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selenityjade

selenityjade

New World to Explore!

Graveyard Shift  - Angela Roquet

I've seen and read a few books about reapers in various forms, although I haven't yet read one from the point of view of a reaper and that's what captured my attention for this series.  Not to mention the covers are quite unique.

 

I have to say the story was set almost entirely in Limbo, the afterlife, and all such places where a reaper works and the world that Angela Roquet created was, in a word, amazing.  I loved how she explained everything so that it fit together with the beliefs of humanity.  It was one of the niftier versions of afterlife worlds I've read in quite a long time.  I loved it!

 

As for the characters, my favorite is the main protagonist Lana, of course.  She's flawed enough to like her and yet she has quite a lot of hidden depths, some of which comes out in this novel.  She wasn't too terribly deep, but I imagine that will change as the entire series is named after her so we'll see more of her and her growth.  As for the other characters, I loved Gabriel.  He was just great, who'd have thought he'd end up being the way he was.  THAT little twist was a unique one for me in any novel.  I'm not sure I like or dislike Josie, Lana's friend, but we'll see how that plays out later.  Grim of course is an ass, but he's supposed to be.

 

As for the angel boyfriend, I liked him, but it felt like Lana went from not avoiding him to suddenly calling him her boyfriend, and as far as I knew, they hadn't even kissed at that point.  By the end that changed of course, but still.  That part was a bit off.  But heck, doesn't matter, I still enjoy the storyline enough I didn't even notice until I was done with the novel.

 

Also, the writing was very well done and dialog amazing, and I really can't wait to get started on book two!  Sadly, I have a few more books to read before I can do that. 

 

4 stars!

Synopsis and storyline misleading.

Regretfully - Leighton Riley, Jenny Sims

Wow, I only reserve one stars for books I couldn't finish.  I DID finish this because there was a plot and I was wondering where this was going, but I was honestly, VERY worked up by the time I finished this novel, and not in a good way.

 

Admittedly, I didn't read book one.  However, this is supposedly a stand alone, so I figured it wouldn't be bad not to.  That isn't my problem.  My problem is I found the synopsis and what ends up going on in the novel itself are COMPLETELY misleading.

 

I am trying not to give away anything here as I don't wish to spoil it for those who wish to read it, but honestly, I felt like the first half the book was only a set up for the next book in the series where more will happen to Aria (IF that's what will happen).  The second half I felt no one even remembered, or felt anything for all Aria had tried to do for anyone.  

 

I was very worked up and upset I even bothered finishing the book.

 

On positive notes - that kept me reading the book - was that there was a plot, the writing was well-done, and you keep hoping it is NOT going to end like you think it's going to.

 

So I'm sorry to say, 2 stars.  I doubt I'll bother with book one or three in this series.  

Mariss' POV, nicely done!

The Red Wife - Tyffani Clark Kemp

Yes, again.  Same rating.  I can't help it!  This one was brilliant in that it switched to Mariss' POV, which was great, but then I started feeling like Sebastian was a big ass a lot.  First, I felt Mariss was unreasonable, then Bassy.  Wow, I can't make up my mind.

Firstly, the writing and dialog were superb of course.  I do love the dirty, witty comments these two make to each other.  They have great chemistry and it's amazing.

The part I'm having issues with is kind of how the Holden thing came about (and that's all I can give without spoilers guys) as well as the other major issue.  I feel horrible for Mariss, but I can't help but feel that she should have been having more than 'feelings' before.  *sigh*  These two are amazing together and I love them together - Bassy and Mariss - but again, I had some issues with this not being my typical type of romance.

Plus Sebastian's double standard jealousy was a pain.  Geez.  Yet, he never got really jealous before when the three of them were together.  So it's a tad inconsistant I think.  Just a bit.

However, as always, excellent plot and excellently written.  I'm just not usually into a series quite like this.  In fact, it might be a unique experience for me.  Nicely done and realistic though!  3.5 stars!

Not my usual read, but a decent one!

The Man Without Rules - Tyffani Clark Kemp

I wasn't sure about this series at first (although the author is such a sweetie, I wanted to give it a chance), so it was with mixed feelings I started this unusual (for me) romance series. The fact that Mariss is married to someone else was kind of the part that made me have issues. I don't mind three-some novels at all, that wasn't the issue. In any case, at first, I thought Sebastian was a bit of a.... spoiled brat in more ways than one. I don't mind man-whores in my stories, but wow, he took it to a whole new level!

 

I did however like Mariss from the start. She was conflicted but in a way I think a lot of people could understand, even loving someone. It was nice. Toward the middle of this book, when more emotions came into play, I found I didn't dislike Sebastian as much as I did at first, and he really started to grow on me. Of course, we all hate Hellena, I'm sure. Julie was a hoot, although I did have one issue where her loyalties changed, despite knowing Sebastian so well. I thought perhaps she should have at least understood a bit where he was coming from, especially since that man has never been hurt before like that.

 

The writing and plot were actually very well done. Despite having the word erotic in the genre categories there, I was amazed at how very much story played into this novel and was extremely thrilled about it, of course. I like story with my erotic scenes. If this were more my typical romance and I didn't struggle so much at the begging to stay interested, it might have had a higher rating. But because the middle through the end made up for it, I enjoyed the read immensely.

 

Fair warning though, this book definitely left things unfinished. Which is why I'm glad I had The Red Wife to move on to. 3.5 Stars!

Amazing angel romance!

Redeemed In Shadows (Shadow Unit Book 3) - Tigris Eden

This is the first book in the Shadow Unit series I've read.  I was a bit confused on certain couplings that had happened previously, but otherwise it was completely understandable, enjoyable, and worth the read even as a stand alone novel.

Maybe because one type of paranormal creature I love in PNR is angels that I just couldn't put it down.  And of all the angels that sometimes appear in paranormal novels, Gabriel happens to be my favorite.  So I was really excited to read this.  Especially once you glimpse the cover.  Hot right?  Wow!

As for the actually plot of the novel, I rather thought it was amazing.  Not just the romance, but the twists, turns, different bad guys (some of whom I'm still a bit confused on), and even the rest of the team.  Every single character in this novel has a unique and predefined personality that pushes this story along to its inevitable conclusion.  The plot twists - while one of the major ones I completely saw coming - were varied and intense, and with the amount of emotional upheavals and downward spirals, you are left with a very satisfying story.  I loved the plot itself.  

As for the characters, I'm completely in love with Gabe.  I want him.  He can stay in my bed forever and eat powered donuts, cookies or freaking hot wings I wouldn't care.  He's hot.  He's grumpy.  He can be an ass.  But he has emotions and that's great!

Admittedly, was a lot worried about Xee.  The pink hair, tons of piercings and tattooes, and of course attitude...  yeah, okay, attitude is great.  And while I adore tattoos all over my fictional (and non-fictional) men, and there is nothing wrong with tattoos on women, I just prefer less of them on women, I guess.  And piercings are not my thing, for myself or my men (or at least not many.  An ear yes, maybe a nipple or the tongue, but after that, not so much.)  So maybe leery isn't the right term.  Maybe freaking scared I was going to hate the major player in the novel.  I LOVED her.  She had issues but her issues weren't enough to make it so you wanted to give up on her, and that was awesome.

 Honestly, the only thing I found lacking was the jump from lust to love for Gabriel and Xee.  I mean, yeah, they lusted.  They had one night, and yeah, they still want each other so they get jealous, but then suddenly it's love.  It was a bit abrupt for me.  Admittedly, don't do love-at-first-sight in contemporary romance.  In paranormal, if there is a paranormal reason for it, sure, I adore it.  But instant lust?  Heck yeah.  But Gabriel didn't even show that he liked anything about her - her voice, or laugh, or attitude, except the nickname she gave him got him hard.  So it was like... uh, love?  They never even talked.  Outside of that, the chemistry was amazing though!

 And lastly, the dialog was nicely done.  And I want to thank the author for not torturing me with horribly written dialog or scenes that make no sense just to create drama.  I was given an ARC for this review, and it was well-edited enough I couldn't tell it WAS an ARC review copy.

So simply because I felt the actual love part of the story jumping a bit premature (although once they admitted it, it WAS beautiful), I had to go down a star.  I WILL be reading book one as soon as I have a chance.  4 happy coffee-girl stars!

 

Blue handcuffs make this series!

Covet the Moon - Tina Carreiro

I rather liked the second installment of the Power of the Moon series. The storyline of the second novel I liked even though it almost felt like two novels instead of one. There were two story arcs in the novel and I think if both were expanded a bit more and made into two novels it would have fit better. That being said, the way it was was just fine except half way through the book I thought I was near the end. A bit confusing, but overall plot wise, it did end up fitting together by the end, and that's all that matters.

 

Again, I love Cole - even if he did something I rather didn't like in this one - so he's still my favorite character. He's seems a lot more developed than anyone else as well. But I did like Mia more in this novel than the previous book. She seems a bit more put together and less like an annoying hindering influence for Cole to me.   She of course is also more powerful and considering her trauma - a lot more was revealed here - its understandable that she has so many issues. Of course, I'm a little iffy on her having had SOOO many traumas of course. But she handled things a lot better in this novel and almost came into her own.

 

Also mysterious vampire Mia met towards the end of the book means more drama for our main couple as well the activities of Velvet throughout this novel. Her obsession with Cole seemed out of no where at first, though. Some of the subtext in the novel is a bit confusing because you're not really sure if it's supposed to be a bit clearer before the end of the book. But we'll see on next installments.

 

Writing was good and the dialog was much better second book around. I actually finished this in a couple sittings (in one day though as there was a sending mix-up), and I enjoyed the ride. I am looking forward for book three to come out! 4 stars! 

Tawny Weber's always a good read!

Christmas with a SEAL (Uniformly Hot!) - Tawny Weber

I have a confession to make. I'm not much of a holiday person. Yes, I know. Horrible person that I am, I dislike the crap that comes with the holidays, not the actual holidays themselves. I'm a rabid romance reader and yet I don't like holiday romances usually, either. It's probably because most of the ones I find tend to be kind of hokey. Although since this is my first holiday season as a book blogger, I felt I was kind of obligated to give a few of them a try. I also figured – being a part of Tawny Weber's Street Team – that a good bet for a good holiday romance would be one by her. I was completely right.

 

As always, this entry into Weber's SEAL series was in no way lacking because of the addition of the holidays in its title or as a main feature in the story itself. In fact, it wasn't an exactly theme at the start, even. A nice sexy SEAL home for his sister's wedding where he meets the housekeepers daughter and practically drools on her shoes, despite having a very rigid call sign in the unit. Very nice.

 

I did find Frankie's thought processes on her supposed way of dealing with the art block she had going on a bit out there, but heck, it wasn't that unreasonable. Some women – myself included sometimes – can be a bit out there in our thought processes. Of course, I'd probably only use sex to unblock writer's block on romances and erotica stories, rather than actual jewelry, but who am I to know? I'm not very artsy-craftsy that way.

 

I did adore Phillip, though. Even his name screamed that he came from money. And his rigidity except with regard to Frankie was simply drool-worthy. To see him lose his control over just the one girl and her situation... Who wouldn't die for that opportunity?

 

The story itself wasn't complicated either, a simple and sweet love story novel that is a bit on the short side (if you normally read 300-400 page novels), but as always, Tawny did some amazing characterization and just enough buildup to the actual conclusion of the story to keep us reading without anything feeling forced or rushed or even dragged out. It was well done!

 

As always, I would read anything written by Tawny Weber. 4.5 Stars!

 

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review – an also very nicely signed book that goes on my shelf!

Tawny Weber's always a good read!

A SEAL's Salvation - Tawny Weber

Whoever designs Tawny's SEAL covers chooses some seriously hot models. No joke. They're awesome. Plus the shower scene on the front. Yummy!

 

Now I'm going to ask honestly, who does NOT love the idea of a hot Navy SEAL romance? Alpha males falling in love, and falling hard, for these sassy, independent women? Yeah, it's an often used idea in romance, but wow, Tawny does it and does it well.

 

I loved the idea of a bad boy being forced into the Navy because of a girl and coming home a hero to most of his home town after a mission gone wrong. I loved that he never forgot the girl. I loved that the girl never forgot him. The story wasn't too involved, but it didn't need to be. It was a shorter novel that was a romance and all the drama inherent in that. The misunderstandings between the couple, outside influences of family and friends, as well as soul-searching by our couple as well. The usual recipe for a great no-frills romance.

 

I really sympathized with Genna (LOVE that name) who was forced to be the good girl so much her personality was practically buried. I had been the same way growing up a lot. In any case, I understood that and related to her so much because of that. And of course, the fact she couldn't forget the boy she crushed on in High School is also easily to relate to for nearly every woman I've ever met. It's partly why romance so appeals to us.

 

As for the bad boy turned Bad Ass SEAL, Brody is hot. Tawny Weber's men are always the type to make me claim them for a bit as a book boyfriend. They're my type of hero to lust after. Who doesn't love to read about take charge men who are damaged in some way? I just love it!

 

Tawny does an excellent job with how she writes characters. Each character, from the main protagonists down to each minor character, has their own unique personality and idiosyncrasies. Each have their own motivations for their actions and sometimes it is obvious. It makes things more realistic this way and one things Tawny does extremely well is characterization.

 

I read this book quite fast – heck I've read it twice so far – and I loved it. If it were longer and a bit more involved, I'd have rated it that half star higher. As it is, 4.5 stars!

 

I was lucky enough to win an autographed paper copy of this novel. On my shelf it stays, having earned its place.

I will be reading book 2!

Chasing the Sun - Sasha Abernathy

While the idea of having gods and demigods interacting in the mundane world isn't unique, I did want to pick this one up.  I wasn't sure exactly what called me to it, but I highly suspect it was the name Aiden.  It is one of my favorite names of all time.  For a man, anyway.  Plus Terran is a pretty high ranking favorite girls name for me as well.  Maybe that was it?  Either way, the synopsis was interesting, but I felt didn't quite do it justice.

The plot was interesting in that it kept me reading throughout the day of my internet hiccups.  I'm not exactly sure how some of Terran's tragedy will end up playing out in the next installment of the series, or quite a few other unanswered questions you are left with by the end of the novel.  That was perfectly done to keep the reader coming back for book two!  What happens to Aiden?  Micah and Jon?  Seth?  Terran herself?  Even strange Marlo?  I did feel the first half of the book moved a tad slowly, and then instead of doling out information as most writers do, Aiden just WHAM explained all in one swoop everything she needed to know for the rest of the book.  I wished it had came out differently.

Now, character wise, I felt it was a bit lacking.  I didn't really connect much with Terran's emotions throughout most of the novel.  Not her grief, her anger, or interest in men.  About the only time I really did feel her emotions got across very well was a scene with Terran and her friend Jon after the fancy party.  That I could feel just reading.  The rest seemed a bit disconnected.  I liked her just fine, I just couldn't connect with her.

Micah was kind of annoying, but in a good way.  Aiden I honestly DID like because of his hot and cold behavior that never quite got explained, although there were excellently well-done hints throughout the novel.  I didn't however feel much tension between Aiden and Terran, and maybe it's because I couldn't really feel her emotions much as I read.  Heck, towards the end when the book's climax was happening, even I was like "Woah, why is she so upset like that?"  I mean, throughout the whole book you never got the feeling of anything resembling emotion for Aiden except slight attraction and irritation.

As I was reading an ARC and there were some corrections in it, I won't comment on any grammar errors or anything.  There weren't many anyway, and not sure what the finished product will look like.  However, the writing was very well done.  The dialog was decently done - even if I couldn't connect with most character's emotions.  There was a few times where I felt Terran's reactions were off by her dialog, but it wasn't like "No one talks like that" bad.  It was just that disconnect I felt.

Overall, definitely want to check out book two.  3.5 stars!

*Received ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Loved it!

Someday Maybe - Ophelia London

I think most of us have had 'the one who got away' at one point or another in our lives.  I have - still remember him occasionally - and so the synopsis of this book really appealed to me.  Plus the cover was awesome.  I was really excited to start this novel and I was extremely glad I did.  

I was extremely worried about the fact Rachel meets Oliver again after so long while he is dating her best friend, but I was so ecstatic that Ophelia London handled that sooo well that I have no cause for complaint there.  I also want to point out that unlike so many female protagonists in romances, Rachel was not perfect but her flaws were actually fairly understandable.  The fact that she was scared of things had a reason and yet it wasn't beating us upside the head throughout the whole novel either.  

 

I really liked and connected with Rachel, which made it a lot easier to love Oliver.  He's not my usual type of guy I get hyped over in romances, but he was definitely perfectly characterized in this novel.  There were quite a lot of hints behind both of their motivations to certain things - past and present - that didn't get explain right out and I loved that the author gave us that.  I have been getting a little tired of having things shown one way in romance novels and then explained just plain outright when they didn't need to be.  The chemistry between these two was amazing and tangible throughout the entire novel without being too in your face, so that you're left wondering what Oliver is thinking sometimes.  Which is good.  We women always wonder why guys think sometimes when we're dating them, or falling for them, so it helps us readers connect to Rachel a bit better.  It was a nice touch, I thought.

 

For the record, I'm not a huge fan of Meghan.  BUT that's just fine.  It isn't anything big really, just her personality in the book.  She wasn't a horrible person or anything, just didn't really like her.  She made a good balance to Rachel as a friend though, so it works!  

The dialog and writing were so well done, I honestly can't think of a place I was upset with them at all.  The dialog is a big, huge, GIANT pet peeve of mine.  And I was happy I didn't have to wince with something that came out of someone's mouth that sounds wrong or stilted.  There weren't any words wasted over-explaining and that was nice.  (Even if I myself have that personality flaw when I'm talking - I over-explain, especially tired.  But I'm really smart so I don't need things over-explained when I read.  Makes me impatient sometimes.)

 

Also, the story wasn't that involved, but it didn't need to be.  It was simply a sweet second chance romance that leaves the reader feeling happy and satisfied afterwards.  I seriously want to read more by this author.  Amazing!  4.5 stars!

 *Received ARC for honest review*

Cliffhanger Warning - definitely makes one want to read book two!

Straight from the Heart - Breigh Forstner, Dayne Edmondson

***Warning:  Cliffhanger Ending***

 

The cover and blurb both pulled me in, after all, rock band with a female guitarist?  Yeah, I was all for that.  I did finish it in one day - I was sick though, so I can't say one sitting or that it kept me up - and I did enjoy the read.  

 

The plot was about what you'd expect from a story like this, although it was a bit more dangerous than the normal bad boy rock band member danger.  I like that addition, though.  It kept it a bit different than just drugs, sex, and rock and roll.  I did have some issues about how the overall story played out however, but without giving away spoilers I can't say much.  Just that, I think if Bryn's parents were that well off, I think they might have a better option that what they supposedly did.

 

Bryn left home at 18 to pursue a dream her parents strongly disapproved of and joined a band called Everlasting.  I liked Bryn, even if she did do some amazingly dumb things at certain times, but honestly, at 18 and as sheltered as she had been, I might have done the same things.  Or been too scared to do anything.  Cale I also liked, especially because he was so moody and temperamental sometimes.  Their relationship felt a tad bit off to me, the lack of tangible heat in some places I guess?  I'm not sure, it was just... missing.  His protectiveness and anger didn't exactly show as well as I would have liked. 

 

I did like most of the other characters of this story as well, which is nice.  Breigh Forstner did not go the usual route of making Cale's ex a screaming bitch to Bryn or anyone else.  Damon was pretty nice, although if a *I* wouldn't have been caught dead again in a situation alone with him again.

 

The writing was pretty decent.  I did have some issues with dialog awkwardness or characters saying things that were a bit redundant, but it wasn't anything bad enough to make me throw up my hands in despair.  It could have used a tad more work, but no real grammar errors.  So that's always nice.

 

The only reason I didn't give a full four stars is because the cliffhanger was seriously cliffhanger-y.  Like really?  I've done that in one of my stories once and I think I had a riot on my hands, and I got cussed out.  It was fun to do to others.  But admittedly, I do not much like it done to me.  I want to read more!  So 3.5 stars!  And I will be checking out book two!

Sad to see the series end!

Steel's Edge - Ilona Andrews

I’ll say wow again here. I’m going to start off with the characters first. In the second Edge novel, Richard wasn’t really on my radar as a guy to like or dislike, too controlled, I guess with too little presence. However, he decided to take on the entire slave trade and that made him interesting. Throw in a healer who is fighting her darker side, but who is unmistakably a lady of fine breeding, and they are a good match.

 

I loved how Ilona Andrews was able to make it so that one could be a healer but they had the ability to cause great, great harm as well. It happens in a lot of novels with healers of course, but not to this extent. It was nicely done and I loved that detail. Charlotte could be a walking catastrophe of epic proportions and Richard wants her in the worst way. It was glorious. The romance was nice.

 

Again, the world of the slave trade and the machinations of those behind it were well thought out and executed nicely within the plot. I was seriously impressed. For character development, plot, and of course romance, I’m giving this one 4.5 stars as well.

Fate's Edge - Ilona Andrews

I don’t know who I would have pictured for Kaldar, but once I read how Audrey interacted with him, I realized they were absolutely perfect for each other. Neither one of them could fool the other, and that only made them hotter for each other.

 

As usual, the Hand horrors dogged their steps, causing death of people close to them, and together they must find and keep a sacred object from those monsters. Led by none-other than Spider’s niece.

 

Again, the horrors the Hand (or Hound in this case) are willing to do are horrendous, but because they are bad guys, it’s necessary. I actually like novels that add some realism to their villains, so rather than simply “I want to take over the world” it is instead “I’ll take over the world and slaughter and eat people who stand in my way.” Much more satisfying when they go down.

 

Kaldar is honestly more likable in this book than in the previous, though I would have throttled George and Jack for the crap they pulled, and thrown Gaston under a train as well. Then again, I’m an aunt who really dislikes when kids don’t listen to the important “NO” you give them. And Jack’s lack of trying did get on my nerves a lot, but that really was the point.

 

All in all, a great novel. This series gets better with each installment practically! 4.5 stars!

My favorite Edge installment!

Bayou Moon - Ilona Andrews

Again, the horrors the villains come up with and how they’re even shaped are awe-inspiring in their absolute ability to create nightmares. The details the Andrews endow these villains with really do amaze me.

 

I loved William and Cerise’s love story a lot more than Rose and Declan’s, simply because it was more passionate. Especially from William’s point of view. I would probably give my left arm for a man to look at me like he looked at Cerise the first time she was clean. Seriously. Then I’d run.

 

Another thing I love about the story itself is that Ilona Andrews does not shy away from painful events in their stories. People will die. Some get broken. Things happen, just as they do in real life, and it changes them. Despite the fantasy-like setting, that was superbly realistic and adds depth to this already intricate world.

 

This has to be my favorite of the four novels I think. 5 stars!!

Great start to a series!

On the Edge - Ilona Andrews

What I really like about this story – besides Rose and the hotness of Declan of course – is the details, the craziness, the absolute hilarity that happens amidst the really stomach-turning horrors these authors have their villains envision. It’s awe-inspiring how depraved the ‘bad guy’ can be in an Ilona Andrews book. Luckily, you don’t get gory details too often, but they do not pull any punches on what the evil SOB will do to people, animals, the world… Ilona Andrews (one or both of them) have a twisted imagination and I love it!

 

Also, while the romance between Rose and Declan was slow to start, it was sweet to read. Though to be honest, this one isn’t my favorite Edge novel. It felt a little too drawn out with the whole Rose and Declan thing – although their interruptions were just freaking classic!  4 stars!

A Hilariously Naughty Short Read!!

A Mere Formality - Ilona Andrews

I’m a huge Kate Daniels series fan (which I am currently rereading so that I can read the new book that came out when I wasn’t looking), so I pretty much read just about everything by this husband and wife writing team.

 

A Mere Formality is a science fiction short story that has a smidgen (and I do mean the tiniest smidgen) of romance in it. It’s extremely short, but the world, the people, the porn humor in it was absolutely amazing. I honestly couldn’t have imagined any other writer capable of building that world and those people in such a short story. It could of course, evolve into an entire involved series if the Andrews wished, but to be honest, I loved it the way it was.

 

I laughed my ass off through a lot of it, of course. The humor I know in Ilona Andrews’ books is not lacking here. Although, there is only so much raving one can do for a story that is too short for an anthology and revolves completely around an adult theme in such an epic way. Any fan of theirs should grab it (if you’re 18+ of course!). It’s a fast read and you’ll enjoy it. For a short story, 4.5 stars!