Archive for Favorites
Series: Seven Realms #3
Published by Hyperion Books on 8/30/11
Genres: YA High Fantasy
Source: The Smashtastic Library
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In the third installment of the Seven Realms series, Han finds himself fighting for the life of his love interest, Raisa, who remains under disguise from him. He races back to Marianna Pines Camp and their healers, and nearly dies during the journey.
“Will you give the girl to me?” she said. “Will you let me try?”
He nodded, dizzy with relief. “Please, Willo. Please. Save her. It doesn’t matter…what happens to me.”
Of course, the camp knows exactly who Raisa is, and that moment that I was so desperately terrified to experience…happened. It was heartbreaking. Utterly and horribly painful to read. Han’s reaction…no words, people. *sniff*
Han and Raisa become connected in another, more formal fashion. The tension was high but they both remained professional throughout their interactions. It was so obvious that their intense feelings still boiled in their hearts, but duty called and they answered it with dignity and grace. Of course, Han is in a position he never would have expected someone of his background to be in, and he is doing what Han does best: manipulate and squirm his way towards his own personal goals. I love how damn smart and effective this young man! He gets shit done and is halfway down the mountain before you realize you’ve been duped. Love. Him!
Amon and Raisa’s relationship is also heartbreaking in this installment. Their connection remains fierce and loyal, but the last vestiges of any romance between them fly out the window. It’s hard for them to fully come to terms with, but as most of the characters in this world, they do it with grace. I love Amon. He is an incredibly loyal, protective and generous soul, and he is so very dedicated to the royal line and his role in protecting it.
Raisa remains as strong and eloquent as ever. This chic has an iron will and can slap the biggest dude around with her words. She’s admirable, generous and so very dedicated to her people. She is responsible and does not run away from her duties, even though numerous people would like nothing more than to see her dead and gone. Kudos to this chic and her steadfast, determined soul!
We learn who Crow is in this installment. I was flabbergasted. It was an awesome reveal. Maybe others will guess, but I never catch on to that kind of stuff while reading. I love how his character is being woven into the story, and how he and Han are scheming together. I am unsure if I still trust him, because he has a serious vendetta, but if Han is as smart as I think he is, hopefully he can use Crow to his full advantage. I’m rooting for you, Han! Oh! Cat is a prominent character in this installment, and this chic just rocks! She is wicked fun, full of spunk and can gut you before you realize your intestines are making nice with the pavement. My kinda chic!
This series keeps getting better and better! I mean, there has been NO lull in excitement. No second-book syndrome, no fillers. None of that shit, yo. Cinda Williams Chima is a master plotter and has really laid out the details for this series well. Not only that, but she has kept the characters and scenery as alive as the plot. And the world continues to expand! I mean, it’s glorious. Just glorious…
A moment later, Cat hurtled back into the room as if chased by demons. She stationed herself in front of Raisa, a knife in either hand, all of her genteel patina swept away. “Cuffs! Look sharp! It’s him, the whey-faced, gutter-swiving, prig-napping bastard! He’s here!”
Series: The Dacians #1
Published by Pocket Books on 11/27/12
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Mel's Magnificent Library
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He won't be denied...
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore's most fearsome villains.
She's bound to another...
Desperate to earn her guardians' approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she's lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.
A battle for her body and soul...
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina's heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium's worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina's own desires to a fever-pitch...
Sometimes you start a book with the intention of just reading for fun. Sometimes you start a book thinking “hey I bought this one so I don’t have to review it”. Sometimes that book has so many noteworthy moments within the first 150 pages that you know a review is in order. Damn you, Kresley Cole! I had no intention of reviewing Shadow’s Claim the first book in her Immortals After Dark spin-off series, The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, but it was soooo damn good that I just had to.
I should say that though Shadow’s Claim is the first book in The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist series, it is a spin-off and in my opinion not a starting point. There is so much world building involved in the Immortals After Dark series that it may be hard to follow. In order to understand the significance of the existence of the Dacians, the Lore, and the upcoming Accession, you really need to start from the beginning. Also note that Shadow’s Claim takes place during the same time frame as Immortals After Dark #12, Lothaire.
Dacian vampire, Trehan Daciano, the Prince of Shadow, has spent his very long life protecting his people as a master assassin. He’s cold, he’s ruthless, and there is none better at the job than he. People fear him. Sadly, that’s all that life is for him. He is a loner who spends all of his free time at home (which is beyond awesome by the way) typically with his nose in a book. Suddenly one night he feels the need to protect something or someone and he doesn’t understand the urge.
“He was a loner by nature, with a sacred duty to murder, taught by experience to trust no one.”
Bettina is the orphaned heir to the throne of Abaddon. She is half demon, half sorceress and has never been truly accepted by either. After an incredibly traumatic event involving Vrekeners, Bettina finds herself in debt to her godparents, Morgana and Raum, and stuck in a situation she can’t get out of. Because she can’t protect herself, they feel she needs a King. They decide to host a tournament for her hand in marriage. Not only is the tournament taking away her choice of a mate, it is open to all species. Believe me when I say that there are some seriously creepy, nasty ass creatures in the Lore. Many of which I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Bettina is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. Oh and did I mention that she just happens to be in love with her best friend?
On a mission to find someone who broke Dacian law, Trehan finds himself in Abaddon. Instead of seeking out his prey, he finds himself drawn to someone. Who is she and why does he feel this way?
As with all of Kresley Cole’s books, Shadow’s Claim was seriously frakkin smexy. I actually made a note on Sybil (my Nook) which read “Holy frakkin shit! We’re only 41 pages in and already there is off the charts hotness!” And believe me when I say that was only the beginning. The book got hotter-and-hotter as it went along. Aside from the smexiness factor, there were many, many things I seriously lurved about Shadow’s Claim:
(1) Trehan’s relationship with his cousin Viktor. They seriously put the word fun in dysfunctional. At one point there was even talk of testicle regeneration.
(2) Salem the super pervy phantom.
“Salem laughed. “That was bloody brilliant, ladies! And oddly arousing. If I had a body, I’d be cock-up right now.”
(3) Lothaire!!! Not only is the Enemy of Old half-crazed, he also has a yummiliciusly twisted sense of humor and seems to have a raging case of ADD. Relationship advice from Lothaire?! Seriously?! It’s in there.
(4) Words cannot express how much I lurve nucking futs Nix! Girl doesn’t even have to say a word. T-shirts and hand gestures let her thoughts and opinions be known quite frakkin nicely. Lurve her. Lurve her. Lurve her. She is quite possibly the best secondary character EVER. I can’t wait til Kresley Cole does a book for her. It. Will. Be. EPIC.
Things I seriously lurve about Trehan:
(1) Homeboy knows how to bring the pain.
(2) He’s a very thoughtful gift giver.
(3) Dude has some serious stamina even when seriously hurt. To quote Faith from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “That was rock ‘em, sock ‘em!”
(4) He gives me a major case of the swoons. There is something seriously wrong with finding a violent, brutal, murderous man insanely smexy. Holy jeebus! Picturing Trehan slaughtering his way through the competition for his Bride’s hand was H-O-frakkin-T!! Seriously it gave me chills just thinking about it. Like I said there is something wrong with me.
(5) He’s got made skills, yo! And I don’t just mean when he’s making with the smexy time. Trehan is a bad ass. Bad ass, I tell you.
I lurve the world building in this Immortals After Dark spin-off. Getting to learn more about the Dacians and going to Abaddon was new. I’m looking forward to reading more in The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist world. Honestly I can’t find a single thing I wasn’t happy with in Shadow’s Claim and I’m seriously hoping the next book is about Viktor cause that vampire has issues.
Kresley Cole was the rock star author of 2012 for me. Not only is Shadow’s Claim a 5 star read, but so was Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12) as was her first attempt at YA, Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1). The lady had one hell of a year and I can’t frakkin wait to see what she has in store for all her nerdtastic followers in 2013!
Published by Philomel on 2/23/13
Genres: YA Historical
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It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.
Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
“Let me tell you something ’bout these rich Uptown folk,” said Cokie. “They got everything that money can buy, their bank accounts are fat, but they ain’t happy. They ain’t ever gone be happy. You know why? They soul broke. And money can’t fix that, no sir.”
It’s not every day you come across a story about a young lady whose mother works in a brothel. And certainly not a brothel set in 1950′s New Orleans. Though I have to say, 1950′s in the French Quarter is very enticing. The setting was a highlight going in, but it fell on the back burner to the characters, who were larger than life and so very easy to like, or loathe, in some cases. I think something that stuck out for me about this book, was how attached and involved I became with these characters. I wasn’t fully aware of how much I cared until certain events take place. I was shocked at the emotion I felt, and it really elevated the story for me.
The main character, Josie, is a clever, determined, gutsy yet cautious young lady with a heart of gold and an intelligent, curious nature. It was easy to like her and feel hope towards her future. Her character development over the course of the novel is very noticeable and well-written. She does her best to not follow the footsteps of her gold-digging, conniving, whore of a mother, even though she is so closely wrapped up in her world.
“What do you do with all this bank, Josie? Be a lot easier if you just lifted your skirt.”
“The only reason I’d lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you in the head.”
I loved the two guys in this story so very much. Patrick owns the bookstore that Jo works in. It was his father Charlie’s originally, but Charlie is unable to run the store at this point in his life. You learn a lot about Patrick’s father, and get some face time with him. His story line is very emotional, and while you don’t really know Charlie through his own eyes, you learn to love him through the eyes of Patrick and Jo. Patrick and Jo are like brother and sister, but there are some confusing moments that come between them, and it felt awkward and confusing, as it was meant to be. And then there was Jesse. Oh my. I was so enamored with this sweet, positive, dependable, hard-working young man. He called Jo “Motor City” because she was from Detroit, and it is one of the cutest nicknames I’ve ever come across. The moments spent between Jo and Jesse were so natural, believable, touching. Plus, he was so bluntly charming.
“You like me, Josie Moraine. You just don’t know it yet.”
The madame, Willy, and the cast of prostitutes were all so very colorful. I enjoyed their page time greatly. Willy was a very interesting person. It appears she stepped into the mother role for Jo, though I would call Willy anything but a mother. But in my eyes, she was looking out for Jo on the sly, making sure she had a job to support herself, and rescued her from trouble when it came lookin’. At the end of the story, I liked Willy a lot. She was one of those characters that surprises you. And then there was Jo’s biological mother and the creep she was infatuated with. Both shady ass bitches, if you ask me. I loathe them both, as they cause uber amounts of trouble and heartache for Jo.
This book was more than I expected. There is a lot of heartache and turmoil in this book, coupled with violence and scandal. But as you turn the last page, you smile wide because of a very simple yet powerful emotion, one that overcomes fear and leaves you with a sense of peace: hope.
It’s a story about finding yourself, believing in yourself, and fighting for yourself.
Series: Seven Realms #2
Published by Hyperion Books on 9/24/10
Genres: YA High Fantasy
Source: Gifted ♥
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Book Two in the Seven Realms series demanded my attention from start to finish. When the book opened up, I was nervous and scared for Raisa’s situation. Halfway through the book, I was giddy and happy with developments between two characters. At the end of the book, I was back to being freaked out. There was no down time and the author kept me totally engrossed the entire ride. Han’s world has turned upside down, and he is now on a journey to discover his past and future. Raisa is in exile until she can figure out how to deal with the treacherous magicians at court. And Amon is in tow, because he would never let Raisa face this alone. All three characters end up at Oden’s Ford for educational purposes. Raisa is under disguise and things get interesting…
I LOVED the expansion of the world. In this installment, we get Aediion, an alternate world of sorts, that only magicians can visit. The magician has to have visited the exact spot in the real world in order to visit it in Aediion. They are able to alter their appearance while there, however, which can be fun and quite useful. And, if their amulet runs out of juice while they are there…well, bad stuff happens. A certain character, who I will not name because it’s a spoiler for the first book, visits Aediion and meets someone who goes by the name of Crow. Crow, a mysterious figure, urges this character to work with him to bring down the magical Bayar family. There is obviously some bad blood there. Can Crow be trusted? I’m still on the fence.
Princess Raisa is a character than can definitely hold her own, though I don’t see her getting very far without her personal guard and friend, Amon, by her side. Those two make a fierce team and I love their loyalty and dedication to one another. Of course, deeper feelings reside in their hearts that can never be acted upon, given their stations in life. Boo on that rule, I say! As expected, Raisa, makes a love connection with Han during her exile, though it is under devious circumstances, seeing as she needs to remain anonymous and all. I was completely wrapped up in this romantic connection. Some of the scenes made my sappy heart pitter patter, and I sighed a time or five.
“I can’t play this game if my heart’s not in it. That’s me personally. I’m not judging anyone else.”
“I see,” he said. He tightened his arms around her, brushing his fingers along her collarbone, setting her nerves tingling. “What’s your heart saying now?”
She wanted to be honest with him, even though she’d probably pay for it. “I’m in trouble,” she whispered.”
Of course, seeing as how Raisa is in disguise, I don’t foresee her relationship with Han ending well. It makes my heart hurt thinking about his reaction. *whines* By the end of the book, Raisa’s anonymity is no more and the magical shit hits the fan! The next book is called The Gray Wolf Throne, which makes me wonder about Raisa’s royal future!
I was so completely enthralled by this book. And I feel strongly about the characters, both the ones I love and the ones I abhor. One of my comments in my review journal is “Micah is a dirty, rotten arsewipe.” I guess I get a British accent when I’m angry. :Þ
And, like a fool, she kissed him back. Kissed him a way that would leave no doubt about the way she felt about him. Kissed him because she knew the chances were slim she’d have very many kisses like that in her lifetime.
Which is a sad thing when you’re only seventeen.
Series: Elemental Assassins #7
Published by Pocket Books on 8/21/12
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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So…wow. This installment was no joke! Salina Dubois strolls into Ashland like a hurricane straight out of your worst nightmare. She is all southern belle sweet on the outside, but chic packs a serious mental health cray-zay punch. Not only is she mentally unstable, but she’s a powerful water elemental and she has an intimate past with Owen that she is bound and determined to rekindle. Though, I am unsure if she ever thought it ended. I mean, chic is out there. The sad thing is, Owen fell under her manipulative spell many years ago and still harbors a soft spot for her, despite her dangerous ways. This puts Gin in quite a predicament, given that Salina needs to be dealt with, if you know what I mean.
Salina was an insanely awesome villain. The kind that you simultaneously feel empathy for and want to strangle. She was definitely molded by her environment and experiences, which were traumatic and tragic. She was in a dark place for a very long time, and the grief and anger turned her into a monster. It was hard for me to dislike Saline 100%. I saw so much of Gin in Salina, and it made my heart hurt. I know very well how much your experiences shape who you are, and I felt Salina got the shaft. Even Gin felt fer Salina in some moments…
For a moment, I almost felt sorry for her. Then the bitch blasted me with her water magic, and I got over it.
Ha. Nothing like a good dose of water magic to wake you up! Half the time I was really sad for Salina’s situation, but the other half I was all…KAPOOYA! KAPOOYA! She was indeed a monster with little to nope of rehabilitation.
Salina was a master manipulator, and she had Owen twisted around her dainty little fingers. Gin steps back and gives Owen space to come to his own conclusions about Salina. Gin was quite sensitive to his history with the water elemental, but she may have needed to get out the trout for a few good #troutslaps. The #troutslap can be more effective at times, depending on how far gone a person is. #justsayin. Salina makes her quest a wee bit personal for Gin’s liking, and when Gin realizes that a major line has been crossed, the elemental shit hits the fan.
This book has all kinds of sads, for a variety of characters. Gin has to make a seriously tough decision in this book, despite the painful consequences. She takes on a lot of heartache to keep the people she loves safe and protected. I think that regardless of the situation and the people involved, Gin is going to remain loyal to her code and do what needs to be done to keep herself and her people safe. The end of the book was sorrowful and somber, and I really hope that our beloved characters have some relief and resolution in Deadly Sting.
P.S. I REALLY want one of those shirts regarding Gin and the Pork Pit that people wore in this book!!
I eat haughty, arrogant, manipulative, self-important bitches like you for breakfast, sugar. And then I go back for seconds.