Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chevy Stevens--Never Knowing

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara’s home life was not ideal. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure.

But some questions are better left unanswered.

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.

What if murder is in your blood?

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive.....

{4 stars}
I fell in love with Chevy Steven's style of writing with "Still Missing". She takes the reader on a journey of self discovery, tragedy, and survival, with lots and lots of therapy. She starts each chapter as a "session" with the therapist. So as your learning the everyday trials and anxieties that Sara is going through, you are also going back to the plot of the story as Sara goes through it. Its brilliantly written, with complex characters and a very intersting, twisting way of playing out the plot. To know from the very beginning who the killer is and how all the characters  go through the story line, and even though you know who the killer is.....Steven's always throws a suprise (or two) in at the very end.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deidre Knight--Red Fire (Gods of Mignight series)

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior’s discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him -- the other half of his soul, Shay Angel. — Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn’t the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern night -- an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax’s worst enemy.

As she and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy -- one that could spell Ajax’s death if they don’t succeed -- a fated passion arises, threatening to sweep away everything in its path.

{3.5 stars}
I picked up this book because I love Greek Mythology, and it has a different spin for a paranormal romance. Shay is a great, spunky, spitfire of a character. And Ajax is the characteristically brooding male, who, if he wasn't such a great Spartan warrior, would just seem like a pouting immortal. But the two of them are a funny pair. Their story takes an unusual path, and Ajax has some baggage to work through before he lets Shay in. The story started off kind of confusing, the world building took some getting used to. And i did skim through some slow parts of the book without missing any of the plot. Shay's brothers seemed out of place, and not really necessary to the series, but maybe they will in the future.  I don't really get the whole "demon" part of the story, but I'm sure it will develop further on in the series. It wasn't slow enough to make me put the book down, and I really enjoyed the story as a whole. Now that Shay has discovered her true destiny, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series. The Oracle, Leonides, and River have some unanswered story lines. And we have 6 more Spartan's to read about! It's not a pre-order kind of series for me, but I will wish list it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

J. R. Ward--Crave (Fallen Angels Novel)

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls that must be saved. One more no-holds-barred battle between a fallen angel with a hardened heart and a demon with everything to lose. — Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars, his fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble -- and that's before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil.

{ 3 stars}
Ok, Ok, Ok, I really really tried with this one. But I can only say it was so-so. I love her BDB series, but this one just drags for me. This book did make a lot more sense to me than the first, I understood what was going on. And I really like Isaac and Grier (who thought up that name for a girl?) And I find Adrian and Eddie completely adorable for wayward angels. The whole theory of the series is fascinating. Even Devina is an interesting character for a Demon. But it's too long, it bogs down for me in the inner dialogue and doesn't move fast enough. I actually put this book down several times and read other books. When I picked it back up I skimmed thru alot for the last 100 or so pages, focusing on the final chapters. I don't know if I will try book 3, if its over 400 pages I may have to pass.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sophie Oak--Texas Sirens series books 1-4

#1--Small Town Sirens
#2--Siren in the City
#3--Siren Enslaved
#4--Siren Beloved

{Adults only series--5 stars}

Usually I just copy over the synopsis of the book to give you an idea of the story. But since I am reviewing all 4 at once, I'll do my best to describe the series. It is not for the timid reader, you have to be very adventurous and amazingly open minded to read about BDSM, menage, and bi-sexuality. But this series is way more than just the fringe sexual component of the stage that brings all these characters together. It's about real love and finding that perfect happiness in a situation that might be outside the boundaries of what society calls "normal". The characters are amazingly written, and they are all looking for that all consuming love we all strive for. They have baggage, issues, faults, humor, drama, and a whole lot of love. Each story brings 3 people together, that would normally never find happiness if they weren't all 3 together. I am amazed at how Sophie Oak develops these characters. They really made me dive right into this series, I couldn't wait to find out what happens next, so I immediately "kindled" the next 3 after reading the first. I read all 4 back to back this weekend. This series has a very definite plot path and you need to start at the beginning to understand the characters. They are set in a very small, close-minded town in Texas, and all the drama that brings with small towns. Each story has a bad guy trying to screw up the relationship that is developing, and a lot of people saving each other from a close brush with death.  Each character has their own personality, some are just hilarious! Others are sweet and passionate and you just want to hug them. Thank you Sophie Oak, you have found a true fan with me!

And did I say how amazingly HOT these were, no need for an imagination. Sophie Oak will give you some new fantasies to dream about......

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chevy Stevens--Still Missing

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel

{5 stars}
Wow! I have never read a story written like this one, it brought out a lot of emotions in me I didn't know I was holding on to. This story is unusually written, each chapter is a new therapy session where Annie, while telling us everything that happened while in captivity, is trying to regain her life and come to gripes with her year of abuse and torture at the hands of her kidnapper. We are also learning about her relationships with her mother, best friend, and boyfriend. And mixed in with the dialogue is her day-to-day life drama. There are so many layers to this story. I was blown away by it and read it all in one day. For me, it was very emotional and at the end I felt like having a good cleansing cry. And just when you think we are at the end of a very emotional road, we are thrown into a tail spin when the real truth is revealed. This is definitely a keeper book for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tess Gerritsen--Silent girl (Rizzoli & Isles)

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair -- not human -- cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning -- and a swift, avenging blade.

{5 stars}
Another outstanding thriller. Gerritsen writes stories so layered, they are like a puzzle box. The pieces are always shifting and revealing new theories, new aspects, and just when you think you know who the bad guy is and what the true story is, she slides the pieces and you have more questions. And even when you get to the end and the puzzle is finally together, she throws one last surprise into the mix. I love it! It keeps you on the edge and turning page after page. I can never put her books down.

In this one, Jane is the focus and she is on the case of a murdered woman on a roof. The murder is so bizarre that it opens up questions to a mass murder-suicide from 19 years ago. And so the pieces slide. We only see a small peek at Maura in this one, and an even smaller peek at "Rat", the boy who saved Maura in the previous book. I was happy to get an update on how he was doing. But this book solely focuses on Jane's case and, as usual, Jane's risk taking, puts her in mortal danger again. Jane's team is still along for the ride, and she has a new team member who has more knowledge than anyone can guess. I don't want to give too much away, so I will say this was a brilliant thriller. If you haven't read any of her books, this one can stand alone. But you should start at the beginning so you know the history of all the players.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Adrian Phoenix--A Rush of Wings (Book 1 of The Maker's Song)

HIS NAME IS DANTE. Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumored owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination.

HIS PAST IS A MYSTERY. F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be "nightkind": in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. A juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien DeNoir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own.

HIS FUTURE IS CHAOS. What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer -- and she's pretty sure that link makes him the CCK's next target. Heather must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man -- who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire -- in order to finally bring a killer to justice. But Dante's past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny.... 

{4.5 stars}
I picked up this book solely based on the reviews by other readers. So when I began I had high hopes for the story, but I was confused for the first couple of chapters. And if it weren't for the Glossary, I would have put the book down. I really couldn't figure out what was going on with the Cajun/French/Elohim language. But I didn't give up and I'm glad. It is an incredible story, very layered, great characters and a mystery like I have never read before. It is not your standard Vampire story, far from it in fact. Dante and Heather are a great couple, along with Dante's "family" they are complex characters and have a path of their own. There is always this sexual "tension" between Heather and Dante, and even though we only get one "bedroom" scene with them, you will enjoy the romance that builds with them, even in the face of horrible tragedy and death. I have a lot more questions regarding Lucien and the Fallen, and how Dante will deal with this knowledge, but I guess it will be revealed in the next book. My only complaints about this story is: 1. It should be Dante's picture on the cover, not what we are to believe is Heather, since she never wore that outfit in the story. And Dante's description definitely deserves a cover. 2. It was too long, I felt dragged down occasionally by the overwhelming detail in parts of the story (that's why I gave it a .5 star decrease). I don't really need all the absolute minute details to understand the story. But other than that I am glad I gave the book a chance, I read it to the end, and can't wait to see what happens to Heather and Dante next.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lara Adrian--Deeper than Midnight (Midnight Breed series)

DELIVERED FROM THE DARKNESS, A WOMAN FINDS HERSELF PLUNGED INTO A PASSION THAT IS DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT. — At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well—the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.

Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil—even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.

{4.5 stars} **spoiler alert**
So not fair that we have to wait months to find out what happens next....
There is so much going on in this book, it is not just focused on Hunter and Corinne. It shows us what's going on with the Order as a whole, what the other couples are up to, how far Chase has gone off the deep end, and how truly far Dragos is willing to go to win. Hunter and Corinne are a very sweet story, and one that will take this series to a new level now that they have saved her son. Their journey was almost separate from the rest, but still brings the war with Dragos back to a new turning point. Chase falls hard from the path, and gets extremely close to becoming Rogue, but his story does not end with his arrest, that's what we have to wait to find out in Darker after Midnight. I've given too much away already, so I will just say that this is a MUST READ if you are a Midnight Breed fan. I have always been an avid fan of the Midnight Breed series, and this one holds true and does not disappoint. It will go on my permanent bookshelf with the others. If you are new to to this series, run out right now and start at the beginning, I'm sure you'll fall in love with the Warriors too.