Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Clockwork Christmas by JK Coi et al

Synopsis from
We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband's love. A man learns that love isn't always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail
This Winter Heart by PG Forte
Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Far From Broken by JK Coi

My Review
This was my first venture into the genre of steampunk and not really knowing what to expect, I can honestly say I wasn't overly impressed. In fact I was quite bored with these short stories and it took a lot for me to get through them all. I was constantly checking my percentage meter to see how much more I had to endure. And other than the odd reference to Christmas I didn't really feel these were Christmas stories at all.

There are 4 stories in this book, but the first one was the best of them all. Crime Wave In A Corset was a tale about Cornelia, a thief who stole a Fabergé egg from a university professor, who now wants her to steal it back, but instead she manages to steal his heart. 3 STARS

The Winter Heart was a love story gone wrong between Orphelia and Dario. She returns to him with their son after being made destitute following the death of her own father. However, Dario isn't at all pleased to see either her or his son, especially as her genetic make-up declared her as being barren. Will love conquer all? This one was ok, but I thought it was a bit far fetched. Maybe that's what steampunk is all about - technologies far too advanced for the time period. 1.5 STARS

Wanted: One Scoundrel was just plain boring. Esme, a strong suffragette, wants to hire a scoundrel to put forward her opinions in the men's clubs in the gold mining town of Fremantle in Australia. Not a great deal really happened in this one. As expected Esme falls for her scoundrel. He helps another man get his comeuppance after he tries to force Esme to marry him, claiming he had kidnapped her father. 1 STAR at a push.

Far From Broken was a nice love story, but again was too far fetched in my opinion. Callie was tortured, almost to the point of death and her husband Jasper agreed for the government's War Office doctor to put her back together again with a mechanical eye and limbs and biomechanical organisms which helped her to heal really quickly. Jasper had to fight for their love and she slowly broke through the shell she had created to push everyone out in return, but when someone unexpected comes back to kill Jasper, will love win? 1.5 STARS

If this is the kind of stories that steampunk authors produce then I don't think they are for me at all. I like lots of action, with a bit of blood and guts thrown in for good measure and a bit of sex and romance. These stories are more of the kind of books my mother would read and I'm not your kind of soppy romance fan that she is!

Thank you to the publishers for letting me receive this book through NetGalley and review it completely honestly.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Apocalypse Rising by Maria Zannini

Synopsis from
The only place left to hide was in the past.

Fire Elemental Leda and her plainfolk companion, Grey, are running from a demented time traveler, a man obsessed with creating a creature who can read thoughts. Convinced that Leda can produce this unnatural child, he has threatened to hunt her down to the ends of the earth—and he has kept his word. Their only escape is a one-way trip through the time portal.

With death on their heels, salvation appears in the form of two strangers. Seemingly ordinary people, Tom and Cassandra assure Leda and Grey that they are here to help. They claim they are repaying a debt—Leda and Grey helped them once, 1200 years ago.

The trip through the portal offers no escape, as Leda and Grey discover that evil transcends time. Can their presence in the past stop the eventual apocalypse that forms their future?

My review:

This book starts off right in the middle of the action - Leda and Grey, our two main characters are running for their lives from a fire lord Senosai. Not realising that this book was in the middle of a series meant that I was lost initially, but the story soon unfolds and it was easy enough to work out some of what had happened previously.

In order for Leda, a fire elemental, and Grey, a plainsfolk (i.e.a non magical person) to escape from being captured and killed they jump through a portal that sends them back in time 1200 years, to our current day. They find it rather strange and difficult to adapt initially as everything is done by machines, whereas in their future machines no longer exist. They meet a group of witches who help them and Cassandra, one of the witches, is the same Cassandra who helped them in the future. How you say? Read it and find out :P

The fire lord Senosai is also in this time, not as a fire lord but as a scientist performing experiments on a large group of children who have all been created to be elementals. Leda knows she has to save her ancestors from Senosai, but things don't strictly go according to plan. Once the children are freed, with the help of some priests and nuns, Leda begins to teach them how to control their talents and how to live together. Gaea, an Earth elemental with the power of foresight, is chosen as the one to lead them all and although she is only a teenager herself, Leda knows she will become the most powerful of all the elementals.

Leda also has dealings with a demon Beleth, who actually comes in quite helpful later on, even though what he does is not actually meant to be helpful. However, he inadvertently sets the ball rolling to start the apocalypse that will destroy the world as it now is. The elemental children are immune to what is happening due to the demon blood in them, but the plainsfolk are not, so they have to be transported through the portal back to Leda and Grey's time. And with a bit of help from Gaea, so are Leda and Grey, even though the portal is meant to be a one way trip only.

I really liked the characters of Leda and Grey. She definitely had the upper hand in the relationship but when she realised that she couldn't produce any heirs for Grey, she offered him to another woman who would be able to bear him children. This idea is not something I would do, but in the time they came from this was what was done. The whole idea of giving Grey away killed Leda and you could see how much turmoil she was in every time she thought about him and Cassandra. Luckily another man saved Grey from sleeping with Cassandra and having children with him.

I liked this book and enjoyed how the story unfolded. I would also like to go back and read the books before this one to find out the events leading up to this book.

I got this book to review from NetGalley and would like to thank the author and publishers for the opportunity.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ascension by Sable Grace

Synopsis from
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both.

My review:
This book was a new twist on the usual UF books I read and I really loved it! Kyana is a Dark Breed with a difference to all others - she is half Vampyre and half Lychen (or werewolf), which makes her the best tracer the Order of the Ancients have as she can go a-hunting when others can't. The Order of the Ancients is a group set up to work for the Greek gods and goddesses and the likes of Ares, Artemis and the Three Fates or Moriae make regular appearances too. At first I wasn't totally sure how the Greek gods and goddesses would mix with the usual UF characters of vampire, werewolves and witches, but it worked so well.

Kyana has been given the ultimate test of her life - find out who has opened the gates of Tartarus and let all the evil Dark Breeds into the world Above. This world is divided into 3 areas - Below, where the Dark Breeds generally live, Above where the humans live and Beyond where the gods all live. To aid her on her hunt is the one person she was rather not be with - Ryker, a demi-god who spurned her advances 10 years ago and whom she has never quite forgiven for his rejection.

With the aid of her friends, Geoff, another vamp tracer and Haven, the only human Kyana can abide, Kyana and Ryker manage to find several clues, although none completely revealing, as to who opened the gates and why. They are using the opportunity to kill off all the Chosen, the humans chosen to take over from the gods and goddesses as they start to weaken, but who would want to destroy the Chosen and kill off all the gods?

Kyana was a strange heroine for me. She was almost an anti-heroine in that she didn't especially like working with others, enjoyed the glory she had, was a bit big-headed at times and showed a clear dislike for the humans she was sent to save, but I grew to love her as she showed her caring nature eventually. She was willing to give herself over to whatever punishments the gods were willing to give her, because had wanted to save her best friend in the only way she knew how.

I really enjoyed watching the tension build build Kyana and Ryker and it was clearly obvious from the beginning that while they might both act as if they would rather kill each other than work together, they did really feel something for each other. Eventually they mutual dislike faded and changed into respect and like for each other. I do hope their relationship develops a bit more through the next book.

I did also like the little surprise Geoff had in store for Kyana at the end too. The huge cliffhanger at the end of the book got me as well and immediately I went out hunting for the next one! Can't wait to read this one next!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rampant by Saskia Walker

Synopsis from
Possession is only half the fun…

The moment she arrives at her rented vacation cottage nestled in Scotland, Zoë Daniels feels it—an arousal so powerful she's compelled to surrender to the unusually forceful carnal desires…with nearly anyone who crosses her path. Crawford Logan, the boat builder with the wayward grin. The devilish restaurateur Cain Davot, who seems to know more about Zoë than he lets on. And even her sexy neighbor Grayson Murdoch, whose eyes delve deep into her soul as he explores every inch of her body.

Yet there's something unsettling about the way the locals watch her, something eerie about these overwhelming encounters. Zoë knows she's not quite in control of herself and begins to wonder if there's any truth to the legend of Annabel McGraw, a powerful, promiscuous eighteenth-century witch who once owned the cottage, and whose spirit t is rumored to affect anyone who stays there. Zoë doesn't t believe in anything that even hints at the occult, but t now strange visions are turning frightening…and only y one man's touch can bring her back to earth.

My review:

I think this must be my first proper erotica read ever (unless you count the later Anita Blake books, which were pretty much all sex and no action!). Not that I'm a prude but I prefer the kick ass, blood and gore type of books that this one was, but still a fairly enjoyable read.

Zoe takes a much deserved break from her high flying job as a PA in a lawyer's office and heads up to Scotland to a little seaside village, which her sister found for her. Just as she drives up to the village, she starts to get hot and not just temperature hot either. And soon enough she meets a rather handsome biker bloke who she wants to do naughty things to - not her usual reaction to a man she's just met!

The house she has rented gives her a funny feeling that someone else is there with her, but there is no one to be seen - only a feeling! Her neighbour ends up being the hunky biker and the other village menfolk (and one of the women too) take an interest in her as well, but it turns out that they are all witches of one kind or another. Being a complete non-believer in magic it takes her a while to accept what is happening to her.

There is a coven trying to invoke some very powerful, forbidden spells and unfortunately for her, Zoe is dragged into it all, whilst her hunky neighbour tries to save her from a fate worse than death. A lot of the power uses sex to aid it along the way so we are treated to lots of hot, steamy sex scenes as well.

The actual plot, without all the sex scenes, was a good one and I enjoyed the idea of what the dark witches were trying to achieve and the power struggles the coven were experiencing at times. Just wish there had been much blood and gore in it :P

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last Archangel by Michael D Young

Synopsis from
Xandir has been exiled to earth until the end of time. But when his cherub trainee disappears, Xandir makes a deal with rogue angels and giants that could restore life to the mortal woman he loves and end his assignment as a destroying angel in exchange for helping them bring about the end of the world and all of mankind.

My review:
I was intrigued by the synopsis on NetGalley for this book so requested and am quite glad I did. I really enjoyed it.

As other reviewers have stated, there are two storylines that eventually merge together, but the main story focuses on Xandir, a destroying angel, who must wield the swords of Justice and Mercy.

I enjoyed Xandir's story the most and loved his trip through hell to complete his side of the bargain with the Giants, a race created when humans and angels came together. Along with Jarom, his little cherub apprentice, he has to retrieve something that no-one has done before in order to get back that which he lost many centuries ago. A few nasty and a few funny situations arose and oh how I felt for poor Jarom after spending some time in the Pools. Despite Jarom's inexperience in the world of men, he proves to be a fabulous ally to have in the world of hell.

The other storyline involved Eden, a seemingly ordinary woman whose husband has just left her after weeks of rather bizarre behaviour. She attempts to kill herself only to be saved and then decides her time is not now, so plans to work out what has happened to Deren, her husband. She enlists the help of her professor friend Judy and together they encounter some rather strange and demonic goings on.

At first it wasn't totally clear how these 2 storylines would merge together, but when they did it was an easy merge, but not quite explained. Xandir was made to be Eden's guardian angel, after being told he would be a destroying angel until the end of time and the end of time was not just yet. He abandons his charge quite quickly in order to pursue his own goals - not much of a guardian angel is he? - and Eden soon finds herself in a rather difficult situation. Another group of angels come to her rescue, which I can only presume were sent by Xandir, but he didn't receive any sort of punishment for his deflection despite being told he would. Maybe being an angel lets you off the hook sometimes...

There were a few biblical references, which didn't overly bother me - I just took them to be part of the story about angels. I guess you can;t have a story about angels without some biblical parts, but they definitely didn't seem too preachy to me.

Overall this book was really good and thanks to Michael Young and NetGalley for letting me review it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Synopsis from
The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the "Inderlanders" reveal themselves, changing everything.

Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland's best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.

My review:
I loved this book! I have had this series on my to-read list for so long and finally got round to reading it.

Rachel Morgan is a witch working for the I.S - Inderland Security and decides she has had enough of being given the crappy jobs as a runner so quits her job. However no-one just quits the I.S and walks away without a bounty being put on their heads. But lucky for Rachel, the I.S actually wants to get rid of her so her boss Denon is willing to let her go until Ivy Tamwood, the best runner in the I.S and a living non-practising vampire, decides to quit alongside Rachel.

Together they move into a church and, with the help of Jenks the pixy, try to keep Rachel alive after several attempts on her life are made, courtesy of her old boss. Rachel also finds out that one of the big wigs in town is doing some very illegal activities and has a plan to get some evidence which should in turn get the I.S off her back. However, not everything goes to plan (as it never does and how boring would that be?!) and she gets caught. Several times!

I totally loved the characters in this book. The friendly banter between Rachel and Jenks was hilarious. Ivy was a strange one - I could never quite decide if she was going to go after Rachel or not after the first time, but she ended up being the kind of person you could rely on in a bad situation. (not quite sure why Rachel was so freaked out about Ivy attacking her even before the first situation, especially when she knew what Ivy was though). I have inklings over who I think Keasley really is, but no idea why. He could just be an old warlock, but I do think there's more to him than was revealed in this book.

I loved the way that magic was portrayed in this book as well - the need for mixing up potions to create spells and charm amulets is something I haven't read about in a while. Almost took me back to what I think magic is all about.

I'm looking forward to buying the next ones in this series, although I have a fair few to catch up on!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan

Synopsis from
Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...

My review:
What a fantastic book this was - totally loved it.

Miranda Grey is a budding musician with a difference - she's an empath - she feeds on people's emotions to make them feel her music, but she has no idea what she is and all the constant feeling of others' emotions is slowly driving her mad. On one dreadful night after a gig at a local bar, she is attacked by a group of men and consequently saved (if not a bit late) by a tall, dark and handsome man, who just happens to be the Prime vampire of the city.

He helps her to heal and helps her to develop and control her gift, whilst at the same time fighting against another band of vampires. The vampire war takes a turn for the worse and Miranda is sent away from David for her own safety, but she doesn't stay safe for long...

I love the images created in this book of Miranda, who started out as an almost crazy bag lady looking kind of woman, who simple cannot take care of herself at all. She eventually evolves into a stronger character, determined to not let the past destroy her very soul. David is the cool, calm, collected vampire leader you expect, with a passion for protecting those under his wing. I totally loved Faith as well - David's second in command - she was a light hearted, blunt character you needed to hear from when everything looked so bleak.

At first I was not sure about this book after the events of the first chapter, but they were handled so very well by the author and I was glad to see that Miranda didn't just accept them and move on immediately either. It was obvious that Miranda and David were going to fall for each other, but it was a longer process that you would expect and when they finally did get together it felt right.

Loved the ending too - so glad Ariana got what she deserved from the person she least expected!

Can't wait to read the next one and see what happens next between Miranda and David especially and how Kat (Miranda's best friend) reacts to everything that has happened too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zombie Nights by Tom Lichtenburg

Synopsis from
Being a zombie, not so easy. That could have been Dave Connor's six word memoir. "At first he couldn't remember how he'd ended up in that shallow grave; he just knew it was hell to claw his way out, and that the taste of its dirt would remain in his mouth for the rest of his time on this earth" ... Expect the unexpected in this existential resurrection thriller.

My review:
This was a short novella but a fairly fun read. Dave wakes up buried in a grave and eventually digs himself out. He has no recollection of who he is, what he is doing in the grave, where he is or anything. He wanders around and ends up going to his uncle's house. It's familiar to him, but he doesn't know why. He can't talk, doesn't feel hunger or thirst and the only way initially that he can communicate is through writing. Everything has to be relearned and he just wanders around at night (the daylight hurts him), feeling a sense of peace.

One night he meets a woman who helps the homeless. She thinks that's what he is. And whilst wandering around after deciding he wants to help others he stumbles across some of the gang who originally killed him. Cue a very quick ending.

The idea of the different side to zombie life was interesting. It showed that not all zombies want to eat you alive, but then again that's what I like about zombies. In this one, no-one was particularly bothered that Dave was a zombie, even his really old uncle had guessed at what he was and just accepted it. I was expecting a little bit of fear at least. The only ones who were bothered were the gang and that was because he should have been dead. I do think more could have been made with the gang related story - maybe that could have been how Dave turned into the flesh-eating zombie I expected.

The editing errors were not as apparent as other people have noted in their reviews (I am a stickler for grammar and punctuation errors and can't say any jumped out at me, but maybe I read it that quickly I just didn't notice!). I was disappointed with the ending - it was over before it even began to be honest. I do think there was potential there for more, but it just didn't deliver.

Not really a zombie book in the terms of the "proper" walking dead, but a quick, light read if you need one!

Jenny Pox by J.L.Bryan

Synopsis from
Jenny has a secret. Her touch spreads a supernatural plague.

She devotes her life to avoiding contact with people, until her senior year of high school, when she meets the one boy she can touch, and she falls in love.

But there's a problem--he's under the spell of his devious girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Now Jenny must learn to use the deadly "Jenny pox" she's fought her entire life to hide, or be destroyed by Ashleigh's ruthless plans.

My review:
This was a freebie from Amazon and was actually a really good read. The story focuses on Jenny Morton, who has the power to cast diseases on people just by touching them. Her mother died during childbirth as did the doctor and nurses and her father soon realised he shouldn't touch her either. She has always followed one simple rule through her 16 years of life: Do Not Touch People and as part of this rule she covers up all her bare skin constantly including wearing gloves. As you would expect she gets a pretty hard time at high school, and in particular from the head cheerleader and head of everything else.

One day whilst out walking her dog, a stray Jenny adopted, one of the jocks from school runs him over and nearly kills him. Another kid from school stops and heals the dog to Jenny's amazement. She wants to get to know this boy better, but of course, he is the boyfriend of the queen bee! They do start to form a friendship and Jenny finds out she can touch him - the one and only person she has ever been able to touch without hurting. She becomes pretty dependent on him almost immediately and loses him as a friend quite quickly as he returns back to his girlfriend. Both he and Jenny soon work out that Ashleigh is not who they thought she was and know that she must be stopped!

I loved the idea of the untouchable side of Jenny but when she finds out she can touch Seth, she completely changes. Gone is the scared, timid girl trying to hide from everyone. Out comes a confident, happy beaming girl instead. The powers of the 3 main characters worked really well with and against each other and the descriptions of Jenny's curse were fab! Truly disgusting, but fab!

The history behind all 3 powers and characters was a really good touch too. It was well explained and the whole story was well written. There were never any parts where I wanted the story to move on a bit quicker and several times I wanted Jenny to turn around and punch Ashleigh and at times Seth.

Look forward to seeing how the rest of this series pans out now!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

50 Ways To Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom

Synopsis from
Jazz cant decide whether to scorch him with a fireball or jump into bed with him

Jasmine Tremaine, a witch who cant stay out of trouble
Nikolai Gregorivich, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop on the trail of a serial killer

The sizzling love affair between Jazz and Nick has been off-again-on-again-for about 300 years. Mostly off, lately. But now Nick needs Jazzs help, and while Jazz and Nick try to figure out their own hearts and resist their ever-increasing attraction, they must steer clear of a maniacal killer with super-supernatural powers. They are surrounded by a hilarious cast of oddball paranormal characters, including Norma, the chain-smoking ghost who haunts Jazzs sports car, Dweezil, her ghoul of a boss, and Fluff and Puff, a pair of bunny slippers with sharp teeth and short tempers (watch your ankles!).

My review:
This book was such a fun book to read! I loved all the comedy in it, especially the fluffy slippers!

Jazz Tremaine is a centuries old witch, working as a curse eliminator in the city. Her old vampire lover, Nick appears on the scene and she throws a few fireballs his way before threatening to stake him. Problem is he still drives her crazy and makes her wants to do naughty things with him! She loves him but also hates him with a passion. However he needs her help desperately and will do anything he can to convince her to help him.

Vampires have been disappearing and he has been hired by the Protectorate, the vampire council, to find out who or what is making them disappear. He asks Jazz for her help which she does reluctantly at first as she knows getting involved with Nick again is probably not the best idea.

They both soon find out who it is and what he has been doing and this really shocks Jazz and for the first time in years, in decades, she is scared! She has been there before and was lucky to survive and doesn't want to go through hell all over again, but in order to help Nick, the vampires and anyone else who might get lured into the trap, she knows she must face this monster once again.

I loved Irma as well, the ghost who died in Jazz's car, who cannot be eradicated for some reason. Jazz has tried and tried to get rid of her with hundreds of spells but none of them have worked. Lucky for Jazz really as Irma comes in quite handy at the end. Irma's such a fun ghost in this story!

Whilst the main story plot was brilliant and the characters were fun too, I loved the "will they won't they" romance line too. You did really know that Jazz and Nick would end up together but Jazz definitely fought her feelings all the way through the book, trying to deny what she felt for him. I'm so glad she finally gave the romance the chance it deserves.

Looking forward to reading the next one in the series (providing there is one that is - will have to go and find out!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

Synopsis from
Cassandra Palmer may be the world's chief clairvoyant, but she's still magically bound to a master vampire. Only an ancient book called the Codex Merlini possesses the incantation to free Cassie-but harnessing its limitless power could endanger the world...

My review:
Loved this book. Cassie is now the fully fledged Pythia, but she still has several people trying to kill her. The vampires want her to release Mircea of the geis, which he put on her and she inadvertently doubly put on him in a past timeline meeting. The Silver Circle mages want to kill her so she does not become a Pythia under the control of a vampire and poor Cassie doesn't know where and when to run to. She knows she has to get hold of a book called the Codex Merlini, but when and where it is ends up becoming yet another battle for her life!

She is still partners of sorts with the rogue mage Pritkin and while she doesn't completely trust him and his motivations, she has no one else to turn to for help. However there's more to Pritkin that Cassie could have ever possibly imagined! Pritkin did annoy so much throughout this book - he's secretive, slimy, arrogant and so many times I wished Cassie had kicked his ass! But there is a reason for his attitude which is revealed right at the end of the book and I did understand him more then.

Many trips back and forth through time soon lead Cassie on the right trail to find the Codex and many surprises are in store for her. Billy makes another appearance and I love his sarcastic humour! I do still get a little freaked out at the Cassie-Mercia relationship with their history, but she's an adult now so I guess she can make her own decisions about him!

I think Karen Chance has finally found her true writing style with this one. She doesn't seem to spend so long going back over the old history of the characters, nor does she include lengthy explanations of ideas/terms used in the book as she has done in the previous books in this series.

There was lots of action in this one and even at 97% of the book I was still not quite sure if everything had gone to plan and Cassie was going to survive the day! Love it when book keep you hanging until the very end!

Looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

Synopsis from

Ashaya Aleine was separated from her son, forced to create a neural implant that will forever enslave her psychically gifted Psy race. After fighting a desperate battle to save her child and escape the PsyNet, she's led not to safety, but into the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.

My review:
I quite liked this book in this series as well. Almost seems that after the first 3 very predictable PNR books, Nalini Singh has realised that her book actually need a storyline to go alongside all the romance!

In this one, Ashaya Aleine, the Psy scientist who helped a couple of kids in the previous book, calls in her favour from Talin - she wants her son rescued from the Psy. The Dark River leopard clan help out and Dorian is the (un)fortunate changeling who has to deal with her. As you might expect he falls for her and eventually she gives in, but not completely until it becomes a life or death situation.

There are people who wants Ashaya both dead and alive following her deflection from the Silence and Dorian will stop at nothing to protect her and her him as well. A bit more history to the Psy is also revealed and a new group of fighters also appear in this book. There's also a hint of what might be a future story/book involving Mercy, the female sentinel of the Dark River clan.

I did find it a little strange that Dorian gave into his feelings for Ashaya so easily, even though she was everything he hated about the Psy - cold, unemotional and worked for the council. I believe his sexual needs definitely overrode any common sense initially, but as she was his mate I suppose there was a underlying emotional tie between them.

I will say I totally loved the ending - Dorian gets one of his life-long wishes at long last, all thanks to Ashaya, which would never have happened otherwise.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mine To Possess by Nalini Singh

Synopsis from
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man, and lost his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare stalks her—-the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again and hungers to possess her with a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past... or lose everything that ever mattered.

My review:

This was a much better book in this series than the first 3. Still a fairly predictable PNR - girl finds boy, boy rejects girl at first as she pretended to be dead, girl scared of boy but drools over him, boy drools over girl, boy eventually makes out with girl and both fall in love and have lots of hot sex! But this time there was actually a decent storyline running alongside all of that!

Talin needs help when some of the children in her care as a street guardian disappear and a couple turn up dead. The only person she knows strong enough to help her is Clay, the were-leopard who she was friends with as a child before he killed her abusive stepfather and went to a juvenile detention centre for it. Only problem, Clay thinks she dead and has been for several years now, so imagine his shock, surprise and anger when he does finally meet her again. She has to earn his trust and friendship all over again, which is not necessarily an easy ride for Talin, especially as she has been told she is dying.

Clay being a protective sort helps out and with his pack and a little help from another unknown Psy eventually find the missing children and the reasons as to why they were kidnapped, tortured and killed in the first place.

The Ghost is back again disrupting the lives of the Psy Council, but it is not yet revealed as to who the Ghost is. I still think it's Faith's dad, but i have no idea when this will be revealed.

I'm going to keep plodding on through this series and hope the rest of the books have a decent storyline like this one.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

Synopsis from
As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna...

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...

My review:
This one was a much better book in this series than the last book. It was still fairly predictable - it's a PNR, it's fairly obvious what's going to happen between the 2 main characters, although why Brenna, the changeling wolf, would ever want to be with someone as cold as Judd is beyond me, but I guess that's the point. He does eventually show emotion and they do find a way to be together, but the path there is not a straight forward as you would expect from the last book.

There is also a bit more of a story to this one. Someone keeps taking pot shots at Brenna and a few other people get hurt in the process. You do eventually find out who he is and why he is trying to kill her, but again Nalini Singh disappointed me with this part of the story. As far as the wolves are concerned it's life for a life and you didn't get to read about the family who took out their revenge or justice as it is seen on the perpetrator. That's why I prefer the blood, guts and gore in a UF book than the soppiness of a PNR. So why am I reading this series, you may ask? Well I had to see what all the fuss was about and now I've spent a fortune on the whole series, I'm going to finish it even if it kills me! :P

I did like the way that Brenna's character developed and the breakdowns she had showed how difficult her torture in the hands of serial killer Enrique was in the first book. I had to admire her strength to fight back, even if the nightmares of it all were draining her of who she used to be. And even though Judd was one of the coldest psys there was, he still had some emotion of sorts before he left the PsyNet - he left for his sister's kids, so he has to have had some feelings.

I liked the idea of the Ghost as well - I want to guess at who it is, but I'm not sure why be I think it's Faith's dad. I could be wrong and there's no clues at all as to who he is, but that's my gut feeling. We do know it's someone who wants to stop Protocol 1, an invention of the Psy to be the general populace under complete control. Will be nice to see how this story pans out in the next book as well.

My only problem so far, other than the predictability of the story, is the fact that all of these changelings and Psys are falling in love with each other. When will the Psy Council do something to stop losing all their Psy (although they had already lost Judd, presumed dead) and what will happen when all the changelings have fallen for the Psy? Who will fall for who then?! :P

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Synopsis from
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...

My review:
This is the second book in the series and whilst I haven't read any of the others I can kind of predict how I think the rest of this series will pan out. Something happens to a Psy - powers develop, fear of mental illness, finding out the Silence has not silenced all etc etc and somehow they fall in love with a werecat or wolf and break out of the Silence and PsyNet and join the Web of Stars started by Sascha or something similar. Am I correct? If so this series is going to become quite boring quite fast and I have the whole series on my Kindle to read yet!

This story was interesting enough for me to want to finish, but it was kind of predictable as well. It was obvious that the bad boy Vaughn would fall for Faith and emotionless Faith would eventually fall prey to Vaughn's affections. The actual romance side of the story was quite similar in places to that of Sascha and Lucas in the first book in the series. The only real difference was the type of Psy that Faith was and the way her powers were changing/developing.

I really did feel that Nalini Singh could have spent more time on the serial killer and Faith getting revenge for her sister's murder. That was all over in a couple of pages! And I know Faith was worth billions of dollars to her Psyclan, but I do feel they gave up trying to get her back rather quickly too. I know the council stated that they couldn't afford to lose any more men after Vaughn easily killed the 6 despatched to capture Faith, but if you have something worth THAT much to you, surely you would do anything possible to get it back! There seemed to be a real sense of passion missing in this book.

I really hope the next book in the series is better as I'm determined to read the whole series through, and I'm really hoping I don't regret that decision!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Green Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Synopsis from Good
Things to do:

1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don't upset the voodoo priestess.

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks--a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon--head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and--perhaps most frightening of all--humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

My review:
This book is the best so far in the series! I totally loved it.

After kidnapping one of the Dominae vampires, Tanith, Sabina makes her way to the Queen Faery's court, where Tanith tries to set up a deal by giving Sabina the location of where her sister Maisie is being held, although she doesn't know the precise place. Will Tanith be honourable and keep to her end of the deal? I doubt it! But we'll have to wait and see!

Sabina is soon off on the trail to find her missing twin sister, kidnapped by their vampire grandmother during a big fight between the vamps and the mages at the end of The Mage in Black (Book 2 in this series). This trail takes her to New Orleans, where she has to find a friend of Rhea's, a human voodoo priestess and her faery cross-dressing drag queen friend. Initially Sabina is reluctant to trust a human, but gives in as she knows there is no other way that she will be able to trace Maisie if she doesn't accept Zen's help.

Sabina and Adam also meet a local werewolf, who gives her a lead to where some vamps might be staying, but instead vamps in the house, they find a pair of mages and some humans who are in a famous rock band together enjoying an orgy of sorts. Soon after they finished peeking through the windows they are attacked by a group of mages from the Caste of Nod. Immediately Sabina believes that the werewolf has betrayed her, but it wasn't her or her vampire contact.

Stryx the owl also follows Sabina around a lot and they eventually capture him and perform a spell of sorts on him in the graveyard to try and get Maisie's exact location from him. She gets some very bizarre comments from him and at the same time her Chtonic magic does something rather new and strange! On this same night Zen's magic store gets attacked and so does Brooks, the faery. Very badly attacked as well and Sabina believes it was the werewolf again, but it wasn't! It was the same people who attacked her and Adam before and she has an idea of who the leak might be. And her gut instinct was correct! Brooks reinvents himself as Pussy Willow and manages to get rid of the leak once and for all!

Sabina takes a sort of out of body vision quest in which she meets the ghost of David, her old vampire friend that she had to kill in the first book, who basically tells her that she has some very difficult decisions to make in the near future and whatever she does will have dire consequences. Through this vision she finds the exact location of where Maisie is being held, but before she can go and save her Sabina has to consult Orpheus, the leader of the mages and the faery Queen, who seems to take over the whole situation, giving out orders that no-one else really agrees to, but they have to accept because they need the faeries help.

Sabina does as she always does though, and doesn't follow the orders at all. She decides to save Maisie by herself and leaves everyone else behind. However, Adam soon works out her plans, follows her and after a bit of a heated argument goes with her to save Maisie, but it doesn't go exactly to plan! well you didn't expect it to really did you? That would have been a very boring ending to the story.

A huge fight entails and Sabina manages to save Maisie and eventually they all win! Yay!!! Can't say  any more without giving away any more details!

I loved how Sabina developed in this story. She finally gave into her emotions and she even manages to admit to Adam how she feels, using the big L word! I did wonder how much longer Adam would wait for her, and even though he was willing to give her time, I think she had to make a decision sooner rather than later, so she didn't keep stringing him along. I glad she didn't wait that long! Adam did annoy me at times. He's a Pythian guard and always will be, following orders to the letter, whereas Sabina does what she wants when she wants and Adam finds it hard to accept this in her. Even on the big fight night when Sabina goes off on her own, he throws a bit of a wobbly at her, despite knowing why she went off. I am glad they got together properly in the end though.

Giguhl wasn't as funny this time round though as he had been dumped by the Vanity demon. I don't really know the details as they weren't revealed as such in this book, but I do know there is a short novella about this episode out, but it's not yet available over here in the UK - why not?!!! It's not necessarily essential to this story though, but I do like knowing all the details! Giguhl does have some funny moments with Brooks, who provided lots of laughs instead. Gighul tends to be more serious and has lots of close moments with Sabina giving her advice on matters of the heart, which I thought was a lovely side to him, especially after the breakdown of his whirlwind romance!

Overall I totally loved this book. Glad Adam and Sabina got it together. Glad they found Maisie. Glad they got rid of the one who caused all this! Looking forward to reading the next one in the series, but I have to wait until January for the release!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Mage In Black by Jaye Wells

Synopsis from
Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back.

My review:
Second book in the Sabina Kane series and whilst I thought it wasn't quite as action packed as the first one, I thought Sabina was developed much more as a character in this one.

Sabina meets her long lost twin sister in New York and the mages she has grown up with. Despite being twins, separated at birth, there are a few similarities between them, but many more differences. Sabina finds it hard to completely let go of her vampire upbringing and adopt the mage way of life instead. In one respect she has gone from living under one strict regime to another. Although her sister is supposed to be the leader of the mages, she only really holds that title by name; the real mage behind it all is Orpheus. He comes across as being a really strict, rule giving kind of guy and you can tell he doesn't trust Sabina at all.

Sabina seems to be under constant attacks from people trying to kill her for one reason or another, yet she's not 100% sure who is behind it all. She thinks it's her grandmother, the alpha vampire of the Dominae, but there's no real proof that she even knows where Sabina is.

Whilst visiting a local vamp bar, Sabina also bumps into a old vampire acquaintance, Slade. He convinces Gighul, Sabina's demon minion, to fight in his demon fight club and through the regular meetings Sabina starts to treat him more as an ally than an enemy, which does come in handy later on. I did love Sabina's first reaction to seeing him - a good smack in the face! Only a woman scorned could have made that mark sting!

Sabina does start her mage training and is slowly developing her skills, but her impatience and reluctance to get anything wrong soon irritates her. She knows she has to learn these skills if she stands any chance of fighting her grandmother, but at the same time, is almost convinced that her assassin skills are more reliable at the moment.

On a night out away from everyone and everything that's been getting her down, Sabina finally meets the one who has been sending others to kill her. She finds out the vampires and the Caste of Nod's plans and has to rush to the mages' defence to help in the battle. After losing many mages and overthrowing many vamps and their demons, Sabina runs around to find her sister Maisie, only to find an easel with checkmate scrawled on it in Maisie's blood. She knows exactly who has taken her and now vows to get her back!

Although Sabina isn't an incredibly easy character to like (sometimes her almost constant anger gets irritating), she does start to develop compassion and opens up to her emotions as well. You can see how her character grows throughout the book and she is growing up as an independent person, no longer needing someone to tell her what to do all the time.

I did miss the romance between Adam and Sabina that I was expecting after the end of the last book and beginning of this one. Adam appears only briefly in the beginning and again at the end, but there is definitely hope for them, although it also appears that Slade may be trying to vie for Sabina's affections as well, although she knows there's no future there. Gighul got the romance factor this time, which I thought was hilarious. He meets this Vanity demon in the fight ring - she's supposed to kill him, but instead of fighting they perform some kind of demon mating ritual instead. I was chuckling quite a lot at this scene and their romance is really quite sweet.

I actually thought this series was a trilogy, so was expecting it all to end in the next book, but there' another 2 books planned in their series, so maybe there's going to be more to it than I thought. I hope the next book is still as good as the first two.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Synopsis from
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

This time, it's personal.

My review:

I read this book for the second time as I wanted to read the rest of this trilogy and have to admit that I didn't remember much of it until I actually read it. Does that mean I didn't especially enjoy it the first time round? I dunno, but I really enjoyed it this time! I did remember bits and bobs, like Giguhl and Maisie and Adam, but not really what happened.

So anyways...Sabina Kane is a half vampire, half mage, raised by her vampire grandmother to distrust anything or anyone who is not a vampire. Therefore, she has no idea of who her mage family are and has no mage training at all, even though she should have some magical abilities. She is an assassin by trade. Despite being the granddaughter of the alpha female vampire, the Domina of the Dominae, her mixed race does not allow her to hold any position higher than that of an assassin. Her mixed heritage is something Sabina has been constantly reminded of her whole life, made it feel like she would never quite be the vampire she should be because of her mage blood.

The starting line of the book made me giggle - "Digging graves is hell on a manicure..." Only a female vampire could come out with a statement like that! LMAO And you know immediately that she is not your prim and proper type of vampire if she's out killing people who need to be buried. At the beginning of the book Sabina has to kill her friend David, whom she is led to believe has turned into a traitor, told so by her grandmother, the alpha vampire. You can tell that Sabina doesn't really want to do it, but her loyalties lie with her vampire family and therefore she carries out the job as necessary.

Later on Sabina is told by her grandmother that she has to infiltrate a cult of sorts run by a half vampire, half demon, Clovis, who wants to take control of the vampire and mage races. Sabina seems to be making a headway start despite her instincts to not trust this demon vamp. He appears to trust and believe what she is saying and at times, she starts to believe some of the things he tells her as well, even though they go against things she has been told by her grandmother.

She is also being followed by a mage, Adam, who tells Sabina that her mage family has sent him to watch her, train her and eventually get her to meet them. She doesn't believe him at all to start with as she has always been told that her mage family disowned her at birth. Lots of contradictory evidence comes to light through out the book and many secrets are eventually revealed, some of which turn Sabina's world upside down.

Adam did send a demon to kill Sabina and he stabs her through the heart with an applewood stake, the only wood known to kill a vampire. However, it doesn't kill her; it hurts her like mad but she doesn't burst into flames like she should. Is this part of her mixed heritage? She tries to get rid of the demon before he racks up massive bills on her credit card from watching too many info-mercials and QVC type programmes, but only the summoner can return him. He takes cat form so as to blend in better with her new roommate and when Sabina tries to cast a spell on him, it turns him into a permanent hairless cat. He can no longer change forms. Sabina now has to ask the mage Adam for help in sending Gighul back to the demon realm.

A big fight ensues between the vampires of the Dominae and Clovis' cult with lots of back stabbing and double crossing going on. Sabina and Adam manage to get out alive and Sabina finally admits that she's kind of ready to leave her vampire family completely behind and make the next step forward to meeting her mage family, in the lead up to the inevitable upcoming war between the mages and the vampires.

I really enjoyed this book and loved Sabina's attitude and sarcasm. Her grandmother was a total control freak, but what do you expect from the leader of the vampires. I just don't understand why Sabina didn't wake up sooner to the way she was being treated by Lavinia, but then I guess when you've been brainwashed from birth, you just don't question other people's behaviour. I am glad she did realise what was going on in the end though.

I totally LOVED Gighul's character - he was funny as a demon and even funnier as a hairless cat. I can just picture him walking round in a fluffy sweater and little booties chasing catnip toys around. I hope he makes another appearance in the next book.

There's definitely some attraction between Sabina and Adam and I would like to hope that it develops into something more in the next book as well.

Right on to the next book in the series then!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kitty's Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis from
Kitty Norville is back and in more trouble than ever. Her recent run-in with werewolves traumatized by the horrors of war has made her start wondering how long the US government might have been covertly using werewolves in combat. Have any famous names in our own history might have actually been supernatural? She's got suspicions about William Tecumseh Sherman. Then an interview with the right vampire puts her on the trail of Wyatt Earp, vampire hunter.

But her investigations lead her to a clue about enigmatic vampire Roman and the mysterious Long Game played by vampires through the millennia. That, plus a call for help from a powerful vampire ally in San Francisco, suddenly puts Kitty and her friends on the supernatural chessboard, pieces in dangerously active play. And Kitty Norville is never content to be a pawn. . . .

My review:
Carrie Vaughn is back up to par with this book. This one was much better than the last one, Kitty Goes To War. In this book, Kitty is asked by Anastasia to join her in the fight against Roman in San Francisco. She needs to get hold of a very powerful object and wants Kitty to help her find it.

So Kitty, Ben and Cormac find their way to SF to be attacked by some of Roman's werewolves, taken through a maze of secret underground tunnels in Chinatown, getting lost in said tunnels, finding Chinese gods who help fight Roman, find Roman, fight Roman, lose to Roman who steals the powerful object, fight Roman again, get powerful object back, defeat another Chinese god and eventually give the powerful object back to the Chinese goddess who will look after it, along with Anastasia.

Loads of fast-paced action in this book, which almost never seems to stop. It moves really quickly from one scene to the next, but flows very well. Anastasia annoyed me, but I think she's supposed to. She's a very old vampire who came from a noble family and has that air of pompousness about her at times, yet at the same time can be quite caring towards others. She holds a bit of bitterness inside her and we do find out why she's so determined to beat Roman.

I really like how Cormac's character is turning out now, with the addition of the spirit of Amelia inside him. He doesn't need to rely on his guns so much now, not that he can with the terms of his parole, so he starts to use magic more and more with Amelia's help and guidance. This gives him an almost supernatural outlook and I feel he fits in better with Kitty and Ben, although there are times where I wish he would just pull out a large gun loaded with silver bullets and kill the nasty werewolves!

Ben and Kitty's relationship is stronger than ever and really helps them both in times of crisis. I hope this doesn't change in the future. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in this series as well as Kitty's Greatest Hits, which tells us what actually happens to Cormac in jail. I just hope they hurry up and bring this one out on the Kindle soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kitty Goes To War by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis from

Kitty Norville, Alpha werewolf and host of The Midnight Hour, a radio call-in show, is contacted by a friend at the NIH's Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. Three Army soldiers recently returned from the war in Afghanistan are being held at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs.  They're killer werewolves--and post traumatic stress has left them unable to control their shape-shifting and unable to interact with people.  Kitty agrees to see them, hoping to help by bringing them into her pack.   

Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for libel by CEO Harold Franklin after featuring Speedy Mart--his nationwide chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting supernatural unpleasantness--on her show.

Very bad weather is on the horizon. 

My review:

Oh no it seems Carrie Vaughn has lost a bit of excitement in this book compared with the last 3/4 books in this series. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the thrill just wasn't there.

2 subplots run alongside each other in this story. The first one involves a group a Green Beret soldiers, turned into werewolves courtesy of their captain, who then gets blown up, leaving the pack without a clear leader. They return from Afghanistan and get further and further out of control. Kitty is called in by Dr Schumacher to assist the army in capturing these men. She helps get the remaining 3 after the newly self-appointed alpha of the little pack kills some of the others for insubordination. Kitty then talks to them in prison and can see the potential in helping 2 of them. The alpha is far too aggressive and far too wolf to be helped. On the night of the full moon, she takes these 2 new wolves with her pack for a hunt and run, but one of them disappears to go and free the alpha from prison. Kitty, Ben and Tyler, the other soldier wolf, head up to the compound in the middle of a blizzard to try and intercept this other wolf before he can release the alpha and cause any more murders and mayhem. Unfortunately he has already been released and a few others have been killed in the process. Tyler comes to Kitty's aid and kills the alpha for her!

The weather is the second subplot. There is a wizard in town, who just so happens to own the Speedymart chain of stores. He is doing something to the stores and casting very nasty weather spells while he gets the hell out of there. It has been said that he was the one to cause Hurricane Katrina. With Kitty and Ben on the hunt for the missing werewolf, it is up to Cormac to work out what to do, which he does with the help of a witch who has somehow managed to merge with him and now resides in his body. Kitty enlists the help of her pack to stop the wizard's spell and soon enough everything is back to normal.

Tyler moves to Seattle to be near his family and Kitty meets the local werewolf pack there. Rick makes a brief appearance, but nothing really happens with him. And that's about it.

The book seemed to have a weaker storyline than the others. Although I felt that the idea of helping soldiers turned werewolves become more productive members of society was an interesting one (they have mentioned about using supernaturals in the army in previous books), I just thought this story really lacked the thrill of the chase as it were. The main 2 fight scenes involving Kitty, other members of her pack and the army wolves were quite tame and not really long enough.

And I do feel the title is a bit misleading too as I thought this book was going to be about Kitty and Rick going to war against Roman, which was brought up in the last book. Maybe that will come a bit later. This book didn't really have anything to do with Roman and the war between the vampire, although it was suspected that Roman was the one encouraging the Speedymart wizard to do what he was doing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis from

Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.
The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

My review:
Wowzers! Where on earth does Carrie Vaughn keeping getting these fantastic ideas from for this series? This book was amazing and this series is fast becoming one of my very favourites!

In this book (#7 in the Kitty Norville series), Kitty is asked to appear in a TV reality programme with a difference- all of the participants are celebrity supernaturals. There's Kitty, Tina from Paranormal PI, Jeremy, a psychic whom Kitty met a few books back, Odysseus Grant, the magician, Lee, a were-seal, Jerome, a werewolf American wrestler, a couple of vampires and their human, Ariel, another radio show host with a similar programme to Kitty's and a sceptic called Conrad. The idea is that over the course of a couple of weeks in a very remote hunters' cabin near the woods, they will all convince Conrad that supernaturals do exist. Everything is being recorded on camera with some situations set up deliberately.

Kitty develops a bad feeling after Tina uses her ouija board and soon that bad feeling comes true. The programme turns into more of a horror movie, with various people being killed and injured and the supernaturals fighting for their lives. And all this time cameras are still rolling...

Kitty, of course, survives all, although with many following nightmares and the bad guys are eliminated to put it bluntly! I totally loved the constant feeling of terror once they all realised what was going on. Despite everything, Kitty manages to stay strong and everyone expects her to lead the group and know what to do. She doesn't, so starts thinking about Cormac and what he would do in this situation. Knowing what a werewolf hunter would do helps the whole situation a little bit.

This series just keeps getting better and better. I love Kitty's character - she's strong, determined, a survivor, completely cares about others in her "pack" and will do anything to ensure their safety and her own.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis from
Kitty Norville and Ben thought that they had left their problems in Vegas. What they should have realized is that vampire priestesses and lycanthropes don't forgive and forget: They unleashed flaming balls of revenge. To protect her pack of werewolves, Kitty seeks the help of TV paranormal investigators, but ultimately her survival and those of the creatures she's sworn to protect rests in the outstretched hands of her and her allies.

My review:
I do believe I am wrong. I don't normally admit to being wrong because I am always right, but for once I will admit I was wrong! I said that Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (#5 in the Kitty Norville series) was the best book so far, but this one was even better.

This once carries straight on after Kitty and Ben return from the trip to Vegas. The trouble from Vegas has followed them home and someone finds Kitty's bar, New Moon, and burns the word Tiamat on the door. Kitty obviously knows what and who that means and now has to stop them. However she ends up dealing with something she didn't even know existed; a form of a djinn called an ifrit, which is a spirit made of fire and who loves causing chaos by burning everything and everyone down! Kitty does admit that she doesn't really know what to do and with the help of an old friend and some new ones she soon works out how to rid herself and Denver of this pest!

Even though Kitty is the female alpha of her pack, she readily admits when she doesn't know what to do and has no problems whatsoever asking for help. Some alphas or vampire masters would see that as a weakness, but I believe it takes great guts to ask for help when everyone else expects you to be able to deal with the problem.

I love Kitty and Ben's relationship. They are both clear alphas but are so madly in love with each other. I hope that doesn't change in the rest of the series. Although I do prefer the action and adventure in these books, I do also like it when a couple get together and it works out.

And I do like how Rick is developing as well. He is coming into his own being the new vampire master for Denver and even though Kitty may not always agree with his decisions, he does seem to be able to wait out and find the answers before jumping in with both feet. Something that Kitty is more than ready to do at times in this book. I love how secretive he is as well, always giving little snippets of his past to Kitty but never really revealing anything. I hope one day she does get a juicy story from him!

Right onto Book #7, Kitty's House of Horrors then!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis from

Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty.

My review:

I loved this book - it was the best one so far in the series I think.

Kitty and Ben head out to Las Vegas for this book to get married. At the same time Kitty is asked by her producer, Ozzie, to do a live TV version of her Midnight Hour radio show. Everything is getting organised, but when they arrive at the hotel, they find that a gun show is also being held in the same hotel. A gun show which involved lots of people with guns and bullets. People with silver bullets too, who are associates of Ben and Cormac. Quite inevitably Kitty doesn't feel very safe around these kind of people.

Kitty meets the local vampire master, Dom. She also checks out the local talent, a magician whose magic seems to be real and a troupe of were-shifters performing a rather seductive act. Kitty is intrigued by both acts and tries to convince them to come on her show.

Her show goes rather well. The wedding is all ready. Ben has won a poker game in a Texas Hold 'Em competition and Kitty manages to get some time next to the pool drinking a froufrou drink - just like she wanted. What could possibly go wrong?! Oh how could I ask such a daft question?! Of course something has to go wrong. The book would be pretty boring if it didn't!

So anyways...Ben gets kidnapped after complaining that there's some cheating going on in the next round of the poker game. Cue Kitty on the hunt trying to find him. the wedding has to be cancelled obviously as there's no groom and Kitty finds herself in a very dangerous situation, only to be saved by the very last people she expected.

I loved how Kitty would do anything for Ben, even though she knew she was walking straight into a trap, although it wasn't quite the trap she was expecting. Ben managed to get himself out of where he was being held, the bad guys were arrested or killed and finally Ben and Kitty get married in a white, convertible Cadillac by Elvis! Sounds like my kind of wedding - no stress of organising there!

But there's not a completely happy ending - someone tracks Kitty down back to Denver and gives her a little reminder of who she pissed off in Las Vegas.