Saturday, January 14, 2012

Redemption by Eleri Stone

Synopsis from
Blamed for a heinous crime and banished from his tribe of Jaguar shifters, Adriano will do anything to buy back his rightful place—even steal a priceless artifact. First, he'll have to seduce Sophie Martin, an archaeologist researching the temple ruins and the one person who stands in his way.

Sophie wants to uncover the artifact as well—not to sell it, but to study it. It could unlock all the secrets of an ancient and mysterious civilization. But it's hard to focus on her work when the distractingly sexy Adriano is nearby.

What begins as a seduction quickly turns into mutual passion as Adriano's touch awakens a side of Sophie she'd kept hidden—and arouses his Jaguar instincts. To preserve his people's secret and earn his redemption, Adriano needs the artifact. But when a rival thief kidnaps Sophie, Adriano will be forced to choose—between the people who rejected him in the past, or the woman who could be his future…

My Review:
Adriano is a Yaguara, a jaguar shapeshifter, who has been exiled from his tribe following a huge war between the pure-blood and the half-blood tribes. He believes that if he finds some ancient bloodstone, he will be able to buy his way back into his tribe, so off he goes and joins an archaeological dig with a group of humans. He doesn't interact with humans at all and has never taken a female one before, not even for a quick one night stand. However, Sophie soon has him lusting after her in ways he never believed possible. He just can't stop thinking about her and is determined to have his way with her any which way he can.

Sophie, the quiet studious girl, is determined to solve the mysteries of the Clavin artefacts to help her gain the grant she so desperately wants in order to stay out in the field. She is a strong minded woman, but at the same time, quite shy and meek. She likes being the one in control, but when Adriano takes control of her sexual needs, she succumbs to his power easily.

At first, Adriano tries to distract Sophie from her studies so that the history and knowledge of his people stay a secret, but when Sophie follows, who she believes is Adriano, into one of the areas of the dig site late at night, he can no longer keep that part of his life a secret from her. I loved the fact that although we as readers knew all about Adriano's other side, Sophie did not have the faintest clue and was completely shocked by it all. She does accept him for what he is and tries to understand what is going on, but everything is happening so quickly that she has no choice really but to just get to grips with it all.

This story was a great PNR - hot sexy male alpha type, strong female character, a storyline that actually went somewhere rather than just copious amounts of sex to fill the pages, but some hot sex scenes too!

Looking forward to reading more of this series, even though I didn't realise this was supposed to be book 2 of it!

I received this book from Carina Press through NetGalley and would like to thank the publishers for the opportunity to review it honestly.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feast Harvest of Dreams by Merrie Destefano

Synopsis from
Madeline MacFadden ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts -- and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.

Once again Maddie's dreams -- and her soul -- are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own.

My Review
I actually quite liked this book, but there were so many questions left unanswered at the end that I could only give it a 3 star rating.

Maddie takes her son and dog back to the little mountain village she visited as a child to get over her writer's block, caused by her divorce and her ex-husband's new wedding to her former best friend. What she finds there is not what she expected at all.

Ash is a darkling, a shape shifter of sorts who can change his skin into any human skin he can envision. He is also the guardian of Ticonderoga Falls after a curse was placed on the village and all the people in the village carry his mark. No other darkling can feed on them without his permission. This was my first problem with this book. The idea of the darklings was an interesting one, different from other shape shifters, but they were never properly explained. They were described as being bigger than humans with long claws, sharp teeth and wings, so whilst I knew what they looked like, I still didn't really know what they were.

The darklings harvest people's dreams, but there was no description of how they did this. They also have a power of magic to make people fall asleep so they can harvest these dreams. When Ash's two cousins drain a man of his dreams, Maddie finds him flat, as if all the insides had been drained out of him and he has 2 puncture wounds in his neck. Are they vampires? Do they drain the blood to access the dreams? No idea!!!

Each short chapter takes the point of view of a different character and whilst I didn't like this at first, the style grew on me and it was interesting to see how the different characters interpreted the events.

There was no real romance in the book and whilst Maddie claimed she was attracted to Ash, there was no reason for it. He also fell for her, but again no reason as to why. Yes 2 people can be attracted to each other, but to claim to love each other without a relationship even being started was strange to me.

An interesting story, with original ideas, that just need a bit more explanations and fine tuning really.

I received this book as a ARC from Netgalley and would like to thank the author and publishers for allowing me to review honestly.