Monthly Archives: November 2011

It would appear that Angels don’t play fair: Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter #2) Review

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Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2)Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan’s power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…”

Now that we understand that angels don’t live on fluffy clouds and aren’t always the benevolent beings we all thought they were, this series makes more sense.

After the dramatic ending of the last book, I was expecting big things from Elena. Now she’s an angel herself (the first “made” in living memory – and given that Raphael is over 1000 years old, that’s a long time), she has to re-learn her own body. She also has a lot to learn about herself and Raphael as their relationship grows. Typically they are beset with danger on all sides when a mysterious angel threatens Elena’s life and attempts to pit the Archangels against each other. Then of course there’s Lijuan. She’s crazy, oldest of the immortals and Elena has caught her attention. BIG problem!

This book delivered on every front. More characters, a deepened sense of who Elena and Raphael are, a fast paced, sexy rollercoaster of a read. There’s also the mystery behind the veiled attacks on Elena which keeps us all guessing to the climactic ending (as if it could be anything other than climactic) Will definitely be reading on as I want to know what happens next.

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Angels are not what we thought they were. Angel’s Blood (Guild Hunter #1) Review

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Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break”

I decided to try this series after having read so many good reviews. I must admit, if I hadn’t read the reviews, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. Vampires? Definitely. Angels? Not so much. Having said that, I’m glad I did.

I was worried that Angels might be too nice for me, but Singh gives the whole premise a different twist. The angels and archangels in this story aren’t the guardians of heaven we all imagine them to be. No no, they’re super hot, super powerful beings at the top of the food chain. Yes, that does mean they’re ahead of vampires in the pecking order, so you see what I mean, they aren’t the fluffy cutesy things of children’s stories.

The Guildhunter world is based on the fact that everyone knows about angels and vampires. They are part of every day life and for the most part they are reasonably well behaved. Elena is a Guild Hunter, or in other words a vampire hunter who tracks and returns rogue vamps to their angel masters (I know! Right?) She’s very good at her job, so much so, the local Archangel Raphael (our amazingly sexy hero) employs her to go on a hunt for him. The problems is he doesn’t want her to track a vampire, no, he wants her to track an archangel. Simple? NO, not considering that Archangels are the most powerful beings there are. So you can bet your bottom dollar that this isn’t going to be an easy ride.

Its a good story with a completely different twist on the supernatural world and the order of things. The author takes time to explain history and reasons behind certain aspects of the story, but doesn’t bore you with it and makes the detail part of the story. It’s a real page turner and I enjoyed a different view of the paranormal. My only critisism, without giving away too much of the story is that the sexual tension could have been made more of and some of the scenes should have been longer (nudge nudge, wink wink). All in all a great story. I will be signing up for the next in the series.

A brilliant debut from PA Lupton: Bound by Blood (Garner Witch #1) Review

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Bound by Blood (The Garner Witch #1)Bound by Blood by P.A. Lupton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FBI agent and psychic, Brianna Reece, descends from an ancient and powerful bloodline of witches, only she doesn’t know it. But now that legacy has come back to bite her—literally.In the shadows of night in Denver Colorado, a serial killer is hunting women, and FBI agent Brianna Reece is hunting the killer. Unlike any case she’s worked before, Brianna can’t ignore the prickling at the back of her neck when she glimpses the resemblance she shares with the victims. The investigation begins to touch even closer to home when it is revealed that all of the victims were also psychic.Complicating matters further, Brianna is captivated by the FBI’s prime suspect Nathan Donovan. Though she senses he is hiding something from her, the attraction she feels for him is compelling, and unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Through a chance twist of fate, Nathan learns of Brianna’s ancestry and is forced to divulge secrets to Brianna that will change her life forever.When she learns that the killer is an evil vampire, and he’s now set his sights on her, Nathan alone holds the key to awakening her dormant powers. Now he must race to teach her how to control her emergent gifts before she becomes the next victim

Anyone who hasn’t read this should. It’s a great start to what I hope will be an amazing series.

It’s written in the first person through the eyes of Brianna. She’s an FBI agent who has always known she has physic abilities – in fact she’s an empath who can not only read and feel other people’s feelings and emotions, she can project her own to others too. Always questioning why she is like she is, she finally gets the truth from her father – she comes of a very powerful line of witches.

The story centers around a spate of serial killings; each body drained completely of blood, though left without a mark on them. As Brianna (and her own new found knowledge of who she is), and one the chief suspects the LOVELY (read seriously hot) Nathan Donovan get closer, its clear that things just aren’t what she thought. The world she thought she knew is something completely different and if she is to embrace her heritage, then she needs to adapt…and fast.

A well written, fast paced and sexy PNR which, with the added crime drama aspect was a real page turner. Brianna is a witch so there is a take on how witchcraft works, but the story also features vampires and Lupton has tied them into the story with a new, but not unbelievable view of what they are and how they came to be.

The only down side is that this is the first in the series and the next installment is still being written, so I have to wait for the next book!

Of ghosts and witches and vampires that hunt them: One Grave At a Time review

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One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6)One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving–leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity–forever. But how do you kill a killer who’s already long dead?”

 

It’s been a while since I indulged in the Night Huntress world and I have to admit, I’d forgotten how brilliant this series is. As usual Cat is up to her eyes in trouble with Bones firmly at her side, only this time she doesn’t see the danger to herself until it’s almost too late.

Since drinking Marie’s ghoul queeny blood, Cat has the borrowed ability of being able to command ghosts – which is fine since she’s set ground rules for the spectres turning up at her house – but one particular ghost has no intention of playing by the rules. His being able to take on a corporeal existence for one night of the year is the last of Cat’s worries, since his fiendish plan is set in motion way before then. And since her borrowed abilities are wearing off, as usual, things aren’t quite as easy as Cat had hoped.

Another great story in this series, and one where, thankfully, Cat and Bones don’t have too many relationship drama’s. The sexual desire between the two is still as strong as ever and there is plenty of love to go around – we even see Fabian developing a crush!  Ian is his usual, annoying, yet strangely attractive self and Spade and Denise help out in… well, spades!

Brilliantly written, fast paced, funny and sexy – a great addition to the series.

You can read more about Jeaniene Frost here

“Dance is music made visible.”

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When I started this blog, I promised to include some of my artwork.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while and discovered that I’ve given the pieces I’m most proud of away.  After all, art is designed to be seen, and I am grateful that some of it hangs on the walls and friends and family.  (I am pretty sure they’re there all the time – not just when I come round!)  So this left me with a bit of a dilemma.  What can I share on here?

Well, given that I’m now in Spain, I decided to look to my new home for inspiration.  Here’s my latest creation in watercolour inspired by Flamenco dancing.  I hope you like it!

There will be more to follow I promise – I just can’t promise when.

Flamenco Dancer in watercolour

The rain in Spain falls mainly….

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on my sodding house!!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I know rain is good.  It helps things grow and waters our gardens and fills our water butts and all sorts of lovely thing like that, but SERIOUSLY?  I’ve had a right nightmare today and it’s all because the rain in Spain most definitely does not fall mainly on the plain.

It’s been launching it down since last night and at around 9am this morning we started having intermittent power outages.  It’s alright though, because we’re super organised and have lots of back battery packs in the form of UPSs (uninterrupted power supply) and they tide us over nicely when someone is playing silly buggers with the lecky supply.  (I work for home so this is a complete must.  Also they act as surge protectors for all our precious electrical gadgets).  The only problem is that they are only meant to be used as a temporary back up.  They are not designed to power my hive of office activity for any significant length of time.  Inevitably at around 11.30 ish the power monitor on the unit was screaming at me that is was about to run out of juice.

What now?  I thought.  Tim to beg borrow and steal some power and internet supply from my friendly ex-pat neighbours; who, I might add, never seem to have as many electrical problems as we do.

So, that was how I found myself cosying up with my laptop in my 70 year old neighbour’s bedroom for a few hours. If he wasn’t gay, I’m sure he would have thought it was marvelous!  Needless to say I spent my morning be offered endless cups of tea and listening to enquiries as to whether I was warm enough.  Thank God for the older generation – I was lovely and toasty!

This being me, it could only get worse.  When I made it home, I discovered more disasters awaited me.  In my rush to continue working, I’d managed to leave the front door open so our 2 biggest dogs (the smallest is a Mummy’s girl and had come with me to work) had been out on a nice little, puddle hopping adventure.  The floor, sofa and both dogs were soaked.  Great!   Also, our chimney had leaked.  The water had run down the flu pipe, into the log burner – which hadn’t been cleaned after yesterday’s fire – and on to the floor.  There was a lovely big puddle of brownish-greyish water in the middle of the living room floor. Just brilliant.  Add to that – I was no longer lovely and toasty and I was starting to really regret offering to do overtime at work meaning I’ve given up my Friday afternoon’s off for the next two months.

Ah well.  At least it’s Friday.  It’ll soon be Ceveza-o’clock.  I hope.