Although not my favourites, I thought these books still deserved a mention, since i did take the time to read and review them.  For various reasons they just didn’t float my boat, but you may think differently.

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1)Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with revenge in mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire- and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay.”

I’m still trying to make up my mind about this book. I struggled half way through and was irritated by something I couldn’t put my finger on. It may have been Cassie herself since I haven’t really warmed to her as I thought I would.

The book spent quite a lot of time setting the scene and explaining things that had happened before this point in time which meant, although there were lots of “they’re all after me,” comments from Cassie, it was actually quite slow to get going. The action scenes didn’t seem all that urgent, and since I hadn’t completely bought into the characters, I wasn’t rooting for anyone in particular.

Having said this, the last few chapters changed and were suddenly going along at a much faster pace, add in a dash of strange sexual tension, and I changed my mind. Suddenly all the witty, exciting, sexy writing I promised materialised and the book was all the better for it – so much so that I have now started the 2nd in the series – something I didn’t think I’d be doing when I was only about halfway through the book.

I’m still not completely sold on it, but I am at least sticking with it as the 2nd book Claimed By Shadowshows a lot more promise.

Claimed By Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, #2)Claimed By Shadow by Karen Chance
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

“Clairvoyant Cassie Plamer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it’s a whole lot of responsibility she’d rather not have. Now she’s the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her-and her magic-over to their side. But one particular master vampire didn’t ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn’t know if what she feels for him is real-or imagined…”

 

It is VERY rare that I don’t finish a book – even if I don’t like it, I will persevere.  Unfortunately, this book made it on the “started but not finished” list.  I’m having trouble understanding what it is I didn’t like.  It’s taken me quite a while to decide I think it’s probably Cassie herself I find irritating and honestly I was a little bored with the story.  Shame, since I was really looking forward to the series having read reviews from fellow GR readers.  Just not my bag I suppose.

 

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman, She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She’s also a werewolf.Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must recon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel

Honestly? Meh. It was ok. That’s probably the best I can say about it. Despite all her “I can’t possibly love him and I hate being a werewolf,” banter, the story was pretty predictable and the characters didn’t develop well enough. It took me a long time to decide whether I liked the main protagonists, and by the time I did make up my mind the book was over. I didn’t feel nearly sorry enough for Elena and think I should have been more scared/attracted to Clayton’s animal magnetism, but I didn’t and I wasn’t. The whole thing left me a bit deflated and wanting more.

There are others in the series, but they all follow different character sets and I fear the lack of development may be annoyingly present there too, so unless someone can convince me that although the 1st book is a bit of a donkey, the rest of the series is absolutely amazing, I won’t be reading any more.
Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural CaseSymphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case by Adam Pepper

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

“Hank Mondale, a rough-around-the-edges P.I. with a small drinking problem and a large gambling problem, needs a break. With his landlord threatening eviction and his bookie threatening worse, things look bleak. Until real estate mogul Thomas Blake calls with an incredible story: a monster is trying to kill his daughter.

Hank figures she’s probably some whacked-out spoiled brat, but desperate, Hank takes the case to track down the supposed monster. It seems that people around Mackenzie Blake are disappearing. It’s obviously no coincidence. Was Hank hired to unwittingly aid a wealthy murderess? Or is there really someone…or some thing, trying to kill Mackenzie Blake?

A symphony plays that only It can hear. But there will be a special performance, just for her.”

From the description I was given, this book should have been great. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Trust me, I don’t say this lightly. If I hadn’t been reading this for review purposes, I probably wouldn’t have finished the book. It showed great promise, but just didn’t deliver.

Maybe because I’m a girl, but I struggled with Hank’s first person narrative. There was a lot we didn’t know and never found out – why did he had a drink problem? Why didn’t he make it as a copper? What are the “felonies” that blotted his copy book? When I finally got to grips with the narrative, the book jumps from Hank’s point of view to “It’s” point of view, the creature that has been literally sucking the life out of innocent people. It was a good idea, but it just didn’t work and ended up being a bit repetitive.

I think maybe the author was trying to fit too many ideas into one story. The idea of some sort of supernatural being that can take on the outward appearance of any human it chooses running riot and killing people should have been enough, but that is coupled with a murderous Father and Daughter team – Thomas and Mackenzie Blake who use the creature to do their dirty work and it all became pretty irritating. Hank gets caught up in whole thing as Thomas hires him to protect his daughter from “someone” trying to kill her, but it turns out that Blake knows exactly what’s after her since he’s already fed his business partner to the creature and Mackenzie has offed her so-called best friend and boyfriend for screwing around behind her back. The missing gardener? That was just practice. It all seems like a completely pointless exercise.

Then there’s the ending. After being on the run from the creature since it’s pissed at Mackenzie for killing it’s chameleon friend (I know), the creature catches up with them, tries to kill everyone, but doesn’t. The cops turn up and arrest the Blakes, the creature walks into the sea and Hank gets off Scot-free because he’s friends with a cop. It ends with him having dinner at his mum’s contemplating his close call. What a waste of time. Yawn

The lack of character depth meant I actually didn’t care what happened to anyone, least of all Hank. I found the story pretty boring to be honest. I wasn’t nearly scared enough of the “creature” despite worrying about it before I started reading and I didn’t buy into the story as much as I should have done.

I am really sorry to have to write such a bad review, but I just didn’t like the book at all. Unless someone can convince me that despite the fact that this one was a complete donkey, Pepper’s other books are absolute diamonds, I wont be bothering with any of his others. Sorry. Just not my bag.

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