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Monday, December 31, 2007

CL Wilson - Lord of the Fading Lands

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Book 1 in the Tairen Soul series
ISBN: 0-8439-5977-0
Releasedate: October 2, 2007
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MMPB / HC Rhapsody
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Long ago, in the magical holocaust known as the Mage Wars, the immortal Fey and their allies fought to defeat the grasping evil of the Elden Mages and their dark-gifted supporters. During those wars, in a fit of grief-induced madness caused by the death of his mate, Fey shapeshifter Rain Tairen Soul nearly destroyed the world in a blaze of tairen fire.

Now, a thousand years later, the fierce Fey king must fight to save his race from the brink of extinction and once again stop the evil rising in the homeland of his enemies, the Eld. The key to his success lies in the mortal city of Celieria, where the Mage Wars began, and with a young woman whose soul sings to him in ways no woman’s ever has, whose presence reawakens the primal fury of the tairen within his soul, and whose vast, untapped power can either save or destroy him and his people.
REVIEW
I’m absolutely awestruck and almost barren for words.

To write a novel that stands out in a series making readers buy the rest is outstanding but to write a novel - a debut-novel nonetheless! - making readers interested in a new genre and opening up to the possibilities of exploring it further is exquisite!!! That is what C.L. Wilson did to me with Lord of the Fading Lands.

She has written a smashing debut-novel. The first book in a new series, creating a unique world with such strong main- and side characters that I’m spoiled for life! She pulls of that, without overshadowing the main-characters, her side-characters are just as involved and important as the main-characters: Rain and Elly.

The emotions described in this novel are so intense, the feelings Rain and Elly experience so strongly putt to paper that it in fact fills your own heart, warming you from the inside out.

I had to get used to the language a bit but because every sentence written in the “fantasy-language” is also translated in English to explain to Elly it was superb!

From the moment when Rain first feels her, till they meet and thereafter their courtship; there is not a single moment I look back on and feel less baffled! Once I read the first chapter and got into the story I straight away got sucked into a story which you just cannot put down. In the way it is written it is easy to read but it’s not a light read. Sometimes I just needed to take a break from reading the story, thinking things through, making a cup of tea and sorting myself out only to find myself automatically being pulled back towards it again to read on!

The courtship between Elly and Rain, the way they are linked together and “feel” eachother; in fact are entwined on all levels is so much better described than the hottest love-scene in most best-selling novels.

CL Wilson has a way of writing that stun me and do I have to say how much I love the fey warriors protecting Ellie. Both quintets!!!! The first ofcourse for the obvious reasons but the second as well. Eventhough they have the same purpose - to protect Ellie - you can feel the difference of their vibe, the way they are, but still to the core are the same. And because most side-characters are intensely linked with Rain and Elly, they become important in the story and added so much onto the storylines, making me hunger for the follow-up novels in this series!!!

Even now, days after reading this story I’m still enchanted by it, it stays with you in a lot of ways. It stirred me emotionally and on many more levels.

Scenes, chapters, this novel in fact, is so well written, put together in such a way that it fits amazingly. The story actually flows through your mind like a river that it seems quiet on the surface, but you know that it’s vibrates and stirs things below the line of sight.

CL Wilson has got a bestselling series on her hands and a lot can be expected of her hands in the future I’m sure. If you haven’t read this novel yet, take a shot you’ll be amazed!!! Beware a new star-author has risen!!!!

QUOTE

Rain when he felt Elly being in danger….

He flung himself from the ground into the sky, flashing instantly into tairen-form. Flames scorched the night sky and his roar of fury rent the air as he followed the path of the mind that called out to him in fear….

5 stars
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lee Grantier - Castle Ladyslipper - ARC for ROOB

!! ARC FOR REALMS ON OUR BOOKSHELVES !!

Genre: Historical
Standalone novel
ISBN: 0-980-17800-2
Releasedate: January 2008
Publisher: Helm Publishing
Format owned: TPB signed
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
...When a chauvinistic knight lands in a castle full of women, somebody has to change…

Soldier of fortune, Garrick of Hawkwood is ill prepared for the women of Castle Ladyslipper, especially its hostile mistress, Emma d’Arcy. Garrick is haunted by the spirit of Emma’s great-great grandmother Rose. Her actions caused the curse plaguing Emma and her female relatives. Though clearly at odds, Emma and Garrick cannot deny the sultry heat rising between them.

Liberally laced with humor, Castle Ladyslipper resonates with a timeless theme: Love can flourish even when sown in the rocky soil of misunderstanding.
REVIEW
When Garrick gets the assignment to go to Fairfield and marry Helene, the Lady of the land, he is determined to do so. He however did not anticipate that she was not there, but her stepdaughter was. And the spitfiry Emma was not going to tell this beast of a man where her stepmother was residing. But when King Henry decides to pay Castle Ladyslipper a visit, destiny unfolds and Emma and Garrick get awestruck with his new order!

This is just one of those stories that give you such a pleasant read. No heavy-set emotions to go through, no struggling mating rituals, no new world to discover. Most stories make you feel like you go through it all yourself, but this story just give you a glimpse in the lives of Emma and Garrick. It makes you feel you’re allowed to just come along on their journey in life.

Garrick is a typical historical sexy hero, who goes by the orders of the King and sticks to them no matter what. But when he comes across stubborn, feisty and reluctant Emma, from then on he starts having trouble to do what was ordered. He stands for what he feels is right and is willing to do whatever necessary to get it done. Emma, however, has a mind of her own. Bound by a “magical curse”, brought upon the ladies in the castle by one of her ancestors, she is now the one to keep hold of the amulet and wears it as an everyday reminder.

What captured me most in this story is not the paranormal influence, even though it is there, it is not dominant, I loved that. It is telling a story of life in 1089-just life as it is. It is not always spectacular and Lee Grantier describes that in a great way. She writes with such humour in her writing as well as a flair that just has you chuckle a lot and giggle as well. If you want to get away from the stress from nowadays living, this is a great novel to do so. Most of the story is about Emma and Garrick even though the characters surrounding them do play a certain role in their whole involvement as well.

There were many characters coming to scene, but Lee Grantier handled it very well and was able to give them all their own characters while they were mentioned. I just fell in love with the aunties and William, who with their own unique ways are an addition to it all and just as much a red thread in the story as Garrick and Emma (so on a personal note I’m hoping to be able to read a bit more about them in the future ;-) hopefully in the form of a trilogy or series!). I just loved the fact that the women of Fairfield were independent and did not sit around and wait for the men to lead; they took matters in their own hands and stood behind their lord and lady!

The plot was surprising, I had not seen it coming and the fact that this novel tells a story in a timeframe of about a year makes that it stands out next to other novels. The centre stage of this story is the love that from the first pages on sizzle between the two main characters and the emotions that go with that. It takes guts to write a story like this describing everyday feelings – really well – to simply say how it is and use the emotions like doubt and hurt as the reason why things happen the way they do.

It is very difficult to tell a story around two main characters who both have self-doubt, similar “issues” to go through and then make it towards a smashing ending while remaining close to themselves, it was superb to see that in the end there was still a fire between the main characters that sparkled from the pages. I thought it was the icing to the cake when the second half of the story unfolded into the climax.

Sometimes simplicity in a story is the way to go and if you can write it down like Lee Grantier did, to me, which deserves praises.

It’s a heart-warming story that can best be described as giving you the feeling of seeing a falling star. A sweetness that stays with you and fills your heart – this is a medieval romance that really deserves the title romance. It’s a love story as many should be and I will most definitely cherish it and re-read it many times!

4 Stars
Saturday, November 10, 2007

Karen Marie Moning - Darkfever

Genre: Paranormal
Book 1 in the Chronicles of MacKayla
ISBN: 0-385-33915-1
Releasedate: October 31, 2006
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format owned: HC-Delacorte
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae...

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands...
REVIEW
If you’re expecting a dark brooding highlander like in Karen Marie Monings Highlander series you’re in for a surprise. With this 1st novel in the Fever series Karen shows that she not only has a talent in writing a time-travel Highlander novel but she can also write a contemporary-suspense!!!

Eventhough this series is linked with the Highlander series it’s deliciously different, first of its set in Dublin-Ireland instead of Scotland and second off it’s written in the I-form. It did get me a chapter or two to get used to the I-form but once settled inside MacKayla’s head I loved being there. I found a marvellous place to settle in, and could so relate to the following scene:

Quote:
He barked “Air ye deaf, lass?”
I think he might have called me a hairy jackass…

It made me laugh out loud because I could really relate to that, having been there myself.

This story is Mac’s past, what happened there? I yearn to find out more, so I will soon dive into Bloodfever as it’s eyeing my from my shelf already tempting me in saying “Come hither, put your pen down, pick me up and READ ME!!!” Yeah alright in a minute *wink*…

While reading you truly get to know MacKayla, her feelings when she finds out all the things she is not. What I found brilliantly done was that in the first pages of this book you get to see what MacKayla used to be like. When she finds out all the things in her past that just isn’t what it seems and how it affects her you can still see bits of her back, eventhough changes in herself had to be made!

W I finished reading I think in the end I missed a concluded story a wee bit. There’s no real end yet so I’m glad I’m able to read on straight away. So many things are still up in the air making you think constantly about what will happen next. If I had to wait a year to dive into Bloodfever – I do not even want to comprehend! Because there was no real end to this novel yet, it didn’t mean it didn’t stop at the right moment. The setting in this series has been made, the introduction is complete and the follow up is coming so indeed overall it was great. The way this series is written, it either works or it doesn’t and I have to say in the way Karen Marie Moning has written it so far it works for me!

actually not written as fast-paste as what I’m used to from Karen Marie Moning; making the reading experience a whole different one. Because the story-telling has such a different angle you feel the feelings while reading it, in a whole different way as well.

A few characters have come to pass who stuck in my mind, and whom I die to get to know better, I mean there is Fiona, Jericho, V’Lane, the lady in the bar who keeps popping up! And not to forget

All-in-all it is a pure Karen Marie Moning novel. She has her own unique way of writing her stories. Humor is always a part of it, which is a must for me! I’m highly intrigued and looking forward to the follow ups in this series – if only to see more of V’Lane and Jericho. First of Jericho came across as a bit of a stuffy librarian type but the scene where he jumped from the roof (when you read it you’ll know what I mean) right then and there he stole my heart! And V’Lane – Alpha Fae to the core, so ofcourse I’m into him, if looks could only charm the pants off…. Owh wait – his look does *sigh and wickedly grinning*.

Quote:
Jericho said: “After the two of you have finished here, show ms Lane to a room. Tomorrow purchase shears and buy an assortment of hair colors for her to choose from.”
“A room?” Fiona exclaimed.
“Shears? Hair colors?” I exclaimed. My hands flew to my hair. I’d address the room part in a minute. I HAD my priorities.

4 Stars
Friday, September 28, 2007

JR Ward - Lover Unbound

Genre: Paranormal
Book 5 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood
ISBN: 0-451-22235-0
Releasedate: September 25, 2007
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Format owned: HC Rhapsody & MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
When he woke up in the hospital and saw her standing beside his bed four words came to his mind: She. Comes. With. Me!
Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous son of the Bloodletter possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp, he was tormented and abused.

As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time- until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her.
REVIEW
Lover Unbound is in da House! Lock the door; put my phone on silence, the kettle on for tea – this girl was going nowhere! Vishous was ready, willing and able to settle down with me on my couch and if I had to pull an all-nighter: Well DUH ofcourse I would. My bonding scent started flowing and one word kept going through my mind: MINE!!!!

In the end it was not what I expected at all!!!!

I started reading and felt the vibe of the book, the way it was written – it was different from the first four novels. Not necessarily bad – no – I mean its V, my tormented hero, my fave out of the lot of them: in short my expectations were very high beforehand!

I couldn’t wait for the cuffs, whips and leather to dominate, the thing that made Vishous different from the other brothers, the thing that made him mine.

I got settled into the story, page 36-37 came (phoned my sister – she so HAD to call me as soon as she reached that page!) Owh yes, this was JR Ward as I knew her. The BDB-feeling came smack right back to me. So what, that this time around it took a few pages extra?! Right… RIGHT?!

After that moment those pages that played out the scene I started getting confused, gone again that feeling was. It felt like JR Ward was not in touch with the story; NOT in TOUCH with Vishous’ character at all! I know in every series there are novels more difficult to write for an author but I could nearly taste frustration, as if JR Ward struggled with words while putting V’s story together, and amazingly enough it only felt like that with V’s scenes. The scenes with i.e. Blay, John and Qhuinn were A-MA-ZING!

Jane’s character was lovely, nicely put to paper, she stick like glue and worked. Vishous I expected more stronger, more dominant, more in struggle with what he felt for Jane, towards his destiny and the expectations of his BDSM that was raised in the previous novels were downright disappointing for me. Especially in the first 260 pages I felt things could have been left out so that more pages could have been dedicated to deepening Jane and Vishous, but then to me it still would have been just plain and ordinary romance wise because I just don’t think Jane is the one for V. She just doesn’t do it for me. They don’t work like the other Mates in the brotherhood do. But in some ways I’m glad (my ID talking here ;-) ).

After struggling through the first 260 pages I took a break from reading, I was not going to pull an all-nighter this time. I had to distant myself from the confusion, frustration and disappointment. I already had put it aside a few times before but this time I took more than a day for a break. Figured because I really wanted to finish reading this novel I was stressing myself too much and maybe that being the reason I couldn’t get in touch with this story.

After my time of contemplation V started whispering to me again, pulling me back towards Caldwell NY and when I started reading again the last 250 pages grabbed me and I got into the story – the BDB-feeling came back again, jus not as strong as the first four novels gave me. Even though the romance between V and Jane still didn’t grab me in the last half of the book. The built up towards it seemed to take forever and it just wasn’t as explosive as I would have wanted it to be.

Despite the fact the romance part didn’t work for me in this novel, the secondary plotlines were brought so amazingly it totally balanced itself out. I know this was suppose to be V’s story and I have the feeling, for me, it’s just too early in this series but towards the end you are so deeply involved into the characters being entwined in this world and together, that it opted for nothing else than having this story now. There was just no other way.

Be prepared though for some serious Kleenex-moments! The last 70-100 pages I think I went through half a box. The ending between V and Jane – in my opinion – would have been stronger if the Scribe Virgin didn’t do what she did. It would have left things more emotional, stronger, for the time being within the series. For me it doesn’t always have to be a HEA to still make it a good novel.

The story leaves a lot open to be discussed, and promises great things for the near future as a lot of plotlines are still to be played out in the coming novels, which is making this novel a superb series-novel.

I thought Zsadist and John really work together as characters. To see how Zsadist is growing in each novel I think is really put to paper very well. He still isn’t where he should be and due to the fact what he’s been through probably will always have his intense reactions, but overall he is adapting marvellously. Bella’s difficulty, seeming how we already know the outcome, didn’t have that big of an impact on me as it probably should have. And I actually missed Lassiter in V’s story. They seemed to be linked and connected in some way and still have a feud to come to terms with so I was amazed to learn he has no part in this story at all! I did however miss the ritual that, up to now, always seemed to have appeared in each book and the change in writing in this novel I think JR Ward is going to continue. Though maybe I feel it would have been better to continue writing the old way for the “original” warriors, because of the intensity that it brought forth. V and Phury’s characters would’ve been worth it.

I know I’ve been saying that I could do without the Lesser parts in the previous novels but I really missed it in this novel, not so much the lesser but the action that sprang from it. It gave the novels a thrill that made your blood pressure go up and heart rate go through the roof! It gave it OEMPH!

In my opinion the change in writing is not a bad thing at all. It just requires getting used to, but I like it. Just a little warning for those who still have to read this novel: don’t expect what you had before. Go into this novel blank and let the story lead you, don’t hold on to your expectations. This new path JR Ward has gone into sets her apart from the rest of the authors yet again. I’m seriously looking forward to Lover Enshrined ~ only 246 days to go till June 3rd, 2008 ~ the countdown has begun.

What is amazing to me is that out of all the novels (despite the different vibe of this one!); on a deeper level this one touched something inside of me. It stays with me so much longer than the others and leaves an awful lot to discuss and that combined with my overall look on the story making me still give this novel 4 Stars!

JR Ward, for me you did it again!

4 Stars
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Shana Galen - When Dashing Met Danger

Genre: Regency
Standalone novel
ISBN: 0-060-77315-4
Releasedate: May 1, 2005
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Alex Scarston: Earl of Selbourne. Rake. Spy. With his efforts for England in the war against the French suspended, family obligations compel him to investigate the disappearance of Viscount Brigham's son. When the viscount's daughter becomes involved as well, Alex finds himself entangled in a venture that risks both heart and soul.

It's not that Lucia Dashing, youngest daughter of Lord Brigham, wants Alex to go away. She just wishes he weren't always so close - perhaps a few rooms, or streets, or continents between them would bank the heat of her attraction. But when her brother disappears and every clue indicates his safe recovery essential to the very sovereignty of England, she's no choice but to engage the earl in a battle risking her brother, her country, and her love.
REVIEW
Top notch Regency-for me anyway, it's just the way I want my regency to be! Charming, thrilling, sparkling is what comes to mind after reading this novel. Having read not a lot of novels in this genre I do know Shana Galen is a rising author of the new generation.

For the time it took me to read this book it has kept me in its thrall. It’s fast-written so you get caught up in the story straight away and it’s such an easy read that you totally forget the time.

Ofcourse the characters were breathtaking, I absolutely adored Lucia, more so because I recognize a lot of myself in her, making it all the more fun to read how she quickly wraps Alex around her fingers. I think it’s best to describe her as a Regency-chick with balls!!!

Now Alex is a whole different thing, you just have to love him. Throughout the length of the novel it was funny to read how he struggled with his feelings of love, without it taking the overhand!

The side-characters were amazing as well, making me very much curious how things will go on with Freddie and John. Because Freddie is a totally different man altogether and I for one want to peel of all the layers surrounding him, just like we did with Alex! And John, if he is anything like his twin-sister we are in for a ride with him as well. So maybe in the future we are able to read how things end with them as well!

It was a perfectly balanced novel. Not too much of this not too much of that. And the title fits the story perfect because it applies in so many different ways in this book.

I think I’m just awed by this smashing novel off Shana’s hands. It made me want to go and get more of her novels. I can hardly wait to read another one. Especially since it’s a light-read without missing any of the emotions, excitement and romance. It is still having me in its grip and in my opinion that makes it a perfect novel altogether.

Praises for Shana Galen all the way for putting a story like ‘When Dashing met Danger’ to paper!!!!

Quote of Lucia’s mind rambling about Alex:
“Oh! Horrid insolent man! He’s a rake, a scoundrel, a blackguard and – Infuriating man! Damn him!”

And most brilliant ofcourse was the scene where Lucia breaks into Alex’ home through a small window in the library – Priceless!!!!

4 Stars
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Elizabeth Amber - Nicholas

!! REQUESTED READ FOR REALMS ON OUR BOOKSHELVES !!

Genre: Erotica
Book 1 in the Lords of Satyr series
ISBN: 0-7582-2039-1
Releasedate: August 1, 2007
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Format owned: TPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
The last in a fabled line of otherworldly aristocracy, the Lords of Satyr are born to wealth, power, and a talent for sensual delight that mere mortals only dream of. Commanded to marry, these passionate men will travel to Rome, Venice, and Paris—and along the way will explore desires both shamelessly wicked and blissfully divine…

HE HAD SWORN TO TAKE A PROPER WIFE. HE HADN’T BARGAINED FOR MEETING HIS MATCH…

Nicholas looks very much like what he is—a handsome, successful heir to a vineyard in Tuscany. But Nicholas is much more for he is one of the last in an ancient line of Satyr men. And the dying king of ElseWorld wants him not only to marry, but to wed one of the king’s own daughters—a half-human, half-faerie woman unaware of her heritage. Nicholas won’t shirk his duty to produce heirs to guard his race’s legacies, but he never planned to make his bride his only lover. A Satyr’s sexual hunger and sexual skills are legendary. One woman will never satisfy him.

Or so Nick believes until he meets Jane. As spirited as she is fey, as beautiful as she is innocent, she is nevertheless determined to make her new husband hers alone—and she’s eager for him to teach her every deliciously carnal secret he knows.
REVIEW
OMG! What can I say? Enthralling, catching, highly erotic and satisfying to the very core of your being! When you start reading this novel you’re being pulled into the story and a world which you just cannot put down till you finished reading the last word written. I compare it to the forbidden fruit which you secretly do eat and afterwards enjoying the fact you can still lick the juice of your fingertips! And still Nicholas is whispering to me. This is definitely a story that will stay with you a while after you finished reading it.

The story-lines of the Lords of Satyr are refreshingly new to me. I can’t really say what kind of genre it falls into apart from the Erotic one – and Erotic it is – but it’s holding a genre in the likes of fantasy/paranormal/historical. Never before have I read such scene’s filled with wickedly delightfulness, described in a way it really comes across as erotical, and making you feel tingled up, nearly longing for Nicholas to cuddle up next to you, showing you what he’s all about.

In my opinion some books in this genre are on the border of being pornographic: the story being more about the sex-scenes instead of the story. But when, like Elizabeth Amber, you are able to write Erotica Novels where you forget the genre and being sucked into a story filled with such passion, rituals, magic and love, then to me you are top-notch A list quality!

Nicholas and Jane both are in their own way perfect for each other. It was so touching to see Jane needing to get used to what she was, trying so desperately all her life hiding her abnormalities and Nicholas just accepting her straight upfront for who she is. And Nicholas… – just purring perfect as a great man. Of course I had to putt my own self aside when he had to relief himself in a way I would never accept it from my man, but all things set aside, it did perfectly fit in with the story. And because it totally fit in the story and was described in such a way that you could clearly see the logic in it, I was able to fathom it and accept it for what is was and needed to be for him.

There was this amazingly perfect balance between the characters; the story and the world Elizabeth has created. I can hardly wait for the next novel to be released. After reading this novel, Elizabeth left me eager to read along and see what will happen with Raine en Lyon and not to forget Emma of course! Elizabeth, straight away in this first novel, was able to set the strongly different characters of the Lords of Satyr to paper and to be honest – I just love Lyon! I’d say he’s the rake in this bunch, the one who does as he pleases and does not feel like settling down really! I so am curious to see what he’ll do once his time has come! I mean, this all came to me, especially after that one scene with him, a waterfall, and sex – that’s all I’ll say but once you read this novel you’ll just know what I mean.

Honest to say, Elizabeth Amber has totally baffled me with this novel, making it reach above all my expectations. Daring to shift things around, but not losing the fact it’s still about two people emerging with each other in sacred vows and growing towards loving each other. To me this novel held everything I needed/longed to see back in a story and knowing as soon as Raine is out I’ll be the first to dive into his story. Can’t wait to see if he finally is able to find his bride – he had a somewhat more difficult time with seeker her out than Nicholas did and I say he’s a bit frustrated about that! Elizabeth – don’t make him wait too long – that’ll be torture (wickedly grinning)!

A slamming debut for an author that shoot straight up to my A-list shelf!

4 stars
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Teresa Medeiros - Breath Of Magic

Genre: Paranormal
Standalone novel
ISBN: 0-553-56334-3
Releasedate: February 1996 (re-release August 2009)
Publisher: Bantam USA
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Boy millionaire Tristan Lennox, a pagan satyr in a $2000 suit, throws an annual magic contest in Manhattan to try to trace his former partner, who stole a magic computer program named Warlock and disappeared into the ether. Smack into the middle of his special event, riding her willow broom, flies Arian Whitewood, a 17th-century witchlet from Massachusetts, who rubbed her emerald amulet and conjured herself away from the mob of Puritans who were trying to drown her. Arian, petite and fiery, has to contend with the new magic of the 20th century; and Tristan has to learn to trust again, as is the vogue. Medeiros is unrelievedly cute as she shuttles her characters back and forth across the centuries.
REVIEW
The start of off this novel was a bit messy and confusing to me but once I was settled and comfortably into the storylines it turns out to be a nice read. Although it was a predictable story, it didn’t bring anything new to me, but it was still a good read.

I found that more could have been done with the characters ~who were really appealing ~ something was s bit off-key. It didn’t run as smoothly as I thought it would be. It missed some … what can I call it … well “flair” perhaps.

It did have an interesting thing, it was time-travel with a different approach to it but because I couldn’t connect all the dots it took me out of totally being sucked into the story. I really liked Arian’s character, but she came on a bit too strong for a girl coming from the 17th century. I found her a bit too independent. Thrown into the future with all new techniques and experiences to which she adapts with no apparent difficulties – I found it very hard to believe!

On the other hand I loved Tristan’s character, straight up to the point where she breaks through the wall around his heart I found him irresistible, but after that he lost every appeal to me. Not claim worthy in my opinion!

It was really strange to read a book where things seem so promising and in the end you feel like you read a story to which you couldn’t connect. I expected more of Teresa Medeiros, but I still have a few books by her hand on my bookshelf, so I will give her novels another go but I have to admit this book just didn’t do it for me. All in all it was a nice novel to read, especially when you have a lot on your mind and need something to read in between all the stressfulness but it is not one of those books you yearn to read over and over again!!!

Quote:
“You’re fired, now get back to work!!!”

2 Stars
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Karen Whiddon - Powerful Magic

Genre: Paranormal
Book 1 in the Runes of Fae series
ISBN: 0-505-52432-5
Releasedate: Februari 2001
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
For Megan, illumination comes in a thunder-crash: She is not the pawn of abusive men. And though the modern world disappears and everything she's ever known spirals into oblivion, the strange warrior who appears to her gives the beauty a feeling that everything will be all right. His kisses electrify her, making her body burn.

She is in a strange land, and a strange time--and yet everything seems perfect. It is clear why she has been summoned. This isn't about Faerie prophecies or wizardry, or a desperate struggle to find a way home; this is a quest to save a hero's heart. And she feels destined to prevail, because with her help, she knows this handsome prince can discover the most potent magic of all: love.

REVIEW
Funny, witty, charming, enchanting. With all paranormal/historical novels about Faeries and time travelling being published, Karen Whiddon has taken a side turn writing a fairytale for adults. That’s what the feel of this novel gave me. I really enjoyed her way of storytelling and the words used to make sentences just totally fit in with the time this story was set in – 1072 – I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves Historical and/or Paranormal, because it’s so appealing. I just sighed when I had finished this and had that contend feeling a perfectly written novel can give you!

I was captured by Kenric of Blackstone neither human nor Fae but half of each who took an oath on his fathers grave to produce “human-heirs” and be the human his half-brothers never got the chance to be. He managed well till Megan of Dallas Texas walked into his life, and messes up a perfect laid out plan for the future. It was captivating to read Kenrics struggle with his magical power. But with the help of his friend Lancelot and Megan he’s going to have to face his past and destiny. And when his warrior heart claims Megan as HIS – well which girl doesn’t fall for that…

It’s amazing to see how Karen made the world of Fae her own, gave it an appealing twist with adoring main characters. She describes differences between human and Fae with such finesse that once in the Rune-world you totally forget that you are reading a story about “humans”. She took the myths of faeries, used it exactly how it’s written and makes you not want to leave again!!!

I’ve had so many emotions surge through me, laughter, love, admirations and my throat tightening with held back tears – and ofcourse not succeeding in holding them back – but nonetheless point for effort right? For a while I was captured in the enchanting realm Karen Whiddon has created and I’m glad the other novels of this ‘Fae of Rune’ series are on my bookshelves so I’m already able to read on!

For those who love the Historical/Paranormal my advice is ~ try to get your hands on this series because it’s worth every penny you spend!

Quote
“Too beautiful, my love. A ring made of twigs would be fine,” she murmured, “As long as it binds me to you.”

4 stars
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Constance O'Day Flannery - Time Kept Promises

Genre: Paranormal
Standalone novel
ISBN: 0-8217-5963-9
Releasedate: August 1988
Publisher: Zebra
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: Sorry Out Of Print - check for secondhand

Synopsis
Bearing a striking resemble to Christina O'Mara, a beautiful woman who disappeared without a trace years ago, Kristine Gavin is transported back in time into the body of her double and falls for Christine's devastatingly handsome husband Sean O'Mara--a man who might be a murderer.
REVIEW
This book was published in 1988 – I was ten years old – and not in the slightest interested in reading Historical Romances. It’s amazing to see how writing novels have progressed since then. Nowadays books have to be erotically charged, emotional rollercoasters and daringly bold. I found it refreshingly appealing to read a novel from way back when, when conversations were lighter and emotions there but no as heavy-loaded.

Constance Oday-Flannery has made my heart flutter lightly like a butterfly in my chest when I read this novel. First off because Sean O’Mara has an Irish-heritage, second off because he made Rivanna into a stud-farm – I just love horses! – and third off it has a touch of time-travelling in it, combined with a blooming romance, it’s a perfect historical novel to me.

Back then the books still had over 500 pages! So the story didn’t have to be edited into 375 pages. I can’t imagine I had this book laying around for over a year and not touch it before. Constance writes in a funny but lovely way. It made me burst out in laughter and it made me grin and giggle a lot!

I don’t know if Constance has written a lot more books but I do know if I ever come across another it will be added to my : ‘buy straight away list’, because in my bookcase at this moment she stands out as a good read for in between the A+-list novels of this time.

QUOTE:
Still laughing, Sean crossed his arms over his face to protect himself and backed away from her. Eventhough the towel could do little damage, she was wielding it like a saber, slashing at him like a trained swordsman.

3,5 Stars
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Kinley MacGregor – Knight of Darkness

Genre: Fantasy
Book 2 in the Lords of Avalon series
ISBN: 0-0607-9662-6
Releasedate: October 31, 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing Inc
Format owned: HC Rhapsody & MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
For countless centuries, I've been the assassin for the infamous Merlin, even though the woman who birthed me sits at the right hand of our enemy, Morgen le Fey. Now both my mother and Morgen have decided that it's time I take my place on their side of this conflict.

Normally, telling them no wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the good guys I protect think that I'm an even worse demon than the ones we fight. Hmm, maybe they're right. I have to say that I do enjoy maiming anyone who gets in my way.

At least until my mother gives me a simple choice: join Morgen's Circle of the Damned or see an innocent woman die. I'm all for saving the innocent, but Merewyn isn't as innocent as she seems. And she's none too fond of the fact that her fate is in my dubious hands. Personally I'm all for taking the easy way out, but leaving her to Morgen is rough, even for me. Now the only way to save both our lives is to face the evilest forces ever known-;my mother and Morgen. And two people who know nothing of trust must learn to rely on each other or die: provided we don't kill each other first.
REVIEW
They always told me never judge a book by it's cover, but I judged this book sinfully by its cover and boy the inside was more sweet than any honey I ever tasted!!!

Varian - a selfconfessed evil to the bone - knight in shining armor; Merewyn - a self-turned ugly to the bone-servant. And both captured my heart.

I still find it difficult to read past the nowadays language, the use of movies and tv's in the time of King Arthur as there is no further mentioning of some sort of time travelling whatsoever still is misplaced to me within this series. Unlike 'Sword of Darkness' I had to read a few chapters before I got caught into this story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book but I'm still not getting the connection as a series. What I miss most, I think, is the book about what happened in King Arthurs last years. Bits and pieces were explained in this one.

"Beau" has captured my heart by storm. I want my own 'gargoyle-baby...' And ofcourse I loved the "Erik-bros" Merrick, Derrick and Erick as well as Blaise. Dare I say either Faran or Damé Fortune is 'Lord of Avalon's' Acheron Parthenopaeus or Adam Black (Monings Highlanders)??? I laughed my head off when Merewyn fell into the 'pit of despair' and ranted on for hours in her depressing state of mind. Mentioning Varian's bits and pieces...(quite literally!!!!).

What I loved from the start was no matter how Varian tried to come across as tough and evil, I kept seeing through it and in my mind knowing that he was just one of the threads woven by fate (Damé Fortune in this case) - the perfect balance of duality that, in Sword of Darkness existed between Kerrigan and Seren, existed here within this gorgeous knight who entered my heart (But then again every man with gorgeous looks and a tormented soul does... sigh!!!!).

I'm left confused however with all the "Merlins" flying around, it's either 'Penmerlin'; 'Merlin'; or 'Waremerlin' they all call themselves Merlin. But if this series continues on, I'm hoping that the things that are still confusing me will later on have a purpose and clarify themselves piece by piece.

After reading these two books I am curious to find out what the next one brings. With this series Kinley MacGregor is slowly going towards my keeper bookshelf (and that's partly because I'm completely blown away by the covers, partly because as Sherrilyn Kenyon she is one of my favorite authors and now added onto that because Varian's story caught my heart, not as much in the historical King Arthur kind of way but more leaning towards the Fantasy part. It made me feel a bit like it was leaning towards the Lord of the Rings-queste - but maybe that's only in my twisted mind (lol).

4,5 Stars
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kinley MacGregor – Sword of Darkness

Genre: Fantasy
Book 1 in the Lords of Avalon series
ISBN: 0-7394-6647-6
Releasedate: March 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Format owned: HC Rhapsody & MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest....

A scared, forsaken child has become the most powerful --and feared-- man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human and has become something else entirely.

In the heart of London...

An unassuming peasant, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman. All she wants is to leave behind her drudgery and penury. But she never expects that running from her fate will put her in the path of her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed...

Kerrigan's goal is simple: Barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur's sacred Round Table. But simple it's not, for she is the one person who holds no fear of him, a woman whose honesty sparks something foreign inside him. But in his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows until the day when one woman's courage forces him into the light that could either be both their salvations, or both their deaths.
REVIEW
When I read the prologue I thought hmmm is this a book for me? I was in doubt. My first ever book by Kinley 'Master of Desire' was a bit of a disappointment, but... my sister was so madly enthusiastic about this book that I just wanted to finish it, to make up my own mind. And I'm glad I did!!!!

The first chapter had me caught within the story straight away. The darkness of Kerrigan that slowly melted by the softness of Seren. To me it was the perfect mixture of good and bad - the perfect balance of duality. The bloodritual that combined their powers, memories, knowledge to me was a bit too much like vampirism... the biting and sucking blood and to me was a wrong context within these storylines.

The legend of King Arthur is a perfect opportunity to have your imagination stretched to the maximum as an author. To me it came across as a bit comical as the phrase 'I vant to suck ur blood' after reading this bloodritual kept playing in my mind. With that in my mind, I was less into the story, not like I was in it as before.

This story was told in the early centuries and what I missed was the "medieval" language. The use of common slang when there were conversations was something that felt wrong to me, as well as the timetravel to the 21st century. In this story I was less swept away by the time-travelling aspect, it should have been left out or explored more.

The first 220-230 pages were fantastic, swept me off my feet and had me captured and even seduced in taking 'a bath with Kerrigan' but towards the end I was a bit disappointed. The ending however with Seren saving Kerrigan and the epilogue were great again.

To me as Sherrilyn Kenyon she writes great near to superb stories all the way, stories that swipe me off my feet everytime, but as Kinley MacGregor I still have to be captured by her charm.But up to book no. 2 in the Lord of Avalons series.

I'm in doubt about the stars, it's not 3,5 stars and not yet 4 stars either.

4 Stars
Monday, April 23, 2007

Nora Roberts – Jewels Of The Sun

Genre: Contemporary Roance
Book 1 in the Irish Jewels Trilogy
ISBN: 0-7838-8989-5
Releasedate: May 2000
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Format owned: HC
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Determined to re-evaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, where she immerses herself in the study of Irish folklore--and discovers hope for the future in the magic of the past... Back home in Ireland, Aidan Gallagher sees in Jude, a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her--while they create a passionate history of their own...
REVIEW
Ok, take the Irish landscape, put a 6ft tall incredibly handsome male in it with a heroin whose in contact with a Faery-prince in awaitings for his beloved and what do you get…. A perfect romance novel swiping you off your feet like only Nora Roberts can!!!

The Irish Myths entwined in this story were lovely to come across again. You can really feel Nora’s love for Ireland. Eventhough this novel talks about a prophecy it’s not taking the overhand on the story, which makes it a great love-story to read.

It describes the search of a 28-year old Jude to find herself, find out what it truly is she wants and longs for and if that happens to be 31 year old Aidan Gallagher that will suit him just fine. When he asks her to marry him and she says no, his arrogance starts to surface bringing him in experiences he never been in before.

What I love most is how, as a 29 year old woman myself, I can really relate to that search Jude is going through. Everyone has a search like that in their life, where you accumulate what you’ve achieved and see if it really is what you want, and if not, just change the whole setting to your liking. It’s such a simple thing Nora Roberts used to make a story around but when it’s well written it makes a great story to read while sipping tea and eating biccies.

All in all this novel is yet again showing Nora Roberts being a solid-great romance author. I’m looking forward to read on in this trilogy and see if Shawn and Darcy will find their life’s roots as well in Ardmore, county Waterford, Ireland.

3,5 Stars
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

JR Ward - Lover Revealed

Genre: Paranormal
Book 4 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood
ISBN: 0-451-41235-5
Releasedate: March 6, 2007
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Format owned: HC Rhapsody & MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him...
REVIEW
My heart just beated a few beats faster when in the first few pages Vishous phoned Butch. The BDB Warriors have returned! Oh what a feeling. As soon as I had my hands on this book my heart stood still for a moment, anxiety hit me as well as fear.

This is the book.
The one.
No. 4.

It’s the book that makes it to a series and can make it or break it. I had some doubts, do I want to read it with the chance I’d lose that feeling I had with the first 3 novels, but Vishous kept whispering in my ear : “I won’t let you down! Just read and feel me…”

No who can say no to that? So I took that leap of faith, I trusted my warrior and OMFG! It’s been a few days since I read the last words of this novel and I’m still on a high!!!!

Yet again JR Ward has putt down words into a phenomenal story/ Such intense emotions between the characters, not just between Butch and Marissa but between all of them! Even in this novel the whole ‘Lessers-part’ makes a perfect fit. It’s so amazing to see all of the characters grow in this series. Even though there’s a certain timeframe within this story, it’s brilliantly written ~ every character goes through their own changes within this time-frame but in their own paste.

I just devoured this book as quickly as I could. It feels like within every scene you can connect with every person in it and feel what they fel and that to me is perfection! JR Ward has outdone herself with this novel and promises a lot for the next book in line!

It just all fits amazingly together. The interaction that exists between Butch-Vishous-Marissa has captured me, embraced me, made me laugh with joy because a bond like that is rare and to be cherished, but also made me cry because of V’s insecurity about it all, and his low self-esteem just broke my heart!!!

It’s yet again an emotional rollercoaster.

I’m barren for words. There’s so much to say about this book, but it will all be spoilers. The Scribe Virgins role in this book (eventhough she doesn’t appear frequently) is so unique, despite the fact that it’s so small.

And ofcourse another brilliant new ritual. What I find is great as well is to see how John is feeling and how he is growing towards his transition. To see from scratch how a warrior comes to be, I think, is amazing and adds so much more to the series. It’s already a built up to what will happen after the 6 original warriors.

I’m just baffled by it and feel an emptiness now that I’ve finished this book because it kept me in it’s grib for 3 days. But it’s time to sober up, come back to earth and live my “normal” life again till Vishous’s novel is vibrating in my hands!

Quote:
Butch when struck down in the floor in the hospitals bathroom and V asking if he’s back:
“For sure, I’m thinking about a future in contracting. Wanted to see how this bathroom was put together. Excellent tile work. You should check it. I want to look at the sink pipes next."

4,5 Stars
Friday, January 5, 2007

Emma Holly - Luisa's Desire (anthology in Fantasy)

Genre: Paranormal
Book 1 in the Midnight series (anthology)
ISBN: 9780515132762
Releasedate: August 2006
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Luisa's Desire tells of a child of midnight who has arrived at a spiritual refuge in Tibet. Far from her normal immortal life, Luisa is surrounded by simplicity and self-denial. Here, she hopes to expunge her dangerous desires. But when she meets the monk who can save her, Luisa realizes she's only beginning to understand what desire is.

REVIEW
What a refreshing way of story-telling. After all the paranormal/vampire series I read off late I was longing for some pure romance (nearly longing for a jolt of decent romance of regency!!!) This story takes you into the realm of Umpyr's (immortals quite like vampires).

Emma Holly writes in a Brittish sort like English and in a way that slowly get you in the whole Dalai Llama-Tibetan scenery. Despite the immortality of Luisa - the Umpyr -, I also felt the sublimely described tranquility of the Tibetan monks. The love Luisa and Martin experience is on such deep spiritual level and also in tune with the spiritual influence in my own life that I nearly purred with pleasure while reading this story!

Eventhough the story was an anthology, it didn't come across as such. To me it was more like a shorter novel. This was not a story with heavy battles or great tormented souls that needed rescueing, but for me it was a nice change of paste.

I can't wait to start on the other novels I have, written by this author, on my still-to-read shelf.

4,5 Stars
Monday, January 1, 2007

JR Ward - Lover Awakened

JR Ward – Lover Awakened

Genre: Paranormal
Book 3 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood
ISBN: 0-451-21936-8
Releasedate: September 2006
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Format owned: HC Rhapsody & MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Synopsis
Even within the vampire brotherhood, Zsadist is feared. Still bearing the scars from a tortured past, he is renowned for his unquenchable fury. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion-until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

REVIEW
After reading Rhage's "love-story" in lover eternal, I knew this was very hard to top as for me everything in it was absolutely perfect. I took a few days apart to give this book the full chance it deserved and it was a good descision to do so, because though the love story between Zsadist and Bella was near to perfect as well, it didn't embrace my heart as the previous book did.

Ofcourse I had a near-paper-tissue moment but it wasn't quite the 'balling my eyes out - can't stop crying'-thing. But I did have my moments though. What absolutely struck my heart was the thing going on between Phury and Zsadist as twins! In this book it wasn't the 'lovers'-part that got me hooked and reading along every free moment of my spare time, but everything that happened around it.

I had such a great laugh when Bella got into her needing-period and all the warriors were struck with a 'hard-on' at the breakfast table. The whole day I kept seeing that picture in my mind; "note to self - don't read these books when you just woke up with a busy day ahead of you!!! "

Ofcourse the whole Tohrment-Wellsie-John-Sarella scene left me heartbroken and hurting for their grief. Such intensely written that I could literally see Tohrment crushed with grief and his tearing heart taring the whole centre apart!!!!

What I find JR Ward can do like no-one else is create such an intense environment, and describe the emotions going around so perfectly that you can taste/feel exactly how the personages go through them! This series makes me nearly long for this Brotherhood to be real! Because this world will be so much better with Warriors like these walking around - if only for the looks eyh girls!?!

I long to know more about the bond between Phury and Zsadist but I know if Phury's story is coming more will be revealed. I keep saying Vishous is my guy though. There's just something about him that gives me butterflies everytime he enters "the scene".

This book closes with so many things still open that my longing mind is trying to figure out what will happen next. Some may say the open ends are not the "correct"-ending to a book, but I find it refreshingly new and excitingly thrilling. I can't waith to start in Butch's story. Not only to see if Butch and Marissa will end up together and to know what is going to happen when Vishous gave Butch the 'wine" to drink, but also to see what is going on with the others. What will happen with John? How will things continue within the Brotherhood now that Tohr..... And whao, what's up with Rehvenge en the Reverend???? I just love it that there's no real ending to each book, it leaves a lot up for discussion and speculation - probably only to find a complete new vision on things once the next book is out!!!!!!

4,5 Stars

Blog Assistant

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With spring in the air, my blog assistant decided to dress a bit more appropriate...

State Of Mind

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Torn between the good stuff and the yummy stuff....

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Natascha
Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands

With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

As an avid reader you’ll find that most of my blogs will maintain reviews, books, topics about books, writing and such, but as I am a diverse person myself, it will include many other topics on things that I find interesting in life. So welcome to my world, and happy blogging!
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