Category Archives: Book Reviews

Warning: most of these books are part of my obsession with vampires, witches, weres and all things supernatural. It’s really my guilty pleasure!

I’ve been reading – what have you been doing?

Standard

So as you know I was in the UK for two for work.  I had limited access to the internet and decent television, so I completely indulged myself in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling books.  I know, it’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. Besides, world current affairs are so depressing at the moment, I thought it was good for the soul to envelop myself in someone else’s wonderful world.  And boy am I glad I did.

Psy-Changeling series is one of my top ten YOU MUST READ paranormal romance series to date. It’s filled with non-stop action, suspense and mystery, but nicely balanced with hot steamy romance and bouts of hilarious comedy.

The series is set in a futuristic alternative Earth and populated by three groups: the Changelings, the Psy and humans. The changelings are shapeshifters. The Psy are humans with psychic powers who have been taught from birth to suppress their emotions. The Psy is the largest and most powerful ruling body on Earth. The continuous arc tells of the struggles between the three groups and the struggles within each group. Each story features a different hero and heroine who meet, fall in love, and engage in some heavy petting and purring, though I promise you they are all so different you’ll never get bored. RAWR!

I’ve only got a few in the series left (sob sob) but here are the reviews so far.

She saw that coming! Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling #2) Review

Standard

Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling, #2)Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous – aching need… exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D’Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar’s instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating, and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith’s sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced – and keep her from Vaughn..

A brilliant second book. This series is definitely growing on me. As with he first, the world building is just excellent. I liked the way Singh has developed the over arching plot about the Silence protocol and the NetMind. This book shows you more of how Psy society works and reveals just how atrocious the Council really is.

Faith seems to be in more physical danger than Sascha ever was in Slave to Sensation because her gift is so valuable. That’s “money” valuable because business is something the Psy understand more than anyone and they just can’t have a powerful Psy like Faith defecting. The sexual tension between Faith and Vaughn is outstanding. Faith is a lot less accepting of the new emotions she feels and has been conditioned to think her mind will break, making some of their encounters a lot more difficult than for Lucas and Sascha in the first book.

There are new discoveries about the Netmind throughout the story which add to the mystery of this world and also show us that things are not quite as they seem… leading us nicely to the rest of the series. I for one can’t wait!

View all my reviews

A literary update: Breeds, Psy-Changeling and a cold shower!

Standard

It seems I’ve been away for a long time, and I can only aplogise.  There are a few projects in the offing, which unfortunately have not been signed sealed and delivered yet, so whilst I’ve been busy, I still can’t officially update you all.  Sorry!  Anyway – more of all that later.

Whilst being busy with my projects, I (of course) have still found time to read.  I became slightly obsessed with Lora Leigh’s “Breed” series.  It really is a fantastic read – a delve into a world of genetic experiments, a new race fighting for survival, a genetics council that will do anything to silence them and the new life the breeds are trying to carve out for themselves.  I know, I know.  It all seems a little bit far fetched, but trust me it’s not.  With the advancements in modern science turning out amazing discoveries on a near daily basis, the whole premise for the Breeds’ world is not really that hard to imagine.  The way in which you are brought into the story is really very clever.  The breeds world builds up around you in a completely plausible way and emotional buy in is a given.  What I should add though, is that while there is some genuinely brilliant story telling and world building in this series, it is definitely NOT for the faint hearted.  If hotness was measured on a scale of 1 -10, this series would probably score a 100.  If it was ranked on books you would lend to your mother, this would rank on the “pretend you’ve never even heard of it” end of the scale.  With my mother in mind, I haven’t written individual reviews of the books (there are over 20), just in case she gets internet savvy and finds this blog!  I was trying to describe the series to a friend without embarassing myself.  In the end, I decided this was best:  “If these books were films, they’d be the kind you’d find on the top shelf.  With a special cover blocking out the naughty bits.  In a special shop.  In a part of town you never knew existed.”  Having said all that, it still deserves a mention since it’s a brilliant story.  If you’re not easily offended, give it a go!

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)Moving swiftly on, I’ve just started a new Nalini Singh series called “Psy Changeling.”  More sedate than “Breeds,” but still a brilliantly written story.  It is a fantasy/futuristic look at a high-tech world divided by races. A world inhabited by changelings (shape-shifters), humans, and the Psy (highly evolved beings who have subjugated their emotions and conscience). What makes this series stand out from other paranormal series on the market is Singh’s ability to clearly define the emotional and psychological differences in each of these species; each acting according to the tenants and emotional strictures that define who they are. What makes the series even more powerful is that while each book gives us a look at a different hero and heroine it also delves even deeper into the psyche of the individual species, their motives, strengths, and weaknesses. Her books aren’t about informational downloading, instead, she lets the characters reveal the form and function of the world she has created with mystery, drama, action, and romance. Each book is a taut and exciting suspense as well as an unveiling of the individual characters and their communities. Word by word, chapter by chapter, book by book this fantastical world unfolds and captures the imagination.  You can read my full review here.

Happy reading everyone!

 

A pleasant surprise and not a bad start to the series: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) Review

Standard

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they’ll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I’m not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson’s sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She’s tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself … and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.”

I wasn’t sure about this book when I first started it. I haven’t read that many PNR or UF which feature were anythings as main characters. I’m more of a vampire kinda gal. Still, I’d read some good reviews so I thought I’d give it a go. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.

The book is written in the first person, from Mercy Thompson’s point of view. She’s not a were, she’s a shapeshifter and can turn into a coyote at will, but she was raised by werewolves so she knows the culture, and how to survive it very well. There is a lot of scene setting at the beginning of the book and a lot of explanation of were culture. It is all important to know, but did make the first section of the book a little slow. In fact there are more than a few pages that feature no dialogue at all.

Once the story gets going though, it’s a real page turner. Some strange werewolves are in town and are up to some serious no good and Mercy is right in the middle of it all. She teams up with neighbour and hot Alpha wolf Adam to find out what the hell is going on and stop anyone else from getting hurt. In the middle of it all, Adam gets seriously injured, his human 15 year old daughter is kidnapped and Mercy’s ex shows up.  He is no ordinary ex though, he’s a werewolf and son of the Maroc (Alpha of all Alpha’s – just to keep us all on our toes!)

Mercy is a likeable female lead.  She’s a bit kick-ass but not a complete bitch with a massive chip on her shoulder, despite having grown up in the complex world of Werewolf politics, without actually being a werewolf herself.  Vampires and Fae also feature in supporting roles, which makes for an interesting paranormal world and I’m keen to find out more.

Despite the fact the book was a little slow to get going, the pace soon really knocks up a gear and I read the whole book in a couple of days.  However, it was almost as if the rest of the story happened too quickly, meaning that the climax was a little disappointing. Briggs could have also made a lot more of the sexual tension between Adam and Mercy and Sam (the ex) and Mercy….. maybe I like my UF with a of adult kick.

It’s still a good story, but because it’s quite short, I feel like I’ve only read a few chapters of a story rather than a whole book. I’m definitely reading the next in the series though cos at some point the action with Adam has to heat up!!

Worth a read, if only to move on the next in the series.

View all my reviews

Whilst the Archangel’s away… Archangel’s Blade (Guild Hunter #4) Review

Standard

Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4)Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…”

OH MY GOD! I take it all back. Archangel’s Consort is not the best book in the series. THIS is! This book was just brilliant.

Elena and Raphael are still in Japan sorting out his crazy mother so his second in command, thousand year old vampire Dmitri is in charge at the Tower. The story centres around him and a Guild Hunter named Honor. She survived a long and brutal attack by a group of vampires who kept her hostage and nearly dead for months. Now there’s a case that needs her help and she is forced back into action with Dmitri by her side. He’s a vampire so it completely freaks her out, but she’s determined not to live in the shadows any more. Even before the hostage incident she’s been secretly obsessed with Dmitri and he knows she’s different as soon as he meets her. She helps him with case and he helps her exact revenge those who have wronged her.

What ensues is an amazingly sexy (read SUPER hot) story about two people who seem to already know everything there is to know about each other. The tension between these two is unparamounted in the series and the resulting love scenes are truly brilliant. Its what the series has been waiting for. I wont give anything away about the why’s and wherefore’s but lets just say that the relationship with Honor is far from anything else Dmitri has experienced in over a millennium. She’s only young, and mortal, but she knows him. Just brilliant.

Usually I get narked when a series moves away from the protagonists I have already invested time and energy in, but this just worked. Yes Honor is completely new to my Guild Hunter world, but I was really glad to see all the other characters we’ve become to know and love still around. Elena and Raphael are still involved in this story, they’re just not the centre of attention. Illium, Jason, Dmitri and even Ash are integral to this story so I didn’t feel that I needed to learn too much and I could just sit back and enjoy the story. It worked really really well.

Final thought? Move over Archangel – Dmitri is HOT!

View all my reviews

Every outcast girl catches the cute guy’s eye eventually: Adventures in Funeral Crashing Review

Standard

Adventures in Funeral Crashing (Funeral Crashing #1)Adventures in Funeral Crashing by Milda Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Sixteen year old Kait Lenox has a reputation as the weird girl in her high school, mostly because of her ex-best friend turned mean popular girl, Ariel, but maybe it has a little to do with the fact that Kait has a hobby crashing funerals. At one of these, Kait is outted by the most popular guy in school, Ethan Ripley. Yet, instead of humiliating her for all the world to see, he asks for her help, and Kait finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. Not only is the thrill of the mystery exciting, but more importantly Ethan knows her name! A little sleuthing is well worth that!”

Anyone who reads this should remember its young adult. If you do that, you can’t fail to like it. I thought it was great, a real breath of fresh air. Since the heroine is a fan of films (and books) there are references to films like “Sixteen Candles,” and “She’s all that,” throughout.  This story really reminded me of all of those films where the unpopular nerdy, slightly odd girl lust after the school hunk and he goes on a journey of discovery and realises she is what he was looking for all along. Even being slightly older than our heroine, I found it all completely believable and was transported back to my school days very easily. The language is young and fun and I really really enjoyed it. The murder mystery part of the story was plausible and believable and made the book a real page turner. It kept me guessing right till the end.

Good fun and well written for it’s audience. A great read. My only criticisms are that I wouldn’t really class it as PNR or UF. The funeral crashing thing – which is explained, and actually for a 16 year old girl kind of makes sense – is the only vague reference to paranormal things. The rest is just a great teen story. Since I reviewed this as part of a PNR/UF forum I was a little bit disappointed in that, but honestly, its still a good book and I thoroughly recommend it to young adults and the young at heart looking for a fun and easy read. My other point is that it was WAY to short and I was sad to see it finish so quickly!

View all my reviews

And you thought your mother-in-law was a nightmare: Archangel’s Consort (Guild Hunter #3) Review

Standard

Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…”

This is my favourite book of the series so far. There is more action now that Elena is getting used to being an Angel. Of course that doesn’t stop Raphael from trying to protect her and tell her what to do, but he is an Archangel after all. As with all the others in the series, there are twists and turns all over the place whilst Raphael deals with the fact his mother is awakening from the Sleep. (Capital letter – it’s called the Sleep since it’s where Archangels disappear to when they’re tired of living). That might seem bad enough, but it looks like she’s one pissed of mother-in-law and doesn’t approve of Raphaels choice of mate. Danger lurks around every corner, but it’s not just herself Elena has to worry about – her family, estranged as they are, are also in danger.

A great, fast paced action story with steamy romance thrown in. Well worth a read.

View all my reviews