Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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

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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

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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

Chloe Neill’s Drink Deep

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Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5)

I’ve just read this.  I love it.  This series is awesome (in the true, non American sense of the word), click on the book cover to check out my review if you’re into PNR and vampires/ wish you were into PNR and vampires!

Good Reads

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Well anyone who knows me will be just a little bit aware that I am slightly vampire obsessed.  In fact I’ll read most Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.  Having swotted up on how to use this blog thingymejig, some of my most recent reviews are now here for everyone to read!  Hurrah!

Check out my book reviews!

Happy reading my booky friends.