Monday, May 30, 2011

Chelsea Cain--The Night Season

Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one of today’s most talented suspense writers. — With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water—she didn’t drown. A little detective work shows that so far three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people.

{4.5 stars}

Loved it!! I know I'm in the minority on this one, everyone was expecting more Gretchen Lowell action like the first 3 novels. But she is still in prison. So the series trudges on with Archie and Susan, my favorite characters anyway, they are a great duo. It appears that people are drowning in the massive floods hitting Portland, but it's really murder. The flooding and the added mystery of a missing kid adds the perfect backdrop of urgency. All the while the killer has invented a whole new way to kill people. You think that the Vanport story Susan wrote has nothing to do with the murders, but it all ties in at the end. Susan and Archie face death, several times, again, but they always manage to save each other. I don't know if I want them to ever truly wind up together, because the relationship they have now seems to work for them. This story can stand alone without having read the first 3, but I suggest starting with Heartsick. Chelsea Cain is a great writer and I was hooked from the first word, she has an interesting take on killers. It's definitely not your usual murder mystery.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Amanda Stevens--The Restorer (Graveyard Queen series)

My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

{4.5 stars}
Captivating story, it completely hooked me. I have always been a fan of Amanda Stevens, and she does not disappoint with this book. Amelia Gray is a great character with an intriguing story and an even more intriguing ability to see ghosts. Devlin is a great brooding lead character, and his ghosts add a great layer to the story. The Deep South Charleston history was an excellent backdrop for this drama to play out in, it added a great amount of Old World mystery. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I will say that just when I thought I had it figured out, I was thrown for a loop. This murder mystery had so many layers and I was surprised at who the killer really was. Can't wait to read the next in this series, I'm hoping that Devlin and Amelia's story will develop closer. It looks promising. If you can, you should read the e-book abandoned first, its a nice prequel to this series.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Charlaine Harris--Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse Novel)

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise, and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit -- and the twisted motive for the attack.

Her attention is divided. Though she can't "read" vampires, Sookie knows her lover, Eric Northman, and his "child" Pam well -- and she realizes they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master.  Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -- which is much more complicated than she knows...

{3 stars}
I was hoping for something "more" from this book. The last book was boring and forgettable. So I was looking for a more captivating plot, sadly that wasn't the case. The book is better than the last, but really, how much trouble can one girl live with? Does it ever end? It didn't capture my attention until the second half of the book, and it was easy to put down until the last quarter. It seems Sookie just can't catch a break, in life, in love, or family. Nothing seems to go her way except survival.  Even though I love Sookie and Eric, maybe Sookie should try dating a human for a change. Throw a few new characters in, and this book is much the same as the last few and  leaves me questioning how much longer this series has life. Harris has lost some of her "spark" with this one, maybe the TV series is taking her attention. I just don't know, but I don't think I will waste the effort pre-ording this series anymore, I'll just wait for it to be swapped from my wish list.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Addison Fox--Warrior Betrayed (Sons of Zodiac series)

Forty years ago, Eirene, the Goddess of Peace, spurned her position to run away with a mortal. Furious with her daughter, Themis set a curse upon Eirene's unborn child: to one day replace her mother on Mount Olympus.

Montana Grant lost contact with her mother many years ago. Now as she struggles to lead her late father's shipping company, she's also dealing with the sudden reappearance of her mother. The frail woman is spouting nonsense about Mount Olympus, immortal warriors, and long-standing curses. But after suspicious activity puts the company's future--and possible Montana's life--at risk, she decides to take her mother's last bit of advice...

When Montana asks Quinn Tanner for help, she confronts the sexy security executive about his secret identity: He's a Taurus Warrior. Quinn denies it, but he can't deny his powerful attraction to the high-powered heiress.  With worldwide peace in the balance, it's up to Quinn to help Montana rise to her destiny--even as they're falling in love....

{4 stars}
Quinn has issues and guilt. Montana has her own set of baggage. But they are good together. They have a quiet sort of passion, and a few hot sex scenes, but not to much to bog the story down. Quinn comes across Montana by accident while watching for excessive paranormal activity. When he sees she is being stalked and in danger, he takes her case to protect her. But falling for her was not what he expected and didn't know he really needed to complete his exsistence. I really liked this couple and their journey, and even though I think the ending was a little abrubt, it was still a great story. A lot more Greek Mythology plays out in this story and that's what drew me to this series to start with. Enyo is up to her usual drama, trying to hurt Themis. A few more Warriors show up in this series and I can't wait to see who is next. Start at the beginning and give it a chance, its a great read.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lora Leigh--Navarro's Promise (The Breeds series)

The Breeds guaranteed that no harm would come to Mica Toler but they never allowed for her sensual fascination with Navarro Blaine. Aloof, cool, and mysterious, he draws her in as no man ever has. But Mica never wanted this. She had her own dreams, her own desires, and being stalked and seduced by a wolf breed wasn’t part of that plan. — Now she knows her life is in danger. What Navarro knows is that she’s his mate and that the breeding and training that created him is being peeled away in his desperation to claim a woman that refuses to be claimed.

He has her body. She craves his touch. And as the breeds converge the past will rise up to haunt Navarro in ways he never expected.

{3 stars} **spoiler alert**
Huh?? I love the Breed series, but the mating heat topic is getting old. I absolutely loved Navarro and Mica, they are a great couple. Their passion left me wanting a cold shower afterward, which is the best part of this story, but I think it is a weak book for the series, and their story seemed to get weaker at the end. And why didn't anyone mention that Mica is pregnant? The end was confusing, and at times I felt like there were pages missing. How did we get from the steel walled lab hallway to their bed with Brandenmore sneaking in? And just that quick its over? I'm still scratching my head over this one. Did Brandenmore really think he could escape Sanctuary with Mica? And who was the spy? Maybe its time to bring this series to an end? This book is better than the last one, Styx's Storme, but it's still not keeping the series alive for me. Not ready to give up yet though........

Friday, May 13, 2011

Alexis Morgan--Bound by Darkness (Paladin Novel)

Sasha is a woman on a mission. With a volatile situation in Seattle where the warriors have abandoned protocol by offering sanctuary to their Kalith enemy, Sasha needs to restore order -- and prove herself to her well-respected Regent father. But when she meets Larem, her valiant and handsome new Kalith bodyguard, all of her preconceived notions about his kind crumble and what once seemed so black and white is suddenly very gray. And after she finds herself directly in the crossfire between the Regents and the Paladins, Sasha must choose to stand behind her father or beside the warrior she loves.

{3.5 stars}
Cute, sweet, not the action packed passion Morgan usually display's, but a nice book anyway. Larem is the kind of character every woman loves, quiet, strong, and a little lost in our world. He finds his attraction to Sasha grounds him in some way. The overall Paladin war makes a little headway with the discovery of the traitors in the organization, and a few suprises are in store as to is actually allied with Kincade. Sasha and Larem's story is sweet, not a page turning obsession, but still a very nice part of the overall Paladin world. If you haven't read this series, start at the beginning, its a great one. You will love the Paladin's as much as I do.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shayla Black (Shelley Bradley)--Bound and Determined (Sexy capers)

Wanted for kidnapping: a bubbly blonde with a penchant for trouble. May be armed (with good intentions) and dangerously seductive... — Kerry Sullivan is running out of time-and patience. With her brother wrongfully accused of embezzling millions, she can't face one more humiliating hang-up from the man she's begging for help. Rafael Dawson may be one of the top electronic security experts in the country -- and the only man who can prove her brother's innocence -- but his phone manners are appalling. Damn Yankee. Too bad kidnapping the man isn't an option. Or is it?

There's nothing Kerry wouldn't do for her brother. There are lots of things she longs to do to Rafe Dawson when he's lying tied-up and naked in her secret hideaway. Rafe is certainly something to look at, but Kerry's brother's life is riding on her pulling off the impossible: getting this man who's always in control to lose it. But when the tables get turned, Kerry finds herself at Rafe's mercy. And the only way to get her way is to let him have his way -- with her...

{4 stars}
....sigh......every girl should have a fantasy .....I do like her "Wicked Lover's" series better, but this was a nice story for a Sunday afternoon. I liked the characters, and the plot guided them through the story enough that the sex didn't seem to out of place. I found the book charming in its innocence of Kerry's character and the "little boy lost" of Rafe. Not a best seller or a keepsake book, but a nice read anyway. Looking forward to Mark's story.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chloe Neill--Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires Novel)

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals--and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are ... tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society--a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...

{3.5 stars}
****spoiler alert***
I only so-so liked it for different reasons than most other reviewers. I am not shocked by Ethan's death, but I did feel that it was too simple. Celina and Ethan's deaths as vampires should have been "more" in some way, not just a one page event. Which leads me to believe this is not the true end of Ethan. I do not fault Neill for killing off a beloved main character, sometimes it is needed for the growth of the series. After all immortality can be boring without some kind of change. The middle of this book dragged for me, the "hunt" was not as exciting as previous installments. And overall I feel like this was just a bridge to a better, more exciting book to come (at least I hope so). Jonah looks like a promising character to watch, and now that Merit is embracing her anger and getting out of bed, I'm sure more exciting things are to come. Not my favorite of the series, but it will not leave me dropping the series. Can't wait for the next one......

Sunday, May 1, 2011

L.A. Banks--Cursed to Death (Crimson Moon Novel)

Secret government operative Sasha Trudeau arrives at the scene of a murder, only to discover that a Fae creature has been killed--in a whole new kind of way. What is the meaning behind this mysterious ritualistic killing? What did the victim do to deserve it? Sasha fears that the Vampires and Unseelies have formed an unholy alliance...and they are ready to unleash their darkest arsenal of magick yet.

Teaming up with her mate and fellow Shadow Wolf, Max Hunter, Sasha tries to penetrate the paranormal community for clues. Meanwhile, members of the Wolf Clan are turning against one another as they race to uncover the meaning behind an ancient Unseelie curse. Even Sasha is not immune to this powerful magick, and soon finds herself drawn to a sensual, dangerous dance--one that could cost her own life...

{5 stars}
This book sat on my desk for some time, kinda forgotten about, at the bottom of my to-be-read pile. I picked it up yesterday to reacquaint myself with the series. I had forgotten how much I like this series. If you have read Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, you will love this one. Sasha has to deal with two very hot alpha males, one being her lifemate, while leading a wonderful team of wolves, psychics, and human paranormal experts. Bear Shadow and Crow Shadow are so funny, I really enjoy them, its like watching your brothers get into mischief. I have to say that the Fae King, Sir Rodney, got on my nerves a little and at times his part of the story seemed to drag for me, and there was the occasional cheesy saying. But there is always an endless supply of action to go along with this series. Sasha and her team have to save New Orleans again from the fighting factions of the paranormal world. I am again in love with the Shadow Wolves and am moving on to the next story, thankfully I already have it to read....