshiping his "master", but Ori was very sweet so I guess that made up for it.

         I liked Ryland, and I really liked how he thought that Ori deserved respect no matter what. I also thought he was a really caring Dom, I feel like there are a lot of books out there where the Dom is less than nice to the sub, but in this one I could see the love between the two of them.

Spoilers ahead! Read the book then come back!

         Of course we knew from the start the Ori would end up being a Swan, something that confused me though was the fact that the hierarchy between the birds was based on who was the strongest, who was the most predatory, but swans are not like that at all and yet they are at the top of the chain. Also, Swans in real life are kind of mean so I was a bit confused as to why they would be so nice in this book. I am not complaining about that, I liked how gentle Ori was, I just thought it was a bit confusing.

         One of my favorite parts of the story was when Ori fell while cleaning the cabinet in the dining room, and was really hurt. Ryland came home and lost it, and that was the first time we had an inkling that Ori was more to him than a sexual partner. And I liked the punishment that Ryland gave to him, because I feel like in most BDSM books the sub would have been physically punished, which usually turns into pleasure, but Ori was punished psychologically and he got no pleasure out of it and I think it was such an appropriate punishment because Ryland was so scared.

         I was so pissed though at how Ryland behaved after he found out what Ori was. I felt it was a little out of character because he had been so supportive and accepting of everything that Ori was, so it didn't make sense to me that he would all of a sudden switch directions and abandon him. I understand that he thought that everything he was doing was for the best because a swan was above him in rank so there was no way Ori could be his sub, but man it made me mad. Especially when it was obvious that Ori was really suffering while he was away from Ryland. I just thought that was a dumb thing for Ryland to do.

         This was my first time reading a book written by Kim Dare, and I really really loved it. I love her writing style and I love how she puts the characters into the roles that they are suppossed to say. Something I realy love is how natural she make submission seem. In a lot of books I have read the subs alwaysstruggle to submit and have to be convinced that that is what they want, but what I have read in this book and other books by Kim Dare she just has the characters fall into it in such an easy natural way, and it really is exciting to read, because then we get to see more of the actualy interactions between and Dom and a sub instead of that weird inbetween period where the sub doesnt want to give in.

I really liked this book and it made me go back and read more of her books! I give it a 5 out of 5 stars :)

3.25.2013

Dragon Fate (War of the Blades) by J.D. Hallowell

         I received a copy of this boon in exchange for my honest review. I have a thing for dragons.... not in the hot sexy way, but in the fascinating way. I really think they are cool and o love reading about them. So when I saw this book, I wanted to read it right away.
         Dragon Fate, the first book in J.D. Hallowell's War of the Blades series, is a heroic fantasy adventure in the classic tradition of the genre.

         Delno Okonan is a young former soldier eager to put the swords and strife of war behind him, when a chance encounter leaves him inextricably entwined in a tangled web of dragons, magic, and intrigue, as he struggles to find his place among dragons and men, and stave off a plot by renegade dragon riders that threatens all he now holds dear.
Click to view on Amazon: Dragon Fate
         I was really excited about reading this book but the more that I read it the less it seemed like what I thought it was going to be like. I thought it was going to be a tale of a man and a dragon struggling to learn each other and their new life together, but it turned out differently than that. Delno just totally accepted everything, from finding a dragon to raising a baby dragon, to being at war, and becoming a military leader. I just thought it was a little unbelievable that he would just adjust to all of these things right away. And as much as I liked all the things that Delno did on the trail I thought a lot of time was spent dwelling over mundane things that Delno did. In the beginning I had a hard time liking Delno, even though I really wanted to, because he seemed kind of air-headed, but too perfect at the same time.

         There were a lot of things I liked though. I really liked the deep bond that Geneva and Delno had and I liked all of his talents while camping, from cooking to carving. I did like his leadership skills, but I thought it was weird that everyone would automatically defer to him, even if he had the air of a leader, he was extremely new to the whole dragon thing.

         This book actually really made me think of the Temeraire series by Naoimi Novik. or maybe that is what it made want it to be. I was just expecting something deeper. It was like a weird insta-love between Geneva and Delno that made me kind of uncomfortable. I know I said I liked the bond, and I did, but i felt the bond started in a place that should have taken months or even years to get to.

         I liked the elves and I liked the weird half animal creatures that were killing everyone. And I think one of my favorite things was the dream-scape that all the dragon's can go to to talk when they get lonely. And I thought how the Dragon mother can gift a sword made out of the shell of a dragon egg to a new rider, was a really cool and original idea. And the more I read the book the more I liked it and I did end up getting pretty invested in the story and wanted to read more, so  I am going to see if I can get Dragon Blade (which is the second book in the series) and see how the story goes. I'll give this book a 3 out of 5.

3.18.2013

Healer's Touch by Deb E. Howell

         I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. It has been a while since I rated a book 5 stars for more than the fact that I liked the story. Sometimes I feel like I cheat when rating books, because I feel like there should be a lot of factors that go into a rating: style of writing, characters, plot, world building... And sometimes I cheat if I really love the idea of a story I tend to let the rest slide, but I have to say Healer's Touch was definitely a truly well earned 5.
         For Llew, a young pickpocket who lives on the streets of a Wild-West mining town, the real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a young girl to her wedding to let her travel with them across the badlands.
          On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits, and the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer.
         One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to 'kill the unkillable'; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.
Click to view the book on Amazon: Healer's Touch
 
         To start off, I requested this book because it seemed like wild west adventure. Which is something I have never read, though the wild west does appeal to me. Then I started the book and it was a wild westish fantasy world. I was so excited, because I love new worlds and this one just seemed really cool with the Karans and the Aenuks. I think it would be scary to belong to either of those races and I thought it was really brilliant of Howell to create these species.

There are going to be tons of spoilers ahead, so either go read it or ignore this and read on.

         I also really likes Jonas and Llew, I liked them together and apart. Though I was really surprised when we found out that Jonas had a bunch of kids around... He seemed young to me, and so it really surprised me. I do like how these two enemies fell for each other. It made me think of how opposites attract and I just wanted to see more and more interactions between them. I wanted to know more of his past, though it made me really uncomfortable to learn about his wife and I was definitely with Llew on that one. I was sad he had lost them, but I was happy at the same time because otherwise he would not have met Llew.

         Also, at first I really liked Aris, I thought he was really kind to take in Llew, but then the more I learned about him the less and less I liked him. First off he was extremely hypocrtical telling Llew on the boat not to save anyone no matter what, but when his (maybe) lover almost died he told her to heal. And ugh what pissed me off most was that he didn't want Llew to sleep with Jonas because she wasn't a Karan. I hated that he was just using Jonas as a breeder, and I am a bit scared that jonas might not be able to say no to him even though he and Llew are together now and having a baby (yay! you know how much I love it when characters have babies). I know I seem like I am complaining, but I am not. It is a good thing that the characters make me feel this way, because it means they are like real people and are well formed characters.

         Something that did make me uncomfortable though is the fact that every guy seemed to think Llew was super hot when she dressed as a girl. I thought that was a bit weird since Llew even said she was taller and broader than most girls, and I am not sure if they fell for her because she was an available girl or because she was that beautiful. I am not sure, but I didn't like that Alvaro fell for her like that and how he got so weird about it later in the book. One thing that made me mad, but that I also think was very believable was how when Cassidy died Alvaro flipped out and blamed Llew for letting him die because she wanted to save Jonas instead. It made me mad because she was trying to save Cassidy and couldn't bring him back if he had been dead too long, and she was trying to save as many people as possible. But I was willing to forgive Alvaro for this because grief can make people act in horrible way, though I feel like Llew made an enemy for herself. And saying that I do kind of feel that Alvaro might be a bit right. Llew could have just healed Cassidy and let Jonas die, but she couldn't live without him, so instead of doing that she risked them both dying.

         I thought Braph was an interesting character. It was hard to tell whether he was just a crazy psychopath, or if he had been normal at some point and that the horrible things that happened in his life made him into such a monster. I think that he most have feelings somewhere because he feels guilt and remorse at certain points in the book. And then when it came to the crystals we find out that they are addictive, so maybe he was normal and then started experimenting with the crystals and that made him crazy. But in order to get the first crystals he would have had to torture Llew's mother and a sane person would never do that. I am hoping we will learn more about him at some point if there is a second book, and while I don't like him and want him dead, I think he is very scary and interesting.

          I just have to say that I really loved Anya I thought she was really funny and really helped Llew sometimes with insight into the females world (This was mostly later in the book)

          I really really loved this book, and I was actually kind of pissed when it ended because I wanted to know more! I want to see more of that world and the characters, I feel invested in their lives. And I really hope that Deb is coming out with a sequel. I will be waiting with baited breath! loved it! 5 out of 5.

3.12.2013

When Angels Fall by Stephanie Jackson

         I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. When I saw this book I knew that I had to read it. I have thing for angels and This book seemed to really fit the bill.
          Danielle Coulter had never believed in anything except her mother, hard work and heartache. She never had time for religious fairy tales. But when her mother died, Dani was forced to believe…or die. Not only was she forced to accept that God and Lucifer are real, but also that she is the last living descent of God on Earth. An undeniable fact when the Archangel Gabriel fell to Earth to protect her.

         Archangel Gabriel; banished from Heaven over four million years ago for refusing to kill his brother, Lucifer, was about to get a second chance to re-enter Heaven. He was sent to Earth on a mission from his Father to protect the last Daughter of God; the last woman to carry the Blood of God on Earth, and kill his brother, once and for all. Gabriel had never expected to feel anything for Dani, but he soon found himself willing to fight Heaven and Hell to keep her safe, even if it meant his own destruction.
Click to view the book on Amazon: When Angels Fall
         I think one of my favorite aspects of this story was how sassy Dani was. It was so funny at times that I was literally laughing out loud, which drove my boyfriend crazy. She always had something to say about everything, and Gabriel never knew how to take it and it was just great.

         Something else that I liked was the relationship between Michael and Gabriel. I know they are brothers, but sometimes when I think of archangels it is hard for me to imagine them being close. We, or maybe this is something only I do, always think of archangels as very stoic and very much above human emotion. That was not how they were in this book and I really loved it. I love how there is this horrible sibling rivalry between Gabriel and Raphael, and I actually wish that I got to see more interaction between the two of them. And something that I really liked was when Michael and Gabriel had that talk about how Michael had loved a human woman before and how it came down to a choice between the human and heaven. I thought that was a really touching conversation, because it showed me a side to angels that I had never known, and that angels can be just as selfish as humans.

Okay, there might be some spoilers ahead, so go read it! Or if you don't mind, read on!

         Something I wasn't sure about was the speed of the romance. I do love insta-love, but this was not instant love but it happened pretty fast. It was a weird length, if it wasn't going to be insta-love then I wanted a bit more of a "getting to know each other romance" faze. But besides that I thought their relationship was pretty good for falling so fast. I also loved how Gabriel defied God in order to be with Dani. It was really perfect.

         And all the bad ass fighting, I loved that. I also loved how we got to see all these different kinds of angels. I have always been a bit confused the the hierarchy of angels, but it was definitely nice to see more angels than just the powerful archangels. I also liked it that even the archangels had a hierarchy of their own. One thing with the angels that I was confused about though was the fact that God didn't kill Lucifer because he didn't to kill one of his sons. But he sent Gabriel to kill Satan, meaning he was sending one of his sons to their death, so he was basically killing his son. Dani pointed this out too, and I wish that was somehow addressed or at least explained to Dani.

         I am really hoping that Michael will have a book. And I have to say I always love a book where the couple has a baby at the end. I know this might sound dumb to say it, but I feel like when that happens in a book it is showing the ultimate love between the couple.

         It was a great book :) I really liked it I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. Now I want to read Stephanie Jackson's other books :)

3.04.2013

Obsidian Souls by Donna Augustine

         I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Phew, For some reason writing that part always stresses me out, haha. I know I have been absent for a while and I am getting back into the swing of things and I couldn't pass on the opportunity to review Obsidian Souls. First off, I really like the name, it caught my attention right away, and I was so glad, because I was starting to get tired of my kindle library being filled with embarrassingly corny romance titles. Secondly, I haven't had much interaction with the Donna Augustine, just a short email conversation, but she seems really sweet, which just made me even more excited to read this book.
         When innocent botanist Alexandria is attacked on a cold winter night, she believes it is nothing more than bad luck. She never suspects that her attacker is not human, and that Caden, her white knight, would be more of the dark and brooding variety and as scary as the thug he’s saving her from.
         Now strange beings are stalking her every move and she does not know why. The cops are turning a blind eye, and she has nowhere left to turn but to Caden. He’s willing to help, but he is short on answers and his motivations are not the purest. If she does not find answers soon, her life as she knows it is over. But is she prepared for the truth she finds?
Click to view the book on Amazon: Obsidian Souls

         I was really excited to read this book, because I wanted to know what sort of paranormal being Alexandria would find herself up against. I probably should have guessed something demonic based of the cover, but that totally went over my head, haha.  And I really do love a brooding hero. On that note, I am going to go pretty in depth in this review so...

Go read the book (do it!) then come back and read the rest of this, or if you don't mind spoilers, carry on.

         Caden is hot, all broody and bossy. But he stuck so true to that I wanted to see more of him, I wanted something to really get under his skin. Alexandria, or Lex, got under my skin a couple of times. I am not saying that is a bad thing. I think it is a good thing because it shows that she isn't a perfect character. But sometimes I just wanted to smack the girl and tell her to swallow her pride.

         Now, I really like the idea of this story. And how the Demons can corrupt unborn children and create this new race called Drauths, but I started getting a bit confused about Lex. She was not a corrupted fetus, her biological father was a Demon, so she should have been some half breed thing, but then you find out that there is something more than that in her blood line. And Jack, her father who is also known as Lucifer, says there has never been a creature like her, that she is the first. But earlier in the book the leprechaun they met up with told them that he had met someone like her before. That whole string in the plot confused me a bit, but I want to know more so I hope it gets explained a little more in the next book (which comes out this year! yay, I won't have to wait too long, haha).

         Something else I really wanted to see more of was the romance between Caden and Lex. I could definitely see the chemistry and I could obviously see that Lex was attracted to him, but I wanted to see more of the romance forming. It kinda felt like they went from being attracted and barely able to tolerate each other to right away in love. I do understand that life and death situations can shock you into admitting things about yourself that you wouldn't other wise want to look at, but I just wanted to see more of it. I didn't see many personal conversations between them that didn't have to do with the battle they were fighting. And then Tamara was there and she totally pissed me off. Which was good, I always love a good rival. Though, I wish she had been more of a rival, while at the same time I was glad it was obvious she had no chance. I think a lot of my issues could have been cleared up if there were more chapters from Caden's point of view. I always wanted to know what he was thinking and I thought it was a little weird that in the beginning we could read from his side of the story but then we only read from Lex's as the story went on.

         Something else I was curious about was why Rufus was so worked up about hating Caden. I wanted to know why they all had been fighting for so long, what had caused it? Why did some of the Drauths become crazy violent killers and rapists like Carl, while others were honorable like Mike.

         I think that Donna (ah! I hope she is okay with me calling her that) did a really amazing job though with the details in this story. I think it took a lot of creativity to come up with a new spin on the paranormal and I definitely enjoyed the splashes of humor throughout the story. Especially the fact that God was an paranoid guy with OCD named Frank. I really enjoyed the book :) I hope that the next book in the series continues the love story between Lex and Caden (I kind of want her to have his demon babies) but I would be totally okay with reading about Mike too. I give this book a 3 out of 5 just because I wanted to many details that I felt weren't there. Maybe I am being impatient and jumping the gun, maybe it will all be explained in book 2. Good job Donna :)

2.25.2013

Broken Boundaries by Evangeline Anderson

         Yay! I'm back. It is kind of sad how long I have been gone. But first I was on vacation, then school started, then I got sick, and then time just seemed to slip away from me. So, today I was sitting in one of my boring lit classes and realized that I hadn't posted in a while and that it was time to fix that.

         I know that while I have reviewed some YA books on here, a lot of the books I review are romance and usually erotic (which is why it is kinda weird that my grandma insisted that I give her the url to my blog) and lately I have been exploring some strange categories of those genres. There will be many interesting reviews to come from gay love (which isn't that weird no matter what my boyfriend says) to sex with a spider. All to come soon. But I have rambled on enough about that, and now it is time to get to today's review! Yay! So, here is Broken Boundaries!

         Chaz is the youngest recruit the Academy has ever seen. Godlike reflexes and hawk eyes make him a natural gunner assigned to fly the futuristic ship with technology so advanced it’s still classified. But it takes a two-man crew and Chaz, the lone wolf, must have a partner.
         On his first day he meets Ferron, the most dangerous man at the Academy. The ice blue eyes and scarred face of the older cadet aren’t enough to scare Chaz. Nor are the rumors that Ferron killed his last partner. But when he finds out they are to be a team, his anxiety starts to mount.
         Tension climbs to a breaking point when Ferron informs him that in order to fly the Needle he and Chaz must have their bodies pressed together in a dance of sensual intimacy that makes the sexually straight Chaz angry and uncomfortable.
         Ferron must master Chaz completely and break down his physical and emotional boundaries. The only thing that will keep them alive is their partnership—any space between them means certain death.
Click to view the book on Amazon: Broken Boundaries
 
         I liked the concept of this story a lot, in a weird way I can see how it would make sense to be extremely physically and emotionally close to your flight partner in a situation like battle, but I can also understand how it could freak new recruits out, especially male recruits. I just feel like men, young men, who consider themselves straight are very freaked out by anything even remotely homoerotic.

         I really liked Ferron, he was quite believable to me, but I was beyond annoyed by Chaz. First off what kind of name is Chaz? It sounds like cheese, and it doesn't really lend much confidence in his intelligence. And he is apparently a really smart guy... but he such a jerk. He was the one who wanted to become a needle gunner more than anything, enough to leave his family behind and give up a full ride to a good school. I feel like if you want it that badly, you just suck it up and deal with what your mentor tells you to do. Maybe that is just me. I guess if I was in his situation I would be a little uncomfortable being all hot and heavy with another girl, but I wouldn't fight against it as much as he had, especially if I had spent most of my life dreaming about being a needle gunner. But, guys must be more skittish about stuff like that because it threatens their manhood, or something.

         Another thing that bothered me was the slutty, super effeminate gay competition. I guess in hetero books there are usually slutty female characters, but this guy was ridiculous, talking about taking it up the ass all the time and how everyone wanted him... I don't know, it drove me crazy, maybe because I have never met someone, male or female, who acted like that. Are there even real people in the world who are like that?

         But those things aside, I actually thought that it was a very realistic love story, in the sense that I think these characters actually got to know each other on a level that allowed for them to be comfortable with each other and their sexuality. On a side note: wtf was up with those lobster monsters? And how did they blow up the ship in a maneuver that had killed the previous pilot who tried it. Where the lobsters that stupid that they would fall for it again? And after being gone for decades, why did they decide to come back right then. I understand the lobsters were a tool to further the plot but it seemed pretty obvious that she was just using the aliens to get Chaz and Ferron to have sex.

         I liked it, and I hope to find other good m/m stories in the future to write about. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. Again, I am so sorry it has been so long since I have posted, I am going to try my best to catch up, I have midterms and then spring break so hopefully I can catch up then.